I'm seriously thinking of adopting as I've had some health issues that have impacted my fertility. I know adoption may be the only way that a child ever calls me mom. I'm all right with it. My question is how did you decide between Domestic infant adoption, Foster care or International adoption? I'm nowhere near ready to adopt at the moment but it's always been in the back of my mind and I've been looking at the different ways to adopt, my mind is spinning. It seems like once you make one decision with adoption you've got another decision to make. With domestic adoption you'd have to decide between infant or foster care? If you want to adopt internationally what country and what kinds of special needs are you willing to accept?
How in the world did you all decide?
My husband and I chose FC because there is such a great need for foster parents. We talked to several agencies and all of them told us we could get babies that were not going to be reunified with their parents. It's always a gamble however, unless the Termination Petition has been signed there's no guarantee. Our experience is that Agencies will tell you anything to get you take kids. We had to say no several times before accepting our two little boys. We also were not willing to take any special needs. Although our oldest (4 when we got him) is cognitively bright, he has suffered trauma and we're in the process of having OT and counseling at a children's trauma center. I work full-time and come home to a little boy that requires constant supervision and interaction. It prevents me from spending as much as I would like with his baby brother. I resent feeling torn between them. If you go the FC route, it's likely you'll be told you can only get a baby if you take siblings. It wasn't true in our state (Michigan). If you really only want one child, stick to it and don't be bullied.
I'm not sure it's possible to fully grieve the loss of fertility and then adopt. The grief comes in stages and cycles. For me I just had to take the plunge and move forward. It does dissipate over time.
What I most unprepared for and still very angry about is the quality, or lack there of, in our Foster Care system. My oldest suffered far more abuse and trauma in foster care than any abuse or neglect from his birth Mom. I went into this thinking there would be this drug addicted, pitiful, incompetent birth Mom that would be easy to dismiss and dislike. Not in my case. She was young, taken advantage of by a drug dealing older man and then bullied and manipulated by the foster care system. I could have represented her better in court than her own lawyer. I cannot tell how many nights I have cried for her loss of these little boys. I've had my boys for 13 months (they were in FC for 10 months prior to that) and we're still several months away from adoption because all the mistakes made by lawyers and case workers.
I've met other FP that have had wonderful and easy experiences; Day old babies right from the hospital and parent rights already terminated. I hope you get lots of responses to help you make this decision.
We originally wanted to adopt from foster care. No fostering first, just adopting kids that were already freed for adoption and waiting for a family. We had considered private domestic adoption but never international adoption as the Hague transitions were really slowing things down and we knew a couple who had been waiting years to adopt after they had already been matched. After a journey with infertility, I was tired of the thought of waiting. We also were up for kids with special needs (which I think you need to be ready for in any adoption, really). However, after going to PS-MAPP class, we decided to foster first. The more I learned about the children in foster care, the more I felt that I couldn't look away from this giant problem that our county has. There is a significant lack of foster homes in my area which leads to children being long term in short term housing or placed into group homes. I feel like every kid dealing with these major traumas needs a loving, stable home in the meantime. If they are going to stay permanently, we are ready for that as well. I am almost ready to open my doors again to take a second foster child. Right now, my very first placement seems as though his case is headed straight for adoption. We feel incredibly blessed by this experience and he does have a variety of special needs.
I think you are doing the right thing by considering all your options now. Keep doing your research and you will be able to make the right decision for you.
Trying to adopt from foster care in Los Angeles.
We chose fostercare for these reasons:
- personal experience with fostercare
- wanting to make a difference
- far less expensive than alternatives
- felt it was most ethical option (felt it was easier to ensure the child truly needs a home)
- wanted to sort of check it out before committing, which fostering allows
Will probably choose private domestic in future for these reasons:
- more certainty
- frustrations with fostercare system delays, miscommunication, etc
- more knowledge about private adoptions, realized there are some that are almost entirely designed to keep the kid out of fostercare
Foster care adoption is the only kind of adoption i can afford, therefore it was the only one i was able to seriously consider.
I put a LOT of thought into what kind of adoption fits us best. We are military, with a 4 year deployment coming up in the next year. For us, it is all about the timing. Adoptions take time. Homestudies, background checks, paperwork, being matched with a child. I hear about wonderful, smooth transitions where everything goes quickly, and the adoption is finalized fast- but I also hear about delays, mistakes, and it taking years to be matched with a child. Even if we were matched immediately (post homestudy, paperwork, background check, etc) mistakes can be made, and it can take months or years to work through them. And by then we will be in Japan!
So for us, an intercountry adoption while overseas is the best fit. Once I figured that out, I began looking into international adoption, and lost my heart. I feel such a connection to the process.
The other reason was, funny enough, the money. Since we don't have time to foster, the fees associated with domestic private adoption were just prohibitive at the moment. Although the fees for intercountry adoption are so much higher, we will have the next 4-5 years to save up and raise money. That is just more doable for our situation.