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#1 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone,

I have heard so many different things and don't know where to look to find out the truth, so I am looking for both facts and opinions.

Are there more kids needing families, or families wanting kids? Overall? Worldwide? In domestic infant adoption? In foster care, etc.

I would like to adopt (have to convince DH first lol), but my primary motivation for adopting (rather than birthing another) is to give a family to a kid who otherwise might not get a stable loving family. yk? So I do not want to be competing with a whole bunch of infertile families for a healthy white newborn, however, right now I am thinking that I do want a healthy baby or toddler. As DS gets older that will probably change, I just kind of want to keep him oldest, but I am honestly not sure I am up for many different kinds of special needs.

Anyway, with that motivation, what is the best type of adoption to look into? Facts about how many kids are waiting vs. parents waiting, as well as your own opinions, are welcome!

Oh, and disclaimer: please please forgive me if I have used any offensive lingo.

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#2 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Well, i can only tell you my experience with adopting a state "waiting" child, and its not good. If you want to adopt a "healthy" baby or toddler....first you have to define what you mean by healthy. Do you mean a child that does not have major medical or developmental issues? Or a child that doesnt have ANY issues? Because whether you choose domestic or international adoption, adopting a non newborn (and in many cases even if the child IS a newborn) there will likely be some issues.

That being said....in my state there is great competition for kids under, say, ten yrs old. And this seems to be true of most of the waiting parents i talk to online who are waiting to do a "straight" (non fostering) adoption of a US waiting/state child. If you want a Caucasian child your wait may be even longer. But alot just depends on luck and what kids happen to come into care while you are looking. While i was waiting i was reading the blog of a woman who had been waiting the same amount of time, yet she was placed with a relatively healthy 18 month old AA girl in just a couple of months (i went on to wait and wait and am still waiting!) I have a friend online wanting to adopt a female child of any race, preferably younger (not necessarily an infant though, but i think she may want under 5 yrs old?)...she's been waiting almost two years i think. She just got foster licensed in the hopes of finding her child that way.

I have alot to say about the supposed "waiting US children", but not a whole lot of time to write a big thing about it now. But i have alot of anger about how the public is led to believe there are all these kids in this country "waiting"...and yet the reality i'm seeing from my waiting friends online and myself doesnt bear that out (it was two yrs in July that i've been waiting for a school age boy of any race)...i even have inquired on several *teenagers* and gotten nowhere. Its very very frustrating.

That being said, i also know many people online who ARE eventually matched with their children. But there IS competition for these kids.

It seems there is a pretty big need for people to adopt older kids (non infants) internationally, especially boys.

There is also (depending on where you live) a need for foster parents in this country. I've been waiting over two years for an older child to adopt through straight adoption, but i got my foster license in January, and in February was placed with a very healthy 3 week old African American boy. He is perfect. But its not like he would have grown up w/o a family had i not taken him....they would have found him a home.

what type of adoption you want to pursue really depends on all sorts of factors, not just where the greatest need is. Personally, given my experience, i'm apt to steer people toward international adoption if they can afford it, esp if they want a baby or toddler. If i had a more positive experience adopting through the state i might have different advice.


Katherine

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#3 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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My own adoption experience is fairly unique, or at least not something one can pursue exactly (emergency kinship adoption), so I might not be very helpful on that front. What I do know is that my daughter spent about three months in foster care before we became her guardians and she was already being "asked for" by two different families AND she was/is medically fragile. So, the waiting child, as far as I could tell, was a myth. Now, she was young (16 months) and she's white and a girl, so that, I guess would have worked in her favor. However, the foster family that really wanted to keep her had adopted a teen-aged and an elementary-aged boy previous to Grace's placement.

One thing that you might want to reflect on, too, is the notion of "saving" a child. When you go into it that way, I think it can cause some heartache because what that does is set up the situation where the child's misfortune is the centerpiece of the relationship, whereas the ideal would be that you want the child because you want the child. Does that make sense? You don't want your child to be viewed by others as an object of charity, so head that off by thinking about him/her in other terms. You'll see lots of discussion on these boards about the phrase "meant to be" also, and I think these two notions go hand in hand.

We adoptive parents have faith in the good intentions behind such emotional impulses and certainly don't want to slap the hands of anyone who's honestly seeking the right way, but we're learning (and I do mean continuously, even after the finalization of our adoptions) that there's more at stake than what we'd thought and that the way that we speak to and about our children and their adoptions is very important.

I wish you all kinds of luck in your journey of exploration.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#4 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies.

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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
[LEFT]If you want to adopt a "healthy" baby or toddler....first you have to define what you mean by healthy. Do you mean a child that does not have major medical or developmental issues? Or a child that doesnt have ANY issues? Because whether you choose domestic or international adoption, adopting a non newborn (and in many cases even if the child IS a newborn) there will likely be some issues.
Of course, there might be some health issues. There could also be health issues if DH and I conceived another child too. I guess I meant that I'm not sure we're equipped to handle more severe issues that would probably fall under "special needs." But we haven't really thought about that much yet.

Quote:
There is also (depending on where you live) a need for foster parents in this country. I've been waiting over two years for an older child to adopt through straight adoption, but i got my foster license in January, and in February was placed with a very healthy 3 week old African American boy. He is perfect. But its not like he would have grown up w/o a family had i not taken him....they would have found him a home.
Foster is a route we might decide to take, but if we do that it might be several years from now.

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Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
One thing that you might want to reflect on, too, is the notion of "saving" a child. When you go into it that way, I think it can cause some heartache because what that does is set up the situation where the child's misfortune is the centerpiece of the relationship, whereas the ideal would be that you want the child because you want the child. Does that make sense? You don't want your child to be viewed by others as an object of charity, so head that off by thinking about him/her in other terms. You'll see lots of discussion on these boards about the phrase "meant to be" also, and I think these two notions go hand in hand.

We adoptive parents have faith in the good intentions behind such emotional impulses and certainly don't want to slap the hands of anyone who's honestly seeking the right way, but we're learning (and I do mean continuously, even after the finalization of our adoptions) that there's more at stake than what we'd thought and that the way that we speak to and about our children and their adoptions is very important.
I might just be incredibly dense today (only one cup of coffee), but could you explain this more, especially the last paragraph? Or maybe I wasn't clear about my motivation in the first post. I mean, my motivation for having more kids is...um...to have more kids I guess. A bigger family to love, having a sibling for my DS, it's hard to describe but I'm sure everyone knows the feeling of wanting more kids. BUT DH and I are fertile and could just have more kids. However, we are considering adoption because of the notion (correct? maybe, maybe not) that there are kids out there who need a family, and who are we to birth more kids when we could adopt kids that already exist that are in need of a family? Does that make sense? Is this not an acceptable motivation to have for adoption? Do I need to examine/reflect on that? What is a proper motivation for adoption? Hope that's not coming across as snarky, obviously I want to adopt for the right reasons.

Waiting to hear more responses from people with other experiences too, and does anyone have links to actual numbers that tell me whether and where there are more kids waiting to be adopted than parents waiting to adopt?

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#5 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BarefootScientist View Post
Thanks for your replies.


I might just be incredibly dense today (only one cup of coffee), but could you explain this more, especially the last paragraph? Or maybe I wasn't clear about my motivation in the first post. I mean, my motivation for having more kids is...um...to have more kids I guess. A bigger family to love, having a sibling for my DS, it's hard to describe but I'm sure everyone knows the feeling of wanting more kids. BUT DH and I are fertile and could just have more kids. However, we are considering adoption because of the notion (correct? maybe, maybe not) that there are kids out there who need a family, and who are we to birth more kids when we could adopt kids that already exist that are in need of a family? Does that make sense? Is this not an acceptable motivation to have for adoption? Do I need to examine/reflect on that? What is a proper motivation for adoption? Hope that's not coming across as snarky, obviously I want to adopt for the right reasons.
No, not snarky at all, and I hope the same is true about my comments. I'm not assuming what your motivation is, aside from what you stated, I just wanted to point out that the "you saved that kid" language that exists can be sort of detrimental. That's all - no accusation or assumption. I'm not explaining it well, I think (I too am low on the caffeine quota today , but I certainly don't want to be snarky.

Quote:
Waiting to hear more responses from people with other experiences too, and does anyone have links to actual numbers that tell me whether and where there are more kids waiting to be adopted than parents waiting to adopt?

http://statistics.adoption.com/infor...care-1999.html

http://www.adopt.org/assembled/statistics.html

http://ouradopt.com/content/american...istics-summary

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#6 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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i have been debating whether to post or not. OP i don't want to hijack your thread ... if none of these questions pertain to what you are asking please let me know and ill delete!!

this is part observation part question. Like the OP i always heard about all of the children waiting to be adopted. When i worked in the psychiatric hospital this is not what i saw. Now obviously the sample is limited b/c it was a psychiatric hospital and i worked in female adolescent crisis stabilization which is pretty specific and obviously not all (or even a majority) of our patients were in the foster system.

what i saw was a lot of kids of who were in the foster system but could not be adopted b/c their parents had legal rights with no intention of relinquishing them. Are these children ever able to be adopted or will the spend the whole time in the system? Are there many children that are in this situation? how does that work? does this contribute to that waiting that many parents do before being able to adopt a child? is there anytime where the child is able to be adopted out of the system with the parent relinquishing their rights? is this a bad thing or a good thing? Do these children ever have long term homes? how does this affect the foster child and the foster family?
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#7 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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I agree with both of the above, very knowlegeable posters. I think, in my state, there are waiting children who are classified by the state as having "special needs" but really don't. I adopted my son from foster care six months ago (wow, that went quickly.) His was classified as a special needs adoption but he's a perfectly typical now- four year old boy. Most kids in our state (all those who aren't adopted by non-foster licensed relatives?) are classified as having special needs if they've been with their foster families for a length of time. My foster daughter is also a typical toddler (although there is a strong maternal history of mental illness and developmental delay.) Her adoption (if it comes to that) would be classified as a special needs one as well. So, don't get stuck on that label. It's more of a categorical one for post-adoption subsidy purposes.

I think there are waiting kids in my state. They may be more likely to be older or with some level of attachment disorder. I know that my son's older sister (age 5 1/2) will be moved to another foster (hopefully adoptive) home. If they can't find a home for her, she'll be placed on the state photolisting. I hope that doesn't come to that. We haven't seen her in 17 months. She used to have some emotional delays but not an attachment disorder. I hope that's still the case. Her second foster family didn't have her in any therapy for the past 17 months . She was a great kid. I feel badly for her.
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#8 of 41 Old 11-05-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post

what i saw was a lot of kids of who were in the foster system but could not be adopted b/c their parents had legal rights with no intention of relinquishing them. Are these children ever able to be adopted or will the spend the whole time in the system? Are there many children that are in this situation? how does that work? does this contribute to that waiting that many parents do before being able to adopt a child? is there anytime where the child is able to be adopted out of the system with the parent relinquishing their rights? is this a bad thing or a good thing? Do these children ever have long term homes? how does this affect the foster child and the foster family?
The law states that there has to be a permanency plan in place on or before a child has been in care for 15 out of a 22 month period. That's followed or not followed. Depends on the situation, the judge, the state, etc.

Usually it's not a case of the parent relinquishing his/her rights. Instead, it's the state terminating a parents rights. In my area, the courts really take the law seriously and begin the termination process (court hearings/trial) around or before the 15th month, unless the parents are really working their case plans.

With my son, the TPR trial for his birth father (his birth mother relinquished) was held 13 months after Chris went into his first foster home. His adoption finalized 11 months after that.

My foster daughter has been in care for 13 months now. We go to court in December to see if the judge will officially schedule the TPR trial for both parents.
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#9 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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Of course, there might be some health issues. There could also be health issues if DH and I conceived another child too. I guess I meant that I'm not sure we're equipped to handle more severe issues that would probably fall under "special needs." But we haven't really thought about that much yet
When i said "issues" what i meant was that you could (for example) adopt a non-special needs one yr old baby internationally....but given the fact of the circumstances of that child's life, you STILL will be dealing with adoption-related issues. So be prepared for that. There may be attachment issues (not necessarily attachment disorder), there may be language/communication issues, there may be food issues, etc etc. Yes, a child that is born to you could be born with medical problems or learning issues, however when you adopt a child you need to not only prepare for whatever that child may be genetically (just as your own bios) but also the *environmental* impact of their life before they came to you. If that makes any sense. "Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft" has been recommended as a good book that talks about this.

Quote:
what i saw was a lot of kids of who were in the foster system but could not be adopted b/c their parents had legal rights with no intention of relinquishing them. Are these children ever able to be adopted or will the spend the whole time in the system? Are there many children that are in this situation? how does that work? does this contribute to that waiting that many parents do before being able to adopt a child? is there anytime where the child is able to be adopted out of the system with the parent relinquishing their rights? is this a bad thing or a good thing? Do these children ever have long term homes? how does this affect the foster child and the foster family?
As the PP said, its usually not a matter of "relinquishing" rights but rather rights being terminated. However, in most states teens have the right to say they do NOT want to be adopted, and so different options might be available, such as permanent foster care. My baby came into care at birth, termination of parental rights took place at four months old, and hopefully we'll finalize the adoption this month (but at this rate who knows)...but thats pretty fast, usually it takes at least a year to get rights terminated. Because he had two sibs who were already TPR'd a few years before, and because his bio mom left the hospital and made no attempt to contact the agency or get him back, things went more quickly.

I forgot to mention in my original post that the VAST majority of kids who become available for adoption in the US are ultimately adopted by either relatives or foster parents. In my state that number is over 90 percent. The kids left over tend to be the most difficult to place kids (kids with severe behaviorial issues, or teenagers)...this varies from place to place.

Also....if these teens were in a psych placement/hospital, then they likely werent ready for adoption anyway. Usually, they like kids to be able to transfer from residential treatment centers to therapeutic foster homes in preparation for adoption...it would take a highly skilled and prepared parent to adopt a child directly from an in-patient program like that. I inquired on a little boy that was in a RTC in WA, he looked exactly like my son and i felt so drawn to him, but after talking to his worker, i had to stop pursuing it. His mom was an alcoholic who drank throughout pg (so they suspected some level of alcohol-related brain damage, which impacts cause-and-effect thinking), and he was also dealing with a significant attachment disorder. Its very difficult to parent a child like that successfully...its ALOT of work, therapy, structure, etc. Children with similar issues need very special homes (often with two parents and no other kids, in a very structured home)....so even if the teens you worked with WERE available, there may not have been too many homes waiting for them.


Katherine

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#10 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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hmm that makes me sad. i can understand it though. it is a lot of work 12 hrs a day... all day every day would be incredibly difficult. i do hope they find homes though. mostly their problems are not their fault. i can also see many of them saying they don't want to be adopted even if they do... for a whole number of reasons. i've been asked more then once if they could come home with me.... but yes i can definitely see some of the girls protesting loudly to adoption. thanks for answering
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#11 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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i've been asked more then once if they could come home with me....

Sometimes thats not such an indication of a desire for a permanent home, as it is an indication of an attachment disorder. When i was at the foster care agency for a relative visit, there was a little boy about 12 yrs old there chatting me up. He, oh so sadly, told me how he needed a placement, he didnt have anywhere to go, etc. At first my mind started racing, wondering if i could take him, i was only approved up to age 4 (now its age 10), but i could make it work, we had bunkbeds, etc etc. But then my "BS radar" went off so i just smiled and nodded. He left the room, then his foster mom (an experienced mom who led one of my trainings) and i started talking, and she started telling me things like "Dont do it!" and from her description i could tell it was an attachment issue. He wanted to leave her home (a temp. one until his more permanant placement opened up, which he knew) because she wouldnt let him run the household or manipulate her.

I'm just sayin'!

Also...its possible that some of the kids you cared for had families to eventually go home to....were they ALL in the system? Usually they want to reunify the family if at all possible. If the child isnt ready for adoption and might not be for a number of months or even years, and if the bio parents are even half heartedly working a plan, and if the child is incredibly hard to place anyway (being a teen for example, or having mental illness or acting out aggressively etc), then a judge would probably be less likely to TPR knowing that would mean this child would be a legal orphan for a long time.


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#12 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BarefootScientist View Post

Are there more kids needing families, or families wanting kids? Overall? Worldwide? In domestic infant adoption? In foster care, etc.

I would like to adopt (have to convince DH first lol), but my primary motivation for adopting (rather than birthing another) is to give a family to a kid who otherwise might not get a stable loving family. yk? So I do not want to be competing with a whole bunch of infertile families for a healthy white newborn, however, right now I am thinking that I do want a healthy baby or toddler. As DS gets older that will probably change, I just kind of want to keep him oldest, but I am honestly not sure I am up for many different kinds of special needs.
I haven't had time to read all the responses, but knowing the women here I'm sure you've gotten some thoughtful ones. Some scattered thoughts...

There are DEFINITELY more kids who need families than families who want to adopt. There's no question of that.

As for your primary motivation...I think a lot of people start out that way. I'd hope you'd move toward different motivations as you got into the process (imo, charitable reasons for adopting generally don't go very far when it comes to dealing with the real-life demands of parenting a child, so in the end having more selfish motivations to adopt ends up being a good thing).

And competing against other couples for a child....you can look at that different ways, too. If you're talking about domestic adoption of a healthy child, putting your name out there as a potential choice for an expectant mother could be a good thing. Perhaps that mother is looking for someone like you...your parenting beliefs, your stance on AP/vax/etc., your location, your approach to open adoption...who knows. I know it seems like a competition, and sadly some treat it that way, but I think it's good for expectant moms thinking of adoption to have options. In domestic adoption, I firmly believe that it should be about finding the right family for the wants of the expectant mom...NOT about a bunch of pre-adoptive couples waiting in line, calling "dibs," and waiting their turn for the system to spit out a baby. I know some pre adoptive parents start feeling awfully entitled, but to me that's backwards.

When we started looking into adoption, we had similar thoughts...we wanted a child, bio-relatedness wasn't important to us, and we felt very deeply that we could be of some help to one of the millions of children in the world who need families. We also wanted to adopt a young child, and (if possible) a healthy child.

We didn't see that there was much of a need for additional parents in the US (since that time, I've leared that expectant black mothers often have a hard time finding adoptive homes for their children), so we looked into international adoption. I liked that the process was predictable, that we could pick a program we agreed with (in terms of ethics, program details, etc.), and that we were adopting from a country where children would grow up in state care without an adoptive placement. I felt there was a need, and that our family fit that need well.

Don't ever let someone make you feel guilty for wanting to adopt a healthy child. No one ever makes a pregnant woman feel guilty for wanting to have a healthy child, and it's just wrong for people to expect adoptive parents to wish or dream otherwise. It's okay to want a child who's had the best possible start in life. As I'm sure others have mentioned, the trauma of adoption (losing the mother a child has known for at least 9 months, time in institutions, the loss of foster family, or even the loss of language/culture) are challenges enough in "healthy" adoptions. You should always be honest about what you want, what you think you can handle, and what you want to handle. Doing otherwise, out of guilt or obligation, is really unhealthy for you and the child.

And FYI, "Waiting Children" usually means kids who are waiting for families because of special needs. Is that what you meant to inquire about?

Best of luck! If you can, head over to www.adoptivefamiliesmagazine.com and read some of the articles there. You'll learn a lot.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#13 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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[LEFT]Well, i can only tell you my experience
My experience has been this:

When we began fostering (not fostering to adopt, just fostering), we were called about a placement before we'd even decided to get licensed. They needed homes *badly,* and they especially needed a home for this guy who was otherwise heading back to a large, marginally safe group home! They did not have another placement for this kid.

Of course, that was doing non-adoptive therapeutic foster care for older kids and teens. But still, the call I got was about a permanent-placement. Though the agency didn't do adoptions, they needed a forever home for my first foster son in any case.

When we switched over to doing non-therapeutic foster care for kids 0-9, we did have to wait a little while before our first call (a couple months, if memory serves), but this does not mean that they didn't generally need homes. I have seen the placement worker just as desperate to find homes. Sometimes kids come into the system in waves, so there are slow times at the department too. Again, that was straight fostering, not adopt.

Our first foster-adoptive placement-- ds-- came to us about four months after our homestudy for foster-adopt was approved. He was a newborn, and there were other families waiting at the time (almost all wanting babies), but we were to my knowledge at that time the only couple willing to take any gender (almost everyone I met in the trainings, the foster-adopt support group, etc. wanted girls). Also, "healthy child" is a variable concept. ds had a potential for special needs due to genetics, but we accepted placement anyway. Some families may not have been open to that, so I have no idea if ds would have had to wait around in regular foster care for a foster-adopt home had we not said "YES! Oh of course, YES!"

His case was very straight-forward. There is no way his parents would have been able to parent. No way. They would have needed an adoptive home one way or another.

I do know they typically had a hard time in our county placing toddlers and preschoolers, especially little boys. I have been at county foster-adopt support group meetings where they have made announcements about waiting children from our county, and other counties near us, for whom they haven't been able to find homes. None have been about babies, but some have been about older toddlers and preschoolers.

After they search between counties, I am assuming the kids go onto some national list.

dfd was an unexpected placement for us. We were called out of the blue when ds was 17 months. dfd was six months. She had some risk of attachment issues (not attachment disorder, necessarily, but attachment issues), and seemed healthy to date but did have some other risk factors including prenatal exposure.

The social worker asked me if we were interested, and I told her I would need to speak with my dw first. I spoke with dw, and we called back and told the social worker that we accepted the placement (usually how it worked in our county...the placement worker knows all the families and then selects a family for each child). Then the social worker told us that, no, we weren't accepting placement because she had nine families who were interested (apparently--and I found out later, much to the placement workers dismay-- she had demanded multiple names and decided to interview families herself rather than just letting the placement worker do her job in getting the right matches). She called us all in for interviews.

Because this was out-of-the-norm, several families got upset and dropped out before the interviews. We considered it, but decided to stay in the mix. After we interviewed, the social worker told us that there were only two families she felt appropriate for this particular child, and we were one of them. Later she decided on us. The placement worker mentioned to me a year or more later that we were the first name she gave to the social worker (and the only name she would have given, had more not been demanded).

I get the impression that our experience with and openess to parenting children with some special needs came into play.

We never intended to "compete," and throughout the process we considered withdrawing. We hadn't been actively seeking placement at that time anyway, as ds was still quite young. But I also know now, given dfd's needs as they developed once she was older, that we most likely were the best equipped to care for her needs. As RedOakMomma said so well:

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competing against other couples for a child....you can look at that different ways, too. If you're talking about domestic adoption of a healthy child, putting your name out there as a potential choice for an expectant mother could be a good thing. Perhaps that mother is looking for someone like you...your parenting beliefs, your stance on AP/vax/etc., your location, your approach to open adoption...who knows. I know it seems like a competition, and sadly some treat it that way, but I think it's good for expectant moms thinking of adoption to have options. In domestic adoption, I firmly believe that it should be about finding the right family for the wants of the expectant mom...NOT about a bunch of pre-adoptive couples waiting in line, calling "dibs," and waiting their turn for the system to spit out a baby. I know some pre adoptive parents start feeling awfully entitled, but to me that's backwards.
For us, it wasn't a domestic adoption of a "healthy" child (though despite risk factors, she did seem healthy at placement). But RedOakMomma's point still stands. It is about finding the right place for the child, not about finding a child for the parents.

We've now moved and discovered in our new city that they are really desperate for both foster and foster-adopt parents. There is a lot of active recruitment of foster and adoptive parents happening here. The state is spending money and resources trying to find homes.

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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
That being said....in my state there is great competition for kids under, say, ten yrs old. And this seems to be true of most of the waiting parents i talk to online who are waiting to do a "straight" (non fostering) adoption of a US waiting/state child.
queenjane makes a good point, and the reason seems to be partly because most kids who are adopted after being in foster care are adopted either by relatives or by foster parents. In many cases, they were in foster-adopt care because termination or relinquishment of parental rights was already seen as a highly likely scenario. Other times, like with dfd's brother, a foster parent will decide they are willing to adopt a particular foster child in their care after adoption becomes the case plan.

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Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
I just wanted to point out that the "you saved that kid" language that exists can be sort of detrimental.
This is a good and important point. No child wants to be wants to be a charity case. That said, the OP's language, not intention, seem suspect.

And OP, I think what you are getting at are some of the important ethical questions around adoption. And those are worth every ounce of time you can give them before you make a decision. Each route of adoption brings up different ethical nuances that I believe are better faced when you aren't attached to a particular route.

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Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
what i saw was a lot of kids of who were in the foster system but could not be adopted b/c their parents had legal rights with no intention of relinquishing them. Are these children ever able to be adopted or will the spend the whole time in the system?
How long ago was this? The reason I ask is because it has only been within the last eight to ten years (if memory serves) that the current laws around permanency planning have been passed. It's not been that long.

It was actually my early experiences doing therapeutic foster care that espeically motivated me toward foster-adopt. That was because a lot of the older kids and teens that we fostered could have been without so much trauma in their lives if adoption had happened when they were much younger.

For my first dfs, for example, he'd been in foster care for ten out of fifteen years and twenty-three homes (that is, he'd had twenty-four sets of "parents..." twenty-four FAMILIES!!!) when he arrived in our care. His parents refused to relinquish their rights but repeatedly failed their seven children...they wouldn't show up for visitations, would show up and leave early, would show up and couldn't maintain appropriate behavior through the visitations, couldn't overcome their addictions or maintain any semblance of safety in their home, etc. etc. dfs was ripped to peices every time his parents wouldn't show to visits, etc. Finally, a full SIX devestating, highly emotionally damaging years after dfs came into foster care, his parent's parental rights were terminated by the court. By that time, dfs was eleven and a permanent home for him was a near impossibility. Even foster parents who said they'd commit to him over the long-term...well, things would change. Two guardianships were attempted, and terminated.

When he came to us as a permanent foster placement, we kept thinking what it could have been like if the system could have terminated his parental rights even three or four years earlier so that real permanency in one form or another could begin. His life story would have been entirely different, and as far as I can tell, much, *much* better.

Now, things don't happen like that in the majority of cases. The goal of pushing for permanency plans earlier is to keep kids from languishing in foster care the way they did even ten or twelve years ago. Now, the states are forced to plan earlier when things aren't working out with parents but parents aren't willing to relinquish.

That's not to say that some kids still don't languish. Especially kids with special needs. And most, most especially *boys* with special needs. But I think things are much better now.

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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Yes, a child that is born to you could be born with medical problems or learning issues, however when you adopt a child you need to not only prepare for whatever that child may be genetically (just as your own bios)
Yes, and as with ds, sometimes the genetic "risk factors" are higher in adoption. For example, my ds' parents can't parent because *they* have special needs that make it impossible for them to do so safely (proven with ds' older half-sibling). These genetics that prevented them from parenting are certainly part of the picture for ds.

And for dfd, her parents have several very severe and debilitating mental health disorders that are special needs. These both necessitate the adoption (in this particular case, they came into play in terms of the cause of neglect) and also are challenges that may be part of my dfd's genetic legacy.

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but also the *environmental* impact of their life before they came to you.
Yes, and as queenjane said earlier, this includes not just things like exposure to drugs or alcohol before birth, but also things like the very experience of losing one's first parents.

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"Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft" has been recommended as a good book that talks about this.
I second the recommendation of this book in general, not just for this part of the conversation.

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Also....if these teens were in a psych placement/hospital, then they likely werent ready for adoption anyway. Usually, they like kids to be able to transfer from residential treatment centers to therapeutic foster homes in preparation for adoption...it would take a highly skilled and prepared parent to adopt a child directly from an in-patient program like that.
Yes, yes. Those kids in a pysch placement aren't the kids normally seen in this kind of conversation.

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I inquired on a little boy that was in a RTC in WA, he looked exactly like my son and i felt so drawn to him, but after talking to his worker, i had to stop pursuing it. His mom was an alcoholic who drank throughout pg (so they suspected some level of alcohol-related brain damage, which impacts cause-and-effect thinking), and he was also dealing with a significant attachment disorder. Its very difficult to parent a child like that successfully...its ALOT of work, therapy, structure, etc. Children with similar issues need very special homes (often with two parents and no other kids, in a very structured home)....so even if the teens you worked with WERE available, there may not have been too many homes waiting for them.
True. And not only that, but most "staff" who worked with my eldest dfs over the years had no *idea* what we went through as his parents. I mean, they thought they did. They thought they had been there for the worst. But none of them had. There is just no way until you are living it.

I am *really* glad we did it. But I'm telling you that I don't think even professionals could have handled it.

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Sometimes thats not such an indication of a desire for a permanent home, as it is an indication of an attachment disorder.
Yes, yes, yes, YES!! This is so, so true. The director of the agency where we did therapeutic care did not understand this (to her credit, she was actually mentally ill herself...something no one realized at the time), and quite literally destroyed dfs' one true shot at family life when she decided to let dfs decide to move from our home when he said he wanted to go live with a new respite placement. "He's a teenager. If we don't start letting him make decisions about his life now, when will we?" the director said (it is notable that dfs would have lived with us into adulthood as a dependent due to his special needs). And there it went.

He was moved to his respite provider, and bounced out of there shortly thereafter. He proceeded to continue bouncing into adulthood. He is now an adult and in very, very, very bad shape.

Kids with attachment disorder want to go live with everyone but the people who love them as and provide them with stability of their parents. dfs didn't say he wanted to move in with his respite providers (he called them his "dream family") until AFTER he had stabilized in our home. It was only once dfs stopped causing the police come over to our house at least once a week, once he started to make progress in school at least enough to sit through most of his classes most of the time, once he started to open up to us in more genuine ways, etc. etc. that he asked to go. And kids with attachment disorder will make it sound like there are no other options even when there are, like the situation is absolutely *dire* to whoever they are asking to take them home even when it is a bald-faced lie. It's definitely a part of the disorder to ask various people in your life (and even strangers) to take you home and/or adopt you.

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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Also...its possible that some of the kids you cared for had families to eventually go home to....were they ALL in the system? Usually they want to reunify the family if at all possible. If the child isnt ready for adoption and might not be for a number of months or even years, and if the bio parents are even half heartedly working a plan, and if the child is incredibly hard to place anyway (being a teen for example, or having mental illness or acting out aggressively etc), then a judge would probably be less likely to TPR knowing that would mean this child would be a legal orphan for a long time.
Absolutely.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
There are DEFINITELY more kids who need families than families who want to adopt. There's no question of that.
Yes! Yes! Looking at all types of adoption combined, overall yes. Different types of adoption will have different specific numbers, but yes, there are kids who need families.

I consider adoption the mutual fulfillment of needs in that kids have families and families have kids, when they are needed.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
As for your primary motivation...I think a lot of people start out that way. I'd hope you'd move toward different motivations as you got into the process (imo, charitable reasons for adopting generally don't go very far when it comes to dealing with the real-life demands of parenting a child, so in the end having more selfish motivations to adopt ends up being a good thing).
Well-put.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I felt there was a need, and that our family fit that need well.
That's how it was for us in foster-adopt.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Don't ever let someone make you feel guilty for wanting to adopt a healthy child. No one ever makes a pregnant woman feel guilty for wanting to have a healthy child, and it's just wrong for people to expect adoptive parents to wish or dream otherwise. It's okay to want a child who's had the best possible start in life. As I'm sure others have mentioned, the trauma of adoption (losing the mother a child has known for at least 9 months, time in institutions, the loss of foster family, or even the loss of language/culture) are challenges enough in "healthy" adoptions. You should always be honest about what you want, what you think you can handle, and what you want to handle. Doing otherwise, out of guilt or obligation, is really unhealthy for you and the child.
This is very well articulated.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Best of luck! If you can, head over to www.adoptivefamiliesmagazine.com and read some of the articles there. You'll learn a lot.
Yes, or start getting a copy of the magazine! It's very good.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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#14 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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I suspect that the state of adoption all over the world is more complicated than "there are more children than there are families wanting to adopt"...it gets tricky. There are more children worldwide that are without a family, that are not and never will be *available* for adoption than those offered to families approved to adopt. And there many be many many families who WANT to adopt, but for various reasons are prevented from doing so. (For example, i would LOVE to adopt an older boy from Ethiopia but i do not think i'd meet our govt's standards for financial ability to bring another person into the country)...I bet that if everyone who was willing to/wanted to adopt was able to actually do that, there would be far less available children. That being said, it breaks my heart that a child that is considered hard to place in one part of the country is easily placed in another part of the country. I'm not sure what can be done to break down those barriers. Its become easier now to adopt from another state, but it can still be a paperwork nightmare and take months.

It just makes me so sad (and a little angry) to hear that toddler, preschool and school aged boys may wait for a foster or adoptive placement in one part of the country....and here i sit waiting for JUST such a child. And waiting. And waiting. I've been waiting for a boy ages 0-10 to foster since July, and no one has EVER called me. I dont get that. I do not think its because no such child has come into care needing a home....so i dont know what it is.

I was so irritated once watching some news show about Chinese adoption, and the ignorant interviewer went on and on about how American's want these "China Dolls" : , these sweet little healthy girls, but no one in this country wants older kids, no one wants older black boys. Its just not true. In my state, as far as i can tell, younger (under 10) AA boys seem to be placed just fine. To the point where when i see a five or six or eight yr old boy on our photolisting, i dont even inquire because i know he'll be matched in a nanosecond. There was a little boy with *dwarfism* for Pete's sake, five yrs old, AA, he was listed as "severe" (personally i wouldnt consider dwarfism a severe disability but most would...) i SOOO wanted this boy, nope he was matched like *that*. And thats GREAT for him. But still....

So....i dont know where the greatest need lies. I know i read for awhile there if you wanted a baby girl from Ethiopia, you would be put on a waiting list...does that mean that there isnt a need for parents to adopt girls in Ethiopia? In my state its rare for large sib groups to be listed, but the recruiter in WA said that in her area its almost unheard of for families to adopt more than two or three kids, and sib groups are routinely split to get them adopted. I've got hundreds of boys on my adoptuskids list (many are no longer availabe/have been matched), but it seems many of those boys have very very significant behavior issues....not for the average family to tackle. So does saying "X amount of boys are needing homes" really give a true picture of the situation? We're coming up on the "Home for the Holidays" special for the Dave Thomas Foundation for adoption, and once again i will sit in front of the tv and shake my fist at the misrepresentation of the state of "waiting child" adoption in this country.

Sorry, i'm ranting. I've just had such a sucky straight adoption experience. Had it not been for the placement of my foster baby, i just dont know what i would feel like right now, probably completely depressed and hopeless. I know its supposed to be about "finding a family for a child not a child for a family" (a phrase i've come to loathe)...but after over two years of waiting, it gets a little ridiculous to think in all that time there isnt one child who might have needed our family.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#15 of 41 Old 11-06-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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I don't have much to add to the insightful posts that have already been written, but I did want to reiterate one point.

I do believe that in general, there are more children who need families than families who are seeking to add another child to their family via adoption. But the number of children waiting for families varies so much from place to place. The thing about adoption (especially international adoption) is that is changes so frequently. Programs are continually starting, closing and being modified. At the time that we adopted DS from Ethiopia 3 years ago, there were MANY waiting children. DS, who was 4yo, was healthy and had been waiting for a family for almost a year when we signed the placement agreement. Fast forward a few short years, and the Ethiopian adoption program has just exploded. It's become a much more popular program, which has resulted in very few waiting children. If we wanted to adopt from Ethiopia again now, we'd be on a waiting list for a year before signing a placement agreement.

Because of the constant ebb and flow, it can be difficult to say how many children are waiting. And what was true last year may not be true this year.

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#16 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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One other point that I didn't see mentioned (but it's late and maybe I missed it) is that internationally, many countries do not allow adoption. Some countries don't allow for any adoption and some don't allow for international adoption. For example, the 2004 tsunami created many thousands of orphans, but the laws of Indonesia were such that the children could not be adopted internationally.

In some cases, because of various factors, it is just about impossible to get a child from a particular country a visa to come to the US. Other countries see international adoption as shameful, and limit it to a certain number of children per year, not because there aren't lots of waiting children, but because the countries are more concerned with a loss of face.

My impression of adoption through the foster system is that in my area the waiting children generally have pretty severe psychological and emotional issues. Physical challenges seem to be much easier for prospective adoptive parents to handle, probably because people generally have a feel for what they are getting into, and getting medical help for the child is more straightforward. Care for children with RAD, for example, can be much harder to imagine, and really good therapists are hard to come by.
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#17 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 03:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
As for your primary motivation...I think a lot of people start out that way. I'd hope you'd move toward different motivations as you got into the process (imo, charitable reasons for adopting generally don't go very far when it comes to dealing with the real-life demands of parenting a child, so in the end having more selfish motivations to adopt ends up being a good thing).
I just wanted to touch on this point, in defense of the OP, as I got the sense that her primary motivation is wanting more children, period. how those children will come into her family is where the question lies, and she is exploring whether or not there is a true need for adoptive families. Our primary reason for wanting to adopt rather than make more people is exactly the same -- there are already kids in the world who need families, it seems unfair to make more people... that said, I guess your concern, ROM, is that she may be considering adoption *strictly* out of a sense of duty or social responsibility -- we were accused of that too, but just because that social responsibility is *there* doesn't mean that it is necessarily a primary factor. It was our first thought when we wanted to add to our family, but the whole process of adoption -- the highs and lows, the very hard work involved both before and after the adoption -- all of that has to be taken into account before you can really decide if adoption is right for your family. And then all the external factors have to fall into place as well...

In Ethiopia there is still a need for families for infant girls (and all other types of children) but there are just more families wanting infant girls than there are infant girls available -- AND, the system can only move so many kids through the process at one time, so now that it's such a popular program, everyone waits.

to the OP, keep reading, keep asking, keep listening, and the answer will come to you...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#18 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok now I am completely overwhelmed guys. Thanks for all the info. I'll respond to a few things...

Thanks for the links Wendy. They don't have quite the information I'm looking for but it's nice to get some numbers. I think the numbers I'm looking for are not actually known.

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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
When i said "issues" what i meant was that you could (for example) adopt a non-special needs one yr old baby internationally....but given the fact of the circumstances of that child's life, you STILL will be dealing with adoption-related issues. So be prepared for that. There may be attachment issues (not necessarily attachment disorder), there may be language/communication issues, there may be food issues, etc etc. Yes, a child that is born to you could be born with medical problems or learning issues, however when you adopt a child you need to not only prepare for whatever that child may be genetically (just as your own bios) but also the *environmental* impact of their life before they came to you. If that makes any sense. "Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft" has been recommended as a good book that talks about this.
Ok that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying this.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
As for your primary motivation...I think a lot of people start out that way. I'd hope you'd move toward different motivations as you got into the process (imo, charitable reasons for adopting generally don't go very far when it comes to dealing with the real-life demands of parenting a child, so in the end having more selfish motivations to adopt ends up being a good thing).
I guess I'm still not understanding why my motivation is thought to be wrong. To try to clarify again: I would like more children. I am fertile, so I could birth more children. Or I could adopt children who need a home. Between those choices, if I lean toward adoption because I don't want to add to world population if I can take care of a child who needs a home...is that not a good motivation? What "selfish" reasons do you speak of, beyond wanting more children? Just trying to understand.

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And FYI, "Waiting Children" usually means kids who are waiting for families because of special needs. Is that what you meant to inquire about?
No, I was asking about all children and adoption in general. Thanks for the term definition.

And ROM, thanks for the thoughts on domestic infant adoption. I managed to delete the quote among all of these.

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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
And OP, I think what you are getting at are some of the important ethical questions around adoption. And those are worth every ounce of time you can give them before you make a decision. Each route of adoption brings up different ethical nuances that I believe are better faced when you aren't attached to a particular route.
Can anyone point me to some articles that discuss some of these ethical issues? We don't need to derail this thread, but just a few resources?

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I just wanted to touch on this point, in defense of the OP, as I got the sense that her primary motivation is wanting more children, period. how those children will come into her family is where the question lies, and she is exploring whether or not there is a true need for adoptive families.
Thank you, I think this is what I was trying to say above but you said it better.

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#19 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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this is a very interesting thread for me. adoption is something i've considered and the more i dug into it the more i realized it was going to be alot more difficult than the impression you get that the moment you show an interest in adopting that children are readily available.

on top of that, countries now are starting to impose other restrictions - i.e. China (if i recall correctly) has a limit on your BMI and your age.

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#20 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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on top of that, countries now are starting to impose other restrictions - i.e. China (if i recall correctly) has a limit on your BMI and your age.
This is nothing new.

Most countries have lots of restrictions on all sorts of things, which can include your religion, marital status, prior marital history, sexual orientation, income, number of children presently in the house, physical and mental health, etc.

What typically happens is when new programs start, there are few restrictions. As programs become more popular, countries start to place more restrictions, partially as a way to control the number of applicants.
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#21 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I don't think I stated the motivation thing very well. What I mean is that adoption can be a tough process, both before AND after the baby/child joins your family. If you're choosing adoption with a large portion of your motivation in the "do-gooder" category, I think you could be setting yourself up for a challening road. That stuff just doesn't cut the mustard when life gets rough.

"Do-gooder" motivations can also be really damaging if the child feels they're the primary reason they were adopted....a lot of adult adoptees have been very vocal about the painful expectation that they feel grateful to their parents, because their parents were the ones that "saved" them by adopting them. It's an unhealthy basis for a relationship, and since we can't know what an alternate life would have been like, hardly an accurate perception. There was a big hullabaloo a year or so ago when a woman who adopted a girl from China wrote publicly (in the NYT online) that she'd saved her child from a life of working in sweat shops. I'm not saying you'd have such a view, but I think it's worth looking into our inner thoughts/motivations...because kids DO pick up on them. Being a "savior" is not a good reason to adopt.471

As far as selfish reasons...yes, just wanting a child is the best selfish reason. If that's your reason for adopting, and you were led to adoption in part by wanting to be of some good in the world, or of some good to a child, then I'd say that's a good reason to move forward. This is all just my opinion, though...the best people to judge your motivations and your though processes would be you (of course! ) and your social worker when you start the process.

I'm sorry I didn't state it well in my first post. In that one (and in this one), I'm not saying YOU are doing these things, but that they're motivations/issues to be aware of when considering adoption. I've read and seen some pretty sad situations when kids were adopted because their parents felt it was the "right thing to do."

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#22 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I've read and seen some pretty sad situations when kids were adopted because their parents felt it was the "right thing to do."
So, so sad. Sad like working in a sweatshop WOULD be better than what some adoptive parents who adopt out of a sense of (often religious) duty to SAVE a child (often from not having "the right" religion) -- I was just this morning wondering what ever happened to the woman I met on an Ethiopian adoption yahoo group who was going to send her 12 year old daughter, who had arrived 2 months prior from Ethiopia, to school in a garbage bag because her daughter wasn't grateful for the clothes she had... the "mother" contended that since it was the first day of school, therefore only a half-day, it wouldn't be so bad, and would teach her a lesson about gratitude. I tried my best to politely explain why that might not be such a good idea...

this of course, has no bearing on the original poster's question, ROM's post just made me think of that sad excuse for an adoptive parent I came across at the beginning of my journey... I hope she found a better path...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#23 of 41 Old 11-07-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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ROM said exactly what it was I was trying to communicate.

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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
"Do-gooder" motivations can also be really damaging if the child feels they're the primary reason they were adopted....a lot of adult adoptees have been very vocal about the painful expectation that they feel grateful to their parents, because their parents were the ones that "saved" them by adopting them. It's an unhealthy basis for a relationship, and since we can't know what an alternate life would have been like, hardly an accurate perception. There was a big hullabaloo a year or so ago when a woman who adopted a girl from China wrote publicly (in the NYT online) that she'd saved her child from a life of working in sweat shops. I'm not saying you'd have such a view, but I think it's worth looking into our inner thoughts/motivations...because kids DO pick up on them. Being a "savior" is not a good reason to adopt.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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#24 of 41 Old 11-08-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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You have a lot of good information here, and I won't even attempt to address foster care or international adoption, as I'm not nearly as educated on those systems.

We adopted our son through a US agency via domestic infant adoption. Somebody else briefly touched on this in an earlier post, but we found a local agency that only worked with adoptive parents, not expectant moms. This agency networked with other agencies around the country and functions as an "overflow" for agencies looking for adoptive parents for black and biracial/multiracial infants.

Yes, in domestic infant adoption, there are many, many families waiting. But the choices of families for some expectant moms are abysmal. Many agencies in other parts of the country can't find enough adoptive parents. Our babe's mom wanted a handfull of things--open adoption, at least one black parent, married couple--and we were the ONLY family who expressed interest from the pool of families at several agencies. There were no health issues, no risk factors, nothing. We were astonished.

But I guess the point is that there ARE moms placing children who don't have adequate choices.

And I've seen my share of disturbing posts on various boards from people who are looking to "save the world" via adoption, and I agree with everything that has been said about those issues, but I just didn't read the OP's post that way.

I think there's a difference between wanting to "save a child" and carefully examining adoption options to determine what works best for your family and where you family can best fit in the adoption world. I worry when people start talking about "the greatest need" but I actually feel pretty ok with people recognizing that there are forms of adoption that don't really need a lot more adoptive parents signing on and other forms that do.

Barefoodscientist, I think you're starting from a good place of wanting to be a parent and thoughtfully considering your next steps. Many don't take the time to even think through those things--they jump straight to the "saving kids" mentality. (Hence our propensity to bristle at any phrase containing the words "kids who need homes." )

Good luck to you as you make your way in the adoption world!
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#25 of 41 Old 11-08-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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i understand now that it's a common thing, but when i first started looking into it, i was naive enough about the whole process that it never occured to me that there would be restrictions with foreign adoptions.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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#26 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Forgive me for belaboring this point, but I feel I must post again about the motivation thing. After this thread I may just stay away from this board until I have something constructive of my own to add, since I feel as if my head has been chewed on a bit (in a gentle and polite way and I do thank you for that).

I said nothing in my post about "saving the world" or "saving children," I simply said that if I choose adoption I would like to choose a type of adoption in which adoptive families are truly needed, and I was trying to figure out what types those would be. If I can't ask that question...well...:TH? I know you keep saying

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I'm not saying YOU are doing these things
but then why bring it up?

I understand how this could be a bad situation if the only motivation was "I am going to save the world" and the parent didn't even really want the kid at all. I find it hard to believe that happens, but some of you have said you've seen it, so I believe you. I assure you that is not the case with me.

Bear with me a second and look at this in a different way, in comparison to how I got my DS. I know, completely different situation. But let's compare the motivations. When I got pregnant with DS I had no motivations, selfish or unselfish, pure or impure. He was unplanned. Once I realized I was pregnant, terminating the pregnancy never crossed my mind because I personally (and please don't let this become an abortion debate) believe that abortion is wrong. Admittedly this was not a hard decision. We were married and not in a bad situation, we just weren't planning kids yet. But if you were to press me, I would probably have to say that my primary motivation for staying pregnant, at first, was a sense of duty and obligation. Even worse than my motivation for adopting, right? As we got used to the idea, I got excited, enjoyed being pregnant, and fell in love with my baby when he started kicking, and now he absolutely means the world to me and I love him more than anything. It is true that we have biology on our side. But I just don't think the way I parent or how much I love him has anything to do with the fact that he was an unplanned pregnancy or the fact that given drastically different convictions or a drastically different situation I may have terminated that pregnancy. And I don't think the way I parent or how much I love a hypothetical future adopted child will have anything to do with the fact that I plan to choose the adoption route based in part on where adoptive families are needed more.

I'm not trying to get this thread removed, honest. :

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#27 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, tell me more about expectant black mothers having trouble placing their babies in domestic newborn adoptions. Is this based on region of the country, or is there a nationwide shortage of adoptive parents for African American babies? I have read that article about parents from abroad adopting them. Do you think this is an area it would be worthwhile to look into? I know there is a great need for black families to parent black children, but we are white. However, we would be open to parenting any race of child. Would there be birthmoms of black children looking for us too?

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#28 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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Ah BarefootScientist, please don't stay away from this board, honestly, I think that whenever anyone is considering adoption, if they're lucky enough to have thoughtful individuals around them who want to see adoptions happen in the best possible circumstances, for parents to be truly prepared, they will get their head chewed on a little bit, hopefully politely. It's just really important for everyone to examine the "why" they are wanting to adopt, their stated and unstated reasons, and really get to the heart of it. Your reasons sound exactly, word for word, like my reasons, and they are good reasons.

I also want to say that there is nothing wrong with looking around the world for the place with "the greatest need" for adoptive families. Yes, every child in the world who does not have a family deserves a family, and unfortunately, there is a need for adoptive families in every corner of the globe, BUT, what happens to a child who loses their parents in California is vastly different than what happens to a child in Africa who loses their parents. The fact that at age 14 orphans (the ones who were lucky enough to be taken into a care facility) in many countries are on their own, sometimes with no education, paints a pretty grim picture for their future. Many things drew us to Africa (I say Africa because we've looked into several countries there) but that was one of the initial draws. There are so many other factors to consider, but there is no type of adoption that is any better than any other type, it just depends on what type is the best fit for your family -- where you feel a connection and what, logistically, will work for your family. For families who are able to have bio kids, who are adopting to add to their family in what feels to them like a more socially conscious way, they might not want to jump into a massive line-up for a healthy white newborn when those kids are 100% guaranteed a family. That said, I did follow up on a U.S. birthmother's inquiry here on mdc because I felt that birthmother had a great need to find the kind of family she wanted for her baby, and our initial plan to adopt from Zambia was taking a nosedive. At this point, we're open to any type of adoption, because now that I know more about every different type, I realize that there are great needs everywhere, there are international situations that are not really as "needy" as you would think, and the fact is, kids need families, and if you're a great family, then what a blessing for everyone if any kid ends up there, bio or adopted, local, international, private, fost-adopt -- any and all types of adoptions are "needed" and any and all types of adoption are beautiful and miraculous, when the adoptive family is well-prepared.

so don't go away (ha! once you're here, you're here for good...) stay and ask whatever question you want -- the folks on this board were newbies once too, and you've said absolutely nothing offensive, naive, or in any way problematic. stick around and share your journey with us!! It's always nice to see more families coming together.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#29 of 41 Old 11-10-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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I think I've said everything very respectfully, and I'm sorry that you're upset by my responses. If you're having problems with what I'm saying, brace yourself for the homestudy. They're probably going to ask you MANY questions, sometimes sharp, about your motivations for adopting.

And if you think THAT's hard, wait until your child, or your child's birth parents, ask you about your motivations.

In my opinion, you need to think about this stuff at some point. And if you read into adoption, most authors, social workers, and specialists will talk about the same things, too.

Your original statement...

Quote:
but my primary motivation for adopting (rather than birthing another) is to give a family to a kid who otherwise might not get a stable loving family. yk?
...raised some do-gooder/save a child flags for me. I'm not saying you shouldn't adopt or pursue adopting, or that helping a child isn't a worthy goal, but rather that your primary motivation (to do some good for a child) will probably not be enough to carry you through the potential challenges of raising an adopted child. There need to be other (BIG) motivators as well. Some of those are probably already in you. Some of them may develop over time. Whatever the case, looking deep at your motivations isn't just best for you, but best for the child. And again, I'm not the only one who's going to question you or point out things that need some thought.

I don't think anyone here is being mean. If you don't like being questioned about your motivations, or talking about this stuff, I can understand. I think it may make the process difficult for you, but I know it's hard to jump into a new process/language/approach Re: adoption. I'm a little surprised at how upset you seem to be (leaving the forum, etc.), but perhaps I'm reading your posts in the wrong tone. And this is HARDLY the kind of thing that's going to get a thread closed. In the spectrum of what this forum talks about, this is pretty mild stuff.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#30 of 41 Old 11-11-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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I believe I understand your motivation because I can really realte to it. Dh and I came to a point where we wanted kids and had for years talked about adoption even though we had no reason to believe that we couldn't conceive. Our reasoning was similiar to yours, which was: let's build our family with a child who needs a family. We adopted our ds from a waiting child list from Korea. He was on the list because of a mental health issue with his birthmother and a small medical problem (which has resolved). We in no way believe that we "saved" our son or that he should be grateful at all. There are many people who have said to us "oh, he's so lucky you adopted him", etc. to which we respond that we're the lucky ones to have him. I honestly don't know if there are more families wanting kids or more kids needing families, but I would think more kids. I think if you're open to a child who isn't "perfect", the possiblities open up more. It boggles me that my son was considered "hard to place". He was only 11 months when he came home and is perfectly healthy, bright, well adjusted, etc.

Good luck with whatever path you choose. And listen to the voice in your heart; it will guide you to your child(ren).
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