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Discussion Starter #1
First I have to add my disclaimer: I am feeling really negative right now, really bummed about our options, so I am sorry if I sound <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
We had solid plans to adopt from South Korea. Just before I turned in our first large sum of money I found out that due to criminal background 10 years ago, we would not be accepted into the Korea program. Needless to say i am really upset. I feel the rug as been pulled out from under me. Many an agency has said that Guatemala would be a good choice, but thats a whole other story unto itself, since there is so much uncertainty right now and its a sore spot b/c I have wanted to adopt from Guatemala for about 6.5 years and it doesnt seem like a possibility.<br><br>
So it seems our only other option at this point is a domestic adoption. To be honest the prospect intimidates me and turns me off at the same time. Can anyone who has been there talk about your real experiences? Thankyou.
 

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Big hugs, adoption can stink at times with being told what you do or don't qualify for based on your history on paper. I will say that I would not start a Guatemalan program right now. In fact on another Guatemalan adoption board a few people were saying that as of yesteday their agency was temporarily shutting down their program due to all the uncertainty. If you want the link PM me.<br><br>
I do know what it feels like to have your hopes set on something and if that doesn't work out, the feeling that comes when your not pulled in one direction. I know a little about domestic but there are others on here that know more first hand. We did look at two agencies in Texas because they have a high number of hispanic placements and the average cost was around $30,000. Obviously there are ways to do it much cheaper it just depends on what is important to you. Foster adopting may be a better option for you but personally it wasn't something we thought we could handle. Still you can check with your county and see if they can explain it to you a bit more. I know some birthmoms on here said they wouldn't work with couples that were with an agency but wanted a more private adoption. This can be cheaper but then you have to find a way to connect with a birthmom on your own. Also if you aren't set on an infant there are older children looking for permanent homes as well. This can also depend on your age too, since we are so young the oldest we are allowed to adopt right now is still an infant toddler because they want so many years between the youngest parent and the child. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful but just wanted to let you know I feel where your coming from and yes some days you just want to cry and give up and then others aren't so bad. Good luck!
 

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Sorry about your troubles.<br><br>
We started on the domestic adoption in September of 2006. We spoke with three agencies & did not feel comfortable signing up. Then we started thinking about a private, open adoption. You send a letter to everyone you know stating you are looking for a woman who wants to have an adoption plan for her child. You also send your "book" to lawyers who do adoption.<br><br>
There is a support group here in Kansas City for folks that did their adoption that way. They are having their BirthMothers Day Celebration the first week of May.<br><br>
But we even waffled on that & are now licensed as foster parents and looking to adopt one of the kids that pass through our home.<br><br>
There is a lot of unethical adoptions happening & I would be very careful to find out what kind of information is being given to the birth mother and her family & that they are fully informed of their decision.<br><br>
Good Luck. I know it is tough. I scream to myself, "I just want to be a parent." Our journey will be different & maybe more difficult than the traditional path but I am hopeful it will all work out in the end.<br><br>
Cheers!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I know some birthmoms on here said they wouldn't work with couples that were with an agency but wanted a more private adoption.</td>
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this IS true -- but if you are not careful it can cost a lot more too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
there are so few certain things in adiption. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> sucks i know.<br><br>
I would start by thinking<br><br>
what are your thoughts on open adoption, simi open adoption.....<br><br>
look up a lot of domestic adgencies on line and just read......<br><br>
i am sure private adoption lawyer have web sites, jsut read them too<br><br>
write up a gernic e-mail with all your questions and concerns and e-mail it out to a lot of places requesting information -- both to see who really wants to work with you and is helpful AND to see what the "general"anaswer it -- if the answers are a lot differnt then you know THAT is something to research more and see WHY.<br><br>
AImee
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just wish I could go back and kick my 17 yr old self in the behind. I wish I had known that my stupid decisions would follow me around forever! That being said, I know we are licence-able, we still have a current active foster licence. We have adopted one dd, through the state foster care system, but to be completely honest, I am not sure I want to go through foster care again. I felt it was really emotionally draining with too many factors involved with not enough security.<br><br>
I would love to be able to adopt another hispanic child. Easier said than done! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I am not sure how I feel about a private domestic adoption, but I am not sure at this point that we qualify much else. I know part of me should be happy with the two wonderful children I have and concider myself lucky to have them, but I just feel like our family is not complete. Our youngest dd is only 1.5 so we are hoping to add our next one when she is about 3. At this rate though, I am feeling really negative about all of our adoption options and not sure what to do!
 

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I think one of lifes greatest lessons is being happy with what you have at any given moment. You can feel your life is not complete and want to find another child or another way to get that other child.... and still be happy in your life with 2 children?<br>
I know- for me I always think about the next child.... even now- KNOWING I have more than I can handle with 2 kids I think- what will the next one be?<br>
Who will it be etc.... even tho I don't think I will have anymore.<br>
I am very sorry about the plans falling through... how upsetting!! I could not imagine. How about giving yourself some time to grieve that and feel that and then resume with a fresh outlook?<br>
I don't know- I am just an adoptee- so I have not gone thru all this stuff like you all have...<br>
Why is it hard to adopt hispanic children? Just curious?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I just wish I could go back and kick my 17 yr old self in the behind. I wish I had known that my stupid decisions would follow me around forever!</td>
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ok this is gonna sound really stupid -- and i am sure you HAVE thought of this -- but just cuz Korea is out -- what abut another IA country? all countries have differnt requirments. look at differnt things.<br><br>
Or maybe a differnt country would be willing to accept a letter explaining what happned, that is was 10 years ago, you were a minior, you are a better citizen now -- maybe with a letter from ? ( a minsiter, a civic leader, a ...)<br><br>
?????????<br><br>
just a thought<br><br>
Aimee
 

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I'm not exactly sure why hispanic children are harder to adopt. I just know in our case living in MN since there are so few hispanics in general there is such a minute percentage of ones available for adoption. To increase our chances we looked at an agency in Texas and their fees are higher for out of state couples. But I do think if Guatemala closes there is going to be a rush of couples looking domestic hispanic children. Also tying in more with their culture hispanics are pretty close knit so even if a women wanted to place a child more than likely another family member would take on the infant to keep the family intact.<br><br>
Not sure how old you are but DH and myself are 24 and we were also told by 3 agencies that chances of us being chosen by a birthmom were slim, because the average age for a women placing a baby is 22 and they often look for couples older or think more along the lines of their parents age not their peers. We also practice AP techniques but not all of them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: , so mainstream people may be turned off by us co sleeping while strict-er AP may be appalled by some of our mainstream practices as well.
 

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sesa can I just mention that I get goosebumps everytime I look at Amira's picture <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: She looks SO much Olivia I just want to scoop her up and give her kisses.
 

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This seems totally unfair since you were a minor at the time. Are you sure you can't get this expunged from your record? (DH had an incident when he was 17, his parents got a lawyer at the time...and ten years after the incident, he got a letter in the mail saying that his record had been expunged and was totally clear.) This may be something to look into if it's been ten years for you.<br>
ETA: I know this didn't really answer your original question, but I thought that if you look into this it may open other options for you, besides domestic adoption.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Are you sure you can't get this expunged from your record?</td>
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great point<br><br>
i would at least call and ask a lawyer what it entails<br><br>
AImee
 

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exactly what intimidates you and turns you off about domestic adoption. ??<br><br>
It's hard to allay fears without knowing what they are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'm a mom to two children through domestic transracial adoption -- my son is two years, two months and we matched with his birthmom through internet advertising without an agency presence. Our daughter is 4 months (today!) and we used an agency in NYC's 'special needs' program to adopt her. Both matches were incredibly fast (son -- 2 months from initial ad placement to his birth, daughter -- matched within days of letting our agency know that our homestudy report would be favorable and just had to be written/expediated.)<br><br>
Both adoptions were also much less expensive than the norm -- DS's was about half of an 'average' domestic adoption and DD's will be less than 4K when everything is factored in... and she is healthy and thriving with only minor birthfamily risk factors... and is meeting all her milestones. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Also, we're a youngish (27 at our son's birth), non-wealthy, queer couple who were initially told by multiple agencies that we'd have difficulty finding an expectant family to partner with because we weren't Skip and June Homemaker with the huge house/bank account, etc.<br><br>
Anyway, we've obviously had excellent experiences with domestic adoption, experiences that admittedly aren't the norm... but are more frequent than you'd imagine...<br><br>
As mentioned we worked with an amazing agency's 'special needs' program for our daughter's adoption. They place children in families all over the country in direct adoptions (ie: not legal risk fostering) on a sliding scale based on gross income that is insanely reasonable. There are no bparent expenses beyond the flat fee, they are very eparent centered (65% of women choose to parent after counseling... which shows me they are very ethical). Very queer friendly and if you live in a state without joint adoption rights you can finalize in NY so both parents are recognized legally on the BC. They place about 25 children a year with varying levels of special needs... from risk factors only to more severe medical or environmental concerns. Feel free to PM me if you want their name/my contact's name... and ask any questions you may have.<br><br>
I know how frustrating it is to weigh out options when you don't have 20-30K for an adoption... best of luck to you.<br><br>
xo
 

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Theresa, I was just logging on to talk with you about domestic adoption! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Seriously!<br><br>
Do you get Adoptive Families magazine? This month's issue has a great article about domestic adoption. It's all about the "current realities" of domestic adoption, and how the public (and adoptive world) perception of domestic adoption is really out of whack with what's going on today. It's a great article.<br><br>
Lemme go get it and quote a few of the figures:<br><br>
From Adoptive Families (AF) Magazine, June 2007, "Domestic Adoption by the Numbers":<br><br>
In 2002:<br>
USA newborn adoptions: 22,000<br>
USA international adoptions: 20,099<br><br>
Cost and Timing Data from AF 2006 Reader Survey; Average time from preparation of portfolio to match with birthmother (excluding time in false starts):<br>
6 months or less: 59%<br>
12 months or less: 82%<br><br>
Time from birthmother match to birth of child:<br>
Less than 3 months: 51%<br>
Matched after birth: 29%<br><br>
Families that worked with more than one birthmother before successfully adopting: 31%<br><br>
Ethnicity of baby adopted:<br>
Caucasian: 50%<br>
African-American: 16%<br>
Asian/Bi/Multi/Other: 28%<br>
Latino: 6%<br><br>
Total adoption cost (before tax benefit or employee benefits):<br>
Less than 20K: 65%<br>
20K-25K: 16%<br>
25K-30K: 9%<br>
More than 30K: 10%<br><br>
If you'd like me to mail you the article, just PM me your address. I'd be happy to send it along! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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From their website: <a href="http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/table_of_contents.php" target="_blank">http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/table_of_contents.php</a><br><br>
SPECIAL REPORT<br>
Perception & Reality: The Untold Story of Domestic Adoption by Eliza Newlin Carney<br>
How often do you hear that domestic adoption isn't the option for you, because it's too expensive and risky, or too difficult and time-consuming? Discover the healthier new reality of domestic adoption, and hear what adoption professionals say you must know before starting the process to adopt in the U.S.<br>
WEB EXTRA: Thinking about adopting in the U.S.? Visit <a href="http://adoptivefamilies.com/domestic_adoption" target="_blank">adoptivefamilies.com/domestic_adoption</a>.
 

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If you say what your fears are, then I too may be able to address them. Otherwise, it is hard to know what you are looking for.<br><br>
I mean, we succesfully adopted a newborn girl after a 10 month wait. We have a completely open adoption. But I am assuming you have other questions besides just finding out if people have done it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sorry, I should have been more specific!<br><br>
I guess my biggest apprehensions are about the process of being chosen by a birthmom, as well as the real possibility of her deciding to parent (which I totally get and support, but that does not make it any easier to mourn) or to place with another family.<br><br>
I am uncomfortable with the prospect of 'selling' my family to a birthmom. I feel like I will always have to defend our parenting choices, and my daughters disabilities.<br><br>
Another question I have is on openness. what is concidered average in terms of openness? We are comfortable with pictures and letters and phonecalls but not really comfortable with visits. Is this unusual? what openness do some of you have with your birthmoms?
 

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Hi!<br><br>
Our son Jack was adopted at birth in an open adoption.<br><br>
Although you will have to "sell" your family to prospective birthparents, it's not as icky as the word seems. We created a little scrapbook, plus a letter (known as a "Dear Birthmother Letter") that showed our life together, our families, why we wanted to parent, etc. It was all true. The goal was to present our family so that the potential birthparents could see/feel what their children might be like in our family. To get a glimpse of what life for the child might be.<br><br>
We do not defend our parenting practices to Jack's bmom. I've actually never encountered someone who said that they did. There are birthparents (Jack's included) who will sometimes ask "Why?" - like "Why is he still on a bottle?" and we say, "Because he is." or whatever, and the matter is dropped. I think I've defended my parenting practices more on other forums of adoptive parents!<br><br>
There really isn't an average of openness. It runs the gamut. I know many people who just exchange letters and photos, either directly or through the agency. Some people start out in open adoptions, then the birthparents "disappear" - they're no longer able to contact them. I know some families who visit their children's birthparents regularly, and some who even have family get togethers. For us, S lives in a different state, so visits aren't possible. We talk on the phone sometimes, we send her letters and pictures. If she lived nearer, we would probably be comfortable with visits. She really does feel like a part of our family and is someone I would sorely miss if she chose not to have contact later on.<br><br>
If you haven't already found them, the Forums @ Adoption.com are a wonderful resource: forums.adoption.com<br>
Also, RedOakMomma was right about Adoptive Families magazine.<br><br>
Our adoption was insanely expensive, and I DO NOT recommend our agency. But, hindsight being 20/20 I've started gathering information about less expensive agencies for when we adopt again. I could email you that list. It's not all in one place right now, but if you PMd me wanting it, I'd be sure to get it to you in May.<br><br>
You can also request babies who have already been born, or babies whose birthparents have TPRd. Other than the fact that doing so may cause you to wait longer, what gives me personally pause about this is that the babies aren't able to be with their parents for a period of time. This may be as short as 2 days, but it could be longer. (Also, we don't vax, and the hospital would probably give the baby the Hep B vax, which really freaks me out.) This type of adoption is what we're thinking of going with next time, maybe.<br><br>
There are so many paths to adoption! I hope you find the one that is right for your family. Please let me know if I can be of any help.
 

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Our adoption is completely open - we know where dd's bmom lives and I think she has our address too. We have visits every few months at a local starbucks for an hour or so. I bring plenty of pictures to our visits. She holds dd (unless she is being pretty fussy) the whole time usually. We talk about what we are doing, what dd is doing, etc. It's basically a ton of bragging to someone who desperately wants to know everything, you know? And who thinks EVERYTHING dd does is just fantastic. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It's fun, to be honest.<br><br>
Now, before we did this, I was totally apprehensive. That was until I spoke with people who were living in open adoption - actually doing it in their daily lives. I will grant you that dd's birthmom has no drug or alcohol problems. That makes it easier, i would think. I would really recommend you finding an agency and seeing if they have a birthparent/adoptive parent panel that you can listen to. It really took away our fears, which were mostly that it was some type of co-parenting. "C" has never questioned our parenting choices - rather, I think she watches things we do with M and thinks about doing it with her future children.<br><br>
The other nice thing is that I know C feels good about her decision. Not that it isn't hard for her - I'm not so naive to think it isn't. But I know she knows that M is in the best possible hands at this point. KWIM?<br><br>
We did have a failed match. We matched with a set of parents from April 1 - June 26 and the baby was due on the 27th. The mother admitted on the 26th to her social worker that she knew all along she wouldn't be able to go through with it. I won't lie - it was the worst time in my whole life. We were devestated. We went back into the book immediately and I went through the next 3 months like I was living under water, if that makes sense. In a total fog. Then we went out of town on vacation, came back a day early just to come back early and on the way back we got a call from our social worker that a birthparent counselor was trying to contact us. We met C the next day, she delivered a week later.<br><br>
And things work the way they are supposed to...M is so much our daughter. And we feel so connected with C - more than we did after 3 months with the other set of parents. It was hard, but it happened for a reason...we were totally prepared for a baby girl after the previous match and thank goodness we were!<br><br>
There are so many misconceptions around domestic adoption and open adoption. It drives me nuts.
 

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We too did a transracial adoption (DS is AA) which ended up seeming less expensive than others matches that we had had. Probably because BMom had already given birth. She had already TPR'd too by gotcha day, which is more unusual.<br><br>
We had two failed matches prior to this one. Both matches involved caucasian BParents who hadn't given birth yet. We took out an insurance policy (cost around $3K) which guaranteed us our money back (I think up to $20K) in the event of a failed match (BMom changing her mind) or stillbirth. But neither match got far enough where we spent $$ and had to use the policy. First BMom disappeared into thin air. The second situation we walked away from because it started to become more and more obvious to us that the BParents had deliberately conceived the child to make money. We had serious trust issues with them.<br><br>
From what I understand, most agreements with BParents aren't enforceable, although you should check your state. Having said that, I think that it would be extremely unethical to promise a BMOm something and then not follow through.<br><br>
In our case, we want our son to have ongoing contact with his BMom and her family unless something seriously changes with her situation. As of right now, she is a sweet 15 yr. old young lady who simply could not parent.<br><br>
I think that what you feel comfortable with in terms of openness will depend upon the BParents. I would not have felt comfortable having contact with the couple in our second match. But with this match, we feel completely comfortable.<br><br>
I also want to share that we hired a very expensive Beverly Hills adoption attorney "to the stars" to find us a baby, but who did very little for us. In the end, our match was the result of networking that we had done.<br><br>
As for "selling yourself" we did the scrapbook too. In our case, I was told by the BH attorney to make multiple handmade copies of the scrapbook. I then sent a handmade scrapbook to each potential match rather than a color xerox. We used many pictures that we already had, and "staged" some photos too. For me, the scrapbooks were probably the most time-consuming part of the process.<br><br>
As for your daughter's disability, I wouldn't worry about it. I honestly believe that there is a match for everyone. If a BMom has a problem with your daughter, then it isn't the right match.
 
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