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My husband and I are eager to begin the adoption process, and we've found an agency we like (domestic newborn adoption). We have money in the bank, a cozy home, and a lot of love to share... but I'm unsure whether to begin and still have some questions I'd prefer to ask anonymously.

First off, our home. (I realize I have to answer this question honestly, this isn't that part of the post.) We currently live in a 1br apartment with three cats in an urban area we love. It's not a super teeny apartment but it's not huge either. We had planned on buying a house this year, but still don't have a big enough down payment to afford the parts of town we like, and we'd rather hold out for a few years longer until we can afford a 3br in a good area.

My idea is that we put some of our stuff in storage to open up a little more space, have the baby sleep in our room (which we would do anyway), and move into a house when the baby is 2 or so. This would give us a few more years in a very nice clean apartment below market value where we can save more towards our house. Will this pass muster, or do we need to move to a pricier 2br place before we can adopt?

Also, now for the honesty question. I was a stripper and a Dominatrix from 2005-2010. I had a great time and don't regret it and see nothing wrong with having done it, but due to people's misconceptions it's not something I generally volunteer around child-oriented people. It's likely to come up when the social worker investigates my employment history though, right? At what point do I say something? Or do I just tell them I worked sporadically in another field (which is true) during that time and hope stripping never comes up? My tax returns for those years and also my marriage license list my occupation as Entertainer, so I assume it's going to come up whether I say anything or not.

I realize it's a legal occupation and some of the best mothers I know are ex-strippers, but I'm not sure how to word it with social workers and an adoption agency, who I assume will be more conservative.

Any thoughts you guys might have would be most appreciated. Thanks!
 

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What an interesting question!! (the stripper part). One thing that came to mind is that someone who did folk songs for children would also be listed as an entertainer, so perhaps the delving might not be too deep?! Have other folks from this line of work thought of good catch phrases to use that are more generic?

I'm sure someone will be along soon that has been part of a home study. I just wanted to respond to keep the conversation moving!
 

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Thanks! I spoke with a social worker yesterday at the place that'll be doing our homestudy, and she said the apartment would be fine as long as we plan to move to a bigger place when the baby is about one year old. That should be doable. So no problem there!

I didn't bring up the stripper thing but I don't plan to lie. I'm a terrible liar and tend to be a pretty blunt, up-front person. I guess when she asks about my employment history I'll just be honest and see how she responds. It's not like I was a criminal or anything, it's a legal occupation. Hopefully it won't be a problem but I would still love to hear any thoughts from people with homestudy experience!
 

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They will want just a generic work history, you don't need to over detail the history. They will want to see tax returns (if they ask) for just the last few years.

Where I am at, you definitely need separate rooms for the kids and parents. The baby can sleep in the room when they are a small baby (first few months), but still need to have their own rooms ready to go before you can even be licensed. I'm surprised the social worker said that was ok. I would think the the space issue might be more of an issue than the employment.

Could you also list the employer but change the job title slightly? Maybe hostess? Then there's no question as to where you work, and most job titles are somewhat ambiguous anyhow.


40 y.o. brand new foster mama! and my wonderful girlfriend is TTC!
 

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This may be kind of late but I'm currently dancing part time and have started the licensing process for foster care. I was honest with the agency about what I do for a living and it won't be a problem at all. Perhaps it varies by agency.

The intake counselor and I had an honest discussion about my job, what I plan to do about childcare on the evenings I work and how I would explain my job to a child. My mom volunteered to babysit in my home and most people think I'm a waitress or a bartender anyway. I got permission from my club to have a dedicated locker, where I can store my shoes and costumes so they won't be lying around the house or in my car.

I also have a solid exit plan for transitioning out of dancing. I'm currently in college and can sit for my LPN boards next summer. But, for the initial transition period, I can be available during the day for therapist/ doctor appointments or behavior issues at school, while not sacrificing income. Really, in my situation, it's a plus.

Seeing as you are not even currently dancing and can obviously meet the rest of the requirements, I can't imagine this being much of a problem. Foster and adoptive families are hard to come by and most agencies look for reasons to say yes, rather than disqualify for petty reasons.
 

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Honestly, she's looking at domestic newborn adoption. That's a lot different than fostering. I'm sure it depends, but the people I know who went through domestic newborn adoption had a MUCH harder time. They had a profile and birth moms would look through their profiles and make a decision on who to pick to parent their child. Fostering does not seem to be nearly as judgmental.


I think the reality is that exotic dancing has a negative stigma in our society. And, it'll depend on the birth mom, but I imagine that it'll not go over well. I would just avoid the question overall. You stated you did another job during that time. I would say that job and not mention your dancing time.
 

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I'm probably the minority voice here. Ethically speaking, I think you should disclose honest and specific information about your former employment. I'm not concerned about the adoption agency so much as acting out of respect for the child's natural mother. She should be able to make an informed decision as to where she is placing her baby. I suspect that many natural mothers won't care. While I don't personally agree with a natural mother who would care, it doesn't seem ethical to withhold this information from her. Just a thought . . .
 

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Your comment struck me as being critical of my post. Is it?
The laws differ from state to state. Anyone can look up the statutes for their own state or any other. The wise thing to do is seek counsel.

(The question was for dharma wheel.)
 
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