IA vs foster-to-opt for "older" child (not that old, like pre-school) how did you choose? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 06-11-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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can i pick your brain? DH and I planned to adopt even befpore we got engaged. in 2005 we were all set to start an IA adoption of a SN girl from India -- before we signed offically I got preggo with #1. after that we decided to have #2 biologically soon so that they'd be close together. #2 was boon in 2007. in 2008 we filled out application, did finger prints and got accepted by Iowa to start faster parent traning. we enrolled in a class but did not start; the month of the classes we were finally approved to go on the "waiting to move list" at DH's job. we did not think there would be time to get a placement, and a TPR and an adoption and we did not want to disrupt.

fast forward to NOW -- we are moving, yes, just now, in Aug or Nov but WILL BE moved by Thanksgiving no matter what.

I have contacted the county in MO where we will live and we can not even fill out the application to be a foster to adopt family till we move. i get that, it is frustrating but i get that THAT is the rule.

so we are still chomping at the bit to adopt. however we want to adopt a girl. i am 40 and dh is 46 this will be our last child and we are selfish we want a girl and the boys want a sister. we would "like" a 18 month to 3 year old girl. of curse we'd not refuse a girl younger. we are open to maybe a set of 2 girls, or a boy and a girl -- both born after 2008. 

we are torn on foster to adopt or IA. frankly in 05 IA made perfect sense and in 08 foster to adopt did -- now i am not sure about 13 ............

so -- can you suggest anything for me (us) to read to help us make the choice? how do we make that choice?

 

We are just tonr on how to know what to do -- what path fits best -- all i see are the challnages on both sides -- help me see some light


 

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#2 of 18 Old 06-11-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Hi Aimee!

 

We chose foster-adoption because we weren't comfortable making a permanent commitment to a child we hadn't gotten to know. Selfish? Yes. But I see it as the "good" kind of selfishness, where you decide what you can handle and don't take on more than that, and thus don't wind up breaking promises. We are looking to adopt a school-aged child, though. I don't think I'd feel the same way about an infant adoption, and I'm honestly not sure how I'd feel about a toddler adoption. 

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#3 of 18 Old 06-11-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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We chose foster-to-adopt because:

-  I felt that I could do better research domestically rather than internationally to ensure an ethical adoption

- The costs are much lower, in fact there are often no financial costs at all

- What Smithie said: you get to "test run" the child first (this way the adoption is a true choice; you're adopting a particular child whom you already know well, not just any random baby that meets certain sex or race criteria)

- When I was a kid I had a good friend go into fostercare and move about. I wanted to prevent that from happening to at least one kid.

 

When you're making this decision, here are are some things to consider:

- What are your opinions about open vs closed adoptions? Studies show that open tends to be best for children but some parents prefer closed and in some cases closed is best for the child. International adoptions are much more likely to be closed, at least to the level where contact between the child and birth parents is unlikely.

- Can you afford international adoption? If not, how will you raise the money? If yes, is it financially responsible to spend the money on the adoption fees or would it be better to save it for the child's college education/ future medical needs/ etc.?

- If you do foster-adopt, do you think you can handle the emotions of "giving the child back" if it comes to that? Can your family handle that?

- Do you have a support network? What do they think about this? Will you have more support for one or the other option?

- How much social services support do you think you might need? For example, many kids adopted from fostercare keep their Medicaid after adoption so you don't have to worry about expensive insurance or doctors bills.

- If you adopt internationally, how much connection do you have with the sending country? Will you be able to visit again so your child can get to know his or her roots?

- Determine how long you're willing to wait. There are various average wait times for different states' foster-adopt programs and different countries' international adoption programs. You can usually find somes stats about that online.

- How do you feel about transracial adoption? Your feelings on this will likely rule out some options or countries.

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#4 of 18 Old 06-12-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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...this way the adoption is a true choice...

 

Wow. This is just the right way to put it. With "standard" adoption beyond infancy, I feel like they're saying "promise me you definitely want to raise this child that you have never met!" and that's not a promise I feel I can make about another human being (as opposed to a newborn in the "extragestational fetus" stage with whom I am building a bond from scratch). 

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#5 of 18 Old 06-13-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Our decision to adopt through foster care was initially about price.  We simply couldn't afford IA.   We weren't crazy about the idea of fostering.  My DH had watched his aunt and uncle go through the heartache of never getting to keep the foster kids they cared for.(Eventually they did adopt 2 older brothers.)  He didn't think he could do that.  I had watched the same thing happen to a family friend.  I liked the finality of IA, once you have them, they're yours.  There are other reasons we wanted to pursue IA, but those are the most pertinent to this conversation.  Once we realized we just could not afford IA, we opened our hearts to FCare.  That's when I discovered it would kind of be nice to "try out" a child(ren)--as mentioned above--before committing forever, especially since we already had 3 kids at home.   Our thoughts evolved into "why don't we just enjoy being foster parents for a while and help the kids that come into our lives, however long that is?  Maybe we'll adopt, maybe we won't."  Now, here we are adopting our very first placement this month, 4 siblings 4 and under.  Two were placed into our care at birth.  As far as I'm concerned, I think either option is a good one for different reasons.  A child in a forever home is a very good thing.  


tea6.gifMommy to reading.gifDD(15), loveeyes.gifDD(13), blahblah.gifDD(9),  bouncy.gifDS(4), jog.gifDS(3), babyf.gifDD(1), and foster mommy to baby.gif DD  homeschool.gif

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#6 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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moved


Homeschooling Momma to DD 8 years old, DS 7 years old, DS born 03/11 by adoptionheart-1.gif , waiting for DD born 07/10 and two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband of 12 years.
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#7 of 18 Old 06-14-2012, 07:31 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that the adoption tax credit goes back to being non-refundable next year (this year?) so it will only benefit families who fit the right tax criteria.  because of the tax credit, our International adoption of two kids from Uganda, where our whole family got to go meet them in Uganda to bring them home... was basically free.  we did spend $6000 in Canada when we lived there (that we'll never get back), pursuing IA from Ethiopia then Zambia, but we moved to NZ and had to switch to the US process, and all of our expenses from that point on were reimbursed to us a few weeks ago. amazing.  I can't really recommend IA from Uganda at this time, though, especially independent adoption from there (because it's hard to find a referral without an agency, and there are WAY too many agencies in UG now. quite sad actually. 

We chose IA from africa because we believed that was where the greatest need was.  funny thing, though, those "orphan" statistics include children with families, and are very misleading.  Our particular children were abandoned as infants (they really were, we know there was no fraud involved, though you have to be very careful with abandonment cases these days, from any country -- we just got lucky, honestly, we were naive) and while nobody was really adopting from their orphanage when we got started (only a handful of families ever had) UG adoption exploded soon after, and waiting lists soon developed.  I have a hard time with adopting from countries where waiting lists exist, because the very existence of a waiting list will cause savvy locals to create orphans where they didn't previously exist.  Now most kids coming "home" from Uganda have family that could take care of them if poverty weren't an issue, and that just wasn't what we were hoping to get involved in.  It's incredibly complicated, and I don't judge other people's situations, but I struggle a lot with whether IA is ethical at all, in countries where there aren't very strict regulations.  I had great hope for Uganda, but it has turned into a total mess, just like Ethiopia, but still on a smaller scale.  DRC (Congo) is even worse. 

If you are interested in IA for a preschool age child, would you be open to HIV+?  there is a need for HIV+ adoptions all over the world, but Latvia in particular is a well run program (Hague) and I know there are waiting children in the preschool age category.  If you aren't sure about HIV+ adoption (you don't have to answer publicly) check out http://www.projecthopeful.org/ for more information.


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#8 of 18 Old 06-15-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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It did go back to non-refundable but it was great for our family!  It is still there but you just have to take it over several years depending on your tax liability.  Any little bit helps! 

 

We are travel with all the kids and Grandma to Th%^land! 


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#9 of 18 Old 06-28-2012, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. i am still not sure where we stand i fear that in foster care we are never going to be "staffed" as the best family for a child since DH is already 46 and I am 40 and we have 2 kids. i know that even certified forst to adopt and willing to foster the workers are still "choosing" from a pool of families and the higher up in MO that I talked to admitted to me there is a large pool seeking 1 or 2 girls in the toddler (or younger) up to pre-school age -- it is the easiest demographic to place. she has families that have been ready, she says, for 3 years and have not gotta a foster to adopt placement. I like -- IA -- that you are matched and adopt and that is that -- there is no fear of the birth family making a hard time, and there is not the long process of "maybe this will lead to adoption, maybe in 2 years the family will be put back together". I get there are many unknowns in IA also -- but it seems less iffy once you have a match. I am not sure i feel the need to "try out a child in our family" -- fact is if i get preggo tomorrow we get what we get -- so i am ok with adoption being the same. we get the child we get. we want to choose a girl (since we have 2 boys) and that alone i am kinda uneasy about, but i am doing to support since this is our last child. i guess we are leaning to IA -- i guess i am just scared of a process that seems ever changing and $$

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#10 of 18 Old 06-28-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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I would suggest that you go with IA.  It is hard to find a straight adoptive placement in MO, and would be really hard with your narrow criteria.  It would probably take years, and you would have no guarantee that it would happen at all.  From what I hear, adoption from Russia is pretty quick, but it is really expensive.

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#11 of 18 Old 06-28-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks now to find an IA program we qualify for -- that was the saving grace of FTA -- easier to qual for. :)

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#12 of 18 Old 06-28-2012, 04:17 PM
 
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You would qualify for Tha#land I believe and depending on your income and net worth China.


Homeschooling Momma to DD 8 years old, DS 7 years old, DS born 03/11 by adoptionheart-1.gif , waiting for DD born 07/10 and two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband of 12 years.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-28-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we do not qual for China, due to my medic what agency should i look at for Thiland?

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#14 of 18 Old 06-29-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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Given your particular circumstances, Aimee, I would also choose IA. Your little girl is out there! 

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#15 of 18 Old 11-21-2012, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies we are back at it -- actually we never stopped but we have had to be on hold.  :)

 

We actually applied for IA in 04 then got preggo in 05 and again in 07 (the first was AMA the 2nd planned)

we started to train as foster parent in 10 and then got put on the move list for DH's work.  

we moved away from Iowa in Oct and are in temp houseing, on a short term assingment, till Feb 22.  

 

in March of 13 we will be in our new home state of Missiouri 
(though not our house, we will be renting and  waiting on old house to sell)

 

we are going to apply
to be foster parents  -- then it is train, then wait. LOL
 

Dh doesn't really want to pursue IA, sigh.  many issues with age, and heath issues, and he feels IA is too much "like buying a child".  The foster to adopt road may very well never find us a match and i suspect when and if it does the match will not be what we are expecting, but that is the path we have decided to take.

 

so in March we apply....


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#16 of 18 Old 11-21-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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You may find you like foster care more than you thought you would.  That was certainly our experience (and REALLY unexpected).  Best to you!

 

Also, a pp noted that their decision was partly based on finding an ethical agency to do foster-to-adopt.  To be honest, where I fostered (and adopted) there weren't really many agencies.  It was you and the state.  And really, I loved it.  There was no middleman.  Not that you always got a straight answer that way, but there was less opportunity for "grapevine" stuff... kwim?

 

You should see if that's the case in MO.

 

Oh, and about 6 weeks after the state adoptive unit told us "we'll never have a child for you" (almost three years into being licensed and with two prior calls for a match--one we passed up and one that got assigned to a medically fragile provider adoptive home after we agreed), they called us with our daughter.  She was shockingly an infant who was surrendered at birth.  And after they told us they'd never have a child for us, my husband and I really and truly came to terms with having just our only bio.  In fact, we were planning a life around having one child and were really excited about it.  redface.gif

 

I just think that if it's meant to happen, it will happen.  But you have to believe that.


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#17 of 18 Old 11-21-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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heather were you asking for an adopt-only placement? i cant remember....i know your dd's situation WAS adoptable but i can't recall if you were only accepting adoption cases.

 

I know i was told by one agency that i wasnt going to get a placement of a child under 10, and when i switched i got a call for a newborn less than a month after getting my foster license. While he technically was a regular foster placement they were almost certain he would go to TPR (and his goal was changed to adoption when he was six weeks old.)

 

I just think its funny how someone might be told they will wait, or "never get a placement" then they get a placement that is beyond their dreams. I *never* thought i'd be placed with a healthy newborn baby (i can't believe that "baby" is almost 5 yrs old!!!)
 


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#18 of 18 Old 11-22-2012, 08:51 PM
 
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The state I lived in at the time had two units: the adoptive unit (which handled kids with a case goal of "adoption") and the foster units (for kids whose case goals were "reunification").  I was licensed with both.  It was the adoptive unit that told me they'd never have a child for us.  The foster unit kept sending us kids, but because the goal is RU, you never knew if they were going to stay.  And none of ours did.  We also took kids that we wouldn't have adopted (they were older than we would've taken, etc.)

 

And although my daughter came through the adoptive unit, there's a Federal 6mo live-in requirement.  So even if the case lasted the minimum it could before finalizing, they're still a foster child/ward of the state during that time.  In our case, it was a botched "Safe Haven" case because birthmom didn't just bring her to the hospital and leave her--birthmom told the hospital (while she was in labor) that the baby wasn't going home with her.  So having birthmom there and accessible for some level of information made the case look like less of a Safe Haven case to CPS (but not to the judge) so it dragged on because CPS didn't really have a clue how to handle any of it.  eyesroll.gif  She was in our home at 12 days old and finalized 2 weeks before her first birthday.  

 

Most of the foster parents in my former state had no idea there was a separate adoptive unit.  I don't know how many states actually handle it that way or have one.


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