Adoption Agency Recommendations Sought - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd love to know of gay-friendly adoption agencies that are good to work with. Anyone?

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and hoping to conceive and also adopt in 2017!
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#2 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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We have friends who just went through the Independent Adoption Center and were pleased. I can't speak to details, but they seemed happy enough.

Good luck!

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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#3 of 16 Old 05-25-2009, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:bumping:

Aren't there any adoptive mamas on the list?

We really want a closed adoption agency. The thought of a 3rd person being involved is not what we want at this time.

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#4 of 16 Old 05-25-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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We really want a closed adoption agency. The thought of a 3rd person being involved is not what we want at this time.
You should check out the Adoptive and Foster Parenting Forum here and ask if anyone knows of any queer friendly closed adoption agencies. I think that the majority of domestic adoptions are trending towards being open (or semi-open), so I'm not surprised that you're having trouble finding a domestic closed-adoption agency. Finding a queer-friendly international adoption agency is also possible, but definitely difficult.

I don't know how much research you've already done about adoption, but everything I've read has made me think that open adoption is definitely the way to go, whenever possible. While YOU might think that the idea of "a third person" being involved doesn't sound like a great plan, your CHILD would likely feel very differently, given that the third person would be his or her mother. It can sound scary at first, but the vast majority of what I've read re: open adoption experiences has actually been incredibly positive.

I personally think that the more people who love my kids in their lives, the better.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 & 12) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#5 of 16 Old 05-25-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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:bumping:

Aren't there any adoptive mamas on the list?

We really want a closed adoption agency. The thought of a 3rd person being involved is not what we want at this time.
I posted on the adoption forum, but here I see that you are looking for a closed situation. There aren't very many closed adoptions done anymore in the US, for good reason. Most people go into the process being very wary of open adoption, and then find out more about it and feel much more comfortable. You really have to consider what will be best for your child, even if it means discomfort for you. For my daughter to be in contact with and know about her birthfamily is life-saving; we opened our adoption up internationally, so it wasn't easy but it has made all the difference to our kid. The specifics can really vary; there isn't one set pattern. It could be one visit a year and some letters and photos, for example.

Most international adoptions are de facto closed. I'm not sure what countries are still open to "single" women; I believe Russia might be. So if you feel strongly about this, that might be a route to consider.
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#6 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know how much research you've already done about adoption, but everything I've read has made me think that open adoption is definitely the way to go, whenever possible.
I have trouble seeing the difference between closed adoption and doing what most of us here are doing....using a donor who our children will not be in contact with. Either way, these children may when older really want to find their donor dad/birth parents, or they might not care at all about that.

Maybe I should have specified that we are interested in newborn adoption (up to about 10 months old). I can see how open adoption might be better for older children who have known their parents, but for newborns, I just don't see the benefits.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I have trouble seeing the difference between closed adoption and doing what most of us here are doing....using a donor who our children will not be in contact with. Either way, these children may when older really want to find their donor dad/birth parents, or they might not care at all about that.
I think that there definitely differences between adoption and sperm donation, but I do agree that parallels can be made. If I had researched open adoption before we ever chose to use donor sperm, I would have done things differently (namely, I would have insisted on using a known donor). If I had the option of an open relationship with my kids' donor, I would absolutely go for it (as is, we choose to have on-going contact with 16 other families who used the same donor, so that at least our kids will have open relationships with each other).

A mother who chooses to place her child with an adoptive family is making a very different decision that a man choosing to donate some sperm. The mother already has a relationship with a real baby, and the sperm donor is giving up his rights to any potential offspring that may or may not be created with his genetic material. Having been pregnant myself, if I didn't know the woman who carried me in her womb for nine months, I would definitely want to meet and know her. I don't think I'd feel as strongly about meeting a sperm donor, if I had one, but that's just me.

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#8 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A mother who chooses to place her child with an adoptive family is making a very different decision that a man choosing to donate some sperm. The mother already has a relationship with a real baby, and the sperm donor is giving up his rights to any potential offspring that may or may not be created with his genetic material. Having been pregnant myself, if I didn't know the woman who carried me in her womb for nine months, I would definitely want to meet and know her. I don't think I'd feel as strongly about meeting a sperm donor, if I had one, but that's just me.

Lex
Hmm...but I think that may be a woman issue rather than a general issue...at least in my experience, if I were to donate eggs, that would be the same as giving a child up for adoption...I would want to know who the child was going to and know that the child (potential children) would be in good hands. In general I don't believe guys care as much about their offspring. Maybe I'm wrong.

On a side note, I don't feel any attachment at all to the baby in my womb. Sure, I feel attached to the idea of there being a baby at the end, but I do not feel connected to this one in the pregnancy. I did with the first one though, so I can tell where you might be coming from. I was so connected we practically knew each other's thoughts.

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#9 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I just wanted to add another perspective. My mom was adopted, my dad and his girlfriend (before he married my mom) gave up a baby for adoption and one of my best friends is adopted. They have all had different experiences. My mom had no desire to seek out her bio family, until she was older...unfortunately it was too late at that time as her bio mom had passed away and my mom passed away soon after she found out as well. My half sister has since met her bio mom (our shared bio dad passed away when I was a kid), me, our grandma, cousins, etc. and it was been a wonderful experience. She also has a great relationship with her adopted parents. Finally, my friend who is adopted has so many issues with being abandoned....it really troubles her that she wasn't able to find out info until she was older (which she did - and met her mom). She is fiercely passionate that no one should make the decision for her or her birth parents on who gets to meet who. I also have 2 other good friends who were adopted, one has signed up for the "no contact" option, which means her birth family can never contact her. The other has met her family. She doesn't spend time with them at all but she is satisfied that she has been given the chance to seek out the information she was looking for.

I was also under the impression that most countries do not do closed adoptions anymore.

I'm sure you've heard lots of adoption stories...all different...I hope they help you in making up your mind

Btw, my partner and I are going to look into adopting more children after our little one is born next year.

Me joy.gif, DP treehugger.gif, S bikenew.gif and L babyboy.gif
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#10 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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Hi Raene,

I am an adoptive parent. My dd was placed with us when she was 4 months old as a foster placement. Although technically our adoption is closed right now due to safety concerns with the birth family, I do have info on the birth mother, including name, ssn, some history. We are very open with our dd about things when she asks. B/c she is only 5, she hasn't started asking the really hard questions, like why--in detail--she doesn't live with her birthmom (birthmom was incarcerated and was drug user). However....that all being said, it makes me sad sometimes when I think that she doesn't have the benefit of an open adoption. Although I know it would be incredibly hard on myself and dp, I know that, if circumstances surrounding the birth family were different, it would be in her best interest. My dd is also a transracial adoptee, so if nothing else, the birth family could certainly provide the cultural link that we cannot.... Just some thoughts.

PROUD mama to Amiya, age 6 , and Asher, born 10/2009 . Loving partner to dp, Amy.
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#11 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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Hmm...but I think that may be a woman issue rather than a general issue...at least in my experience, if I were to donate eggs, that would be the same as giving a child up for adoption...
I don't think many people would agree with you there. I think most would find growing a child for the length of a pregnancy, feeling the child move inside them, birthing the child, and then placing the child with an adoptive family to be very different from donating genetic material.

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On a side note, I don't feel any attachment at all to the baby in my womb. Sure, I feel attached to the idea of there being a baby at the end, but I do not feel connected to this one in the pregnancy.
Your lack of connection doesn't mean that your baby--and future child--won't one day feel attached to having grown in your womb. I think the big thing here is to NOT think about how YOU would feel, but to realize the potential for your child (by birth or adoption) to feel any number of attachments and/or connections. And to set things up in advance in such a way as to allow your child to make the choice about whether or not to make and/or sustain contact with birth/genetic family members.

Lex

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#12 of 16 Old 05-26-2009, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These ideas bring up interesting points about those of us with sperm donors, too, though. I think potentially our kids could really seek info in locating these guys.

For me and DP, we chose a known donor out of convenience, but he wants never to be known and we made the promise in the agreement to never tell the DC that it is he who donated. He and his wife are friends of ours with kids of their own, and they are not interested in being a part of our child's life, b/c they don't see our child as theirs.

I can see that if I personally found out I was adopted, I'd seek out my bio mom, just b/c I have a horrid relationship with my real mom. I might like the idea that someone is out there who might be a better role model. Or not...who knows?

It also brings up an interesting point...for me, DD1 was conceived in a straight relationship. When I conceived, my then-DP went nuts, turned abusive, etc. Now I have no contact with him, and my DD has never met him. I had intended when I was single to tell her the story someday (in a nice way) but now she fully accepts my trans-partner as her father. I don't see any point in telling her otherwise when he is the one who has been there. I consider my ex to be a sperm donor and nothing else.

Yes, it's true...someday she'll learn more about trans people and realize that my now-partner couldn't be her bio-dad, but that seems again no different to me from my current in-womb DD who will not know that sperm donor either. And that to me would be the same thing as an adoptive parent who didn't want the child and gives them away (saying this I realize that most adoptive parents probably do just want what's best for their babies and that's why they choose adoption, but consider those who don't want them/don't care).

Right? I'd love thoughts b/c it's interesting (to me) to get so many different opinions.

Also, do adoptive children seek out their fathers too, or is it mostly their mothers they care about finding?

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#13 of 16 Old 05-27-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I have trouble seeing the difference between closed adoption and doing what most of us here are doing....using a donor who our children will not be in contact with. Either way, these children may when older really want to find their donor dad/birth parents, or they might not care at all about that.

Maybe I should have specified that we are interested in newborn adoption (up to about 10 months old). I can see how open adoption might be better for older children who have known their parents, but for newborns, I just don't see the benefits.
I would STRONGLY encourage you to do more reading and listening to adult adoptees and to families in open adoption arrangements. There's a great resources sticky at the top of the adoptive parents forum at MDC. Also, whatever agency you use will most likely require you to go through some adoption education.

In the meantime, you will have to take my word for it that for lots of adopted children (and adults) it does matter, a lot, to know as much as they can about their birth families and to have some type of relationship when possible. It in no way has to threaten the bond between you - my daughter is quite clear that we are the mothers who are raising her - but knowing more about her birth mother, and being able to communicate with her and someday visit has really reduced her sense of grief and loss (and incidentally, a lot of her difficult, oppositional behaviors as well.) And for adoptive families who are in closed adoptions (often for reasons beyond our control) there are ways to deal with that too that allows children to grieve and process their loss. Being adopted as a baby doesn't at all mean that you haven't experienced profound loss.

Children are different in their responses too, and you can't guarantee which kind you'll get - maybe you'll get one who isn't really curious and doesn't care - but maybe not. We ended up with a child who, for whatever reason, was deeply affected by her early separation from her birth mother. There are also a lot of stories from adult adoptees who say that they pretended not to care, or hid their feelings because it was threatening to their adoptive parents. You really have to put yourself in the mindset of what is best for your child.

And yes, I would anticipate that some children conceived through donor sperm may also have some issues with not knowing part of their biological heritage. I think a lot could be learned from the adoption community about how to address this situation with these children.
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#14 of 16 Old 05-27-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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These ideas bring up interesting points about those of us with sperm donors, too, though. I think potentially our kids could really seek info in locating these guys.
Yes, I fully anticipate that my children will try, in some way, to locate their sperm donor. I could be wrong, but I would be surprised if they aren't interested at all.

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For me and DP, we chose a known donor out of convenience, but he wants never to be known and we made the promise in the agreement to never tell the DC that it is he who donated. He and his wife are friends of ours with kids of their own, and they are not interested in being a part of our child's life, b/c they don't see our child as theirs.
That sounds really tricky. Maybe once your child is a real child and not just an idea, your donor will be more open to contact and honesty. I know that I would never be able to lie to or withhold information from my kids about who their donor was, if we knew the answer. As is, I've already told them most everything we know about him, even though they have yet to ask questions.

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It also brings up an interesting point...for me, DD1 was conceived in a straight relationship. When I conceived, my then-DP went nuts, turned abusive, etc. Now I have no contact with him, and my DD has never met him. I had intended when I was single to tell her the story someday (in a nice way) but now she fully accepts my trans-partner as her father. I don't see any point in telling her otherwise when he is the one who has been there. I consider my ex to be a sperm donor and nothing else.

Yes, it's true...someday she'll learn more about trans people and realize that my now-partner couldn't be her bio-dad, but that seems again no different to me from my current in-womb DD who will not know that sperm donor either. And that to me would be the same thing as an adoptive parent who didn't want the child and gives them away (saying this I realize that most adoptive parents probably do just want what's best for their babies and that's why they choose adoption, but consider those who don't want them/don't care).
If you're at all open to the idea, I strongly suggest you do some research into donor-conceived children. All of the research has shown that being honest with your children right from the start is the best approach. This saves you from ever having to "come clean" or make a big shocking reveal to your child, and greatly reduces the likelihood of it being a traumatic event. I would already be telling your dd her conception story, and never try to mislead her into thinking that one person was her biological father when in fact, he is not. I want my kids to feel secure and proud about how they were brought into this world, not to ever feel as though they were deceived. I like that when their peers question them about how it's possible that they have two moms, they can respond confidently and without hesitation.

Lex

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#15 of 16 Old 05-27-2009, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice; I do appreciate it.

Just in my mind, I do not see why it would help my daughter to know that her bio-father was abusive, did not want a child, and is mentally unstable. That could just give her self-esteem issues, since she is part of him. Or she could not realize how dangerous he is and try and locate him. For me a lie is better than putting her in danger. I *do* tell her all about her heritage (ex's side, too) and how I think it's important for her to learn the language and know about the culture of her background.

Who knows about the donor of DD2, and if he'll change his mind...but I know that my DH would not like that idea at all (having the donor be involved). It already makes both of us pretty uncomfortable at the thought of them hanging out with us after the baby is born and asking to hold her.

I don't know anyone IRL who has adopted, other than people who've adopted from China.

Though I feel that open adoption would never work for us (even if my best friend, who offered to carry our next baby for us, was a surrogate). That said, I would never tell the adopted child that I gave birth to him/her...I don't believe that's right. Just as someday if my bio children ask about their background I will tell them they were conceived via sperm donor, which to me is the truth. But I don't believe they need to know more than that. Just me.

I will check out some books. Any recommendations?

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and hoping to conceive and also adopt in 2017!
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#16 of 16 Old 05-27-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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here's a few off of the Adoption Resources sticky:

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah D. Grey

Children of Open Adoption and Their Families by Kathleen Silber, Patricia Martinez Dorner

Is Adoption for You: The Information You Need to Make the Right Choice by Christine Adamec

Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina

Talking with Young Children about Adoption by Mary Watkins, Susan Fisher
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