Would you fost/adopt? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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About four years ago, before I got pregnant, and then again, last year, I contacted my local Department of Human Services, adoption unit, asking specifically about foster/adopt infants/toddlers.....After many phone calls, each time, I got no where.....The dimwitted people I spoke to seemed to not understand what I was asking. They just kept repeating, "the goal of foster care is reunification, so if you want to adopt, you need to look at one of our older-child adoption programs...." All I could conclude is that they didn't have a "foster/adopt" program with babies (under 3) available. This is a large city, too. I really don't understand it. I know there are lots of infants in this city who will never be reunited. I guess they just stay in the foster system till they are preschoolers, and then they might be adopted. I'm pretty phone savvy, and I should have been able to get somewhere, but I was stopped at the gate. I ended up having a bio child, and I am now waiting to travel to pick up a my new daughter, a toddler in China.
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#32 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BCFD, I debated wether or not to post this. You and I have spoken many times before so I'm hoping you realize what I am saying comes across in a non snarky manner. But I really feel like you are being a little pushy. I'm all for advocating, but nit picking details out of posters post on such a personal manner is different. When you quote things and say "always" "never" and then a few sentences later say "usually" "most cases" there is a big difference. I find you a wealth of information on the topic but you can't expect everyone to want to foster adopt. I hope you understand where I am coming from. Fostering is not a perfect system, nor is any other program out there, so before telling people "always" I just think you need to step back and realize there is no "always".

Again I hope you understand I just wanted to chime in now so that more people could share their reasons and not hesitate to post for fear of being quoted and corrected.
:::sigh:::: I was just waiting for a post like this. : From my experience there are some "always"'s and there are some "usually"'s. This topic is absolutely *NOT* about expecting people to fost/adopt. Are you kidding me??? I can assure you and I agree with you that fostering is not a perfect system!! Not by any means!! But I feel that I have the opportunity in this thread to try to educate some families who don't know much about this system. Starr, you don't know me personally, so you really don't know much about me. Yes, I am a *HUGE* advocate for fost/adopt. And I have helped several families (friends) to navigate the fost/adopt system in our county and they now have beautiful children of their own. Nothing makes me happier!! How is this any different than, say, what a lacitivist does??? I try to educate and help other families to understand that they can do fost/adopt if they are educated about the process. Bottom line is that I am hearing a lot of people here thinking there "are a trillion classes" and that "babies aren't available". It's not true...and I'm here to share my experiences with these wonderful mamas.

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#33 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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We definitely plan to adopt out of the foster care system later on. Right now our bio kids are still very young. We may wait until our current two children are teens. I think we wanted to adopt much older kids but we're not sure. Anyway, yeah, we'll see what happens.

My dream would be to adopt a bunch of teenagers that "nobody wanted" as they say, but in reality I wonder if I could really keep track of that many kids and that many raging hormones and tender hearts. Money won't be an issue, space won't be an issue, but our family's mental and emotional wellbeing will be an issue. We'll see what happens.

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#34 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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Without getting into a huge debate, or repeating previous posts, I will say that the situation in the county and state where I live is nothing like what BCFD describes. It just isn't. (I know this from personal contacts with the county, from friends, and from working with a statewide child advocacy organization as an advocate for foster care reform.) There is no secret pool of healthy, adoptable infants and young children in my state. Really.

State and county child welfare policies do differ dramatically depending on where you live.
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#35 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Without getting into a huge debate, or repeating previous posts, I will say that the situation in the county and state where I live is nothing like what BCFD describes. It just isn't. (I know this from personal contacts with the county, from friends, and from working with a statewide child advocacy organization as an advocate for foster care reform.) There is no secret pool of healthy, adoptable infants and young children in my state. Really.

State and county child welfare policies do differ dramatically depending on where you live.
Yeah, definitely no secret pool of healthy infants.

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#36 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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Yes, I am a *HUGE* advocate for fost/adopt. And I have helped several families (friends) to navigate the fost/adopt system in our county and they now have beautiful children of their own. Nothing makes me happier!! How is this any different than, say, what a lacitivist does???

It is no different, and maybe that is part of the problem...

I want to help foster children too, but I would not encourage anyone to adopt a child who has been exposed to drugs unless they knew in their heart that they were 100% ready for the challenges that come with drug exposure. I felt that I was 100% ready, and I feel so inadequate in parenting my daughter. Parenting a drug exposed child is so hard. So maybe I am a sellout, but I don't advocate for foster to adopt that way.
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#37 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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While I would love to believe that parenting style can handle any learning disability and things like ADD and ADHD, etc. I think there are some families that are dealing with such things (who are VERY AP) who would definitely disagree.

I think it's great that people are willing to take on parenting babies exposed to drugs (and lets face it in private adoption, this can be the case as well and we don't always know) But I think it's a bit different for someone with very small children to speak to this vs someone who has older children that they have raised from babies.

I do think it's hard sometimes to realize that things can be sooooooo vastly different in different areas...even within the same state. I know I have a gf who did foster and foster/adopt for many years. They moved between two states and things were so greatly different. Then they moved within the same state but to a different county and it was even more different than how the 2 different states were. I was blown away by how different it all was.

I can certainly imagine that there is some weeding out that goes on also.

I just think it's important to realize that different people have different experiences and respect that it's not the same for everyone or every place.
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#38 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
It is no different, and maybe that is part of the problem...

I want to help foster children too, but I would not encourage anyone to adopt a child who has been exposed to drugs unless they knew in their heart that they were 100% ready for the challenges that come with drug exposure. I felt that I was 100% ready, and I feel so inadequate in parenting my daughter. Parenting a drug exposed child is so hard. So maybe I am a sellout, but I don't advocate for foster to adopt that way.
I have to 1000% (yes ONE THOUSAND percent) disagree with this statement. I don't usually share my children's stories on online forums, but I can tell you right now that this statement couldn't be farther from the truth. Two of my children were drug exposed and show absolutely *NO* signs of it. They have been evaluated extensively by the MIND Institute and another highly regarded infant development clinic. They actually test just over the average and into the above agerage range. One of my children was a 33 week preemie and she shows some effects of prematurity, but nothing that can't be worked out with a little PT.

Yet another misconception about drug exposed infants. I believe that there are a lot of heavily exposed infants that do have issues. But not EVERY drug exposed baby is going to have issues. And not EVERY baby was heavily exposed to drugs. None of my children ever showed one sign of drug exposure...even hours after their birth. Maybe we are the exception to the rule (but THREE TIMES???) and I'm sure I'll be debated on this one, too.

I think making a statement like "parenting a drug exposed child is hard" is just not a true statement overall. Parenting any special needs child is hard and adopting through a private domestic agency or international does not guarantee you that your child won't have fetal alcohol syndrome (something I hear is huge in Russia) or have ADD. Even parenting a biological child can't guarantee you a healthy child.

ETA: I also wanted to send some hugs your way, Pumpkingirl. ((((HUGS))))

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#39 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
It is no different, and maybe that is part of the problem...

I want to help foster children too, but I would not encourage anyone to adopt a child who has been exposed to drugs unless they knew in their heart that they were 100% ready for the challenges that come with drug exposure. I felt that I was 100% ready, and I feel so inadequate in parenting my daughter. Parenting a drug exposed child is so hard. So maybe I am a sellout, but I don't advocate for foster to adopt that way.
awww - hugs to you mama!

I have so many concerns about this. I think many of us want to feel that we can take this on. And I see lots of adoptive parents who do take it on and talk about how the baby is so advanced and doing so well and all sorts of things. Which is great! But the truth is that so often so much of it all doesn't show up for many years down the road.

You aren't a sell out. You are living the reality of it and sharing your experiences. I think it's really good for us all to have our eyes open on these things. And the truth is I have to wonder how much we do have our eyes open. No matter how many classes, conversations, books, etc....it's just not the same of day to day life.
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#40 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just think it's important to realize that different people have different experiences and respect that it's not the same for everyone or every place.
I totally agree with this statement. I didn't start this thread to have a fost/adopt vs. agency/international debate. I am just hearing some things discussed that I'd like to chime in on with my own personal experiences (i.e. availability of infants and drug exposure). My experience with the fost/adopt system does not mean that I'm pushing it on anybody else. If you don't want to hear a different and more positive side of the story, then I guess I can stop posting.

::sigh::: Why is this forum and this thread turning into something so ugly? Maybe I should stick to the more mainstream boards. :

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#41 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But the truth is that so often so much of it all doesn't show up for many years down the road.
Or it simply doesn't. Drug exposure does not always = issues.

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#42 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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See now I think your story is awesome. As I said in one of my posts it has prompted me to take a 2nd look at the foster/adopt program.

I'm just guessing here...can't really speak for the others....I think maybe it's a bit in your approach. I know you are so jazzed about fost/adopt and it's been such a great experience for you. It sounds like some feel like in your zealousness (word?) you are denying, invalidating, or argumentative about their experiences. I think what happens is that sometimes the value of the message gets lost in the approach.

I also think that like with anything, we are usually going to hear more negative stories than positive. People tend to speak out, look for support (message boards, email lists, etc) more when they are struggling than when everything is going very easy. It can just be so skewed and not very representational. I say this about just about anything...certainly about adoption in general.

I think it's important for people to know the negatives AND the positives.

I don't know that this board or this thread is getting ugly. I do think that these forums in particular happen to have many outspoken women on them, who are willing to speak up about their thoughts and discuss things. I've always thought that was a good thing. I find it challenging at times, which can be something that can encourage growth.
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#43 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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From what we understand, most FFA (foster family agencies) are subcontractors for the state or county. We started out with the county and about two weeks later discovered an agency that we loved. Even the SW at the agency told us to stick with straight county adoption....especially if we wanted a newborn. The county/state obviously has a bigger "pool" of children to place.

This isnt a good option where i live...even the advice i got from the state exchange (who was recommending various agencies to me who might be better than mine)suggested i stay away from my county's DHS. In my county, if you call DHS wanting to adopt or foster, they tell you to find a private agency. They mostly seem to handle relative/kinship fostering and adoption, and even then they send those relatives to the private agencies for training (the private agency then sends them back for the homestudy)...they dont have enough staff to do it.


Its also my understanding (but not totally certain) that an infant *may* not qualify for the types of subsidies/medicaid/etc that older kids in the system get. When i went for an orientation for an agency once, they talked about how hard it was to get a younger child straight adoption since fosters usually adopt those kids, but that they recently had a two yr old that a foster family had since birth, but they wouldnt or couldnt adopt w/o subsidy, so the agency took the child and placed with a straight adopt family "and their dreams came true" (i kinda felt bad for the kid though...i thought the original purpose of subsidy was to allow foster parents to adopt their kids.) I'm not sure if this is a typical situation or what.

Katherine

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#44 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, well I'm not a poet. Or a writer. Maybe I don't stop and spend three hours on every post or read and re-read to make sure my words are up to everybody's standards. I'm talking from my heart. Sorry my approach was so off base. Maybe I just don't belong here.

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#45 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This isnt a good option where i live...even the advice i got from the state exchange (who was recommending various agencies to me who might be better than mine)suggested i stay away from my county's DHS. In my county, if you call DHS wanting to adopt or foster, they tell you to find a private agency. They mostly seem to handle relative/kinship fostering and adoption, and even then they send those relatives to the private agencies for training (the private agency then sends them back for the homestudy)...they dont have enough staff to do it.


Its also my understanding (but not totally certain) that an infant *may* not qualify for the types of subsidies/medicaid/etc that older kids in the system get. When i went for an orientation for an agency once, they talked about how hard it was to get a younger child straight adoption since fosters usually adopt those kids, but that they recently had a two yr old that a foster family had since birth, but they wouldnt or couldnt adopt w/o subsidy, so the agency took the child and placed with a straight adopt family "and their dreams came true" (i kinda felt bad for the kid though...i thought the original purpose of subsidy was to allow foster parents to adopt their kids.) I'm not sure if this is a typical situation or what.

Katherine
Katherine, we are going through a different county for DD#3 than we did with our first two adoptions. In fact, they don't have an "adoptions" department and you can not adopt directly through this county. They have state (not county!) workers who do handle county adoptions if one should appear. Friends of ours live in this county and wanted to fost/adopt, but their only choice is to use an FFA. This county is the next county over from the previous county we adopted from. Yes, all counties and states have different "rules". But again, I can't believe that Sac County is the only county that works this way. If I didn't have 3 young babies I would devote my time in researching this because now I'm extremely curious.

As for the subsidy, in the county in which I lived (and have adopted twice) all foster children get this subsidy. They *all* qualify. Being a foster child *IS* considered special needs. The min. $ is $425. For children with special needs it can be as much as $XXXX (four figures). I know for certain that $1000/month is not rare. This is what we receive for our preemie with reflux. Preemie's are special needs. Reflux/breathing issues are special needs. For severe special needs children, I'm guessing $2500? More? It just depends on the individual circumstance of that particular child. FFA's pay more. Their min. $ can be $650 or it can be $475. Again, depends on what FFA you are fostering through. Once the child is adopted, the FFA continues but drops to the county min. $ of $425. That stays with the adopted child until they are 18 years old. Again, that's just California (and maybe Sac County in particular). If you google "foster care rates" or "AAP rates" you will find charts for every state. We didn't do it for the money, but imagine to our surprise when they told us that our children qualified for these subsidies half way through the PRIDE program!

Also, CA passed a law for AAP payments until the adopted child is 18 because some foster parents wouldn't even consider permanent placement (adoption!) due to the fact that they couldn't afford those subsidy payments to go away. So, now you can provide a permanent home PLUS the child continues to receive a min of $425/month until they are 18 y.o.

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#46 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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I think that this is part of the total misconception about fost/adopt. Nowhere near a "trillion" classes. The classes were 8 weeks (1x per week), we had to take CPR on a Saturday afternoon (which everybody should do anyway!), and I think there was also an 8 hour cultural competency class we had to take. Oh, and a foster care regulation class. We had a TB test and a note from our docs saying we were healthy (there wasn't even a physical involved! Just blood pressure, temperature, looking in our throat! LOL!! It was a joke). We were fingerprinted. We had a homestudy (everybody has to do this regardless) and it took us 9 months almost to the day to be placed with our first daughter. .
In MI we don't even have to do that much. The process to adopt and to foster are basically the same (same classes) *but we do not have an official foster-to-adopt program here and that term is not used* You also do not need a foster license to adopt in the state of MI, this varies between states. You only get a foster license if you actually want to foster. If you don't want them to call you with foster children who may or may not go back, there really isnt a point to getting the license as then you have to keep up on training. To adopt, you need the initial training class which i think is around 12 hours. (with my first agency it was two consecutive saturdays for a longer period of time, with this new agency is was four thursdays for a shorter period of time.) Thats it on the classes---as a FP i will need to take additional classes throughout the year after i get my license, but there are also online classes you can take that qualify. To adopt, i needed to get a physical form filled out by a dr., and get a TB test. I needed to get a local police clearance and they did a state clearance, but we do not have to get fingerprinted in MI. I needed to have three people fill out very short reference forms and then i turned those into the agency. My employer filled out a very short proof of employment, and then i also filled out a financial form that listed stuff like rent, utilities, etc. The worker came out once to talk to me for an hour, measured the bedrooms, and then came out a second time basically so she could say she did. That was it. It was SUPER easy....i expect the foster homestudy to be basically the same(with perhaps more attention paid to first aid kit, locking up cleaning supplies, etc.)

So no...the classes arent hard, or too time consuming, and if someone is new to the issues faced by foster children, they can be pretty informative.


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#47 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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BCFD! We all belong here and I think it's clear that you speak from your heart and from your own personal experiences. Thank you for sharing and bringing up the topic of foster/adopt.

Peace
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#48 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BCFD! We all belong here and I think it's clear that you speak from your heart and from your own personal experiences. Thank you for sharing and bringing up the topic of foster/adopt.

Peace
Thanks Candy. I sometimes leave this online community in tears because mom's are so harsh to each other here. I have never encountered this before, and honestly some of the judgemental opinions really gnaw at me. Sometimes it makes me angry, but there are times when I log off so incredibly sad. :

I honestly thought that my positive experiences and knowledge of the fost/adopt system would actually help other mom's. I started this thread in hopes to hear why or why not people would fost/adopt. I thought it would open a discussion. Instead, I just feel like I'm being told to keep my mouth shut.

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#49 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Or it simply doesn't. Drug exposure does not always = issues.
yep that's true

I think what you are coming up against though is that there are many out there who have experienced when it does. I think it's very easy for those of us with young drug exposed children (who maybe have been tested and all sorts of things) to say it's a certain way. But I also think it's important for us to realize that it can be very different years down the road. Hopefully it won't be...hopefully what we have learned about our children will hold true. It may or may not. The truth is that there is still little known about much of it.

Everyone has their own limitations. Some of us feel like you never really know what you are going to get really whether it's private/public domestic/international. And some of us are very clear that there may be no history of drug exposure known and children test clean, but that doesn't mean they won't end up with "drug" issues down the road. Others feel differently. It doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong.

I look at it and don't think it's very different if you are able to get a hospital call through fost/adopt vs adoption through other routes. There are risks we take. That's my personal take on it, based on my experiences. But I do know that others feel very differently about it all.

Plus so many have expressed that they just dont have the options of infants in their areas. It's hard to say how it is. I just think we have to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that they know of what they speak of even if their experiences are very different than our own.
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#50 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Ok, well I'm not a poet. Or a writer. Maybe I don't stop and spend three hours on every post or read and re-read to make sure my words are up to everybody's standards. I'm talking from my heart. Sorry my approach was so off base. Maybe I just don't belong here.
I hope i am not coming off argumentative to you...if i were in CA, i would TOTALLY want to do what you have done. Indeed, your experience that you have posted here is something i've kept in the back of my mind and helped me choose to go the fostering route, rather than give up completely and perhaps just plan on getting pg in the future. So if i seem to be countering every point of yours, i think its coming from a place in my heart that is just so discouraged right now. I never ever ever expected my adoption experience to turn out like this.

I wanted to adopt since i was a young girl....moreso than giving birth. I developed in interest in midwifery, bfing, etc so i did end up having my son but the desire to adopt never left. I would look at all the photolistings and see all the "waiting" kids and think " i could provide a home for this child"...i took FP training a couple of times when my son was younger, but things didnt work out for various reasons. When i finally got all set up (perfect apt perfect work schedule perfect time)to adopt, i found out that because i was being paid "under the table" (i take care of my mom), it might not work out. So my plans were put on hold again, for a year, until my income was set up to be declared legally, i filed taxes, etc. I was ready. I went to a couple of agency's orientations, but my current agency impressed me with their training. They seemed welcoming, they seemed like a big family. Everyone was encouraging me to foster, so i knew what the kids were like before i committed. I read a TON of books on older child adoption to the point that i was a little scared. I was going to foster (how i wish i would have)...but the director of fostering said "If your heart is for adoption, you should adopt not foster because the goal of fostering is almost always RU"...so i said ok. The homestudy process was SUPER easy. I remember the day that i was told i was approved, i felt just like i did when i had found out i was pg....i couldnt wait to discover who my new child would be. I couldnt wait to inquire on all those kids all across the US whom i had seen on photolistings. I thought (in July)we'd have a child by September. Then Christmas. Then Spring.

It didnt work out that way. At first, i was super organized, motivated, excited...i joined AdoptUSKids, i called social workers directly, i spent a ton of money at Kinko's and Office Depot copying and faxing and mailing. I had my own homestudy and i made up a cute "family flyer" that "sold" the good points of our family w/ a pic of us. I stressed my willingness to maintain open contact w/ birthfamily and support positive racial identity. I kept a binder with each child's pic/profile, each contact i made with worker, the result, etc. I searched each state photolisting, plus the national ones *every single day*.

I stopped keeping track after 60 child inquiries.

That was in October.

So when i hear "have you seen all the waiting kids on photolistings"....well back in September i would have said "Yes, those kids all need homes, hopefully i will adopt one of them"...now i say "Yes, and how many kids under five do you see on those photolistings? And how many of those kids under 5 have severe medical or psychological challenges? And how many of those kids under 5 have already been placed, but the photolisting isnt updated yet? How many kids need a 2 parent family? Or a family with no kids? Or a family without pets? How many of those kids need to stay in-state due to birth family contact?" Its just not as cut and dried as "look at all the waiting kids" as i used to think.

I have probably inquired on 200 kids or more listed on Adopt US Kids...if you do a search on "boy 0-8 no sibs", lots of kids will come up. I have either inquired on each of them, or if i havent there is a reason why (like the reasons above, or because the child clearly has more issues than i can handle at this time)...i also think that when one looks at photolistings they should know that there is WAY more to the child's situation than is listed. Usually (and this has been MY experience) you will find out the child has pretty severe issues, and a long history of being severely and horrifically abused. Not every family can take on helping such a child heal. And yet, still i'm not chosen.

Yes, i'm a single mom, but i'm also basically a SAHM, i have years of experience with special needs kids and adults, i always attach a list of the online training i have taken and my book list so they know i'm prepared, i have a huge supportive family, i am very willing to support birth family contact....but still not chosen. Its very very discouraging.

I'm sorry i sound so negative. This has just been my experience. I even know people online in my state who've been able to straight adopt a 5 month old, 2 year olds, etc. So maybe my experience isnt typical, i dont know.

Do you know how many kids on CA Kids Connection i've inquired on? Lots. I havent even got to the point where they want my homestudy. Sometimes i dont even hear back.

That being said, i fully expect, once i start fostering, that eventually a child will stay. I'm actually quite excited by it....the idea that i will be able to take care of another child, even if they are RU (and if they go back home to a good situation, i think i will truly feel very happy about it, even if i'm also sad for myself)....its very appealing to me right now. And because i'm going to be approved for 0-4, the idea that i might have another BABY in my home is even more exciting because its not something i considered would happen a year ago.


So anyway, I dont mean to denigrate the positive experiences people have, just trying to provide another viewpoint.


Katherine

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#51 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great viewpoint, Katherine. I wish I had an answer as to why you haven't received any placements. That's very interesting, indeed. We inquired about a brother/sister sib on CA Kids Connection. We called their SW before we even started our PRIDE training. Those kids were long gone. In fact, they were on an ABC special a few years ago (Dave Thomas' maybe?) and they had been adopted by a couple in the mid-west!! I was just thrilled to see that they were happy and safe and in a good home. So, I know that kids from CA Kids Connection do find homes. You can Google "Hector and Jasmine adoption" and see their story. Beautiful children!! But I also know that CA Kids Connection is never updated. A SW at a FFA that we have become close friends with told us to not even bother looking on that website.

I'm sorry for everything you have been through. It does seem as if you have done extensive research. Hopefully something will change for your family and you will be able to adopt soon.

ETA: I found this link for Hector and Jasmine. These were the two children we so desperately wanted to adopt. I carried their pictures around with me for weeks. I cried and prayed that they would become my son and daughter. It was our first experience with adoption inquiry. Who knew they would become such media darlings and find such a loving home?????? They were on CA Kids Connection and were listed as a 7 and 8 year old at the time. They are probably now teens. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...1c19adopt.html

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#52 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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I have not read all the posts, just the first few, and I do plan to go back and read some more. But just in answer to the original question, would I adopt through foster care..

Yes and no. I did once, that is how our dd came to us. It was the best possible situation as far as foster/adopt is concerned but no, I would not do it again.

Too much uncertainty. At best, too much intervention. I do not get to be a parent. I get to be a glorified babysitter. I have someone checking on me once a month to make sure I do what they deem I need to do. I have several agencies calling weekly to check on us, even asking what dd's eaten. I dont get to make real parenting decisions. Worste of all, due to the beurocracy of 'the state' a worker could come and take my child at any time for any reason. I have no rights.

So IMO foster to adopt was awsome for us because it got us our daughter and at that time there were no other real options for us. It it was foster/adopt or no other children, I *might* do it again. But if there was any other chance at adoption through any other avenue, I would exhaust those before even reconcidering foster to adopt. Just my opinion!

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#53 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 09:21 PM
 
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I am hearing a lot of people here thinking there "are a trillion classes" and that "babies aren't available". It's not true...and I'm here to share my experiences with these wonderful mamas.
I think making a blanket statement like this can be dangerous. In your reality, of course, this is true, but for me, living in a huge area (chicago), yes, with drug problems as well, it is true that babies arent available. They are just not... I hit the lottery with my girl but we were in fact the exception. I think its not fair to say that babies are there to be adopted when the truth is that is NOT the truth everywhere

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#54 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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I think making a statement like "parenting a drug exposed child is hard" is just not a true statement overall. Parenting any special needs child is hard and adopting through a private domestic agency or international does not guarantee you that your child won't have fetal alcohol syndrome (something I hear is huge in Russia) or have ADD. Even parenting a biological child can't guarantee you a healthy child.
I dont think anyone would disagree to say that one should be prepared for the worste when accepting a drug exposed child. It would be unfair to the child in question if you were not capable of parenting them, knowing full well that they were drug exposed, because you were hoping for the best. If the child never shows symptoms thats wonderful, but I dont think any parent should go into a placement of a drug exposed infant expecting that outcome. Some people just do not want to parent a child born with drug exposure.

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#55 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 11:24 PM
 
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This is not true at all in the two counties we have adopted from in California. Honestly, I think this is a huge myth in the fost/adopt community.
From what I can tell, it is different everywhere. I don't know figures, but in Maine I think you'd be waiting years and years to have an infant placed with you who was not going to be going through the reunification process. Granted, sometimes reunification stops before the federal timeline runs out but that would be due to the parent not doing much of anything...like not showing for any visits therefore abandoning the child.

: I was just remembering when G was possibly going back with his bparents I was contemplating moving to California so I could experience what you have

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#56 of 84 Old 06-01-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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Its also my understanding (but not totally certain) that an infant *may* not qualify for the types of subsidies/medicaid/etc that older kids in the system get.
We are in the adoption process right now and G, a very healthy and typically developing boy, is considered special needs due to his family history, possible exposure to drugs in utero and the very fact he was in the foster care system...this means he qualifies for the subsidy AND we will also be able to claim the adoption tax credit even though we are putting no money out to adopt...simply because of his special needs status. We will also be keeping him on state insurance although we will put him on our insurance plan as well- Mainecare will be backup. Every year we will have to submit paperwork to review and adjust the subsidy amount, so it will vary according to his needs. I beleive this is the same process for older kids. I think the only thing G will not qualify for is college funding. When a child over the age of 16 is adopted, s/he can get tuition waivers to the state university.

This all is probably different from state to state.

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#57 of 84 Old 06-02-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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just as a slight spin off, I wanted to address how subsidys work in Illinois as well, in case its helpful to others!

Any child adopted past their 1st birthday qualifies for a subsidy. Its virtually impossible (though happened with us) that a child ends up adopted before their 1st bday, but if a child has any kind of delay at all, like in p/t or o/t then they qualify as well. Lastly, any medical needs qualify, like my dd has a hemangioma birth mark. That was concidered medican enough to warrent a subsidy

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#58 of 84 Old 06-02-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I just wanted to throw this out there...

I'm a public health student. We studied a ton about what in utero exposure does to fetuses. There are no hard and fast rules. No, pregnant moms should not do drugs. However, drug exposure increases some risks slightly, that is all. There is no good tool to measure what does what, so the PSA campaigns stress the worst case, few and far between scenarios. In short, the problem is overblown.

Personally...
I know five children who were exposed to drugs in utero. All well into the second trimester, some into the third. None were adopted, all are with their bioparents. Of these children, the youngest is six. All of them are perfectly fine. All of them are fluent readers. No athsma, no ADD, nothing. They are healthy, whole, wonderful children.

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#59 of 84 Old 06-02-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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I just wanted to throw this out there...

I'm a public health student. We studied a ton about what in utero exposure does to fetuses. There are no hard and fast rules. No, pregnant moms should not do drugs. However, drug exposure increases some risks slightly, that is all. There is no good tool to measure what does what, so the PSA campaigns stress the worst case, few and far between scenarios. In short, the problem is overblown.

Personally...
I know five children who were exposed to drugs in utero. All well into the second trimester, some into the third. None were adopted, all are with their bioparents. Of these children, the youngest is six. All of them are perfectly fine. All of them are fluent readers. No athsma, no ADD, nothing. They are healthy, whole, wonderful children.
Everyone talks about drug exposure, but from what i've read alcohol exposure can be far more damaging to a developing fetus. FAS and FAE can really screw up a child's ability to live independantly as an adult.


Katherine

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#60 of 84 Old 06-02-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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Not unless the system were radically reformed. Our foster son is not really our foster son; he's a cousin and we are his guardians in the process of adopting him. I would love to have more children through adoption or foster/adoption, but neither dh nor I is comfortable with that much state involvement in our lives. We also would not want to be put in the position of being required to do things with which we didn't agree.
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