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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-06-2012 07:42 AM
marsupial-mom

Mamma Mia

 

It's all about priorities. If you want to afford an adoption, then you will find a way. There are tax credits, grants, loans, and fundraising programs to reduce or eliminate the costs of adoption. There's even a new book out now that gives specific examples of how to afford adoption: http://www.amazon.com/Adopt-Without-Debt-Creative-Adoption/dp/0983539820 (I haven't read it yet and can't vouch for it but it sounds like it gives some solid financial advice.)

 

About fostercare adoptions: even if you believe that the majority of children in the system are there due simply to "poverty" and should remain with their bio parents, there are some parents who do actually abuse or neglect their children. That's reality. To ignore that fact is to discount all the experiences of foster children who have the physical and emotional scars to proove that you're generalizations about fostercare are wrong. How dare you define their reality for them. They have lived it. They have experienced the trauma. And how dare you call your refusal to acknowledge their need for permanent adoptive homes "ethical."

10-04-2012 06:56 AM
pumpkingirl71

Then don't say you can't.  Say you choose not to.  I would never say I "can't" adopt internationally because I have ethical issues with international adoption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post

 

I will not participate in a system that takes children away from their mothers because of poverty and poverty related issues. I am aware that it's cheaper, but I will not adopt a child whose mother did not consent to it free from coercion by the state or by her own poverty. That doesn't mean I am simply unwilling to adopt, giving up, spreading misinformation, fooling myself, or any other thing. It means I cannot afford to adopt according to my own ethical standards.

10-03-2012 05:52 PM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

But I'm not sure MamaMia was talking about those kind of ethical considerations, Perhaps she was alluding to international adoption? Assuming (incorrectly) that parentless children in other countries could all get their families back if our country just gave their country money?

 

I would think so except she said that it was "cheaper" to adopt that way so i assumed she meant foster care adoption. And if thats not what she meant then she completely left foster care adoption out of her post.

10-03-2012 05:44 PM
Smithie Everybody has their differing standards. Personally, I wouldn't feel good about adopting a child who HADN'T been removed from their birthparents' care for good and sufficient reasons - and poverty is not a good and sufficient reason, nor does our court system treat it as such. Children in foster care are the children in my community who need adoptive homes. And since I can have babies, I would not be comfortable pursuing the adoption of an infant when so many other women who are infertile or have serious health or genetic issues that preclude pregnancy are waiting to be matched for infant adoption.

But I'm not sure MamaMia was talking about those kind of ethical considerations, Perhaps she was alluding to international adoption? Assuming (incorrectly) that parentless children in other countries could all get their families back if our country just gave their country money?
10-03-2012 05:17 PM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post

 

I will not participate in a system that takes children away from their mothers because of poverty and poverty related issues. I am aware that it's cheaper, but I will not adopt a child whose mother did not consent to it free from coercion by the state or by her own poverty. That doesn't mean I am simply unwilling to adopt, giving up, spreading misinformation, fooling myself, or any other thing. It means I cannot afford to adopt according to my own ethical standards.

 

Would you adopt a child who was removed from birthfamily due to abuse? Neglect? What should happen to those children?

 

Do you think a parent who hits their child, prenatally exposes their child to drugs/alcohol, or lives in filthy/dangerous conditions does so simply because they are poor? Thats a pretty big insult to poor people everywhere. Heck, my own family has an income below the poverty level but you can bet *I* am not running a meth lab out of my home, allowing a boyfriend to rape my daughter, leaving my infant child alone for a long period of time in a car in cold weather. No matter how poor i get, it wont force me to set an infant in a tub of too-hot water and then not seek medical care for that child.

 

I realize addiction is a big issue, as is mental illness. But you cannot help people who do not want to be helped. Services were thrown at the bparents of my children left and right and in the end they STILL were unable to parent the children for various reasons. The state has really LOW standards...basically provide for the basic minimum needs of the child. Poverty was not the issue in any of the cases. (Granted, had the parents been WEALTHY they mightve been able to hire a private lawyer which may have helped turn the outcome in their favor, i dunno. I would not be able to hire a private lawyer myself either, financially. I sat in court for the entire 5 mo long trial for the last kids and from what i could tell all the lawyers present were competent counsel and the judge went above and beyond to make sure the legal rights of the parents were protected (which is why the trial took so long.)

 

Where i live, the decision to terminate...and the adoption process...are totally separate. The judge does not terminate based on whether their are homes ready and willing to adopt. So me adopting a child does not "support the system" that removes parental rights...it just provides a home for a child that needs one.

 

Years ago, before i was ever a parent, a friend of mine said that if only the foster care system would take the money they give to the FP and instead give it to the bio parents, then they could keep their kids. As if the kids are taken because they dont have a place to live, or need more food on the table. That is so naive, and not at all what i've seen in my experience.

10-03-2012 10:09 AM
Mamma Mia

When I say I "can't" adopt, I mean I can't afford it.  I could probably be approved, and at some point I will probably try to be approved and figure it out, but the reality is that I will probably have to stop halfway because I will run out of money.

 

Meanwhile, my health insurance covers extensive (traumatic, intense, painful) fertility treatments at almost no cost to me.

 

I will not participate in a system that takes children away from their mothers because of poverty and poverty related issues. I am aware that it's cheaper, but I will not adopt a child whose mother did not consent to it free from coercion by the state or by her own poverty. That doesn't mean I am simply unwilling to adopt, giving up, spreading misinformation, fooling myself, or any other thing. It means I cannot afford to adopt according to my own ethical standards.

09-03-2012 12:53 PM
shesaidboom

Thank you for starting this thread! I have learned so much through reading it and it has helped me feel more confident about looking further into adoption. I am one of those people who say something along the lines of "I can't adopt" (I normally say 'adoption isn't for us', or we wouldn't be approved by most agencies), although I don't go around just spouting that. It's always in response to people asking me or DH why we "don't just adopt" when people find out we are doing fertility treatments. In our case the reason we believed we couldn't was because I take anti-anxiety medication for a mild case of PTSD (without the medication I have occassional panic attacks, with it I have been 100% fine all the time) and I occassionally see a psychiatrist to keep tabs on the med situation. We formed this thinking from hearing it all over the place online (I think this is part of those spreading myths that you were talking about) and we looked into several agencies who either listed no history of being on anxiety medication or needing to be off medication for a certain number of years. After that the situation felt hopeless to us so we stopped looking into it. I know after reading this thread, I'm definitely going to be more careful in infertility forums when talking about why we had thought we'd automatically be denied from most agencies.


Anyway, the point of my comment aside from the thanks for making me really think, is that I know for me and DH, saying we "can't" adopt is almost a defense mechanism for us, and one that is easier than going into a long explanation of why we chose the path we did. We've been outright told that we're bad people for not adopting or "saving a child" when so many children in the world need homes, and that maybe we're infertile because God meant for us to save one of those children. While I wouldn't bring up our struggle with someone just out of the blue, especially someone who didn't already know our situation, it's possible that some people who have heard the things we have so many times feel like they have to justify their choices (even though they don't), even to people who haven't asked, because after hearing something so many times it can feel like everyone is judging even when they aren't. I don't know if I'm making sense here. The only comparison I can think of, although maybe not the best one, is the formula vs breastfeeding thing. Someone who chose to use formula may automatically feel that they have to justify their choice to someone who breastfeeds because there are a lot of people who will automatically judge someone for not breastfeeding even if that specific person is not one of them. Sometimes it can feel like you have to prove that you're not a bad person for doing something different (even though that's not remotely true), whatever your reasons are. After experiencing what we have, as soon as we even hear the word 'adopt' our defenses go up, and I'm sure we're not alone. It's definitely not an excuse for someone to expect you to play therapist for them, but it may be why it is happening.

08-29-2012 09:05 AM
marsupial-mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

I definitely think helping people is a good thing. And personally i hate when people adopt solely to "save a child" or "help the world" rather than primarily because they want to be a parent. But (and this might not even be what you meant) i also hate when people have this idea that if only a birthparent had more money, resources, help they could have (or would have) parented their children. Once, when i was in college, a friend said that wouldnt it be great if instead of giving foster parents a stipend the state would just give that money to the birthparent and then they would be able to parent their child! um, no. In my experience with foster care adoption, most kids are in care because of the parent's inability to parent due to addiction, mental illness, etc. Not just because they are poor. Or "dont know how" to parent. Certainly those cases exist...but i know with my agency, resources were thrown at these parents left and right. Counseling, parenting classes, help with addictions, therapy and more therapy, bus fare, job counseling, housing help etc etc etc. I imagine these resources help that parent that just needs a helping hand, needs education, needs pointed in the right direction to find proper supports. But if a person is so mentally ill they are not a safe parent, or if a parent is so damaged emotionally from their own messed up childhood that they simply do not possess the empathy it takes to love and care for their child....no amount of support will fix that.

Thank you for saying this.

 

There are some problems that can be solved simply by throwing money at them or giving someone more education. But not all problems.

 

When it comes to the reasons that children become available for adoption, the situations are often...

a) not always "problems"; some women do actually make the free choice to make an adoption plan rather than parent their own biological child. And that's fine. There is nothing wrong with the decision!

b) issues that cannot be solved through the actions of one individual donating $30k (eg war, famine, drug addiction, mental illness, etc). There are actual orphans in this world - children without parents. Either those parents are dead or they're missing or they're literally incapable of functioning as parents regardless of the resources available to them.

 

Sometimes, it would be better if our society functioned a bit differently, for example if all prisons had childcare facilities so that small children and babies born to incarcerated women could stay with their mothers (if the mothers wanted that). It would be better if refugee camps had unlimited time and resources to help reunite families. But you know what? That's not reality right now. There are kids who need someone to parent them - right now.

08-29-2012 08:02 AM
Mami2701

I have a neglect allegation. It's causing some problems for me. It has prevented me from getting 2 jobs so far. After the case is closed I'm hoping there won't be as many obstacles. It sounds like adoption won't ever be a choice for me, though. I'm considering calling an adoption agency and asking.

08-29-2012 04:23 AM
marsupial-mom An abuse or neglect conviction would automatically bar you from adoption but unsubstantiated allegations would not.

There are plenty of things can can make adoption difficult for some people, but very few things that completely exclude it as a possibility.
08-28-2012 08:13 PM
Mami2701

This is a very interesting thread.

 

I have an open DCFS case. I was charged with "neglect". The allegations were mostly false, but I went through the system. I have completed all the "services" and my daughter is in the process of returning home... the case will be closed this year.

 

I am thinking about adoption in several years from now. Would this history automatically bar me from adoption? Would it depend on the agency? TIA

08-27-2012 07:37 PM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

So when people trot out these wacky myths about adoption and then use those myths to justify inaction and to absolve themselves of society's duty to these children, it really makes my blood boil.

 

I know we are talking about foster adoption here ( I think) but maybe instead of adoption these people who do not feel the need to bring an unrelated child into their homes could instead be encouraged to work for the social change that is needed to keep families intact.

 

Say- you have a friend who has an extra 100,000 and she does not feel a duty to adopt a child- maybe she could say- give that 30,000 that would have been spent on adoption to support keeping a mother and child together.  say send her 1,000 a month for oh- I don't know- 30 months- to help get her thru college or job training.

 

Say- maybe they could teach a free course in how to get a job, how to have an interview, how to fill out a FAFSA- maybe they want to tutor low income families on how to budget or how to cook easy inexpensive meals... maybe they could give a low income mother a ride to the dr.

 

There are way more ways to help induce social change then just "helping" one child at a time thru adoption... $30,000 could go a long way to help impoverished countries keep their own kids.

 

It's okay if people don't want to adopt- I don't.  I know all about adoption and I don't want to adopt.  Not one bit- and I think it is totally okay for people to not want to adopt.  I am one of them.

 

I definitely think helping people is a good thing. And personally i hate when people adopt solely to "save a child" or "help the world" rather than primarily because they want to be a parent. But (and this might not even be what you meant) i also hate when people have this idea that if only a birthparent had more money, resources, help they could have (or would have) parented their children. Once, when i was in college, a friend said that wouldnt it be great if instead of giving foster parents a stipend the state would just give that money to the birthparent and then they would be able to parent their child! um, no. In my experience with foster care adoption, most kids are in care because of the parent's inability to parent due to addiction, mental illness, etc. Not just because they are poor. Or "dont know how" to parent. Certainly those cases exist...but i know with my agency, resources were thrown at these parents left and right. Counseling, parenting classes, help with addictions, therapy and more therapy, bus fare, job counseling, housing help etc etc etc. I imagine these resources help that parent that just needs a helping hand, needs education, needs pointed in the right direction to find proper supports. But if a person is so mentally ill they are not a safe parent, or if a parent is so damaged emotionally from their own messed up childhood that they simply do not possess the empathy it takes to love and care for their child....no amount of support will fix that.

08-26-2012 02:00 PM
Tigerchild

I think people say all sorts of stupid things when they're trying to connect with people.

 

When my twins were babies, I seriously had to tighten my body to avoid punching people who would warble at me "ooOOOOoooOOoo I always wanted to have TWINS, zOMG you are SoooOOOOoOOOooo lucky!!!!eleventyone1!".  Don't get me wrong, I wanted to punch people who said "Haha, you poor thing," too.  Multiple moms get all the nice whose vagina, if any, did these creatures come out of invasive questions too.  People would tell me stories about their great aunt Mabel's dead twin at birth and how her life was hell everafter, ect.  How they "never could" or "how wonderful" it would be.  Ultimately, though, they were just wanting a brief connection with the "exotic" I think.

 

And whether we like it or not (most of us don't), adoptees and adoptive families are going to be seen as exotic by many, if not most, people.  Even if it's NOT a transracial or foster care or international adoption.

 

I think the "I always wanted to adopt but oh dear, I just couldn't" is very much like, "I always wanted twins, I'm so jealous, did you cheat and go on inferility drugs?" type of asshat unthinking comments that people make.  In general, I find people who truly are grieving over something do not intrude upon other people they don't know (though they may very well feel safe/connected enough to mention their experience to someone they are close to--I'm talking about acquaintance level people here though).

 

Some people just can't help their diarrhea of the mind/mouth.  It's annoying, but there's not really anything you can do to stop it.  It's not education or misunderstanding or even ignorance per se--it's just people not thinking too hard about how they're trying to connect with you.

08-22-2012 11:08 AM
marsupial-mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

 

It's okay if people don't want to adopt- I don't.  I know all about adoption and I don't want to adopt.  Not one bit- and I think it is totally okay for people to not want to adopt.  I am one of them.

Absolutely, if people don't want to adopt then they shouldn't.

 

I wasn't talking about those people. That is, unless they go around LYING and saying that they "can't adopt" when the truth is they don't want to.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

 

There are way more ways to help induce social change then just "helping" one child at a time thru adoption... $30,000 could go a long way to help impoverished countries keep their own kids.

 

Of course there are many ways to change society and help needy children. Maybe we could talk about that in a thread called "How to help needy children." But this thread is about people who say they "can't adopt". This thread is about the little lies people tell themselves and each other regarding adoption. Have you read Lying by Sam Harris and Annaka Harris? The mini book makes a strong case that we ought not lie to each other, even when we think we're merely being kind.

08-22-2012 10:48 AM
Smithie

I very much DO want to adopt - but I see where you're coming from. When I'm done fostering (either because we adopt or because we burn out), I can't imagine unengaging from this issue. I'm hoping to become a GAL or work with an organization that supports at-risk moms and babies. I was surprised and thrilled to find out recently that a bunch of people I know socially are involved with a program that keeps women in drug rehag together with their babies in a safe environment as they work a program. I live in a conservative state, I hardly knoew such things existed here, much less that my friends were behind them. 

08-22-2012 09:25 AM
Mom31

So when people trot out these wacky myths about adoption and then use those myths to justify inaction and to absolve themselves of society's duty to these children, it really makes my blood boil.

 

I know we are talking about foster adoption here ( I think) but maybe instead of adoption these people who do not feel the need to bring an unrelated child into their homes could instead be encouraged to work for the social change that is needed to keep families intact.

 

Say- you have a friend who has an extra 100,000 and she does not feel a duty to adopt a child- maybe she could say- give that 30,000 that would have been spent on adoption to support keeping a mother and child together.  say send her 1,000 a month for oh- I don't know- 30 months- to help get her thru college or job training.

 

Say- maybe they could teach a free course in how to get a job, how to have an interview, how to fill out a FAFSA- maybe they want to tutor low income families on how to budget or how to cook easy inexpensive meals... maybe they could give a low income mother a ride to the dr.

 

There are way more ways to help induce social change then just "helping" one child at a time thru adoption... $30,000 could go a long way to help impoverished countries keep their own kids.

 

It's okay if people don't want to adopt- I don't.  I know all about adoption and I don't want to adopt.  Not one bit- and I think it is totally okay for people to not want to adopt.  I am one of them.

08-15-2012 06:25 PM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

I just want to say that you can adopt from fostercare without fostering. There are children in the system who are already cleared for adoption and have their parental rights terminated. They are literally just waiting to be adopted.

 

And just to expand on this a bit...in many places you can adopt a child who is already a state ward but isnt really a "waiting child" in the sense that its a photolisted child or something like that. With my previous agency, it wasnt like they had a pool of these kids "waiting" however they knew what kids were in the process of TPR and would likely be "coming up" for adoption, and whether or not any relatives/foster parent would be seeking to adopt. With my next adoption i am going to ask for a child younger than my boys (preferable a baby or young toddler) and if we have to wait awhile, we will wait. Generally if you call an agency and say "i want to adopt a child under three without fostering" they will say they dont have any...but they usually DO. its just that those kids are placed very quickly. And you might have to wait awhile. But it DOES happen. Sometimes even with very young children (babies)...it really just depends. you could luck out and a foster parent with your agency just happens to have a recently TPR'd 1 yr old they dont want to adopt (maybe they feel they are too old, or dont want to close their home to fostering or just dont feel its "their" child) and boom, you have a baby. It honestly really just depends on your area, your agency, and lots of luck.

08-15-2012 08:24 AM
MountainMamaGC
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

I just want to say that you can adopt from fostercare without fostering. There are children in the system who are already cleared for adoption and have their parental rights terminated. They are literally just waiting to be adopted.

 

We have that here too. The news will do a segment on a child that is ready to be adopted, called Wednesdays Child. The have a biography of all these children including any special needs they have on the governement website. 

08-14-2012 03:24 PM
marsupial-mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 

But since then I have come around to feeling more open about possibly fostering to adopt.  My only negative feelings about doing that are that I don't know how one handles foster children coming and going when you already have children.  I recently had an experience that made me feel both more optimistic about that idea and less.  I found a kid (now adult) online that I worked with in a social-worky capacity (though in a lot of ways my job was really to mother him) and was very close to 15 years ago, when he was 8 to 11 years old, and he is doing so, so amazingly well and it just melted me and brought back, in a visceral way, the memories of how easy it was to fall in love with him and his sister.  Having found him really highlights to me the issue I was worried about  --  I don't have a relationship with him because his mother came around, went from seriously messed up crack addict/prostitute who was not able to take care of her kids at all to a devoted and loving mom in the three years I knew them (another thing that I found when digging around online was that someone is actually doing a documentary which in large part is about her and how that came about, and she's still doing really great and is still clearly very devoted) and it was time for me to step out, my job was done.  I moved away from Chicago at that point and never had any contact, which was so, so hard for me, but I am pretty sure the right thing for their family.  But part of me really wishes that I did have a relationship with him, that things maybe didn't go so well for her (I would never wish that, except insofar as it fits into a fantasy where those kids end up mine) and one thing led to another and I ended up raising them.  It was really painful for me to walk away.  So finding him makes me very much aware of the ups and downs in maybe temporary/maybe permanent caregiving.  

I just want to say that you can adopt from fostercare without fostering. There are children in the system who are already cleared for adoption and have their parental rights terminated. They are literally just waiting to be adopted.

08-14-2012 09:09 AM
mamarhu

I am one of the people who might say I can't get approved for adoption, to a stranger/acquaintance, meaning I have experience with the system, and wanted to adopt, but it would be far too painful to tell my whole story, take half an hour, and really is none of their business. "I can't adopt" (or more specifically, "I tried, but it didn't work out") is a brief, one-liner cover story that lets me show some understanding about the issues of adoption without dredging up my grief (one year old, and still fresh). This actually comes up pretty frequently in my work as family advocate for families with kids in the mental health system - several of my clients are foster and/or adoptive families.
 

For me, fostering was a Plan A choice. I have 3 bios, and waited till they were ready to have high-needs siblings. I spent years setting up all aspects of my life. I rented a house with extra bedrooms. I set up a home business to have income and still the flexibility to meet kids' needs. I researched all the local agency options, and chose the one that seemed to fit. I educated myself about the issues and needs and treatment common to abused and neglected children. I did therapeutic level fostering for 4 years. I was all set to adopt 2-4 siblings (long story), had been to court, done mediation with the birth-mom regarding visitation, the kids were even told this would be their "forever home", when they were removed from my home, under really awful circumstances. I can't tell the story without crying. And this isn't the half of it. I would still love to adopt. But #1- I probably can't get approved, due to false allegations made against me by unscrupulous lawyers (and no more money to pay a lawyer to fight it) , #2- I don't have it in me to set up my life to foster again, and #3 - I can't risk the heartbreak again. For me, "I wish I could adopt" is all I can say in some circumstances. Without knowing my story, I can see how someone might think I just hadn't tried.

08-14-2012 05:04 AM
rs11

I think a lot of people really want to adopt but honestly feel that they wouldn't be approved and that is where the miscommunication comes in. It doesn't help that there are so many reasons you can be turned down. I've known or heard about people who've been turned down because: they had too much student loan debt (even though they could pay cash for the adoption), they weren't Christian, they were Christian (different agencies, different rules), and because someone had a serious medical issue (cancer) over 10 years before applying. Not to mention the LGBT issue, which is what we're facing going into the foster care system. We know one lesbian couple who managed to adopt. Their daughter came from China about 14 years ago now after their third time of applying and on the last try one of them moved out during the homestudy. No joke.

 

Then there's the money issue. When I told one of my good friends we were thinking about trying to adopt, she gasped and immediately said "Where are you going to get that kind of money?" It certainly isn't correct, but the popular assumption is that all adoptions cost $40k these days. I believe that leads a lot of people to think they couldn't adopt.

 

Finally, there are the horror stories of nosy social workers who go through people's closets looking for porn or turn a good home down because there's some dirt or worse, the stories of SW's who tell families that not only can they not adopt, but they could have their own kids taken away. An example of a latter case is an Amish or Mennonite family who tried to take in some foster children a few years back and was told that a) they couldn't and b) the state could legally take their own kids because they used an outhouse and didn't have running water in the house. People hear these stories and immediately believe they could never adopt because they wouldn't put up with that or risk that.

07-18-2012 11:14 AM
rubidoux

Thanks so much for your reply, Katherine!  I had read a bit online about all of those issues, but it's very different to hear someone's opinion about my actual situation.  You make me feel much better about the possibilities.

 

Dh and I are undecided about adoption, even if everything was perfect and easy.  We both *really* want to, but we have felt pretty spread thin by the two we have.  Also, I haven't worked since getting pregnant with my older son, so the idea of adding a job (which really has to happen, though I'd love to stay at home) and a child is overwhelming.  I'm in the process of trying to get back to work  --  taking the California Bar next week  --  but I have no idea how the dust will settle.  I'm hoping that by this time next year I will have a job, will have "rehabilitated" my loans, and have a better idea about whether we can afford a bigger house in the foreseeable future.  I hope that nailing those things down will make it feel safer to us to have another child.  I really hope to have a third child in the next few years, but I don't have the sense that I did after number one that if I didn't have another it would be a personal tragedy for me. 

 

I'm so relieved to hear that nobody did a credit check for you!  I thought that was routine.  When I first started reading up about adoption five years ago, I became really attached to the idea of adopting from Ghana (combo of personal experience with Ghanaians, what I could find about how the children were taken care of, and more liberal rules than some places).  My sense is that finances are more of an issue with international adoption, but obviously I'm not sure about that.  

 

But since then I have come around to feeling more open about possibly fostering to adopt.  My only negative feelings about doing that are that I don't know how one handles foster children coming and going when you already have children.  I recently had an experience that made me feel both more optimistic about that idea and less.  I found a kid (now adult) online that I worked with in a social-worky capacity (though in a lot of ways my job was really to mother him) and was very close to 15 years ago, when he was 8 to 11 years old, and he is doing so, so amazingly well and it just melted me and brought back, in a visceral way, the memories of how easy it was to fall in love with him and his sister.  Having found him really highlights to me the issue I was worried about  --  I don't have a relationship with him because his mother came around, went from seriously messed up crack addict/prostitute who was not able to take care of her kids at all to a devoted and loving mom in the three years I knew them (another thing that I found when digging around online was that someone is actually doing a documentary which in large part is about her and how that came about, and she's still doing really great and is still clearly very devoted) and it was time for me to step out, my job was done.  I moved away from Chicago at that point and never had any contact, which was so, so hard for me, but I am pretty sure the right thing for their family.  But part of me really wishes that I did have a relationship with him, that things maybe didn't go so well for her (I would never wish that, except insofar as it fits into a fantasy where those kids end up mine) and one thing led to another and I ended up raising them.  It was really painful for me to walk away.  So finding him makes me very much aware of the ups and downs in maybe temporary/maybe permanent caregiving.  

 

That is all a story for another day, though...  Eventually I'll start a thread.  I bring it up here partly because I wanted to share where I'm at with you, Katherine, since you took the time to seriously consider my situation!  And also because I wanted to say that I very well could be that person to say to some adoptive mom "I want (or wanted) to adopt, but I'm not eligible."  There is some truth to OP's position that I haven't jumped through enough (any?) hoops to have any idea and maybe that is because I'm not serious enough (or sure enough, or to that place yet, maybe) about wanting to adopt.  But it is not true that its just a flippant thing I'm throwing out there not having given it any thought so I can look like a bigger person.  If I were to say it, it would suck to have it be offensive to the mom I'm talking to.  Had I not seen this thread, that would be totally from out of left field to me and I likely would have no idea what I had done wrong.  

07-18-2012 09:36 AM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

When I first opened this thread I felt a little rush of excitement because I thought somehow that there were a lot of people out there who thought they were not eligible to adopt, but they were mostly wrong and it turns out its not so hard after all.  I don't know if I've ever told anyone other than close friends and my mother, but I'm pretty sure we'd be ineligible.  I'm in default on what is probably now $180 in school loans, I haven't had any income in over ten years, we live in a two bedroom home with our two boys who share a room (well, sleep with us, but that's just another strike against us, right?).  I can't see any way that we will be able to have a home with more bedrooms anytime soon as we are totally underwater with our house.  Dh and I have both been in therapy and he has been on SSRI's (this I can't believe would disqualify us, but I have read online that it can and does).  Our kids are mostly not vaxed and we never do well baby visits.  I am sure there are more...  but maybe that is just because I perceive us as being kind of a mess and assume that anyone looking in would run screaming.  

 

At any rate, when I think about how I feel about the fact that I believe that we wouldn't be approved, I feel pretty sad and down about it.  It's something that I feel sort of helpless and overwhelmed by.  I'm 42 years old.  I imagine that by the time I'm 50 the economy would be a bit better and we'd be in a better position to get a larger house and by then I sure hope I'd have gotten good with my student loans and even paid them down quite a bit.  But then I'll be 50.  So is it really true that we are not going to have another child just because I made the stupid decision to go to school when what I wanted most was to be a sahm?  Gah!  

 

So, no I have not pursued every possible avenue (or any actually!), but I do believe honestly and wholeheartedly that I would not be approved.  I think I will continue to keep it to myself, though, I'm not terribly sure why it would be offensive, even after having read the whole thread. 

 

Im not sure anyone replied to this but i wanted to address it.

 

I think the biggest issue in what you wrote as reasons why you're pretty sure you cant adopt would just be the financial stress you may be under. Its not the money so much as an agency might be hesitant to place a child with you if there is stuff going on that is putting pressure on you right now....they wouldnt want to add to the pressure until thats resolved yknow?

 

I dont know much about how hard it is to get approved for private infant/domestic adoption or international but i can speak to my experience in completing three adoptions from foster care.

 

No one probed my finances. There was a worksheet where i needed to list my expenses and my income, i needed to provide proof of income such as a tax return or pay stubs. I needed to list the amt in bank acct on the worksheet but didnt need to provide proof (although my friend says she had to give more extensive info about their financial stuff so who knows.) I dont think there was any place on that form where you would need to disclose being in default on a student loan and they didnt check my credit or anything like that. You not being employed wouldnt be an issue at all if there was another adult in the home bringing in income and basically what most agencies want to see is that you have enough income to cover your bills. Many agencies (at least foster care ones) will accept many forms of "income" (like if a couple is retired and getting a pension, or if you are on social security or something like that)...it really just depends on your situation. They WANT to approve you so if there is any way at all, they will find it (if they are the right agency for you, and if not....move on to another one!)

 

As to bedroom space...it depends on the regulations where you live. Where i live, for a foster care adoption, they go by square ft...there must be 40 sf of bedroom space per person occupying that room. So a room that is 80 sf can be occupied by two people. There are additional regs. like a baby under three can room in with a parent, and children of opposite genders can share a room if they are under five years old, things like that. This varies widely between states. So again, it just depends on your situation. I generally did not bring cosleeping up to my agency (with my first homestudy my son was 9 and though he coslept parttime he had his own room and bed so i did not share that info.) Do your kids have beds in their room? Depending on the agency and how they seem to feel about it, i might not volunteer info about (they mostly want to see that there is a bedroom set up, not where your kids end up at midnight yknow?) You dont want to LIE really but more like not volunteering info they dont ask for. I am not sure how old your kids are, but if you were going to try to, say, foster an infant for possible adoption, that infant might be able to room in with you and the older kids would technically have their own room. I had a portable crib (not pack n play but an actual mini crib) set up in my room that took up very little space. When i was fostering and adopting i had three kids plus me in a two bedroom apartment, it was fine. Once my daughter was going to move in, i had to move to a larger place but only because she was a girl and couldnt share my oldest son's room.

 

About being in therapy....again, what they want to know is if you are in a stable situation. If you are currently in crisis and thats why you are in therapy they will likely ask you to wait before adding another stressor (a new child) to the home. They will ask about mental health on your forms and that will be explored in the homestudy process...my friend's husband had to get a letter from his psychiatrist stating he was stable. Usually its not an issue, again depending on your agency, and again if one agency won't work with you, another usually will. You just need to advocate for yourself and be persistent.

 

Vaxes/well baby visits....might not be an issue depending on where you live/the philosophy of the agency. My kids arent vaxed, its not an issue (but i live in a very liberal state for vax regs)...where i live every family member must have a physical form turned in. I dont have insurance so i usually just go to the urgent care clinic and get a quick physical by some random doctor, and thats always been accepted. I do like to have a relationship with a doctor for my kids, so they go each year to the ped., but are not vaxed (well my kids were when they were foster but not since adoption)...i do not do well baby visits either but do go at least yearly just to maintain a current physical on the kids. Some agencies will be freaked out by nonvaxed kids who dont go to the doctor, others will not. The important thing is that you can explain your reasons without sounding crazy. winky.gif

 

The thing with adopting is....its not like someone is going to come knock on your door and hand you a kid, or the first day you walk into an agency they sign you up and send a baby over. The process is hard. Sometimes its SUPER hard and sometimes its not-so-hard...but its not for the faint of heart. Its usually months of paperwork, intrusive questions, home visits, classes (depending on the type of adoption)...then once you are approved its many more months or years of waiting to be matched. If you decide to do foster care with the hopes of possibly adopting (which sounds like might be a good option in your situation) there will be even more headaches, and heartbreak, and hoops to jump through. You HAVE to be willing to go through all that crap, to advocate for yourself, to fight your way through the system etc etc. You can't be passive. You can't give up at the first obstacle or hurdle.

 

The biggest advice i would give you is, dont wait. (Unless you feel now is truly not the best time to add a child.) At the very least, send for info from some agencies, go to a couple of info meetings or orientations. There is no obligation. At least you will have given it a shot. I put off adopting for years because i thought i wasnt ready, thought my situation wasnt "good enough" and i wasted so much time. My only regret was not doing it earlier.

 

I'm a single mom, nearly 40, with a nontraditional job. When i was first approved i was living in a 2 bedroom apt with my son. I now have four kids (live in a four bedroom house now, yay) and technically my income puts us at "poverty level" but i know i will have no problem getting approved when i'm ready to adopt another child from the state. I have three adopted kids, all placed as foster children (one, post termination with the purpose of adoption by me) one was placed at three weeks old (adopted 11 months old), one placed at 16 months old (finalized at three years old) my daughter placed at 8 yrs old (finalized at nine years old)...my boys are totally healthy normal kids, my daughter has some emotional issues but is otherwise healthy.

07-18-2012 08:51 AM
queenjane
Quote:
Originally Posted by christophersmom View Post

You're not the only one bothered by this. I hate people starting a conversation with me about adopting or fostering then saying I can't do that. I don't care, I didn't ask you, too. Stop lying to me and yourself and just don't say anything.

 

It IS really weird. Its not like we're going around saying "you should adopt!" if the subject doesnt even come up. I would assume if someone said "oh we cant adopt" that they wanted to adopt and something prevented them from doing so, and i would feel sorta obligated to ask why and correct any incorrect assumptions they have (for example, some people think you have to be well off, or married, or own a home etc)

07-17-2012 12:35 PM
christophersmom
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post
I'm talking about people who say they can't get approved when in fact they're just speculating. By claiming that they can't get approved they're spreading rumors about adoption. And that annoys me.

You're not the only one bothered by this. I hate people starting a conversation with me about adopting or fostering then saying I can't do that. I don't care, I didn't ask you, too. Stop lying to me and yourself and just don't say anything.

07-14-2012 07:18 AM
mammal_mama

It sounds like this situation doesn't really compare to having biological children and being told by a mere acquantance that I'm so lucky because she really wanted to have children but was never able to become pregnant, or was never able to carry a pregnancy to term.

 

No matter how stressed I am, I feel no annoyance and only sympathy for someone in this situation. Hearing something like this can actually even remind me of how lucky I really am in the midst of the stress. And I don't think this kind of conversation happens nearly as frequently as what you and the other adoptive moms here are describing.

 

Knowing all of this will certainly make me more aware in the future.

07-14-2012 06:34 AM
pumpkingirl71

This makes me care for three reasons:

 

I happens all of the time, though less now that my kids are older.  And the acquaintance always brings it up, not me.

 

Adoption is emotional for me and it is emotional for my child.  It is really just not an appropriate conversation.

 

And most importantly, it is this weird fake jealously that is not grounded in fact.  If I have adopted a child with significant emotional and medical issues,  I have a lot on my plate.  I really should not have to be the one to politely deal with the weird fake jealously of almost strangers.   I get it that I do have to deal with it, and I will be polite.  But I deserve to be annoyed.  I really do wink1.gif  And of course it is my business if someone is putting me in an awkward situation, especially in front of my child.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Seriously, why do you care whether they literally can't or are just saying that they can't?

 

07-14-2012 03:16 AM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsupial-mom View Post

I'm not saying everyone who can adopt should. I'm just saying its really annoying to me when people spread myths about adoption by giving BS reasons for why they "can't." they might not mean anything by it but they are making it harder for kids to find homes by spreading these myths.
Just like how we know it's usually BS when someone says they "can't" breastfeed, if they go around saying that unchallenged then they're spreading lies about breast feeding that can make it more challenging to encourage others to do it.
It would just be nice if people were more honest.

Agreed.

07-13-2012 03:37 PM
marsupial-mom I'm not saying everyone who can adopt should. I'm just saying its really annoying to me when people spread myths about adoption by giving BS reasons for why they "can't." they might not mean anything by it but they are making it harder for kids to find homes by spreading these myths.

Just like how we know it's usually BS when someone says they "can't" breastfeed, if they go around saying that unchallenged then they're spreading lies about breast feeding that can make it more challenging to encourage others to do it.

It would just be nice if people were more honest.
07-13-2012 02:40 PM
lauren

I would add that children already born to someone using drugs deserve assurances that when they go into foster care and or foster/adopt deserve assurances that their experience won't be repeated. Hence the home study for foster/adoptive parents.
 

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