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#1 of 21 Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is going to be long, and it may be in the wrong forum - my apologies in advance.  First: an introduction to my situation.  I have two beautiful children (DD is almost 6, DS is 2.5) and am 13 weeks pregnant after being told I had too much endometrial scarring to ever conceive again.  I divorced my children's father two years ago; this baby's father is a close friend.  We are both 100% agreed on adoption being the right choice for us.  I'm a full time student, single mom; I've been homeless on and off for over a year and have no contact with my parents or siblings for support, simply put there is no way that I can parent this child.

 

I've spoken with two agencies.  The first felt like they were some sort of baby sales agency, it was honestly really disturbing.  The second is nicer, they don't put off a creepy, "let us sell your baby" vibe; however when the father and I met with the social worker today we were very frustrated (okay, *I* was very frustrated) with how many layers of middle men there were between us and the adoptive family, like they really don't want us to get to know them at all.  Another big issues is that, no matter what the parents feel is appropriate, they will be forced to vaccinate the baby.  As a mom that makes me uncomfortable, I want to know who is raising this child, know that they are similar to myself in their parenting style (not going to circ or make baby CIO, that they will at very least research vaccines extensively and parent gently, etc) because, if I'm being entirely honest, I think that a lot of mainstream parenting is wrong.

 

I guess in a perfect adoption situation I would meet the family very soon, we would be mutually responsible for decisions made during the pregnancy (ultrasounds, finding out the sex, playing tapes of the adoptive family's voices for the baby so it knows what it's mommy and daddy/daddy and daddy/mommy and mommy sound like, etc...) and I could get a good idea of who they are.  When it comes time for birth, I could have a nice crunchy waterbirth at Swedish Covenant, with the parents present as support people.  Afterwards the baby will go home with it's parents, I can take a few days to recover before heading back to real life, and we would keep in touch over facebook without being really involved with each other.  

 

Am I crazy to think that this is even remotely possible?  I want to do this on my terms so I can look back and not have regrets, and I worry that if I stick with an agency that won't give parents a choice in the vaccine issues or let us really get to know each other, that I will hate myself.  Is there anyone out there who can ease a troubled birth-mama's mind?  Anyone who can point me toward a couple who has this kind of idea of open adoption?

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#2 of 21 Old 01-10-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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I am sure you can find some parents that match your values. Too bad you werent in Canada. The agency has no say in the medical decisions you make for the child.

 

We are everything you describe, so there are adoptive parents like us out there. I would keep looking at agencies that seem more helpful in finding a good match for you. You are only 13 weeks, you have lots of time and you are the mother. Do what you feel comfortable with.
 


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#3 of 21 Old 01-10-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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I don't understand...the law doesn't require anyone to be vaccinated.  Schools have a rule that a child can only attend after submitting either a vax record or an exemption.  The government doesn't force anyone to be vaxxed...at least overtly anyway.  How can an agency mandate such a thing?  Is there some loophole during the time between the TPR and the adoption?


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#4 of 21 Old 01-11-2013, 04:35 AM
 
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There is, in fact, such a loophole in some states. There's a period where the agency technically has custody of the child, not the birthmother or the parents. 

 

OP, everything you want is possible, no matter where you live, but I can't give you more specific advice unless I know where you live. If you feel comfortable PMing me with that info, I will help you research agencies and/or lawyers serving your region who can give you the open adoption you desire. You are a dream-come-true birthmom for a lot of couples. You don't have to settle for an agency who doesn't do things the way you think they should be done. 

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#5 of 21 Old 01-11-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Smithie, I tried PMing you but it wouldn't let me, said I don't have permission to send private messages.  Anyhow, I'm not opposed to my information being posted here as long as it doesn't violate any sort of policy; I am an Illinois resident in the Quad Cities, about three hours southwest of Chicago.  I"m not opposed to anything out of state or, heck, even out of country for the right family.

 

I know 13 weeks sounds like a lot of time, but when you're a control freak and full time student and mom that time dwindles very quickly...  Three days from now my life will be entirely about my kids, studying, and not letting my "life" overtake my academic career.  And while I know I'm the mom...  I feel like I'm not really.  I've always worked really hard to connect with my babies before they were born, I managed my own maternity care under the supervision of a friend who is a midwife and turned down every test she offered me.  I UC'd both of them, didn't get dressed or out of bed for days after they were born, just spent my time nursing and falling in love.  It was a dream.  It's the experience that I want for whatever family is out there for this baby, because even though I'm not sure of my own feelings about the baby (on some level I must love it, but right now I'm more stressed than I've ever been in my life, I've considered things I would never have thought possible, I resent being pregnant, which makes me feel guilty, and on and on...) I love people, and I love the adoptive family because they are doing what, is for me, impossible.  I may be the mother, but I'm not in a way, and I need input.

 

The reason I was given for the vaccination thing was that the adoption agency is technically a child welfare agency, and for the first two years they are very heavily involved in the baby's life (home visits every two months according to the social worker, which I think was meant to be comforting to me - it wasn't) and what the agency says to do the parents have to comply with.  Again, as a mom, that makes me queasy.  

 

This has gotten long again, but it's so good to talk about the details with people who get it...  All of my support people are either the father (who is wonderful but every bit as stressed and overbooked as I), or college students who have no idea what to say to me, or say stupid things with good intentions.  Honestly, just getting this much off my chest I feel better than I have in weeks.  Thank you all!

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#6 of 21 Old 01-11-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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I'm sorry that's the vibe you've gotten from the agencies you've looked into.  I would keep looking if you feel like an agency adoption is right for you.  There are some wonderful agencies out there and some horrible ones.  We adopted our son through an agency and all medical and other decisions were made jointly between us and his birthmom.  She let us decide to not have him vaccinated or circumcised.  She also was fine with me nursing him right away in the hospital before she even signed away her rights. 

 

If you decide not to go through an agency, there are many families that are looking to adopt privately.  You can find profiles at Parent Profiles and other sites. 

 

Crunchy adoptive parents are out there!  I'm hoping you can find a couple that puts you at ease.  I know they will be thrilled to find you as well.
 


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#7 of 21 Old 01-11-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ihavenoidea View Post

Smithie, I tried PMing you but it wouldn't let me, said I don't have permission to send private messages.  Anyhow, I'm not opposed to my information being posted here as long as it doesn't violate any sort of policy; I am an Illinois resident in the Quad Cities, about three hours southwest of Chicago.  I"m not opposed to anything out of state or, heck, even out of country for the right family.

 

I know 13 weeks sounds like a lot of time, but when you're a control freak and full time student and mom that time dwindles very quickly...  Three days from now my life will be entirely about my kids, studying, and not letting my "life" overtake my academic career.  And while I know I'm the mom...  I feel like I'm not really.  I've always worked really hard to connect with my babies before they were born, I managed my own maternity care under the supervision of a friend who is a midwife and turned down every test she offered me.  I UC'd both of them, didn't get dressed or out of bed for days after they were born, just spent my time nursing and falling in love.  It was a dream.  It's the experience that I want for whatever family is out there for this baby, because even though I'm not sure of my own feelings about the baby (on some level I must love it, but right now I'm more stressed than I've ever been in my life, I've considered things I would never have thought possible, I resent being pregnant, which makes me feel guilty, and on and on...) I love people, and I love the adoptive family because they are doing what, is for me, impossible.  I may be the mother, but I'm not in a way, and I need input.

 

The reason I was given for the vaccination thing was that the adoption agency is technically a child welfare agency, and for the first two years they are very heavily involved in the baby's life (home visits every two months according to the social worker, which I think was meant to be comforting to me - it wasn't) and what the agency says to do the parents have to comply with.  Again, as a mom, that makes me queasy.  

 

This has gotten long again, but it's so good to talk about the details with people who get it...  All of my support people are either the father (who is wonderful but every bit as stressed and overbooked as I), or college students who have no idea what to say to me, or say stupid things with good intentions.  Honestly, just getting this much off my chest I feel better than I have in weeks.  Thank you all!

 

 

What I meant by saying you are the mother is that until you place, you have all the say in what goes on, so if you dont like the agency, find another. Also dont be afraid to say EXACTLY what you want. Be as specific as you want to. Its up to the agency to find these parents for you. Dont feel guilty about your emotions. This isnt easy. Hugs to you. Our agency strives to find the best match to the birth mothers criteria.


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#8 of 21 Old 01-12-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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OP: I am an adoptive mom both through domestic infant adoption and through foster care in the chicago area, and I would be happy to answer questions for you :) I have a very open adoption with one birthfamily and a completely closed adoption with the other, both according to the birthmothers wishes.

 

a short answer is yes, after placement the agency is technically the guardian of the child for 6 months or so. After that point the agency recommends or does not recommend  finalization . During that 6 month time adoptive parents must comply with pretty much whatever the agency wants from the adoptive parents, and my agency required the adoptive parents to submit documentation of vaccinations. If and adoptive family chooses not to vaccinate, the agency would know about it and if they so choose could not recommend a particular family for finalization based on that alone. Its pretty crappy, but it is what it is. I hated it, and it sucked. I vaccinated on scheduele with both my daughters until their adoptions were finalized, then went according to a selective and delayed scheduele. 

 

Oh, and as an aside, I gave birth to my oldest (now 13) year old daughter at Swedish Covenant!


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#9 of 21 Old 01-12-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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OK, I am going to send this is a PM as well, but in case it doesn't go through I am posting to the thread:

 

If you are going to adopt to a couple residing in Illinois, please look into an "independent adoption." This would be where you identify a potential adoptive family, and then a lawyer handles the details that make it legal. Here is a blurb from a lawyer's website explaining it: http://www.chicagoadoptionattorney.com/independent.php

 

It may be that some lawyers in Illinois also source adoptive families, but if so they are not advertising it very aggressively. 

 

Where to find a AP adoptive family in Illinois? Maybe start with http://attachmentparenting.meetup.com/cities/us/il/chicago/ Join groups, post your story, put yourself out there among like-minded people. 

 

I am frankly appalled to hear that adoption agencies in Illinois have legal custody of the children they place for a period of months. I think the best situation for you is to find the right couple, sign a directed placement to that couple (not to an agency!) immediately after the birth, and then you will technically be the legal parent until their lawyer pushes all the paperwork through, although the adoptive parents will take the baby home and assume all the responsibility immediately. 

 

Open adoption is not legally enforceable in Illinois, so you will have to trust the parents you select to abide by their promise if you want any level of post-adoption contact. All the more reason to pick them yourself. 

 

If you are willing to go out-of-state, there are many other states where a lawyer's office will be more than happy to do the parent search for you. It may also be that you look around online and find a family working with an agency in another state that has saner laws, or even enforceable open-adoption policies (I love http://www.openadopt.org/, they serve OR and WA), and decide to go with them. But I really think it makes sense to find your child's family living relatively close to you so you can easily meet them and assess them as parents, and THEN work out the nitty-gritty of how you are going to make it legal. 

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#10 of 21 Old 01-12-2013, 12:22 PM
 
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There are some places online where you can read profiles of prospective adoptive families and see if any match what you're looking for.

 

Here's a few...

 

https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27390033/ourMessage.jsf

https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/26975920/ourMessage.jsf

https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/24284533/ourMessage.jsf

https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/26189483/ourMessage.jsf

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#11 of 21 Old 01-14-2013, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found a couple I really like, and I'm excited to move forward, but I'm running into the same problem; even though it's an independent agency, because it's interstate they have to work through an Illinois agency.  This is infuriating.  I'm right on the Iowa border; does anyone know if the laws are better there?  I can move if it makes this all better.

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#12 of 21 Old 01-14-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ihavenoidea View Post

I found a couple I really like, and I'm excited to move forward, but I'm running into the same problem; even though it's an independent agency, because it's interstate they have to work through an Illinois agency.  This is infuriating.  I'm right on the Iowa border; does anyone know if the laws are better there?  I can move if it makes this all better.


You don't have to work through an agency.  You can just find an adoption attorney to take care of all the legalities for you.  Also, you can give birth in any state you would like.  You don't have to live there, just give birth there, to follow that states adoption laws.


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#13 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 06:08 AM
 
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That's my understanding as well. The Chicago lawyer I linked to above doesn't find adoptive parents for her clients (she leaves that to agencies or to individual efforts by the birthmother), but she DOES represent birthmothers who don't want their babies to be in the custody of agencies at any point. 

 

If these folks are your baby's parents, they will find a way to make the legal situation work. Communicate your concerns to them. Maybe they need to talk to a lawyer in their state and get some advice. 

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#14 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So they aren't legally obligated to work with the agency they're already signed up with?  Because I tried telling the agency coordinator that everything I had read said just that and she got all kinds of huffy and said they would have to work through the agency no matter what, thus making me hate the agency that much more.  I'm glad adoption exists, but man the process sucks.

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#15 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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So they aren't legally obligated to work with the agency they're already signed up with?  Because I tried telling the agency coordinator that everything I had read said just that and she got all kinds of huffy and said they would have to work through the agency no matter what, thus making me hate the agency that much more.  I'm glad adoption exists, but man the process sucks.

 

Did you find them through the agency? 

 

If not, then no, you really don't have to work through the agency.  They want you to because that's how they stay in business, but there's no requirement for a couple to only adopt through an agency just because they are signed up with one.


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#16 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 03:55 PM
 
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Also, TO HECK with that jerk of an agency coordinator for making this harder on you. 

 

Talk to your prospective parents, and tell them to ditch their craptastic agency and find a lawyer. Tell them why - that you don't want an agency to have custody of the baby - you want the baby to go from your custody to their custody without a middleman. 

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#17 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 04:55 PM
 
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Should she have a lawyer too? Does it make sense for two lawyers to work out the details? I am just thinking that whomever hires the lawyer, the lawyer serves that person's interests more than the other's, right? Or am I overthinking this?
 


 
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#18 of 21 Old 01-15-2013, 06:56 PM
 
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Not overthinking at all :-) The OP should definitely have a lawyer, and the adoptive family should pay that lawyer's fees.
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#19 of 21 Old 01-16-2013, 06:49 AM
 
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I don't remember the specifics, but I seem to recall there being something about Illinois where you have to work with an agency, even if you do work with a lawyer. I did not go that route, but  I recall there being some specifications against working directly/only with a lawyer. 

 

adoptive parents are able to switch agencies, definitely, but it isn't very easy and is pretty costly. Hopefully that would be within the means of this family the OP has chosen :)


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#20 of 21 Old 01-16-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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Sounds like birthing out-of-state might be necessary for this mama, then. But that's definitely a question for an adoption lawyer - I am just a nosy lady with Google. ;)

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#21 of 21 Old 02-05-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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I am a birth mom. Try contacting http://www.catholiccharities.net/services/adoption. I had similar issues with agencies that you have mentioned. You do not need to be Catholic or even Christian to work with Catholic Services.
 


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