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Why do people prefer out-of-country adoptions to going through foster care? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
I don't have time to read this whole thread right now but OP, I am wondering why you see the need to advocate for foster care adoptions over international adoption? I'm a social worker and worked in foster adopt yet our family will be definitely going the international adoption route when my youngest is a little older. The main reason is that I've spent a lot of time In orphanages and find the situation in some countries to be heartbreaking. Not that foster care is a picnic. It isn't. I guess my heart is just in international adoption. That isn't my point though. My point is that kids are kids. Kids suffer in foster care. They suffer in orphanages. Adopting from one or the other isn't "better.". I mean what do you accomplish if you convince someone to adopt from foster care over international adoption? One kid wins. One kid loses. I guess I just can't get behind that kind of thinking. Now, advocating for foster adopt *without* insinuating it is better than international or trying to persuade someone it is better is great. Just like advocating for international adoption is positive. It just really rubs me the wrong way though to advocate for kids in our own countries just because they're in our own countries. I can't imagine looking into a child's eyes and saying "sorry. Can't adopt you just because it's more important for me to adopt a kid from MY country.". Kids are kids regardless of where they live.
post #22 of 33

Yes, kids are kids regardless of where they live--and kids here who don't get adopted and who age out of the system are very likely to be out on the streets and have a high risk of being sexually preyed upon/trafficked as well.  I don't think wanting to help kids in America is any worse than the people who imply that they're rescuing a child even more because they're going international.  Really, NONE of the children who are most at risk in any country (including our own) are going to get adopted.  I've worked in social services and homeless youth outreach/services as well, so I hope you will forgive my cynicism. 

 

I wish people would leave the whole rescue stuff out of it.  I mean, I know that people mean well...but I just think it is kind of ugly no matter who is saying it and who their intended rescuees are.  When I think about all the people we just throw away in this country and around the world I could just cry.  I'd like to think that adoption makes a significant difference--but I don't believe it does except for the individual--who might have been adopted by another person anyway.  Meanwhile, all around the world, including here, the most profoundly needy children languish away from the photolistings, ect.  It's pretty overwhelming to think about.

 

I think some people may prefer whatever they happen to prefer because they perceive they're having a greater impact on the whole.  I'm just not sure that they are correct.  Though certainly one can have a huge impact on that one life.  I guess that has to be enough.


Edited by Tigerchild - 3/1/12 at 9:20pm
post #23 of 33
Tigerchild I think you missed the point of my post. I don't feel international adoption is better. I just feel more drawn to it. My point is I think there are lots of factors for individuals to consider when adopting and I don't think people should advocate for a specific type of adoption. One type may be right for one family and another type for another family. I guess it just really aggravates me when people advocate for foster adopt just because the children are in "our" country. So what? It doesn't make them any more or less deserving of a family. People should adopt from wherever they want, period.

As a side note, and not to stir the pot, but my experience has been that kids who age out of the system in this country have many more opportunities than the other two countries I've worked in. Not that aging out without a family isn't a huge obstacle to overcome wherever you live and not that it makes adopting from a country with fewer resources in place a better option. Just sayin...
post #24 of 33

I can only speak to myself but I'd imagine a lot of adoptive parents can related to my reasoning - whether they adopted internationally, through private domestic adoption or through foster care....

 

I adopted from Guatemala because that is where my son was born.   It had nothing to do with the process in the US vs. there.  It had nothing to do with the emotional aspects of foster care or open adoption or anything else of that nature.

 

There are NO guarantees in international adoption.  My dear friend was in the middle of the process of adopting a little girl in Guatemala when the child's mother decided to parent.  Happens here too.  She was sad but she was also glad that the little girl's mother found a way to parent.

 

It doesn't matter where you adopt from - what matter is that you love your child with all your heart and soul.  Geography is not a valid reason for a child to lose out on having a loving home - all children deserve that.

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

 

What book was that? I've been around foster boards for years and don't remember hearing about it. I can't find it in a search, either.
 

 



memoirs of a baby stealer by mary callahan

 

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

 

I wish people would leave the whole rescue stuff out of it.  I mean, I know that people mean well...but I just think it is kind of ugly no matter who is saying it and who their intended rescuees are. 

Tigerchild, I totally understand your point.  I think the reason that the "resuce talk" comes up is that many adoptive parents want to distance themselves from the fight to adopt the healthiest children (and therefore possibly the most unethical situations).  A very close friend of mine is considering interanation adoption and that has put me in a pretty uncomfortable situation.  (Becasue we are close and our reason for adoption are so different.)  I have found myself using more of this "ugly" language than I should.

post #27 of 33

One piece that hasn't been said is what same sex (potential) parents go through. I realize not everyone may be supportive of this family model, but our choices are restricted by jurisdiction far more than straight couples. We started researching fostering in our state and in interviews with social workers, we learned that there is little guarantee that a same sex couple would not be discriminated against. Florida was big in the news at the time, so this was easy to believe. I could never determine if this response from our state workers was due to DHHS workers or possible birth families' stereotypes.

 

We then started a relationship with an agency we researched through message boards and other local same sex couples. We assumed we'd be going to China (large number of children in need of homes), but found that Russia was more likely to refer a child to us. So, we went from never wanting to birth a child and assuming we'd get an African American/Black baby, to adoptiong a white toddler from another country. We're both well versed in international travel and quite comfortable with the ins and outs of international politics. This was an unexpected turn of events given that I grew up in a family that fostered pregnant teens and acted as a summer home for city kids. We are passionate about human rights conditions worldwide, so this was an easy transition to make. 

 

We tried again to stay local with our second child by using the agency's special program that places AA/Bl children. When we learned we couldn't use them if we moved out of state, we did more research and switched to Vietnam. Some of you have no idea the countless hours that went into trying to decrease the possibility of discrimination against us. After our move to a new state,  Vietnam closed. Again we researched our options and determined this time that the local DHHS was v e r y supportive of our family model. Nearly two years after placement, we are heading to court to adopt our preschooler! 

 

Having been through both pipelines (and having an adopted black cousin), I will first say that it comes down to the path you fall into based upon conviction and possibility. We had struggles against the political system and individual players with our Russian adoption and clashes with individual players within an overly complex political system for foster to adopt in the US. Both are fraught with difficulties, but both result in children in need of a home getting just that.

 

The other day a colleague criticized me for adopting a full bred labrador puppy. I replied that I would never say the same thing to a couple who chose to birth and not adopt a child. This silenced her. My point is that these decisions ultimately come down to a complex ven diagram that no person can make for another. Of course, I never stop talking about my kids and how thrilled I am to adopt!

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

As a side note, and not to stir the pot, but my experience has been that kids who age out of the system in this country have many more opportunities than the other two countries I've worked in. Not that aging out without a family isn't a huge obstacle to overcome wherever you live and not that it makes adopting from a country with fewer resources in place a better option. Just sayin...


That is not my experience.  Dead is dead.  Raped is raped.  Destroyed by addiction is being destroyed by addiction, whether you're in NYC or Dehli.  Working as a sex worker is working as a sex worker.  Not every orphan turns up dead or trafficked outside of America either.  I don't see the point of this "oh yeah, well, this is worse than this!" stuff.  And again, we are not "saving" the most needy inside or outside of this country anyway, which makes this whole subject a moot point.  I just wish more people were aware of and acknowledged what happens within our own borders as well as internationally.

 

Out of the kids that I worked with and formed bonds with, almost all are dead or disappeared now.  So, let's just say that my experience disagrees with yours.

post #29 of 33

Queen Jane's long post on the last page is the reason why. I've picked up three babies from the hospital and all three went back to mom or relatives. We know going into it that the goal is reunification, so we were not devastated or anything like that. It's also hard to live your life as "Well, if this happens at court, then maybe we'll decide this.." There seems to be a v long wait adopting internationally, but as others have pointed out, it's often a guaranteed thing, just an agonizing wait. The older I've gotten, the less I care where an adopted child came from. ALL children need parents.

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post



That is not my experience.  Dead is dead.  Raped is raped.  Destroyed by addiction is being destroyed by addiction, whether you're in NYC or Dehli.  Working as a sex worker is working as a sex worker.  Not every orphan turns up dead or trafficked outside of America either.  I don't see the point of this "oh yeah, well, this is worse than this!" stuff.  And again, we are not "saving" the most needy inside or outside of this country anyway, which makes this whole subject a moot point.  I just wish more people were aware of and acknowledged what happens within our own borders as well as internationally.

 

Out of the kids that I worked with and formed bonds with, almost all are dead or disappeared now.  So, let's just say that my experience disagrees with yours.


It's perfectly fine your experience has been different. I've seen equally horrific things working in child welfare in the central city as I have in other countries. I've also seen many more programs focused on independent living here than I have there and many more resources (compared to essentially zero). For the ten millionth time I am NOT saying adopting from one place is better than another. As far as "rescue" talk, I understand why it makes people uncomfortable. If you are going to be "advocating" for one form of adoption over another, you'll be using it. I have a bigger problem with advocating for a particular type of adoption than I do with "rescue" talk which is an unfortunate reality in a lot of cases
post #31 of 33

Our reasons for adopting internationally was really rather simple. We felt ready and able to parent one child, preferably a baby or toddler, without known severe medical conditions. Honestly, that's what we felt we could take on at the time. Of course, we ended up accepting a referral for a child we basically knew nothing about anyway! :)

 

The children available for adoption in our county were either medically fragile children (think needing 24 hour care/permanently and severely disabled), over the age of 8, or in sibling groups of three or more. I went to a workshop and was basically told that we would never be placed with a young child - all of these children were adopted by their foster parents. We didn't want to be foster parents, we wanted to adopt.  Also, at that time, our county workers also tended to be anti-transracial adoption, so they would find reasons not to place kids of color with white families. (I've heard that's changed now.) Since most of the kids in the system were African-American, that meant the odds of adopting through our county were slim to none. 

 

Compared to that, international adoption seemed like a great option. 

post #32 of 33

 

I wish Callahan's book were available on Kindle. It sounds like an interesting read. I grew up in a lower-middle-class part of Maine, and many of my friends' families fostered for extra income. It was not a controversial choice. Where I live now, people generally seem to be assuming that the straight-foster families need an extra paycheck (which doesn't make them bad parents or bad people, but does make them unreliable adoptive resources) and the foster-adopt families don't care about the money either way, because they are in it to adopt and don't need or want state support to provide for their children, i.e. "I'm not doing this for you and you can't pay me for it." Both of these assumptions are far from universally true, but they do seem to be prevalent. 

 

I do not have a single IRL peer who has adopted out of the foster-care system. It sucks. But when people ask me for advice, if they are childless and want an infant, I do not refer them to the system. I tell them to go to a private agency and pay. I do not want to spend the next several years watching them suffer the uncertainty and maybe lose a baby they have raised since birth and wind up childless again. 

post #33 of 33

I can see this.  We only foster - while we have 'adopt' on the license, it isn't what we are looking for right now.  Just didn't want to go though more processes if we chose to adopt. 

 

We have friends who have adopted from Kazakhstan.  The hardest part for them was the uncertainty with the government.  Also, they were expecting a 4 year old girl, and their daughter was clearly much older.  She had health issues, attachment issues (I mean, she was found on the streets, and hardly touched in the orphanage)  They adopted her, but it was a surprise.  It was a huge ordeal for them, and insanely expensive (including living in Kazakhstan for 6+ weeks to establish, something or another...mainly to pump $$ into the economy since the government could make them...) and very touch and go for a while, but 'for a while' means for about 5 months after they began the process with their daughter.

 

On the other hand, I have a friend who is a DCFS case worker herself who adopted her son through fostering, then took in a 2 month old.  Rights were terminated, they had him for 3 years, and just when they were about to finalize the adoption, a family member came from who-knows-where, child had never met this aunt, and now the child is with the aunt as a final placement.  This was completely heartbreaking.  In her words 'it was like he died.  That's what the grief is like.'  Even her 'behind the scenes placement' in her job didn't protect them.

 

I am glad that though we are open to adopting, we are fostering first, so if we do adopt, we will be familiar with the uncertainty.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post

I think someone here said this once, many years ago, and it stuck with me.  International and Foster adoption are both equally expensive.  In international adoption, you pay a high price financially.  In foster-adoption, you pay a high price emotionally.

 

I'm sure that's not the case for every person going through foster-adoption, but it's an uncertain process a lot of the time.  I've read and seen so many moms in this forum go through an agonizing wait, agonizing court battles, and agonizing uncertainty.  We chose international adoption because we didn't think we could bear the possibility of that uncertainty and frustration.  Our family had already dealt with too much heartbreak and loss (having two special needs boys, lots of health issues, and the loss of my mom)...We just didn't have it in us to pay a high price emotionally.  With adoption from Korea, it was never uncertain that we would have a child.  The only uncertainty is whether it would take 8 months or 2 years for her to come home.  I suspect that the possibility of having that heavy emotional toll is what keeps a lot of people out of foster-adopt and draws them to the certainty of international adoption. 



 

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