Adopt Domestically, Internationally, or Have another kid. I'm really torn... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 81 Old 09-04-2012, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I have ALWAYS wanted to adopt we were always interested in S. Korea spicifically, but with talk of the program closing for years now (along with us having a son) we have lost some interest in Korea. 

 

We were too young to adopt when we were ready for a kid so we went a head and tried to get preagnant. The next year our amazing son was born. I don't think we are done yet. We have always talked about having 2 kids, and have often talked of adopting a 2nd. Since a cross-country move was in the works we kind of put it on the back burner knowing we couldn't do a home study anyway. 

 

Well now we are here in Portland, OR and have been for a month and my baby feaver is growing. My son is making friends in the neighborhood and I love for him to have a friend right here. My pregnancy was not easy and I really hated it. It was totally worth it, but being pregnant again is not really something I want to go through unless there is really no other way. Though we aren't taking any permanent birth control mesurures so I know there is always a slim chance. 

 

I'm now thinking I want to adopt domestically instead so I can know about the baby, be sure to get an infant, and possibly breastfeed the baby (dispite the many many challenges I LOVED nursing our son till he was 15 months). I'm worried that no adoptive mother would pick a family with 5 dogs (one being giant sized, an Irish Wolfhound) and that we would end up waiting a long time. My husband also doesn't have a job yet here, though we make our primary living off of stocks anyway, but I feel that would negativly affect our homestudy in a large way. 

 

I'm just torn. Any advice or anything at all would help. Even just some BTDT stories! Any experiance in the state of Oregon would really help. 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#2 of 81 Old 09-04-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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Just a note about the dogs...

 

I used to babysit for a family with five dogs, three cats, and two kids.  Two of the dogs were giant ones.  The house was surprisingly clean and organized despite all those bodies.  Both of their children were adopted domestically as infants, and both were adopted while the family had 4+ dogs in the house.  

 

Also, a different woman I am aware of chose to place her infant for adoption.  She purposely chose a family with several dogs because she had loved growing up with dogs as a child.  

 

So, I wouldn't count things out on account of the dogs--especially where you have another child so you know that they are okay with children.

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#3 of 81 Old 09-04-2012, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. Just that gives me a LOT of hope. One of our dogs had an issue when our son became a toddler and we did LOTS of professional training and now he (The GSD) is just amazing. He is so calm and loving and just great with our son and the other kids that are around. 


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#4 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 05:57 AM
 
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If i were you, i'd have another bio child. Unless pg is medically contraindicated or something. Adoption is (or at least can be most of the time) a pretty hard road, there is tons of paperwork, a cost factor (unless you do foster care adoption and even then there are often some costs), a feeling of intrusiveness that is hard to describe until you have a social worker sitting there asking about your sex life or the therapy you got as an angstfilled teen yknow? Not to mention the anxiety of waiting for the homestudy to finish, waiting to be matched, waiting to see if the pregnant mom will change her mind or place with you at all, waiting for the reclaiming period to pass(if there is one where you live), waiting for the adoption to finalize (in which you'd have post-placement visits with the worker most likely) wait wait wait...its stressful! Plus you'd want to think about how closely you want to space your kids and if a long (possible) wait to adopt would fit in with that.

 

And then after the wait there are the additional adoption issues, identity issues, birthfamily contact to manage and transracial adoption issues if that applies (identity and hair and role models on and on...)

 

That being said, if you have a strong urge/desire/motivation to adopt then of course....pursue that option! I have three adopted kids (and one bio) so of course i'm "pro adoption" but knowing how stressful it can be i like to forewarn people if i can. winky.gif

 

I dont think the dogs will be an issue unless you get a homestudy worker who is freaked out about them. The lack of a job MAY be but if you can show sufficient stable income other than employment thats usually sufficient.


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#5 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Adoption is (or at least can be most of the time) a pretty hard road, there is tons of paperwork, a cost factor (unless you do foster care adoption and even then there are often some costs), a feeling of intrusiveness that is hard to describe until you have a social worker sitting there asking about your sex life or the therapy you got as an angstfilled teen yknow? Not to mention the anxiety of waiting for the homestudy to finish, waiting to be matched, waiting to see if the pregnant mom will change her mind or place with you at all, waiting for the reclaiming period to pass(if there is one where you live), waiting for the adoption to finalize (in which you'd have post-placement visits with the worker most likely) wait wait wait...its stressful! 

 

Yep, I am right in the middle of all this. So far we are about 5000 dollars in and half way through the home study, which I found really exhausting. To have a complete stranger go through you life, home and a marriage with a fine tooth comb, is about as fun as a trip to the gynacologist. 5000 would be a sizable chunk into a college fund. If I could give her a sibling myself, I would. Dont get me wrong. This is the right path for us, but its the events in our lives that brought us here. 


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#6 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for another view point. Adoption is something that I've always wanted to do, its something close to my heart, I've been "Parenting" kids that aren't mine for YEARS one who I was acting as a real parent but was I too young to apply to take her when DCFS took her out of her home and she got sent off to an aunt. I'm not sure if I would be content with my life if I didn't adopt at some point. But I've also considered adopting an older child when I'm older and my son is grown (in addition to adopting or having another now). I'd love to foster, but my husband is comfortable with that, and I worry it wouldn't be the best for my son either who tends to get very attached to everybody. 

 

It will be a while before we do either, but the gap thing isn't a huge deal to me I would like my first born to be the oldest and that's pretty much it. I wanted him to have 2 years with no siblings so I could focus on him, and he turns 2 in 2 weeks, I don't care if his siblings are 4 months or 4 years younger. :) 


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#7 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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#8 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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Why not go to an info session with an adoption agency? I hear nothing but good about http://www.openadopt.org/.
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#9 of 81 Old 09-05-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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Our family would like to adopt at some point in the future, and we are foster parents now (off and on as needed).  After fostering, I would say that I would really prefer to foster a child first before adopting in order to know the child far better before becoming a family. Two children we fostered were up for adoption (a five year old and a newborn which we picked up from the hospital).  We have learned its generally easier to foster children younger than ours.   Also, we have learned to interview the social workers to try and really determine the needs of the children needing placements and whether our family can meet those needs/ handle those challenges.  

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#10 of 81 Old 09-06-2012, 05:13 AM
 
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Our family would like to adopt at some point in the future, and we are foster parents now (off and on as needed).  After fostering, I would say that I would really prefer to foster a child first before adopting in order to know the child far better before becoming a family. Two children we fostered were up for adoption (a five year old and a newborn which we picked up from the hospital).  We have learned its generally easier to foster children younger than ours.   Also, we have learned to interview the social workers to try and really determine the needs of the children needing placements and whether our family can meet those needs/ handle those challenges.  

 

I'm  curious why you didnt adopt the children you fostered that became available for adoption? No judgement, i was just wondering (if you dont mind sharing.) How long did you foster them?


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#11 of 81 Old 09-06-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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We did seriously consider adopting the five year old who was very sweet, and I do think about her all of the time.  Yet, we realized that some of her challenges were too much for us and she would have become our oldest child at that point.  We realized that it would be easier to adopt/foster younger children so our older children could be attached/bonded to us and hopefully be role models in some ways for younger ones. If the timing had been different we may have gone further. We had her for about 4 months.

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#12 of 81 Old 09-07-2012, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel like it would be easier to foster or adopt a child younger than mine. We decided we aren't going to make any hard decisions (and be careful not to get pregnant) till next year. We need time to settle in our new house (we moved to Portland a month ago) and save money. I will be thinking hard about this and keeping the baby fever at bay as much as I can for now. I know I want to adopt a newborn, I'm just not sure if this is the right time or not or if I can deal with the wait and possible let downs invovled.... We deicided a long time ago we would only have 2 biological children max (unless there were twins), as we are convicted that there are enough people in the world consuming its resources already and there are pleanty of children out there that need loving homes if we decided we want more. 

 

I'm hoping when we are older and my son is older we will get involved with fostering, but for now I don't feel like we are ready for that challenge. I need a few more years life experiance first. 


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#13 of 81 Old 09-11-2012, 04:40 PM
 
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You are very wise. I think I am a quite good foster parent, but I wasn't "ready" until I'd had three biokids and was over 30. Your "ready" point might be very different, but you'll probably know it when you hit it.

 

If where you're at right now is that you want to adopt a newborn, I'd seriously suggest the openadopt.org people. 

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#14 of 81 Old 09-11-2012, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. :) I'm still flip flopping every day. I think. You know I could be pregnant again.. it would suck, but I could do it. Then the next day I think of being off my feet for who knows how long and how hard that would be on my family and how much I would love to provide a family for a baby that needs it. 

 

This why I'm waiting to make any decision. I would like my kids to be 3-4 years apart and my son is turning 2 in a week. So hopefully next year we will either start the adoption process or get pregnant.... 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#15 of 81 Old 09-16-2012, 07:12 PM
 
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Its not for the faint of heart. Read some blogs by everyone in the triad and see if its really something you want to do

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#16 of 81 Old 09-16-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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Thank you. smile.gif I'm still flip flopping every day. I think. You know I could be pregnant again.. it would suck, but I could do it. Then the next day I think of being off my feet for who knows how long and how hard that would be on my family and how much I would love to provide a family for a baby that needs it. 

This why I'm waiting to make any decision. I would like my kids to be 3-4 years apart and my son is turning 2 in a week. So hopefully next year we will either start the adoption process or get pregnant.... 

I don't want to burst your bubble but if you're adopting because "you'd love to provide a family for a baby who needs it", I'm sorry to tell you that having worked in adoptions for years, that I have never once been aware of a situation in which a newborn baby had any fewer than twenty potential adoptive families waiting to adopt him or her. That included newborns who were born to alcoholic and drug addicted mothers, significant special needs, etc. The need for families to adopt newborns just does not exist except in highly unusual circumstances.

If I were in your shoes, I would not pursue adoption. At the very least, I would really educate myself on adoption before even considering taking this any further.
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#17 of 81 Old 09-17-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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I disagree with the conclusion that adoption should not be pursued, but agree with APToddlerMama that the number of families wanting an infant far outstrips the number of available infants. But just because there a lot of potential adoptive families out there doesn't mean mean that your family is not the "right fit" for one particular birthmother, or that an infant placed with you to foster won't "need" the love and devotion that your family has to offer. 

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#18 of 81 Old 09-17-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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I disagree with the conclusion that adoption should not be pursued, but agree with APToddlerMama that the number of families wanting an infant far outstrips the number of available infants. But just because there a lot of potential adoptive families out there doesn't mean mean that your family is not the "right fit" for one particular birthmother, or that an infant placed with you to foster won't "need" the love and devotion that your family has to offer. 

To be clear, I mean that I would not pursue adoption if my reason was because newborns need homes (because they don't.)
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#19 of 81 Old 09-20-2012, 01:23 PM
 
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I guess I'm OK with "because kids need homes" as ONE reason for adopting instead of having a biokid, as long as "I want to adopt" is one of the other reasons. Newborns DO need homes. Just because there are a lot of people offering homes already does not mean that family who wants to adopt an infant should not throw their hat into the ring, because there might be a birthmother out there who is looking for a family just like theirs, and her decision to place her child might be that little bit easier because she found a family that could offer everything she wanted her baby to have. 

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#20 of 81 Old 09-20-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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I guess I'm OK with "because kids need homes" as ONE reason for adopting instead of having a biokid, as long as "I want to adopt" is one of the other reasons. Newborns DO need homes. Just because there are a lot of people offering homes already does not mean that family who wants to adopt an infant should not throw their hat into the ring, because there might be a birthmother out there who is looking for a family just like theirs, and her decision to place her child might be that little bit easier because she found a family that could offer everything she wanted her baby to have. 

 

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.


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#21 of 81 Old 09-20-2012, 08:20 PM
 
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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.
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#22 of 81 Old 09-20-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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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.


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#23 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 04:07 AM
 
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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.


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#24 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 04:53 AM
 
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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. 


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#25 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 05:59 AM
 
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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.) 

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#26 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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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....
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#27 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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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.
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#28 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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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. 

 

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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.


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#29 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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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.
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#30 of 81 Old 09-21-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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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.
 


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