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Adopt Domestically, Internationally, or Have another kid. I'm really torn... - Page 2

post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

I can see the point in that. And its not like a baby should be the "prize" for infertility. But at the same time, there is *something* that kind of bothers me (well *bothers* is too strong of a word i think) if someone who is married, fertile, etc wants to adopt a newborn domestically when there are so many people who do that because they have fewer options. But then again, i suppose *I* could go buy sperm and birth children instead of adopt them. My adopted children (although from the foster care system) would not have gone without a family. So i guess the same "argument" could apply to me. I dunno.

But i do think sometimes people have really skewed ideas about adoption...either they think that there "are no babies to adopt" and if you do adopt you have to wait ten years and pay $50K.....OR they may think there are all these babies who are just waiting for a family (people esp think this about black babies...i've read so.many.times on the internet or have seen on tv "no one wants to adopt black children" which is simply not true) when the reality is somewhere on that spectrum. And infants of any race or even severe medical needs do not often go without a family, indeed there is often stiff "competition" for those children regardless of issues(i guess this might depend on geographic location). 

But that being said....IMO more options for a birthmom choosing a family is better than less options. So i guess im just sort of conflicted both ways. Obviously each person has to make their own decisions, but i do think there's an interesting discussion/debate in there somewhere.

I agree with all of this. It truly irritates me to hear people say nobody is willing to adopt African American babies. I worked mainly in special needs foster adoptions, and no joke, I had a four year old African American boy with an autism spectrum disorder on my caseload and I literally had over fifty home studies submitted for him. Similar situation with a four year old African America girl who had disrupted out of THREE adoptive placements due to severe behavioral issues and RAD. With babies, it could have easily been double or triple the number of home studies. Except in extremely rare cases, the "need" for homes for newborns just does not exist and it really amounts to a competition between families. I'm passing no judgment on that. It's good for kids to have a wide pool of potential matches and good for birth mothers. What does rub me the wrong way though is people pretending like "adopting a newborn needing a family" is some sort of impressive humanitarian effort.
post #22 of 81

This is an interesting web site

http://www.adoptuskids.org/

 

It allows you to see photos and read about children in your state who are in need of adoptive placements. In my state, it is mostly sibling groups and teens.

 

From what I see around me (we know a really odd number of families that have adopted), there are children in need of homes, waiting and wanting homes. But they are big kids or teenagers who already been through a lot.

post #23 of 81

I think things may be different in the south when it comes to racial issues in adoption. Here, African American children (and dark-skinned Latino children) are much less likely to be adopted than white kids, even babies. Many states around us still define an African-American toddler with no health problems as a special needs kid because it ups the chances he/she will be adopted.

 

As for private infant adoption, most of the agencies we've looked at have a fee difference based on race. White baby: ~$10,500. African-American baby: ~5,000.

(That's just the agency fee; not the other fees like the homestudy, etc.)

 

I'm not condoning this practice, just letting you know that it does still exist.

post #24 of 81

Our son's birthmom (we adopted domestically, he's AA), had only 2-3 parent profiles to look at and we were working with a fairly large agency.  He's from the south and it was known that he was going to be a preemie, so there just weren't that many families wanting to parent him from our agency.  So I get what some people are saying, that there are tons of families for newborns, but it's just not always the case in every agency.  Now, had his birthmom picked a different agency, maybe it would have been different.  But in talking to the social worker with our attorney's office (we became friends as she spent almost the entire time at the hospital with us), she was in the process of hunting for a family for a drug-exposed AA baby that was to be born any day.  She didn't have any on her wait list who were open to the situation.  So I dunno.  Maybe there aren't technically babies needing homes if you look purely at the numbers of waiting families v. babies being placed, but it does seem to be the case in some areas that they need families. 

post #25 of 81

IME, newborns in the foster system are going to have have parents lined up around the block no matter what color they are - and even preschool kids with severe issues are likely to be wanted, as APToddlerMama describes. In the private sector it can be very different - and I believe that it basically comes down to the uncomfortable-but-explicable reality that people who are paying money to adopt a kid want their money to buy a healthy kid, and often want a kid of their same race. So when I hear of somebody contemplating domestic infant adoption who is not insisting on a full-term white baby from a birthmom who didn't use drugs, I tend to encourage them to put themselves out there. 

 

(I have no quibble with people doing private domestic infant adoption, BTW. I'd rather have the moral discomfort of money changing hands as part of an adoption than have all adoptions go through the government. Birthmothers who've done nothing wrong do not deserve to have to deal with a state agency in order to place their child, and I don't think government involvement would produce better outcomes for infants who are being placed.) 

post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyChristianMama View Post

But in talking to the social worker with our attorney's office (we became friends as she spent almost the entire time at the hospital with us), she was in the process of hunting for a family for a drug-exposed AA baby that was to be born any day.  She didn't have any on her wait list who were open to the situation.  So I dunno.  Maybe there aren't technically babies needing homes if you look purely at the numbers of waiting families v. babies being placed, but it does seem to be the case in some areas that they need families. 

That is just mind blowing to me and if social workers have so few options readily available, it means there is a huge breakdown in the system because there are so many families hoping to adopt infants of any race with significant special needs. To me it says social workers and agencies aren't willing to put in the time to consider ICPC or inter-agency placements which is too bad for everyone. And while 2-3 families isn't a lot to be interested in adopting one child, it still does mean some competition exists for that newborn. Again, I'm seriously not putting any judgement on that as I completely understand wanting to adopt a newborn. I just think we need to be honest with ourselves about the reality of newborns being desperately in need of homes.

Shame on that worker for not looking beyond her agency for a family for that baby....
post #27 of 81
Social workers who are employed by adoption lawyers source all of their familes from the lawyer's current client list. This is one of the things you are paying for - the chance to be part of a smaller pool. But the more diverse the pool is in terms of being open to race and certain special needs, the more open the lawyer can be to birthmothers. And many birthmothers do prefer to work with lawyers - compensation for pregnancy-related expenses is higher, and anonymity is possible.
post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


That is just mind blowing to me and if social workers have so few options readily available, it means there is a huge breakdown in the system because there are so many families hoping to adopt infants of any race with significant special needs. To me it says social workers and agencies aren't willing to put in the time to consider ICPC or inter-agency placements which is too bad for everyone. And while 2-3 families isn't a lot to be interested in adopting one child, it still does mean some competition exists for that newborn. Again, I'm seriously not putting any judgement on that as I completely understand wanting to adopt a newborn. I just think we need to be honest with ourselves about the reality of newborns being desperately in need of homes.
Shame on that worker for not looking beyond her agency for a family for that baby....

 

The social worker didn't work for an agency, she worked for an attorney.  Our agency hired her attorney's office to do the legal work for our case.  She was looking all over the city for a family amongst other attorney's family lists and such.  She ended up taking the name and number of our consulting service so that she would have another resource to find families who were open to a variety of situations.  We were there from out-of-state.  I don't think it was any level of unwillingness on her part. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

Social workers who are employed by adoption lawyers source all of their familes from the lawyer's current client list. This is one of the things you are paying for - the chance to be part of a smaller pool. But the more diverse the pool is in terms of being open to race and certain special needs, the more open the lawyer can be to birthmothers. And many birthmothers do prefer to work with lawyers - compensation for pregnancy-related expenses is higher, and anonymity is possible.

 

In this case our son's birthmom picked an agency, but the agency she picked was out of state to her.  Thus, we also worked with this attorney's office and social worker.  Her pregnancy-related expenses were capped at what was allowed by the state's involved.

post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

Social workers who are employed by adoption lawyers source all of their familes from the lawyer's current client list. This is one of the things you are paying for - the chance to be part of a smaller pool. But the more diverse the pool is in terms of being open to race and certain special needs, the more open the lawyer can be to birthmothers. And many birthmothers do prefer to work with lawyers - compensation for pregnancy-related expenses is higher, and anonymity is possible.

Smithie. I know how adoption works. I've done very few domestic adoptions because I worked in SN but I'm bilingual and nobody else in our agency was so I did do domestic adoptions as well as birth parent counseling from time to time. Also while I mostly did SN state adoptions, i worked for two private agencies who both held contracts with the state to do the entire adoption process, so I'm very familiar with he process from that standpoint.

If an agency OR a lawyer doesn't have a pool of families to meet the needs of the birthmother and child, they need to look to other agencies for options. There is absolutely no reason that there shouldn't be total cooperation between different agencies to provide birth mothers with a variety of options and provide infants with the best probable match.
post #30 of 81

Oh i have no doubt an individual agency who may have a small client pool may have to really hustle to find a family for a particular infant that doesnt meet the criteria of their current client list.

 

But thats where the whole big business of money plays into it. Many of the people who are willing or desire to adopt special needs infants or harder to place kids are not able to pay big bucks to adopt those children. Had i had to pay 20K to adopt my children, i would not be able to do it. The "competition" for placing a medically fragile infant in a private adoption situation is the public foster care system. So many families arent able to pay huge agency fees to adopt those kids. The barrier is NOT that there arent enough homes, the barrier is money. Sometimes lawyers or private agencies will "discount" the adoption, but it still may be $5K+ which may be too much for many families whose other option for adopting is adopting from foster care.

 

I also think networking is another problem. Even in foster care, many workers will not call other agencies, states etc. It used to bother me so much when i was waiting to adopt a school age boy to see kids pop up on my own state photolisting that totally fit my criteria. But no one had "shopped" the child's info around to other agencies before putting that child up on MARE. Then, if i inquired, i'd have to compete with dozens of other families for that child. That didnt make sense to me. But i guess its easier for the worker to do that then to search for a family on her own? I dunno. I was told my local agencies were *supposed* to go to a monthly meeting where they all share info to see if they can match up kids but that "no one really does it." Nice huh?

 

I know geography does play a big factor. I was told a few years ago by an adoption/family recruiter from the pacific northwest that large families just arent the norm there. They routinely have to separate sibs because its a foreign concept for most families to adopt three, four, five (plus) kids. You will often see larger sib groups of VERY young children listed on NWAE (photolisting)...kids under five. Whereas in places like Texas, its more common. And i know where i live (MI) large sib groups (esp that have younger children)are placed very quickly once they are listed and any single child under age 7 or 8 seem to be placed quickly unless they have significant behavior/emotional/mental health issues (and even then usually not listed long.) The kids in need are teenagers of all ages but esp black teen boys.
 

post #31 of 81
I can't ETA from my phone but Smithie-- going back to my original point--it's a fact that there is a surplus of families hoping to adopt newborns of any race in this country. The fact that apparently the system isn't working properly in all parts of the country to ensure that birth mothers are made aware of all these options does not change that fact.

There is no need for American families to line up in droves to adopt African American newborns. Apparently there is a need for better collaboration on the parts of social workers and lawyers. Personally, aside from the obvious legal aspect of adoption, I don't think lawyers have ANY business whatsoever facilitating matches. Theyre completely unqualified to handle anything other than the legal aspects. But that is another topic entirely.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyChristianMama View Post

The social worker didn't work for an agency, she worked for an attorney.  Our agency hired her attorney's office to do the legal work for our case.  She was looking all over the city for a family amongst other attorney's family lists and such.  She ended up taking the name and number of our consulting service so that she would have another resource to find families who were open to a variety of situations.  We were there from out-of-state.  I don't think it was any level of unwillingness on her part. 


In this case our son's birthmom picked an agency, but the agency she picked was out of state to her.  Thus, we also worked with this attorney's office and social worker.  Her pregnancy-related expenses were capped at what was allowed by the state's involved.

Maybe not unwillingness on her part by honestly there is a startling breakdown there if she doesn't feel she has options. I'm not even working anymore but I could make a few calls and probably have fifty families dying to adopt a drug exposed newborn within a day. I do notlive in a particularly open minded part of the county either and I worked in what was at that time considered the most racially segregated city in the country.... Totally common for people to be very close minded about race, yet there were still bazillions of families wishing to adopt infants of all races.
post #33 of 81

There is no need for American families to line up in droves to adopt African American newborns. Apparently there is a need for better collaboration on the parts of social workers and lawyers.

 

I think you are conflating the public and the private systems here in a way that's not fair. Women dealing with unplanned pregnancies who have not run afoul of CPS are free agents. They can choose either agencies or lawyers to supply them with potential adoptive parents. As CrunchyChristianMama has noted, lawyers can and do work with agencies to find adoptive matches. But all of that is completely outside the state system and not relevant to the number and type of families available there. IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, it is still true that families who are open to potential special needs and/or interracial adoptions are wanted and needed by birthmothers. And while lawyers may be unqualified to facilitate matches, they can and do hire social workers who are just as qualified as CPS workers, and generally far less overworked and underpaid. Private sector social workers do well by their clients. They don't deserved to be dismissed just because they don't work for CPS.  

 

Maybe there is a way for these two adoption systems to come together at some point, but for right now, that is not the reality. I have my feet firmly planted in the public system and I'm happy to be here and I hope and believe that we will eventually complete an older-child adoption. But I also understand that the private system can do good work. I would never want a woman who was considering adoption to be forced to deal with CPS. 

post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

There is no need for American families to line up in droves to adopt African American newborns. Apparently there is a need for better collaboration on the parts of social workers and lawyers.


I think you are conflating the public and the private systems here in a way that's not fair. Women dealing with unplanned pregnancies who have not run afoul of CPS are free agents. They can choose either agencies or lawyers to supply them with potential adoptive parents. As CrunchyChristianMama has noted, lawyers can and do work with agencies to find adoptive matches. But all of that is completely outside the state system and not relevant to the number and type of families available there. IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, it is still true that families who are open to potential special needs and/or interracial adoptions are wanted and needed by birthmothers. And while lawyers may be unqualified to facilitate matches, they can and do hire social workers who are just as qualified as CPS workers, and generally far less overworked and underpaid. Private sector social workers do well by their clients. They don't deserved to be dismissed just because they don't work for CPS.  


Maybe there is a way for these two adoption systems to come together at some point, but for right now, that is not the reality. I have my feet firmly planted in the public system and I'm happy to be here and I hope and believe that we will eventually complete an older-child adoption. But I also understand that the private system can do good work. I would never want a woman who was considering adoption to be forced to deal with CPS. 

What are you talking about seriously? A birthmother's right to choose who she would like to facilitate her adoption plan has nothing to do with the fact that there are tons of waiting families in both state and private programs hoping to adopt newborns of any race. Also, social workers are underpaid period. I've worked in both the private and public sector myself as have a lot of my friends. I had a supervisor with her MSW and 20 years of experience working in private adoptions making 35k a year. That is nuts. Regardless of whether you're employed by a lawyer, agency, or the state, you don't make crap. You may be overworked or underworked in any of those places of employment. Regardless of where you work and how much money you make and how many hours you put in, if you're a social worked who cannot access a large number of potential matches for a birth mom wishing to make an adoption plan for her newborn, there is a breakdown in the system. That should. not. happen. Arguing about it is a waste of time. MORE people lining up to adopt newborns will NOT solve the problem of individuals needing to cooperate and network to provide options to families. Adding water to the Great Lakes isn't going to mean people in Africa suddenly have clean drinking water. Adding potential adoptive families to the pool of families already waiting for newborns isn't going to fix this either.

And quite frankly I think there are bad social workers everywhere...cps, private, state, whatever. Cps workers do not do adoptions, btw. I'm not being "dismissive" of SWs in the private sector and if you knew my full background you probably wouldn't make such an inaccurate assumption. I am however critical of any worker who doesn't have the skills to access the resources all around him or her.
post #35 of 81

OP, we considered having our third child be adopted, but then I got pregnant unexpectedly, so those plans are even further on hold, if they happen at all. Adoption is also something I always felt drawn towards. However I never for one second thought about adopting a baby. We were more thinking of an older child/teenager years from now when our bio kids are older, or maybe even in college. I think you've gotten some good advice on here. I know I would personally have issues with trying to adopt an infant if I was fertile but it's a sticky issue for sure. Why not wait and adopt at older child in need? Those are the kids who really need homes.

post #36 of 81
And quite frankly I think there are bad social workers everywhere...cps, private, state, whatever.

I completely agree.


Cps workers do not do adoptions, btw.

Funny, my foster son has just been assigned a (massively overburdened) CPS social worker to select an adoptive family for him. Maybe this varies by state?


I'm not being "dismissive" of SWs in the private sector and if you knew my full background you probably wouldn't make such an inaccurate assumption. I am however critical of any worker who doesn't have the skills to access the resources all around him or her...

Again, you're conflating the separate systems. CPS workers and private-sector workers are dealing with two different pools of potential adoptive parents. I know that you know this.
post #37 of 81
Lol....I'm giving you the last word Smithie, mainly because I'm growing tired of watching myself type the same thing again and again. I mean that with absolutely no snark, seriously.
post #38 of 81

I was a foster parent for over 5 years and tried really hard to adopt an African American or Hispanic child or young sibling group. We were lucky enough to be able to adopt once, but after our daughter came home we waited years with absolutely nothing. And, we are a bilingual home as well as open to a moderate amount of special needs. In my experience it was nearly impossible.

 

We moved to the private adoption world becuase it really seemed like we would never get phone calls let alone placements with foster care. We always heard there was a higher need for adoptive parents of African American or Hispanic infants (or toddlers). That was totally untrue. We waited a year in a half in a program that averaged a 6 month wait with only one birthmom having looked at our profile. All this to say that in my experiences there was not any need whatsoever for families looking to adopt in these situations, in fact I would say there was an overabundance of families!

post #39 of 81

I don't think there can be such a thing as an "overabundance" of potential adoptive families. More choices for birthmothers = a good thing. Even if there are 500 families for her to choose from in the agency's database, if she envisions her child growing up with a redheaded doctor who likes to hunt duck and left-handed nurse who plays the guitar and goes to Renaissance fairs, and that particular couple didn't pursue domestic infant adopt because "babies don't need homes," then a potentially great match didn't happen and that's just too bad. 

post #40 of 81
Thread Starter 

So... THAT got off topic. 

 

I just want to say that I have been reading adoption books for years and try to keep up on the stats. I do know there are enough people for the newborns in US but that reason alone isn't a reason not to adopt. If that number goes down too much there WON'T be enough. I also know that adoptive mom's sometimes want a very spicific family and who knows, we MAY just be that family. Some mom might want a family that can provide their baby with an older brother and dogs and that family might not be out there for her. Who knows. For the naysayers, I'm leaning away from adoption simply becuase my DH still hasn't found a job here in Oregon so money is tight... :( 

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