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#61 of 152 Old 10-19-2005, 11:59 PM
 
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I didn't mean that adoption = buying and selling of infants. I meant that money is such a part of it and that companies profit from it.

My husband and I have been talking about adopting a child or children later on because - same as pp - the thought of my baby growing up alone, shuffled from place to place, breaks my heart.

You have given me a lot of things to think about.
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#62 of 152 Old 10-20-2005, 05:47 PM
 
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When my children have grown and moved out, I will open my home to older children stuck in the foster care system. I will not try to replace their parents, or continue being a mommy to them, just give them a safe loving place where they are always welcome. I hope that answers your question on providing a safe place for children who truly need it. I do realize that not every parent is in the right mind and place to parent their children. Some children are abused by their natural parents, and when it truly isn't a safe place for them to be, then yes, going somewhere else to another family, for safety, love and support is definately in the best interest of the child. As is being honest with them about their situation, and allowing them to continue to be themselves.

Until then, I will continue my work against the adoption industry, I will continue to do what I can to change the laws as I think all people involved with adoption should be doing.

How do you know, that the infant or child you are adopting doesn't have a "biological" family out there capable of raising him/her?

thanks for listening and being so respectful...
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#63 of 152 Old 10-20-2005, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess in some ways you don't ever know for sure. Although there maybe an extended relative who is able to care for the child doesn't mean they may want to. I totally see where you are coming from about the child having names changed on their birth certificates and it not being their choice. I had never thought of it that way and it I guess I don't agree with it either. There are so many things that need improving.

I hope for my childs sake that I am able to get as much information as possible about their biological family and help her along the way. I wish I could know more about them and possibly meet them but it doesn't seem likely.
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#64 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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Wow, have I been educated this morning! I never realized it was possible to be AGAINST adoption! OK, well, I did, but I didn't think it was among the general American population!

I am adopted, US, private agency, 28 years ago, and thankful somebody wanted me! (Of course, I was a baby...everybody wants a baby.)

If my $$ situation allowed for it, I'd definently look into adoption. Yes, I can have kids. That's not the point. The point is, there *are* kids who need homes. And I probably would look internationally. Partly because I don't think it matters where you are from, and partly because I wouldn't want to deal with the possibility that the birth mom might change her mind or that someday a bio dad might show up and say he didn't know about the child so now he wants to take the child away.....


Now to the negative comments I've encountered. I'm Muslim, and I've spent some time in discussion groups with other Muslims on the internet. I've had people tell me I should not live in the same house as my dad because he's not my blood relative, I'm doing something shameful and horrible by living with my parents because of that. (I don't live with them NOW, I'm married, LOL but when I did.)
I've had people tell me I have an obligation to go find my 'real' family and if I don't, I'm committing a horrible sin because we're supposed to maintain ties with our families.

Here's my take on that. My adoptive parents ARE my parents!! I was 2 months old when I came home with them, I've never known anything else, and they did a WONDERFUL thing. My birth parents, whoever they are, wherever they are, for whatever reason, decided they couldn't raise me. Their decision, not mine. Not my problem to go and try to force a relationship. If they wanted to, I'm sure I'd be easy to find. I have lived my entire life within 60 miles of the same place and 3-4 hours from where I was born. And I'm NOT going to stop treating them like my parents simply because a few extremists of a religion I chose to convert to believe that I should.

And then there's my best friend, another American Muslim, who agrees with me and says all those people are full of crap and my parents (all adoptive parents) are doing a wonderful thing taking in children who have no family. *She* was going to adopt a child at one point because she and her husband couldn't have a baby. Unfortunately, or maybe it was the best thing for the child, they decided the child would be better off being adopted by the foster mom he was with. (older child with some emotional problems) It was actually a friend of hers who was the foster mom, so she still sees the child sometimes. She's never said if anyone criticized her for wanting to adopt, but then, she's not the kind of person who would spend a minute thinking anything about it if they did.

Anyway *I* think whether you're going international or not, older child or infant, first, second, or more child, you're all doing a *wonderful* thing--bottom line is that child needs a home and family and you're giving it. I would be doing the same if I could. (debt, low-end job, etc. don't allow it now.)

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#65 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sitara
When my children have grown and moved out, I will open my home to older children stuck in the foster care system. I will not try to replace their parents, or continue being a mommy to them, just give them a safe loving place where they are always welcome. I hope that answers your question on providing a safe place for children who truly need it.
I am wondering, do you believe that adoption should be an option for older kids who wanted to be adopted? Because I worked for several years in the foster care system, and I can tell you definitely that I have met many teenagers who desperately, desperately want a family. Not a guardian, a family. A mom and a dad. Somewhere that they belong, not just a safe place to live. They want the whole deal, with the attendant emotional security of being adopted.

Quote:
How do you know, that the infant or child you are adopting doesn't have a "biological" family out there capable of raising him/her?
People who adopt from Ethiopia often don't know this. However, in our case, my son was found by the police and spent his first 21 months in an orphanage. No one ever showed up to claim/raise him. My daughter's parents are dead, and yes, she does have biological family, and they took her 8 hours from her home and left her in an orphanage for kids with HIV because they were desperate for her to get some treatment so she wouldn't die. HIV treatment is not available in southern Ethiopia. They know she is being adopted and have given us their contact information. They want her to be adopted so she will have a chance to live. We plan to give her our surname because she will be our daughter, but just because she is our daughter doesn't mean she isn't also part of her biological family or that she's not being honest about who she is. As open adoption shows, kids don't have to be from one family or another, exclusively. They can be from both. Both her biological background and her current circumstances are all a part of who she is. The same with our son. He is not "someone different" simply because he lives here rather than in Ethiopia. His LIFE is different, but HE is still him.

Namaste!
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#66 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 01:45 PM
 
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I am wondering what the definition of *mom* is?
Is mother the person who gave birth to you or the person who nurtured and loved you for your entire life?
I'm also wondering if anyone else here has a more spiritual approach to adoption... not so biological.
I've heard adoptive moms say that they *know* they were *meant* to be the mothers of the babies they've adopted and I think I tend to believe that.

I see that I've been all over the place with my posts (if anyone is following) but that's because I'm processing this as I go. I, like some others here, have never considered that someone would be "against adoption". But then, I can see many of those points. Anyway, as I think out loud...

I tend to believe that things happen in your life for a reason. To help make you the person that you are, to give you opportunities to grow emotionally and spiritually. You can choose to view them as negative, or you can see them for what they are... lessons. I think we are guided. But I think we have free choice whether or not to allow ourselves to accept this guidance. So I completely believe that some women are *guided* (and I do mean in a miraculous kind of way) to find children that may not be theirs biologically but are theirs spiritually. Children they were *meant* to be mothers for.

I am relieved to read, Zakers mom, that some adoptees are able to move beyond the tenuous thread that is biology and grab onto the lifeline of love offered.
And dharmamama, thank you for bringing up the point of children *WANTING* a family. Wanting to be adopted. I was struggling to put a similar thought into words.
Quote:
When my children have grown and moved out, I will open my home to older children stuck in the foster care system. I will not try to replace their parents, or continue being a mommy to them, just give them a safe loving place where they are always welcome.
The above quote from Sitara (I don't know how to do the other kind of quote) seemed to be missing an important element. A warm, safe place doesn't equal a family. Knowing that you are important to someone. Knowing that you are loved no matter what. Permanency. I think kids need that. Same as toddlers need boundaries to feel safe as they navigate this big scary world for the first time... children need permanency. I think they WANT a mommy.
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#67 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by artgirl
I'm also wondering if anyone else here has a more spiritual approach to adoption... not so biological.
I've heard adoptive moms say that they *know* they were *meant* to be the mothers of the babies they've adopted and I think I tend to believe that.
My son was born to be my son. His name is the Ethiopian version of a name we were considering for my daughter had she been a boy. His birthday is the same month as hers, one year later. We wanted to adopt a 4-6 year old boy. When we received the waiting child list, there were no 4-6 year old boys on it. There was, however, a boy with the name we would have given my daughter, born the same month as my daughter. Young enough that he should have been snapped up by some other adoptive family in the months he was waiting at the adoption agency's group home. But he came to us. To me, that's too much to be just "coincidence" or sentimentality.

Also, as a Buddhist, I know that everything that happens to us is the result of our past karma (the effects of our actions in our countless previous lives). It was my son's birthparents' karma to have a child they couldn't parent. It was our karma to find our son. It was his karma to be born to one family in Ethiopia and raised by another in America. This was the way it had to happen. Similarly, it is the result of my own (negative) karma that my daughter has a life-threatening illness. It is the result of my daughter's birthfamily's bad karma that their daughter was born with a life-threatening illness. It is the result of their karma that they died of this same illness. It is, unfortunately, my daughter's own karma that she have this disease. Those are the negatives. The positives are, it is the result of my fortunate karma that I will have another beautiful daughter in my family. It is the result of her birthfamily's positive karma that their orphaned daughter will be loved by an additional family. It is my daughter's felicitious karma that she become part of our loving family, a family with the location and resources to treat her illness. This is the way it had to happen.

That's my own take on the spiritual view of adoption.

Namaste!
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#68 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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MAny times an adoptive parent "knows" their child didnt have a bilogical parent/family available to parent them. I know my child didnt as she was taken into state custody for neglect and abandonment. Her biological grandmother also was involved in the process of her being adopted eventually. Most adoptions done domestically the family knows very well that their child is being adopted and the family does as well. Either the child was placed for adoption willingly by the birth mother or the state terminated parental rights because of abuse or what have you. Child protective services goes often to "extreme measures" to keep children with their biological mother/family. I know of several occasions where children placed in foster care, returned with a biological mother, returned to foster care, returned to the biological parent etc. Then eventually parental rights were terminated after repeated attempts to reunite the child with the birth parent. Of course one could argue that in international adoptions that is a realisitc possibility that there are is a biological parent or family member to keep the child. Personally that is one of the reasons I am bias as to adopting children domestically.
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#69 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I am wondering, do you believe that adoption should be an option for older kids who wanted to be adopted? Because I worked for several years in the foster care system, and I can tell you definitely that I have met many teenagers who desperately, desperately want a family. Not a guardian, a family. A mom and a dad. Somewhere that they belong, not just a safe place to live. They want the whole deal, with the attendant emotional security of being adopted.
My dh desperately wanted his foster family (the most long-term of the 5) to adopt him. They wanted to give he and his sister some stabiltiy and legal protection. His mother was always, and is today, a very big part of their life (she's severely mentally ill) and was in agreement with the idea. The state wouldn't allow it. Instead, they took them away from this situation after 3 years because god forbid they become attached : , and sent them to live with an aunt and unlce.

Said aunt and uncle were wealthy pillars of the community and well they were blood for goodness sake. What dh got there were weekly severe beatings, constant emotional abuse and just generally treated like shit.

I don't know where I'm going with this. There are always two sides to every story. I agree with points from both sides. I don't believe that adoption should be abolished but I also don't believe that the system(s) are even close to being perfect.
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#70 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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artgirl wrote
Quote:
I am wondering what the definition of *mom* is?
Is mother the person who gave birth to you or the person who nurtured and loved you for your entire life?
We are struggling with this - on the father side. My ex removed himself from the picture right after we divorced. We are planning to start the process for dh to adopt him soon, money willing. I want my son to know his heritage and his ethnicity. He knows what I think is appropriate for him to know now. I also want him to understand that my ex chose not to be a parent to him (without coming off as a bitter b*%ch) and that parenting is much more than providing some genetic material.

Another question with no perfect answer I suspect...
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#71 of 152 Old 10-21-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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I am wondering what the definition of *mom* is?
Is mother the person who gave birth to you or the person who nurtured and loved you for your entire life?
I think it's both. I don't think it has to be either/or.

Quote:
I'm also wondering if anyone else here has a more spiritual approach to adoption... not so biological.
I've heard adoptive moms say that they *know* they were *meant* to be the mothers of the babies they've adopted and I think I tend to believe that.
I just wanted to mention that I've attended a number of panel discussions with birth mothers in past few years, and I've heard many of these birth moms express similar things--as they set out to choose a family to place their child with, they often had quite spiritual experiences in knowing exactly which family was supposed to be "the" family, and it often ended up being a family they wouldn't have initially considered. Our family recently experienced the opposite side of this with a failed adoption. We were asked by a young woman we know to adopt her baby. We all felt good about it, and of course we said "yes". After a few months, she started to feel like we weren't the right family. It wasn't anything specifically about us that she disliked (on the contrary, we are still close and have a good relationship)--she just had feelings of unrest and felt deep down that her daughter was supposed to be with someone else. When she finally found that family, she did have the strong spiritual confirmation that she needed to be able to choose them and not look back.

(Of course in order for a process like this to work, the choice of adoption has to be completely up to the birth parents--there can be no coercion or pressure involved.)

I had a very intense experience with my own ds when he was just a few months old where I *knew* that I was supposed to be his mom, and I knew also that he, even as an infant, *knew* that too.

I have enjoyed hearing how other people's religious beliefs, life experiences, etc have impacted their views on adoption. I think that our views on adoption, or on anything else in life, don't exist in a vacuum. My own spiritual beliefs definitely affect how I view adoption. I don't believe that our existence begins at conception. I believe that we existed before we were conceived, in a different realm, and that we had associations with each other and particularly with the people that we would be with here in this life. So because of this, I definitely don't believe that biology defines parenthood, or that it is the be-all, end-all of family relationships. I believe that all relationships began spiritually. At the same time, also I don't believe that biology is of no importance. I believe that God created the conditions of biology too, and that they are important, just not the overriding factor. I feel that even for parents who give birth, the relationships are inherently spiritual as well--it's not just an adoption thing

There is much more to my beliefs, but it would take all day to describe how I feel and how it relates to adoption.

I think the most important thing to remember is just to be open to the fact that our children might not experience or perceive adoption the same way that we do. I can do my best as a parent to share with my child the positive beliefs that I have, but if he or she struggles with it, then my job is to step back and support and love unconditionally and remember that while I can have the experience of being an adoptive parent, I cannot share my child's experience of being adopted, and I cannot define that experience for him or her.

I have appreciated Sitara sharing her thoughts, even though I take a different viewpoint with much of what she said. I'm glad that this discussion has been respectful--I've had my eyes opened.
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#72 of 152 Old 10-22-2005, 01:38 AM
 
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A warm, safe place doesn't equal a family. Knowing that you are important to someone. Knowing that you are loved no matter what. Permanency. I think kids need that. Same as toddlers need boundaries to feel safe as they navigate this big scary world for the first time... children need permanency. I think they WANT a mommy.[/QUOTE]


I agree with the above. Why does adoption = the above to you? Is it not possible to give someone permanency without falsifying birth certificates, and sealing records?
I have also stated, that if someone WANTS their name changed to someone they feel connected with then by all means let it happen, i'm not against it when someone wants it, but let it be their decision.

Of course people want a mommy, but that doesn't mean that anyone should be allowed to just pay money, and call themselves a mommy. These people have a mother. She may not have been a good one, but they do have one. She may not be in their life, but still, she exists, or existed.

That doesn't mean that someone else can be a motherly figure, and care for them, nurture, love and offer them permanence. i have ( believe it or not ) adoptive & foster parent friends who have done this exact thing. They are wonderful role models to the adoptive / foster parent community.

shoot, how do i quote twice? sorry guys if i mess this up...

[I]Either the child was placed for adoption willingly by the birth mother or the state terminated parental rights because of abuse or what have you.[/I]

There is so much coersion, overseas, and in the united states, I just want to throw that in too, that sometimes its not willingly. I don't have statistics, but i've heard it enough times, to know it happens.


dharma - i'm wondering if some foster children get it into their heads that adoption is the only answer because thats what is put there by the system. I mean, I had friends in the foster care system, who continually tried to go back to their mothers, they would run away from their new foster home, and just get taken away again. But i do know that some DO wholeheartedly want to be adopted. The difference being, they know who they are, know where they came from, know their original name, and won't have to pay thousands for a hope of being able to get their records.

I think, there is a big difference between older foster children adoption and infant adoption. But I would do my best to meet their needs as a foster parent.

I am a very spiritual person. This has been one of the hardest things for me to concept. i can't put a place on it, i think because I am so emotionally involved in the subject.

with that being said, i thank you all for listening to me, i can't do this though, a few months back i stopped posting on adoption boards, and then I made a post here, i get to emotionally involved, and it upsets me. I'm pregnant, due in 3 weeks, and bringing up these emotions right now...isn't that good for me.

thanks for listening and being respectful.
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#73 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 02:10 AM
 
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Sitara, I wish you a really calm and peaceful birth and a great recovery. Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sitara
There is so much coersion, overseas, and in the united states, I just want to throw that in too, that sometimes its not willingly. I don't have statistics, but i've heard it enough times, to know it happens.
I don't have any direct statistics either, but I'm sure you've all studied examples like the Magdalen Laundries. The statistic I do have, though, is that in 1972, the year my DH was born, 30,000 babies born of Irish mothers were adopted in the UK alone. That doesn't include the number of Irish babies adopted in Ireland or sent to the US, and there were a lot of babies going to the US still.

30 years later, in 2002, there were 11 children put up for adoption in Ireland. That's it.

What had happened in the interveneing years was a tremendous social change. Housing and welfare payments for single mothers, access to birth control (but not abortion), relief from the restrictive shame of illigitimate pregnancy, and a family-oriented foster system were the big changes.

To me, that says that most women would rather not part with their children. Given the resources, they will almost universally make the choice not to surrender their child for adoption.
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#74 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 09:37 AM
 
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Is/Has anyone else experienced this? When we decided to adopt we knew there would come a time when we would run into people who did not agree about adoption in general, we further tried to prepare ourselves for those that would be so against us adopting a child of a different race. It wasn't so much that we weren't comfortable with our decision we just wanted to be prepared on how to respond for when the child was older not to make them feel uncomfortable.

What we did not expect was the amount of criticism or comments on us adopting from a different country and not one from here in the US. It seems like everywhere we go people are asking us why not adopt from here or children in the US need good homes too. I genuinely understand on how they are curious as to how adoption works and are clueless on all the requirements and how they can vary from cuntry to country, when people are truly curious I don't mind answering their questions. Usually they start off by asking why adopt from Guatemala? I (briefly) explain about requirements or DH gets directly to the point and says because that is where our child is being born. Then I ask them why do they ask. Nine out of ten times its, "because there are still children here in the US that need good homes, you don't need to adopt a child from somewhere else."

By the time we leave I usually end up fuming. One time I had a complete stranger so appalled that we would "better" a child from a different country than ours, that I finally lost it and spoke my peace. I basically told her," how wonderful it must be to sit back and criticize others on something you yourself are refusing to do. If you feel that strongly that children here need help, what are you doing? How many darlings are you willing to take into your home and parent? Thats right, none, instead its easier for you to stand here and tell me which children I should help out first. All children deserve good homes, and unless you yourself are willing to take one in don't tell me where I should be deciding to adopt." I mean I COMPLETELY lost it. I felt terrible afterwards, but this lady in particular was just being so mean. This was all said in a Target by the way when we were waiting in line to ask a salesman a question in the baby department and she cut in because she was expecting (her words not mine) and therefore should get help right away.

I am appalled that people feel that it is wrong to adopt a child from a different country instead of your own. I know there must be better ways to handle these probing questions. I know I can always say something and walk away, but the devil comes out of me and I want them to realize why that line of thinking is wrong. Sorry for the vent, just curious how others handle it for next time.



Well, I feel sorry for you. That was awful. What gall, what nerve people have. I would not adopt here in the US and I will tell you why. The adoption laws favor the bioparents. They do not take into consideration the feelings and needs of the child NOR the adoptive parents. I will not adopt a child and then the biomom can just come a few years later and rip the child away from me like I am just a glorified babysitter. No freaking way.

I would not feel guilty about telling people to go get bent.
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#75 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 09:37 AM
 
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Hi Guys,

I haven't finished reading all the posts, but I just wanted to thank the anti-adoption folks for making me think without feeling attacked.

I am a gleefully happy adoptive mother of two amazing children who I love more than life itself. That said, I truly wish for humanity's sake that adoption was not necessary. I wish we lived in a world that that gave women more power over their own reproductive choices. I wish we lived in a world that supported poor families in a way that allowed them to care for their unplanned, but not unwanted, children. I wish we lived in a world where racism doesn't exist and where a mother of one race didn't have to fear her family's wrath if she got pregnant by a man of a different race/religion etc. These are things we need to work towards.

I wanted children. I've seen the orphanages. I don't think the children in those orphanages should have to wait while the powers that be decide on the global politics and economics that determine their lives. They will be waiting forever because the world is currently being run by war mongers and people of such staggeringly greedy natures that it beggars belief. I think it is better to be raised by a family than in an institution. I wish for Kazakh children's sake, more Kazakhs would adopt them, but there is a stigma in Kazakhstan against the CHILDREN (can you believe that?) as if it were their fault they were placed in a babyhouse. People there think they will all turn out to be thieves or prostitutes, no matter what. There needs to be a global shift in the way we care for families, and frankly, I think it is going to be a while before that happens.

Baby screaming, gotta go, be right back!
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#76 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 09:59 AM
 
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I will not adopt a child and then the biomom can just come a few years later and rip the child away from me like I am just a glorified babysitter.
This can not happen when an adoption is finalized, which is generally six months after the child comes to your home (but that does not mean that the birthparents have six months to change their minds). This can ONLY happen if the adoption has not been finalized, and that usually only happens if there are problems pretty much right from the start (for example, in the Baby Jessica case, the bio father never signed away his rights, and both the bio father and the adoptive parents hired lawyers and fought for the child, and it dragged out for over two years. My personal opinion is that the adoptive parents were in the wrong.). You hear about those cases precisely because they are the exception. If this type of thing happened every day, it wouldn't be news.

Namaste!
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OK, I'm back and dd is happily munching on banana bread while ds showers with dh.

OK, I have to say I have lost sleep over the idea that my children's birth mothers were coerced into placing them. But I wonder if they were because in Kazakhstan, there is no guarantee that relinquishing custody=adoption for the kids. I have also worried about the coruption that seems inherent in international adoption. Considering the cost to the families, it seems like very little of that money goes to the care of the kids.

I have worried deeply about being part of the problem. That my desire for children outwiehed my concern for the way the system work. That I am one of those people who got her kids first and NOW that they are home, can gfo ahead and try to help things get better. these are thoughts that kjeep me up at night. I am not looking for comforting words here. I am just acknowledging that I am aware that we may be part of the problem, not the solution.

Do I think that my children are better off with us than in the babyhouse. ABSOLUTELY!!!!! I worry about their feelings about adoption down the road, but mostly I just worry about the same stuff every parent worries about. Their health and happiness overall.

I guess the anti-adoption posts have made me think again about adoption. I still think it is a wonderful way to build a family, but I see and respect the opinions of those who don't and I am deeply grateful that they expressed their concerns her. I love the fact that this is a gentle, thoughtful and kind discussion.

I hope I have not offended anyone here. If I have please accept my apologies. I am proud to be part of this board .
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#78 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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This can not happen when an adoption is finalized, which is generally six months after the child comes to your home (but that does not mean that the birthparents have six months to change their minds). This can ONLY happen if the adoption has not been finalized, and that usually only happens if there are problems pretty much right from the start (for example, in the Baby Jessica case, the bio father never signed away his rights, and both the bio father and the adoptive parents hired lawyers and fought for the child, and it dragged out for over two years. My personal opinion is that the adoptive parents were in the wrong.). You hear about those cases precisely because they are the exception. If this type of thing happened every day, it wouldn't be news.

Namaste!
Believe it or not, I do agree about the baby Jessica case. The adoptive parents should have not taken the baby or should have given her back immediately.

But, it DOES happen. Recently we had a case here in FL where an adoption was finalized. The father could not be found. They looked and searched and placed ads in papers where he might be and contacted his family. They did it by the book. Months went by and no contact from him, so per the LAW, the adoption went through. A couple of years later he shows up and wants the kid. Never mind that he is of unsavory character, etc, and the poor child is with the ONLY mom he has ever known. No, he was given permission to rip this child away from the adoptive parents.

Now, tell me HOW does this benefit the child at 3 yrs old? I think, in this case, the biodad was selfish and immature. I hope the state of FL enjoys it when the kid is messed up later and is back in the system, due to their fault.

The adoptive parents in that case cannot appeal. It is like they never mattered. I find that personally sickening.

BTW~I am an adoptee. I knew my birth mom, as she was the sister of my adoptive mom. She is now deceased and I still, to this day, appreciate her unselfishness of making sure I had a home and a life that she was unable to provide for me.
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#79 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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Adoption laws need to change. Period. The welfare of the child and the adoptive parents should matter, along with the "rights" of the bio parents. However, adoptive parents are often treated like glorified baby sitters. That is wrong.
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#80 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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TinkerBelle, I can't help looking at these two comments side by side:

Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonttaylors
I still think it is a wonderful way to build a family, but I see and respect the opinions of those who don't and I am deeply grateful that they expressed their concerns her. I love the fact that this is a gentle, thoughtful and kind discussion.
vs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
Adoption laws need to change. Period. The welfare of the child and the adoptive parents should matter, along with the "rights" of the bio parents. However, adoptive parents are often treated like glorified baby sitters. That is wrong.
...which certainly is not respectful.

I couldn't agree more that adoption laws need to change. But I've been respectful about expressing my view that it needs to change to protect the rights of the natural mother and the rights of the child. I could have come in to this exchange saying "Birth mothers are often treated like unglorified baby delivery machines", but I don't think that's constructive.
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#81 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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TinkerBelle, I can't help looking at these two comments side by side:



vs.



...which certainly is not respectful.

I couldn't agree more that adoption laws need to change. But I've been respectful about expressing my view that it needs to change to protect the rights of the natural mother and the rights of the child. I could have come in to this exchange saying "Birth mothers are often treated like unglorified baby delivery machines", but I don't think that's constructive.


I see your point and I was not meaning to insult anyone. I understand there are instances where birth mothers have been forced to give up children. But, nowadays they are not. At least in the US. There is all kinds of help and resources for those wanting to keep children.

I just get my dander up in cases where the adoptive parent did nothing wrong, except adopt a child, and they are cut to the quick, as in my example in my post above.

You do not have to worry about the laws protecting the birth mothers and fathers: they already exist. Unless things have changed since the last time I looked, which has been awhile, birth parents have a whole year to take back their babies.

What I think should happen is not to place the babies with permnanent homes until the birth parent's time to make the final decision has been made and papers signed. That way, the birth parent gets to exercise their rights better and the adoptive parents do not get their hearts ripped out in the process.
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#82 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
birth parents have a whole year to take back their babies.
I have NEVER heard this. In many states, birthparents have as little as 72 hours to change their minds.

Quote:
What I think should happen is not to place the babies with permnanent homes until the birth parent's time to make the final decision has been made and papers signed.
This is not in the best interest of children. Assuming that kids go to only one foster home while waiting for the birthparents' right to reclaim their child expires, this would mean that the kids now have had three different families. That's not good for attachment.

Namaste!
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#83 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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I see your point and I was not meaning to insult anyone.
thank you

Quote:
I understand there are instances where birth mothers have been forced to give up children. But, nowadays they are not. At least in the US. There is all kinds of help and resources for those wanting to keep children.
I agree; I'm less concernd about domestic adoptions in the US, especially open adoptions. I'm still have concerns about international adoptions, where so many records are easily falsified, mothers can be culturally, financially and physically coerced, etc.

Just as a point of reference - in the UK, closed domestic adoptions are illegal. All domestic adoptions MUST be open adoptions. I'm a lot more comfortable with that, but while it's (for me) a desireable goal for international adoptions, I admit the implementation would be a complete nightmare.

Quote:
I just get my dander up in cases where the adoptive parent did nothing wrong, except adopt a child, and they are cut to the quick, as in my example in my post above.
Oh God, yes. I have tremendous sympathy for everyone in a situation like that. I agree that for the best interests of the child, those situations need to be avoided.

Quote:
What I think should happen is not to place the babies with permnanent homes until the birth parent's time to make the final decision has been made and papers signed. That way, the birth parent gets to exercise their rights better and the adoptive parents do not get their hearts ripped out in the process.
Well, if we're all agreed that the best interests of the child are first and foremost, then I myself would not be on board with that. Have you ever read The Primal Wound ? Six weeks seems to be a fairly critical transition point. If adoption is the best option for a given woman, and for a child, I'd prefer to see those placements take place as quickly as she can cope with. I completely recognise that that is my preference and an idealised scenario that can't be played out in every circumstance.

The truth is, I just don't think there are any solutions that work perfectly for everone. I'm also not sure how much more I contribute without getting into the nitty-gritty issues of adoption and I don't want to do that in a forum that exists to support adopting parents - I don't think that would be respectful.
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#84 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
I understand there are instances where birth mothers have been forced to give up children. But, nowadays they are not. At least in the US.
I don't agree with this at all. I think there are plenty of instances where young women/girls are pressured by their families to place their babies for adoption. Indeed, we saw that played out on national television when Barbara Walters did her "open adoption" show and the young girl, Jessica, wanted to keep her baby and her STEPFATHER said no.

In addition, although I know that open adoption is much, much better than closed adoption, I worry about birthmothers developing extremely close relationships with potential adoptive families before the baby is born and then feeling too much pressure and guilt to change their minds once the baby is born. I worry about birthmothers feeling obligated to give up their babies when a potential adoptive family has spent thousands of dollars on birthmother support and hospital bills.

Namaste!
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I think there are plenty of instances where young women/girls are pressured by their families to place their babies for adoption.
I agree. It definitely happens. The opposite is also true--women and girls can be pressured to parent babies that they don't feel prepared to parent. That is the one thing that would concern me about doing away with adoption.

Quote:
In addition, although I know that open adoption is much, much better than closed adoption, I worry about birthmothers developing extremely close relationships with potential adoptive families before the baby is born and then feeling too much pressure and guilt to change their minds once the baby is born.
I think this is possible too. Although I think that after birth, a mother's drive to remain with her baby is so strong that even this would be rare. I think a birth mom must generally *know* deep within herself that placing is the right thing to do in her situation, otherwise she would never ever have strength to do it. I have numerous friends who have pursued open adoptions and have had relationships with birthparents prior to the baby's birth, only to have the birth mother change her mind, which is her right.

In mentioning these examples, I am of course keeping in mind the need for a birth mother to *freely* choose adoption. The adoptive parents involved, the agency, her own family and friends--all of these people must tread extremely carefully and make sure that she is allowed to make and carry out her own decision.

With our son's birthmother, we didn't meet her or know her in any way until 3 weeks before her due date. Because she lived in another state and our contact was only through letters, I don't think our relationship was close enough that it would have influenced her decision. With the birthmother we just finished working with, our relationship was extremely close. She was a member of our son's birthfamily and we knew her prior to her asking us to adopt her baby. Our relationship was far more open and more intense than it was in the case of our son. But this young woman still had the courage to tell us that she felt she should choose a different family. I can only hope that it was in part because we were careful to never infringe on her choices. But I also know from what she has told us that she knew in her heart she would never have the strength to place her baby unless she was totally certain it was the right family.
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#86 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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" Unless things have changed since the last time I looked, which has been awhile, birth parents have a whole year to take back their babies."

Agreeing with Dharmamama--I don't know of any state where this is the case. In my state, once her rights are terminated, the decision is irrevocable. In the state from which our ds was adopted, his birth mom had 30 days to change her mind, and that is one of the longer time periods that I've heard about.

"What I think should happen is not to place the babies with permnanent homes until the birth parent's time to make the final decision has been made and papers signed. "

I'm not sure this is in the best interests of babies either. As an adoptive parent, I'm willing to take the risk of getting hurt, but when my ds's birthmom had 30 days to change her mind and his birthfather's rights weren't terminated until he was 3 months old, I still didn't want this little baby to have to be in foster care. I wanted to get him home and get the attachment process started as quickly as possible. I was willing to take the legal and emotional risk. The risk of getting hurt is just part of adoption. In saying that, I don't minimize how much it can hurt. I've just been through a failed adoption, and I have friends who have been through some that were far more traumatic than mine. But I recognize and accept the risk. I think if adoptive parents do their best to make ethically and morally sound decisions, know their legal rights and the birth parents legal rights and respect them, then in virtually all cases the outcome will be alright. Of course there are a very few cases in which this doesn't happen, but I don't spend time worrying about that. If it happened, I would deal with it. It's not something I worry about, though, because I know that I haven't tried to shove aside anybody else's rights or to sneak around the legal system.
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#87 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Well, I will definitely check into the adoption laws, but I do know that about 6 yrs ago, FL did have a law that gave birth mothers up to a year to change their minds.
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#88 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 07:21 PM
 
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I decided to delete my former post because I am not going to go round and round on this issue.

God bless moms who gave life to babies and then gave the most special gift to a mom who might not have been able to have her own children. God bless adoptive parents as well.

Last but definitely not least, God bless the children.
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#89 of 152 Old 10-23-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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I don't think you should have to defend yourself against criticism of any kind. It really is none of their business what your decisions or reasons are. Some people are just so rude!
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#90 of 152 Old 10-24-2005, 02:12 AM
 
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I have been reading this thread with great interest and a lot of respect for everyone involved. Warning, this is long. I have been trying to put my thoughts together on this for a while, and there is a lot on my mind.

Having foster parented for the last several years, I have seen this issue from a number of different perspectives.

The first child I foster parented was fifteen years old. His parents had seven children, and he was in the middle. Due to severe abuse and neglect that started in-utero (it is very likely his birth mother was drinking alcohol throughout her pregnancies), he was finally after five torturous years, removed from his parents' home along with the rest of his siblings. He suffered through another six years of intense effort by the state to reunite his family. During that time he was bounced around from home to home (by the time he came to live with us at 15, we were his twenty-third home), while the process dragged on and his parents were offered services and visitations to which they often didn't show. Preparing for visitations and then living through the betrayal of parents who didn't show was among many facets of his trauma. In the end, his parents simply did not have the ability to parent without abusing their children at least in the timeframe of his childhood, for whatever very tragic reason, and when he was eleven years old, his parents' rights were terminated.

That legal event was but a footprint of a very, very profound loss that had been occurring for him for years. That marker, that legal event, did have one positive effect. Rather than having parents in and out of his life (more out than in), making promises to get him back-- promises they must have known on some level they wouldn't keep-- handing him their own dramas and giving him their adult issues, even blaming him for his getting taken into foster care...because they had a legal right to access him, to come in and out of his life...he finally was able to have "birth parents." He could be told that his parents weren't able to parent him, that they tried but couldn't learn how to parent, that they just didn't have the ability. He could be told the honest-to-goodness truth. And he had the opportunity to free himself-- as much as humanly possible (which is never entirely)-- from what proved to be the fantasy that somehow they would get it together and make it work and give him the life he dreamed of, so that he could begin grieving his whole loss.

His parents had made themselves utterly unavailable, starting before their parental rights were terminated, but we tried to give him what information we could and sought as many more answers (and photos) as we could through connections that we did have. We encouraged him to put up the two pictures he had of his mother around the house, when he talked about wanting to. We were honest with him and compassionate toward his parents, who I have no doubt loved him despite their inability to gain the skills to parent safely and to engage in treatment. At one point we went with him to his childhood town for a court hearing to review his case plan. We had lunch in town and he told us about what he could remember. We listened and were there for him to hear his grief. He cried hard afterward, on the way home, moaning for his mommy. Telling us how badly he wanted her. His pain wasn't from the termination of parental rights. His pain was there long before his parental rights had been terminated. I know this wasn't his first time crying on the way back from his hometown. He talked about crying himself to sleep for as long as he could remember, from as early as five or six.

His pain was from his mother not having the ability to parent him. His pain was from wanting her so badly and knowing that she would never make herself available to him because after all these years she hadn't. His pain was from the fact that for years he was in the foster care system, sometimes in abusive group homes, and no one-- not his parents of birth, not other biological family members, not adoptive parents-- came to save him.

It seems to me that termination of parental rights, in foster care, at least, is often the humane thing to do in a tragic and sad situation. As foster parents, we have become accustomed to what happens when termination doesn't happen for years even when it is inevitable: which is the ongoing, painful, constant "rejection" a child feels when the parents hang on tooth and nail to rights that they are only willing or able to access without commitment to the longterm. That the parents have the right to visits, but can choose to show up or not. Can make the effort to show up or not. Can be successful or unsucessful at showing up. And still the child thinks, "if they love me, they will show up." And each time the parent doesn't show up, doesn't follow through with services offered to them, etc. etc., the child's sense of self is diminished. Sometimes biological connection doesn't empower a child to develop a sense of self. It only is a wounding to their sense of self.

When this child was placed in our home, we made the agreement to be a permanent placement for him. The therapeutic foster care agency he was in at that time did not do adoption, though we asked and would have been open to it. We knew that our "permanent placement" commitment extended through his lifetime, and we accepted that he would need assisted living services and our constant support and advocacy even in adulthood. We were a family. We bonded in our relationships. We cared for one another. We functioned in every way as a family does. No, we weren't his birth family, and never did we think of ourselves as replacements of his birth parents. He called his birth parents "mom" and "dad" and he also called us moms. The human heart does not have a finite ability to love and experience family. His concept of family included the parents who had given him life biologically and raised him (to the extent they were capable) for his first five years. He has much love for them, and a great sense of pride in many things he remembers about them. He bonded with them, even as they abused him, and they will always be two of the most important people in his life, if not the most important people. It also included us, who had accepted him as our child, and who he was in the process of accepting as "adoptive" parents. Was it "picture perfect." No! No family is picture perfect.

He did crave adoption, and I don't think it was just because foster children are "conditioned" to think of adoption as "the answer." I think having a family, having parents, is a very primal, human need. It is why children, including infants, can attach to-- even through their grief-- any person who becomes their primary caregiver so long as they don't develop an attachment disorder waiting for that person. In our society, for good or bad, there is a legal aspect to being family, and even kids "get this." That legal commitment, that "sealing of the deal of forever" seemed important to our first dfs. I really don't think a legal guardianship would have satisfied. Because it is not equivilant-- in terms of legalities and social aspects-- to other families who happen to be birth families, whereas adoption is. Of course, there is always an emotional difference to being adopted vs. being raised in ones birth family. But legal guardianship creates other differences too.

His extended biological family members, during his ten years of foster care, were not willing to raise him. His paternal grandmother and grandfather at one point stepped forward (he was about 13 I think). Now I have to say here that I do think sometimes even if biological family members are willing, sometimes they carry the underlying patterns that caused the abuse within the family in the first place. So I don't think that biological family placements are always healthy. And I do think that children can have very meaningful ties with biological family without being raised by a bio family member. Parenting a child isn't the only way to have a connection with them. And with his paternal family, I believe that to be the case. That it wasn't a healthy environment. But despite great reservations, the state put in immense efforts to make it work, to try to have biological family member raise him. And ultimately, his grandparents rejected him and denied the placement because of something about who he was. I still wonder why he had to go through with that. Why bio family members are allowed to carry so much weight that they do that to children, when there are other legitimate ways they can be involved.

Anyway, after almost a year of being with us, dfs started to really attach to us. He became very stable. His behavior, which had at times been totally out of control, calmed down immeasurably. He was doing beautifully in school and actually enjoying himself. He was involved in extra curricular activities that he enjoyed, and found a community for himself in our neighborhood and church. Stability is a very frightening thing to a child who has never had it. Our dfs was used to moving from family to family, never calling one his own for too long. He had several years when he moved multiple times during the year (remember, during just ten years in foster care, he moved from family to family twenty-three times).

So one day, he just decided he needed to move. I know in the intimate way that I came to bond with this child, that he was just scared of standing still and being loved by a family for too long. He told the director of the agency that he wanted to move, and the director came to the decision three weeks later that he needed to "have a voice" in the system and that this was the way to give him a voice. Nevermind that he was severely developmentally delayed, with a developmental level ranging from three to eleven, depending on the area of development and his level of stress. On "average" he was maybe 7 or 8 developmentally. This is a big philosophical stand that I take here: I don't think kids are developmentally capable, or should be allowed, to choose their parents at 7 or 8 years old (or an infant or any child). I think there are other developmentally appropriate ways to give kids a voice in the system. Ultimately, this is one major reason we left that agency.

Since that time, we have foster parented many other children on a temporary basis. I've learned how wonderful it can be for a child to live with their bio parents when it can be done safely...when services can be provided over the longterm (which takes a lot of state resources but is worth it in my opinion), and parents are willing and able to engage in those services. And I think those kids do have a right to be parented by their bio parents, if the bio parents are willing to parent in all the meanings of the word. Even when there are imperfections. Even when the child might suffer some limitations as a result. For instance, we parented one child on a very short term basis who loved her mother beyond words and whose mother loved her. Her mother was slightly developmentally delayed and had multiple mental health issues and did some damaging things that wouldn't warrant removal of the child-- such as telling an entire roomfull of parents and students in her child's school class during back-to-school night that her daughter sometimes poops in her pants-- but that would certainly cause ill-effects because of their repitition overtime.

I've learned that when children successfully bond with their parents as babies, which they usually can do in spite of abuse but often don't do when there is neglect, that bond is lifelong. And even if their parents do horrible things to them, the children will love them fiercly because they have made that bond.

I've also learned that in-utero bonding is not the be-all-end-all, and I believe theories about such bonding have validity to some point but after that point become almost mystical, as I've heard people describe it. Because I've parented children who just never bonded with their birth parents at all, in cases of very severe neglect, and the nine months in the womb really didn't change that. In fact, a while back I had been looking at The Primal Wound, which one of you mentioned, and read this in an Amazon review and it has stuck with me since, so I went and hunted it down now: "I, and I imagine many other adoptees, feel that the wounds inflicted by spending my first 9 months in the body of an unwilling host finally began to heal in the loving arms of my adoptive parents. More time with my overburdened biological parents may have damaged me beyond repair." I have seen that. I have seen severe neglect in which the children have never bonded until being placed in a permanent home. I have seen severe neglect that caused an inability to bond. I have seen severe neglect that caused brain damage.

I've learned to have a lot of respect for the grief caused by the loss of a parent, even when it is in the child's and sometimes the parent's best interest to change the child-parent diad into a non-parenting diad.

Now, we currently have a baby in our home who we are fostering and hoping to adopt. His parents can't take care of themselves, due to mental retardation, and he would suffer terrible abuse and neglect in his parents custody. I am thankful they didn't have the opportunity to do any of this to him (other than when his mother, in the time she would visit him just in the NICU just after his birth, when she was confused and held him upside down and didn't support his head and let it flop all around and even rested it on the arm of the rocking chair) and that we got dfs straight from the hospital before he could have suffered from abuse and neglect. His mother did parent dfs's older brother for his first two years, and even though it was in the home of her parents, she was able to cause incredible damage to this dear boy's brain (not to mention his emotional state). I also don't think she ever bonded with dfs. She is offered three two-hour visitations during the week. In his six months of life, she has come to a total of three visits (late I might add). During these visits, she would hold him for a moment and then pass him off and start chit-chatting with others in the room, and she would keep it up for the entire length of the visitation. She doesn't show any signs of attachment to him at all. The only reason she ever gets interested in him is when she is playing mental games with his dad.

His maternal extended family is not able and willing to parent him, and they support our adoption plans. His paternal family seems like they might support our adoption plans. If they were to try to seek custody, I think this *may* be worse for him than adoption, even if they could slip by in a homestudy. They are a violent family, to the extent that the police and courts are involved in their lives. And if they are violent as is, I can't imagine what having a baby in the house, with all the stress that accompanies that, would do. Their family legacy of dysfunction, from what I have heard, spans through generations.

We want to honor any grief that our dfs may experience as the result of his early loss. From our first days with him, we would whisper to him how sorry we were that he wasn't able to be with his "Mommy *******." We talk with him about his bio family, we keep in touch with his bio family members and intend for any adoption (if we are so blessed) be an open one. We want to keep photos of bio family out for him (we need them), even though he is too small to really appreciate them. We plan to be open and honest to him about his family, both bio and adoptive, and his life story. We believe that adoption is a beautiful thing, but that it also will represent a very real loss our dfs experienced early in his life.

I also want to say that no one will be financially profiting from his adoption. If we get to adopt, the state will pay an attorneys fees (actually, we pay it and then get reimbursed). In order to practice law, the attorney must charge for his/her services so that they can make a living, feed and cloth themselves and their families, and afford to practice law. The fee is relatively small, around $1000, which includes many hours of working on putting together the paperwork and attending court. Adoption hasn't simply developed for economic purposes because it exists even in the absence of profit.

I agree with an above poster that all parents have children for selfish reasons. That parents, if they have children, ultimately have them because they want them (even when that desire is a generous desire, such as "to share the love we have"). But I also think that dfs needs parents just as we need to parent. Those are basic human urges (and perhaps needs), that are primal and on a gut level. And we both have a right to have those things. dfs isn't an object that acheives our dreams, though we are grateful for the opportunity to raise a child through adoption. Adoption is a process of mutual fulfillment of human needs.

I realize that my experience is very specifically related to foster care, which may be considered in a different light than private adoption. However, I really relate to the poster earlier who spoke of a connection between a birth family and adoptive family that can happen in a voluntary adoption. Mothers don't always decide that adoption is best because of reasons that could simply be "fixed" if they had enough of this resource or that resource. I certainly think that more support for birth parents is wonderful, and when they can and are willing to parent, that support can offer the birth family the beautiful experience of remaining intact. Sometimes it is about money or having family support or whatever. But sometimes there are other reasons entirely.

One of the people who has influenced me most deeply has been a birth mother. She works at the infertility clinic I have gone to. After our baby dfs was placed into our home, she was so incredibly supportive and happy for us, and we got to talking and she shared with me the story of when she got pregnant as a teen and just felt in her heart of hearts that it wasn't her time to parent. It couldn't be pinned down to any one reason. It just was. She couldn't bring herself to parent. She just didn't have it in her, and neither did the baby's father. And then she met this couple who wanted to adopt, and she was struck immediately by this intense, spiritual, gut-level sense that these were her child's parents. And they connected right away. Not to say that it wasn't hard, to make that decision. But she knew, even through the tears and grief, that adoption was the right decision at that time. Now, many years later, she has given birth to another child and felt that it was her time. Still, she maintains a relationship with her first son, who even spends the night at her house sometimes. She loves her children both dearly, and it was her love for her first child that brought her to that incredibly difficult decision to choose an adoptive family for him.

I guess in summary, I feel that adoption has its time and place. And I feel that adoption isn't really the loss in a lot of cases. In a lot of cases, the loss is the birth parent not being a parent. And that loss can happen whether or not the birth parent retains their rights or even tries to parent when they are not able. But I also think the grief is real and should be honored.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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