Deciding between in-country and international adoption - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those who have walked this road before, how did you make the decision? What was your line of thinking? What were some deciding factors?

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#2 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Hey Evie's Mama, it the other Evie's mom

My husband and I were totally torn between international(me) and fost-adopt(him). Then we found out our daughter had been removed (from my ex-sister in law) by the state and we decide to adopt her. I miss the idea of a cross cultural adoption, but the more I learn about the international adoption industry, I am glad that we adopted from foster care.
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#3 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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We are only in the planning/dreaming stages, but have decided that domestic (likely foster-to-adopt) is the way we hope to go. The biggest factor for us is cost. From doing minimal amounts of research on international adoptions, it's a lot of hoops to get through, mores so depending on which country you hope to adopt from. I think I could handle the emotions wrt foster/adopt -- or being matched/chosen by a birth-mother, if we went that route -- much easier than having the patience and time to go through with an international adoption. Plus, there are plenty of children in our own country who need loving homes, is my thought.

Good luck deciding!

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#4 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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The process of domestic adoption didn't appeal to us. The trying to attract a birthmother aspect of it just wasn't us.

The international program we signed up for was much more straightforward in that it was a civil procedure in country and if you met the criteria and jumped through the hoops, you were reasonably certain to be able to adopt.

Foster-adopt in our county would have been next to impossible, and the uncertainty of that process wasn't appealing.
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#5 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I never planned on adopting. Never even thought about it. I became a foster parents because I wanted to have a child in my home and knew that many children needed temporary homes. I ended up adopting my second foster child (placed with me at age two and adopted right before he turned four.) I just filed the adoption paperwork for my foster daughter (placed with me at nine months and will turn two in February.)

I'm thinking about another child but if I decide to go for it, it will be through the foster care system. If a child placed with me as a foster children ends up needing a forever home and it seems like a good match, I'll adopt him/her. I've been thinking about asking for an infant placement.

Honestly, I don't see myself adopting a child I've never met. So, international adoption is out (for other reasons, too.) And domestic infant adoption doesn't seem like something that's right for me.
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#6 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I've completed one adoption from foster care (placed age 3 wks finalized at just under 11 months), and am in the process of adopting two more (bio sibs, one placed more than a year ago at age 16.5 months, the other placed in June at age 8yrs), i'm *hoping* we will finalize in December. All of these kids were placed as foster placements with the initial goal being reunification, that goal was changed to adoption shortly into their stay with me (with my first, after i'd had him a few weeks, with the second within a month or two i think, my daughter was already TPRd when she moved in), and TPR was granted shortly after placement as well (just over three months , and just over eight months.) My second foster child, a little girl placed at 11.5 months went home about two months later...well she went to an aunt who had the other sibs, which was fairly expected.

So i guess you could say i got really lucky. Less than three years after initially getting foster licensed i will (hopefully) have adopted three kids.

Compare that to the process of trying to adopt a child from the state without fostering first. I waited and waited and waited. Over a year, and my sw told me "there are no children under 10 to adopt or to foster" which of course is not true. I was hoping to adopt a school age boy (VERY flexible on ages and frankly would have at least considered any child presented to me), any race, open to many different issues. But, nope. Just waiting. VERY frustrating to hear about all the kids that "need homes here at home" or how "no one wants to adopt older/black/special needs kids" or how its so easy to adopt from the state etc....when you sit and wait. The first Christmas i didnt have a child home and i had to sit through that "Home For the Holidays" program featuring stories of adoption (promoting foster care adoption) i was hopeful...by the next Christmas i was sad and depressed, the third Christmas, well i'm not even sure i watched, but perhaps i did while shaking my fist at the TV.

My situation is NOT atypical either. I know lots of people who waited a year, two years or even longer for a match. And they werent necessarily wanting healthy babies/toddlers either.

Another thing that i dont like about trying to adopt a state child is...well, while i dont expect people to jump up and down with excitement when i inquire on a child on their caseload, it would be nice to have some type of positive interaction. Instead i got alot of "its about finding a family for a child not a child for a family" which yeah, intellectually i understand that but seeing the same kids that i had inquired on the year before STILL listed on the photolisting, and never even hearing a "no" or any info from a worker....thats not exactly encouraging. I think if they put adoptive parents in charge of the databases, contacting families, returning calls, reading homestudies, etc....i think alot more would get done...just look at Adopt America Network, they were such a support to me, never acted like i was a bother or that i should be grateful anyone would even consider me for adoption.

I think if money was no consideration and i did not have my heart set on an infant, i would do international adoption. At least there seems to be *somewhat* of a predictable timeline, and what is considered a "hard to place child" in the international world is much different than in the state adoption world (a 5 yr old boy is kind of "old" for international adoption but practically a baby on a state photolisting)....one concern i have w/ international adoption is that there may not be alot of info about the child's history/issues and if the child comes and needs things like therapy, that would be something you'd be responsible for whereas with a state adoption there is usually a subsidy, medicaid, etc .

If i did do international i'd probably want to choose an agency with a really good reputation, lots of experience, etc etc. I think there is too much potential for abuse, unethical practices, and you losing a ton of money if you arent careful with your agency choice.

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#7 of 28 Old 10-24-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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We chose domestic for these reasons:
- we feel that it's more likely to be ethical
- if our children want to find out about their birthparents later, it will be easier
- domestic adoptions (private or fostercare) are more likely to have accurate medical info on the child
- we don't have any strong family or cultural connections to any other country
- it's more affordable

Plus, there are these reasons which weren't ours but that I learned after doing research:
- there are more domestic newborns available for adoption. The international adoption process virtually requires that children be older.

We chose foster/adopt because:
- initially we wanted a school aged child, to adopt an older kid who was more in need of adoption
- I had some experience with the system when I was a kid and I wanted to help make it a little better
- when I started researching adoption, I just kept being pulled back to foster kids
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#8 of 28 Old 10-25-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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(Caveat - this was almost 7 years ago, and the international adoption scene has changed somewhat...)

We chose international adoption for much of the same reasons as Effmom. The country we selected had, at that time, a fairly straight-forward process, and there were good odds that we would be able to have ongoing birth family contact after the adoption (which we now do.) We were uncomfortable with the idea of being displayed in a book and competing with other families, and felt the odds were not good that we would be picked. Our state also has a relatively long time period where a birthmom is allowed to change her mind, which I agree with philosophically, but didn't feel I could handle emotionally. Finally, when we looked into foster-adoption, there were almost no babies or toddlers available in our state; it was mostly single older kids with very high special needs, or sibling groups of three or more.
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#9 of 28 Old 10-25-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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we chose international adoption (South Korea) for many of the same reasons EFmom mentioned.

We weren't comfortable with domestic adoption...I didn't like the competition aspect of it, didn't like that certain children were ranked by ethnicity, didn't like the uncertianty of the process.

We weren't comforable with foster-adopt...since we already had two special needs children, the idea of going through the rollercoaster of foster adoption, with all of its uncertainties and challenges, was a non-option.

We were drawn to the idea of adopting from Asia--either China or Korea. We knew several adoptees or adoptive parents from those countries, felt a pull toward the cultures, and wanted to go in that direction. In the end we chose Korea because the children have excellent medical care, great foster families, accurate records, the chance to connect with birth parents, and (in our case, somewhat luckily), the birth mother of our daughter was treated with love and compassion, given assistance in the form of job training and counseling, and encouraged to keep her child. That isn't the situation for all birth parents in Korea, but we liked that there were some structures in place for birth/expectant parents to get support and help, including help with parenting if they want it. Another advantage (for us) of Korea was that we knew it was a very stable program. We knew that once we committed, we would almost certainly have a child someday. I was not able to consider programs that were new or less stable, and I did not trust programs that were "easy" or "quick" (Vietnam, at the time, was one example).

No international program is perfect, but we wante to choose a program that was old and stable becaues we figured, and subsequently found, that at least with a program like that most everything has had time to be out in the open. The ethical struggles, the true reason for needing adoption, the care of the children, the support (or lack of support) for birth parents, the adoption process...nothing hidden, nothing that hadn't been investigated. We wanted very much to know and trust the process, and to (when we were ready) have the information out there to read and see all the nitty-gritty of the process.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#10 of 28 Old 11-17-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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(This post is mostly aimed at adopting non special needs infants)

We initially chose international for some of the same reasons as some previous posters, didn't like the uncertainty of domestic, thought it would be a long wait, didnt like competition.  So, we chose Ethiopia and a new agency.  Well, after completing our homestudy, paying our dossier fee and waiting for a couple months, we started hearing and learning much more about ethics in adoption, specifically Ethiopia. Our agency also stopped placing children with the special need we were hoping to adopt. Since we were hoping for a young infant, we decided that we just weren't comfortable with international anymore. ( I would possibly consider Korea or Columbia) Although Korea seems to me pretty much like our domestic adoption, except the birthmom doesn't get to choose the family, the baby is in foster care for 6-12 months and there is a lot more distance to work out an open adoption. 

 

Many of the things we thought we knew about domestic weren't true.  After we officially switched we were chosen and home with our new daughter in 5 months.  I no longer see domestic adoption as a competition, it isn't about us  (PAPs) at all. it is about choices of families for the expectant parents. 

 

I also came to terms that any adoption, domestic or international, is uncertain.  In domestic, you have an estimated wait to match, it is up to the birthparents, but you also have a say in the wait with what you are open to and your own networking. In international, they can tell you a specific time, but it most times isn't accurate, and many times changes through out the course of the adoption. People with an agency near me were told 9-12m for a referral from Ethiopia, they have been waiting 24.

 

In domestic you have between 24 hours and 30 days after the baby is born to find out if the parents chose adoption, this is hard.  We did choose to adopt out of a state with a shorter TPR time because we have other children in our home and couldnt put them through bringing a baby home legal risk for 30 days. You can chose an agency that will not call you until the TPR is signed and the baby is yours to come pick up.  In international, sometimes the country closes, sometimes the rules change, sometimes the child you were referred is no longer available for adoption, or may even sadly die while you are waiting to pick them up (i have seen this way way too many times).

 

Hope this helps, it is such a personal decision. Neither are easy or certain.

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#11 of 28 Old 11-17-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Like Polliwog, we don't see ourselves adopting a child we've never met, so it's domestic foster/adopt for us. We're right there with queenjane on the frustration of knowing that there are kids RIGHT NOW in our state who are languishing in straight-foster placements where they won't be adopted, when they could be home with us if the system functioned just a tad bit more efficiently.
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#12 of 28 Old 11-30-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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When we finish this second adoption, we will have done two of the three.  We did a domestic newborn adoption with our son and this next one is international.  If someday we do a foster-adopt, we'll have done all three!  Yikes!

 

Ok, our reasons...

 

We wanted to adopt a newborn first and it's virtually impossible to get a newborn internationally and in our state it's unusual to get a newborn in foster care.  It happens, but rarely.  SO, that left the process of an agency adoption, making the family profile, waiting for a birth mom to pick us, yada, yada.  I can't say it was the easiest thing we ever did, but it turned out great!  We love our little guy to pieces and we love his birthmom too.

 

Fast Forward to...

 

Adoption #2.  Hubby had talked to some people in town who adopted from Ethiopia and thought it sounded cool.  There is an unusually large group of Ethiopian adoptive families in the area with a strong support network.  We considered it but I was not so convinced as it sounded intense and expensive.  I was looking into foster-adopt and looking at photolistings of children in our state.  Both of us agreed we would be willing to adopt a toddler this time, hopefully in age between the two boys.

 

THEN, guess what happened???  I ran across a photolisting of a little girl that was exactly the right age and a certain special needs case that we had talked of pursuing.  Somehow we felt really drawn to her even though there was not much info, not even about where she currently was.  We did an inquiry and guess where she was?  Ethiopia!  We were both stunned.  So we took it as a sign that she was supposed to be ours and we plunged into an international adoption!

 

There you go.  Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and men get turned upside down and you end up going a different way than you expected you would!


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#13 of 28 Old 12-01-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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It is a hard thing to decide.  We started doing our research about 3 years ago.  We initially looked at international and domestic adoption through a private agency.  We were absolutely certain we would not do foster/adopt.  We decided against international adoption for a couple of reasons - we wanted a younger baby and when we were starting to look into this 2.5 to 3 years ago, it was not realistic to think we could adopt a young baby (mostly toddlers and older children) and the countries we were interested in were closing/did close their programs or were slowing their programs down.  Also, the one or two countries we were still open and that we were interested in were a lot more expensive than a domestic adoption and we would have really struggled to afford it.  We decided to do domestic private adoption because we could adopt a newborn and it would easier to have some sort of relationship with the birth parents and know the family background.  It seemed less risky to us.  We were initially working with an agency that we really liked - Jewish Family Services.   But, because we knew we were planning to move to another part of the state and because of the way CA adoption agencies are licensed, we ended up working in tandem with an adoption facilitator.  (Adoption facilitators are commonly frowned upon, but this one has worked with our agency many times and they thought she was very ethical, and if we still lived in the area when we were matched, the agency would have actually handled the adoption, but if we moved before we were matched - which we did - we could continue to work with the facilitator and not have to start over completely like we would have with the agency).

 

So, we have now been working with the facilitator for quite a while.  We have not been matched and we feel this experience hasn't gone well (not because we haven't been matched yet - for other reasons).  We recently moved from one end of the state to the other, and decided to look into other options in our new hometown.  We fully intended to work with another private agency.  But, in the course of our research we kept hearing really positive stories about adopting through the county here.  We went to the orientation recently, and although we never thought we would do it, we are going to sign up with the county for foster/adopt!  So, we will be pursuing private domestic newborn adoption and foster/adopt through the county at the same time.  At the orientation, they said it is actually fairly common that people do that.  One of the reasons we decided to go the foster/adopt route here is because the program seems quite different from how it is where we used to live.  So, my gut tells me that the option we initially ruled out looks like it will be the one that works for us - but mainly because we are in a new place.  

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#14 of 28 Old 12-02-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Honestly I feel it is more about a "calling" or conviction of certain things than what is overall "the best choice".  I think one thing we felt most keenly in choosing between domestic and independent was that we want to choose the route where children are waiting for families and not the reverse where families are waiting for children. It just didn't make sense to us that we should wait in a line or list all the while children are waiting and will probably NEVER get a family. (We know that there are children waiting in the foster system, and some birth mothers wait or go with out a match because of race, but generally speaking this is true for domestic adoption.)

 

Also, in deciding more specifically on a country we had a few things we felt: 

1. We want to adopt from a place where children may die or struggle greatly with out a family.  Now this is hard, because I'd say in most nations this is true... there are a few like Korea where the foster system is pretty near ideal, but over all very few orphanages are "good" places to grow up.  But there are some places where it is nearly a death sentence. 

2. We wanted to go someplace we could see ourselves returning on a regular basis, helping, and being part of something bigger than our family.

 

My advice... jot down the things that are super important with you... is it cost, culture, ease, environment/care of the children, travel, future goals and involvement, having a relationship/or avoiding one with a birth mom... the list goes on and on.

 

Hugs on your journey!


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#15 of 28 Old 12-04-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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We looked at domestic private, domestic state, international and surrogacy.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I'd go surrogacy.  Without question.  The cost was similar or less to international and so help me it was a world easier in so many ways.  The only reason we didn't do it was because when we found out about it as an option, we were already licensed with the state for foster care and adoption (our state had a separate adoptive unit for kids whose goal was adoption--not "fostering with adoption as a backup if the family can't regain custody of the child"/fost-adopt) with foster placements when our first surrogate match wound up separated from her husband.  We suspected something wasn't right there, so it wasn't a complete surprise (and this was literally 3mo into that journey).  We wound up needing our money for something else and during the wait, we wound up with our daughter--a SafeHaven baby matched to us at 7 days, placed at 12 days and finalized just before her 1st bday (her SafeHaven case was actually quite complicated because the mother came back to the hospital to give information for her file--which bounces her out of SafeHaven laws but not into "relinquish/surrender" laws because mom didn't go to court to relinquish).

 

Initially, we considered international; but every single country had something that came part and parcel with the kids.  There was no country where you could be relatively assured of having kids WITHOUT special needs.  And really, we don't meet many people with children adopted elsewhere that don't have some sort of obstacle to overcome.  We just felt like if you weren't adopting within your race (as is the case with most int'l adoptions), you weren't getting an infant anyway (which for us was no problem--at all--despite the fact that we wound up with one, we were just looking for "younger than our bio" who was almost 5yo when my ad was placed), and you weren't avoiding special needs... why wouldn't we just look here?  We'd seen families wait years to be matched internationally.

 

Then we were going to try domestic private since the cost was similar, but there were agencies that wouldn't work with us because we already had a biological child.  Lots of them.

 

We never considered the point of an adopted child finding their bios easier via domestic adoption than int'l and true to form, that's absolutely not the case for our daughter.  We don't even know the race or ethnicity of her biological father, and mom was in the country illegally--giving scant information (her name and country of origin) that we don't even know for certain is true.  So my daughter's odds of ever finding her biological parents is non-existent for her bio father and slim to none for her bio mother.

 

And to be honest, she's now 2yo and she doesn't have any detectable special needs.  Shocking, but so far--so good.  :)

 


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#16 of 28 Old 12-15-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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Really? In my experience, Surrogacy is actually MUCH higher than adoption inside of the United States if you go through an agency. We looked into surrogacy using my own eggs but we were told it would cost about 100K for everything! There are also no tax breaks and subsidies to help with the cost. However, if you go to a different country like India or Ukraine, it can be cheaper but you won't get any of the tax benefits that adoptive parents get. Also, if you find a surrogate that will help you will small fess and cost then it can be affordable. So I guess it depends on the situation whether or not you save money.

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Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

We looked at domestic private, domestic state, international and surrogacy.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I'd go surrogacy.  Without question.  The cost was similar or less to international and so help me it was a world easier in so many ways...

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#17 of 28 Old 12-15-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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we initially chose international simply because the kids who need families in the US at least have their basic needs met until they are 18, have access to free education, live with foster family/ies rather than in an orphanage or on the streets after 12 or 14, have better access to good food, water, medical care, etc.  I understand that NONE of these things are a substitute for a family who will love you and stand by you forever, but that was our initial line of thinking.  We also knew we wanted to adopt more than one child, and worried about the possibility that one of our kids could potentially have a healthy open relationship with their bio family, but another one may not be able to, etc, and also the fact that we already had kids in our home, couldn't face losing a child once they were in our home. 

 

I feel like there is really no category that could be called "international adoption" because each country is so different -- the legality, the ethicality, the cost, the process... so vastly different, it's like comparing apples to oranges to compare adoption from Uganda with adoption from Korea, for example. We have, at some point in our nearly 5 year journey, been planning to adopt from Haiti, Ethiopia, Zambia, Jamaica, US AA program, Rwanda, and Uganda, and a few of these more than once, as situations in each country changed, or our own personal circumstances changed -- and those are just the countries we offically PLANNED to adopt from at some point, not even just the ones we checked out and decided quickly against... Now that our kids are home (girl, age 4.5 mos at referral, 16 mos at travel time, boy, age 2.5 at referral, 3.5 at travel time) it makes me feel a little panicky to think about if we had gone a different route. All the delays, all the switching around, all the crazy-making rollercoastery insanity of it all, the financial burden... it was all so worth it, even when they are driving me crazy. :) ok, maybe it's the fact that they're soundly asleep right now and I'm enjoying a glass of wine with my first trip to mdc in a long while, but whatever you decide (or whatever direction you are pulled/led/shoved into/find yourself in) it will be the right one in the end, when you meet your child, and you get to know them and fall in love with them... it will be the right decision. :)

 

 

 


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#18 of 28 Old 12-17-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marcimama View Post

Honestly I feel it is more about a "calling" or conviction of certain things than what is overall "the best choice".  I think one thing we felt most keenly in choosing between domestic and independent was that we want to choose the route where children are waiting for families and not the reverse where families are waiting for children. It just didn't make sense to us that we should wait in a line or list all the while children are waiting and will probably NEVER get a family. (We know that there are children waiting in the foster system, and some birth mothers wait or go with out a match because of race, but generally speaking this is true for domestic adoption.)

 

Also, in deciding more specifically on a country we had a few things we felt: 

1. We want to adopt from a place where children may die or struggle greatly with out a family.  Now this is hard, because I'd say in most nations this is true... there are a few like Korea where the foster system is pretty near ideal, but over all very few orphanages are "good" places to grow up.  But there are some places where it is nearly a death sentence. 

2. We wanted to go someplace we could see ourselves returning on a regular basis, helping, and being part of something bigger than our family.

 

My advice... jot down the things that are super important with you... is it cost, culture, ease, environment/care of the children, travel, future goals and involvement, having a relationship/or avoiding one with a birth mom... the list goes on and on.

 

Hugs on your journey!

This, for us.

But I would also add that when we adopted in 2003 there were horror stories about domestically adopted children going back to their birth families after a long time with the adoptive parents, and I knew I couldn't handle that.

However, I would say that if you do not want to adopt a child with special needs you should really, really research that birth family medical history to the best of your ability before moving forward. We tried, but there was only so much information available, and to be honest, even if we had known DS would have FASD we would still have gone forward.

I guess my bottom line: do as much research OUTSIDE what the agency tells you about as possible.
 


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#19 of 28 Old 12-17-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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Really? In my experience, Surrogacy is actually MUCH higher than adoption inside of the United States if you go through an agency. We looked into surrogacy using my own eggs but we were told it would cost about 100K for everything! There are also no tax breaks and subsidies to help with the cost. However, if you go to a different country like India or Ukraine, it can be cheaper but you won't get any of the tax benefits that adoptive parents get. Also, if you find a surrogate that will help you will small fess and cost then it can be affordable. So I guess it depends on the situation whether or not you save money.

 

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We looked at domestic private, domestic state, international and surrogacy.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I'd go surrogacy.  Without question.  The cost was similar or less to international and so help me it was a world easier in so many ways...



$100k???  Are you kidding me???  Ours (using our own eggs and sperm) would've been $40k MAX in NJ with a surro in MD.  Our surro was a prior egg donor, but first time surro.  We did our own advertising through classifieds on the surro sites.

 

Now, I will say that for us--insurance covered an in-vitro for the surro.  But tack that onto the $40k and you're still not at $100k...?  Did you actually speak to a lawyer who evaluated your benefits, a surro's benefits, etc.?  Where on earth did that number come from?  Because honestly, when I was on those message lists, I never even heard such a high number thrown around.

 

And adoption in the US through an agency is great... if 1) you will find an agency to work with you (because a number of them will only work with childless couples... others only with religious families); and 2) you're willing to wait it out.  A friend and his wife just FINALLY adopted a child private domestic after two failed attempts (costing them, btw--in time and money) and 3 years into the journey.  Surrogacy doesn't take that long.  Same for friends who adopted int'l and waited 2-ish years start to finish (and two others that were cut off when their country of choice closed to adoptions at least temporarily).


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#20 of 28 Old 12-18-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Really? In my experience, Surrogacy is actually MUCH higher than adoption inside of the United States if you go through an agency. We looked into surrogacy using my own eggs but we were told it would cost about 100K for everything! There are also no tax breaks and subsidies to help with the cost. However, if you go to a different country like India or Ukraine, it can be cheaper but you won't get any of the tax benefits that adoptive parents get. Also, if you find a surrogate that will help you will small fess and cost then it can be affordable. So I guess it depends on the situation whether or not you save money.

 

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We looked at domestic private, domestic state, international and surrogacy.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I'd go surrogacy.  Without question.  The cost was similar or less to international and so help me it was a world easier in so many ways...



$100k???  Are you kidding me???  Ours (using our own eggs and sperm) would've been $40k MAX in NJ with a surro in MD.  Our surro was a prior egg donor, but first time surro.  We did our own advertising through classifieds on the surro sites.

 

Now, I will say that for us--insurance covered an in-vitro for the surro.  But tack that onto the $40k and you're still not at $100k...?  Did you actually speak to a lawyer who evaluated your benefits, a surro's benefits, etc.?  Where on earth did that number come from?  Because honestly, when I was on those message lists, I never even heard such a high number thrown around.

 

And adoption in the US through an agency is great... if 1) you will find an agency to work with you (because a number of them will only work with childless couples... others only with religious families); and 2) you're willing to wait it out.  A friend and his wife just FINALLY adopted a child private domestic after two failed attempts (costing them, btw--in time and money) and 3 years into the journey.  Surrogacy doesn't take that long.  Same for friends who adopted int'l and waited 2-ish years start to finish (and two others that were cut off when their country of choice closed to adoptions at least temporarily).


This is just my experience but check out this site: http://www.growinggenerations.com/surrogacy-program/intended-parents/financial-information?GGID=b68711a47a495d782d90c88589f6399b

That site is from a very popular agency that facilitates surrogacy in the United States. They are located inside of California. Another one is call Circle Surrogacy and they also work inside of the United States. The total cost is about the same but it varies according to their calculator. Their price list is here: http://www.circlesurrogacy.com/en/costs/which-plan-is-right-for-me

 

All of the places say its going to cost about 100K for the whole process and maybe more depending on your special needs. You definitely got a DEEP discount by going through an attorney and finding your own surrogate.

 

Needless to say, surrogacy is expensive if you go through a matching agency. If DP and I had the money, we would probably do surrogacy in Thailand, India, South Africa or Ukraine because its so affordable there.

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#21 of 28 Old 12-18-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Oh, and to answer the OP's question... We chose to do embryo donation instead of traditional adoption.

 

Our three reasons were very simple to us. The first was we found that is was difficult for "non-traditional" couples to adopt both domestically and internationally unless were were open to special needs. We called and e-mailed several agencies and many refused to work with us because we were a lesbian couple or because we did not attend church regularly. Many agencies also told us that most birth mothers prefer heterosexual, married Christan couples and I felt like it was a waste of my time to go through a process where DW and I would be considered the bottom of the barrel in regards to familial preferences. International adoption was out because we would have to misrepresent our family in order to adopt. We didn't feel comfortable being in the closet and jeopardizing the entire program for single women just to have a baby

 

The second reason was because adoption was expensive. I understand that foster care is affordable but the process is unpredictable and most of the children have medical needs that we were not comfortable with. We didn't feel like we could parent a child with FAS or severe emotional disorders. We looked into domestic adoption but most agencies told us the entire cost would be at least 20K and the cheaper agencies had extremely long time lines. International adoption would cost at least 25K and we could not afford to spend that much money after wasting 50K on failed at home insemination with donor sperm, IUIs and IVF cycles.

 

The third reason was because of thought of "advertising" for a baby. I didn't feel like it was my job to "prove" to a birth mother that I was the perfect parent, that my partner and I had the biggest house in the best school district in the middle of the cookie cutter suburbs or that we drove brand new cars and plan on buying a mini van once the baby came home. I didn't feel comfortable plastering photos of DP and I playing with my friend's children and pretending that our relationship with our parents is flawless and they don't see anything wrong with two lesbians wanted to become mommies. To me, it seemed stupid for us to explain to a complete stranger how normal how my partner and I are when I know deep in my heart that we are eccentric and different and we don't plan on changing our lifestyle for a birth mother to consider us.

 

After hitting a brick wall with all of the adoption options, we decided to try embryo donation for our second child. When we went to the clinic for my mock transfer, they treated DP and I like any other couple. We were given the "list" of available embryos and we chose my daughter's biological family because we had a special connection with them. They both had the same careers as DP and I, they had similar personalities to us and they were okay with Black lesbians parenting an Asian child. approximately 1 year later for that day I was laying in the hospital with our daughter. It was the most exciting and happiest day of my life despite the fact I was naked and bloody in front of complete strangers and had cramps that hurt so badly. I wouldn't trade our experience for the world and we're doing it again for the next child.

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#22 of 28 Old 12-19-2010, 05:06 AM
 
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For us, it was an easy decision.  I have a friend who runs a domestic adoption agency and she said in her honest opinion, there is virtually no chance of a match with domestic infant adoption if you have multiple biological children already.  She said most birth parents want to pick families that are childless or who only have adopted children, and that in her agency, people with a family structure like ours often wait years, even if they don't specify a race or gender.  We can't do foster-adopt either, for personal reasons.  So, international adoption was our main option because they don't really care if you have biological children already...or at least most countries don't.  (We did Vietnam for our first IA, and are 99.9% sure we're doing China Special Needs for our second IA).  That, and I just prefer the structure of getting a referral from the government agency vs waiting and having to be picked in a domestic adoption--it feels too much like 'being the last picked for the gym class team".  I get *why* the system is in place like that (everyone deserves to find the best parents possible for their birth children), but I personally don't want to sit there for years hoping someone picks us, and finding out it's just something about our family structure, or religion, or looks that they don't like.


~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#23 of 28 Old 12-19-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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We went the fost/adopt route because:

 

We are lesbians and were not going to lie about our family.  We were not interested in doing a single parent international adoption and then going through the CA courts to do a second parent adoption.

 

DP was not attracted to paying an attorney an elaborate amount of money to become a parent.

 

Neither of us were interested in being "chosen" by a birth mom.  It just did not feel right to us.

 

In our county, all you have to do is raise your hand for a newborn.  For whatever reason, there is a huge demand for adoptive parents of newborn babies here.  As first time parents, we wanted to experience a newborn and see witness all of those milestones. :)

 

We wanted to have as much information about the birth family as possible.  We were successful in creating an open adoption (with two different birth families) and it was important for us to have that.  Fost/adopt allowed us to find the birth parents easily.


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#24 of 28 Old 12-21-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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For us, it was an easy decision.  I have a friend who runs a domestic adoption agency and she said in her honest opinion, there is virtually no chance of a match with domestic infant adoption if you have multiple biological children already.  She said most birth parents want to pick families that are childless or who only have adopted children, and that in her agency, people with a family structure like ours often wait years, even if they don't specify a race or gender. 



Is this in the US?  Because we did a domestic infant adoption with two bio kids, ages 5 and 3.  My son's birth mom chose us BECAUSE we were experienced parents and she wanted her baby to have older sibs.


Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#25 of 28 Old 12-28-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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For us, it was an easy decision.  I have a friend who runs a domestic adoption agency and she said in her honest opinion, there is virtually no chance of a match with domestic infant adoption if you have multiple biological children already.  She said most birth parents want to pick families that are childless or who only have adopted children, and that in her agency, people with a family structure like ours often wait years, even if they don't specify a race or gender. 



Is this in the US?  Because we did a domestic infant adoption with two bio kids, ages 5 and 3.  My son's birth mom chose us BECAUSE we were experienced parents and she wanted her baby to have older sibs.



We also adopted through an agency, domestically in 2009. We had 2 young bio children at the time, the adoption took 5 months from signing with an agency until our daughters birth.  I also have a friend who adopted through a different agency the same year. They had 6 bio children and the adoption took 9 months.  Both our family and hers were open to race.

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#26 of 28 Old 12-28-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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I have placed two (almost three) kids in domestic adoptions.  I specifically look for families that already have kids in the home.  The family that adopted my son already had four kids when I placed him!  I may end up placing this baby as well, and I will again look for a family that already has kids (the more the merrier).

 

I could just be an exception to the rule.  But I even doubt that because I personally know a lot of other birth moms who share my feelings on that issue.  Just wanted to share since it is always so hard for me to find AP adoptive families.  I'd hate to think they are being chased off by agencies with incorrect info (though that could be the problem, I dislike agencies and avoid them when possible).


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#27 of 28 Old 12-29-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Just wanted to share since it is always so hard for me to find AP adoptive families.  I'd hate to think they are being chased off by agencies with incorrect info (though that could be the problem, I dislike agencies and avoid them when possible).


You know, I bet wrong information is one of the "problems" for AP parents on both sides. Not just family size but, you know, will you be accepted by the social workers, etc.

 

I do think many of us here feel like the social workers won't "get" us. A year or two ago, before we were ready to hope to adopt, I went to an information meeting about doing crisis care for babies. I left feeling like we would be judged and would never be chosen to do anything. I had thought of it so carefully, making sure that we felt dd was old enough to deal with the babies coming and going. Most of the other people there came with babies and toddlers, and seemed about as far from AP as possible. The meeting shocked me in so many ways and I returned home thinking we were never going to do anything that involved social services. Even now that we are hoping to adopt, I don't look forward to the home study! We have made so many decisions after lots of thinking and studying and, yet, these are the very things that many think make us way too strange, and not the right parents for their baby. It is frustrating. I bet there are many AP families like us out there, who feel frustrated and like they are being pressured not to show their true selves.


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#28 of 28 Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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With our first adoption we considered foster care first and decided we wanted to be parents of an infant and know 100% that infant was ours from day 1.  Foster care and foster to adopt in this area doesn't offer that so we were not comfortable with the risk for our first.  We considered ETH and Haiti and then I read an article about how many AA babies in the US were being adopted to couples in other countries and it was sort of a no brainer for us.  If we were open to race and gender we would be quickly matched and would get a newborn instead of (at best) a 8 or 9 month old from international.  We had not really decided how to adopt the second time when we were sent a listing of a domestic special needs 2.5 month old.  He was MINE :)  Less than a month later he was home.  Same deal this time around.  We were not waiting or looking with any real intensity and our daughter found us.  Turns out she's in Congo.  We hope she will be home this summer. 


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