Originally Posted by rubidoux
When I first opened this thread I felt a little rush of excitement because I thought somehow that there were a lot of people out there who thought they were not eligible to adopt, but they were mostly wrong and it turns out its not so hard after all. I don't know if I've ever told anyone other than close friends and my mother, but I'm pretty sure we'd be ineligible. I'm in default on what is probably now $180 in school loans, I haven't had any income in over ten years, we live in a two bedroom home with our two boys who share a room (well, sleep with us, but that's just another strike against us, right?). I can't see any way that we will be able to have a home with more bedrooms anytime soon as we are totally underwater with our house. Dh and I have both been in therapy and he has been on SSRI's (this I can't believe would disqualify us, but I have read online that it can and does). Our kids are mostly not vaxed and we never do well baby visits. I am sure there are more... but maybe that is just because I perceive us as being kind of a mess and assume that anyone looking in would run screaming.
At any rate, when I think about how I feel about the fact that I believe that we wouldn't be approved, I feel pretty sad and down about it. It's something that I feel sort of helpless and overwhelmed by. I'm 42 years old. I imagine that by the time I'm 50 the economy would be a bit better and we'd be in a better position to get a larger house and by then I sure hope I'd have gotten good with my student loans and even paid them down quite a bit. But then I'll be 50. So is it really true that we are not going to have another child just because I made the stupid decision to go to school when what I wanted most was to be a sahm? Gah!
So, no I have not pursued every possible avenue (or any actually!), but I do believe honestly and wholeheartedly that I would not be approved. I think I will continue to keep it to myself, though, I'm not terribly sure why it would be offensive, even after having read the whole thread.
Im not sure anyone replied to this but i wanted to address it.
I think the biggest issue in what you wrote as reasons why you're pretty sure you cant adopt would just be the financial stress you may be under. Its not the money so much as an agency might be hesitant to place a child with you if there is stuff going on that is putting pressure on you right now....they wouldnt want to add to the pressure until thats resolved yknow?
I dont know much about how hard it is to get approved for private infant/domestic adoption or international but i can speak to my experience in completing three adoptions from foster care.
No one probed my finances. There was a worksheet where i needed to list my expenses and my income, i needed to provide proof of income such as a tax return or pay stubs. I needed to list the amt in bank acct on the worksheet but didnt need to provide proof (although my friend says she had to give more extensive info about their financial stuff so who knows.) I dont think there was any place on that form where you would need to disclose being in default on a student loan and they didnt check my credit or anything like that. You not being employed wouldnt be an issue at all if there was another adult in the home bringing in income and basically what most agencies want to see is that you have enough income to cover your bills. Many agencies (at least foster care ones) will accept many forms of "income" (like if a couple is retired and getting a pension, or if you are on social security or something like that)...it really just depends on your situation. They WANT to approve you so if there is any way at all, they will find it (if they are the right agency for you, and if not....move on to another one!)
As to bedroom space...it depends on the regulations where you live. Where i live, for a foster care adoption, they go by square ft...there must be 40 sf of bedroom space per person occupying that room. So a room that is 80 sf can be occupied by two people. There are additional regs. like a baby under three can room in with a parent, and children of opposite genders can share a room if they are under five years old, things like that. This varies widely between states. So again, it just depends on your situation. I generally did not bring cosleeping up to my agency (with my first homestudy my son was 9 and though he coslept parttime he had his own room and bed so i did not share that info.) Do your kids have beds in their room? Depending on the agency and how they seem to feel about it, i might not volunteer info about (they mostly want to see that there is a bedroom set up, not where your kids end up at midnight yknow?) You dont want to LIE really but more like not volunteering info they dont ask for. I am not sure how old your kids are, but if you were going to try to, say, foster an infant for possible adoption, that infant might be able to room in with you and the older kids would technically have their own room. I had a portable crib (not pack n play but an actual mini crib) set up in my room that took up very little space. When i was fostering and adopting i had three kids plus me in a two bedroom apartment, it was fine. Once my daughter was going to move in, i had to move to a larger place but only because she was a girl and couldnt share my oldest son's room.
About being in therapy....again, what they want to know is if you are in a stable situation. If you are currently in crisis and thats why you are in therapy they will likely ask you to wait before adding another stressor (a new child) to the home. They will ask about mental health on your forms and that will be explored in the homestudy process...my friend's husband had to get a letter from his psychiatrist stating he was stable. Usually its not an issue, again depending on your agency, and again if one agency won't work with you, another usually will. You just need to advocate for yourself and be persistent.
Vaxes/well baby visits....might not be an issue depending on where you live/the philosophy of the agency. My kids arent vaxed, its not an issue (but i live in a very liberal state for vax regs)...where i live every family member must have a physical form turned in. I dont have insurance so i usually just go to the urgent care clinic and get a quick physical by some random doctor, and thats always been accepted. I do like to have a relationship with a doctor for my kids, so they go each year to the ped., but are not vaxed (well my kids were when they were foster but not since adoption)...i do not do well baby visits either but do go at least yearly just to maintain a current physical on the kids. Some agencies will be freaked out by nonvaxed kids who dont go to the doctor, others will not. The important thing is that you can explain your reasons without sounding crazy.
The thing with adopting is....its not like someone is going to come knock on your door and hand you a kid, or the first day you walk into an agency they sign you up and send a baby over. The process is hard. Sometimes its SUPER hard and sometimes its not-so-hard...but its not for the faint of heart. Its usually months of paperwork, intrusive questions, home visits, classes (depending on the type of adoption)...then once you are approved its many more months or years of waiting to be matched. If you decide to do foster care with the hopes of possibly adopting (which sounds like might be a good option in your situation) there will be even more headaches, and heartbreak, and hoops to jump through. You HAVE to be willing to go through all that crap, to advocate for yourself, to fight your way through the system etc etc. You can't be passive. You can't give up at the first obstacle or hurdle.
The biggest advice i would give you is, dont wait. (Unless you feel now is truly not the best time to add a child.) At the very least, send for info from some agencies, go to a couple of info meetings or orientations. There is no obligation. At least you will have given it a shot. I put off adopting for years because i thought i wasnt ready, thought my situation wasnt "good enough" and i wasted so much time. My only regret was not doing it earlier.
I'm a single mom, nearly 40, with a nontraditional job. When i was first approved i was living in a 2 bedroom apt with my son. I now have four kids (live in a four bedroom house now, yay) and technically my income puts us at "poverty level" but i know i will have no problem getting approved when i'm ready to adopt another child from the state. I have three adopted kids, all placed as foster children (one, post termination with the purpose of adoption by me) one was placed at three weeks old (adopted 11 months old), one placed at 16 months old (finalized at three years old) my daughter placed at 8 yrs old (finalized at nine years old)...my boys are totally healthy normal kids, my daughter has some emotional issues but is otherwise healthy.