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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, forgive me if these are stupid. I'm sure they could be answered if I read some books but I haven't gotten there yet. My dh and I thought we were done having children. Slowly I started noticing babies everywhere and starting to think maybe another one. I have been saying that maybe I wasn't done but then I really couldn't imagine being pregnant again. Finally it occurred to me that what I really want is someone to walk up and hand me a baby.

So suddenly adoption occurred to me. Obvious, I know, but it really was an epiphany. I was really shocked when I told me husband and he agreed that he'd be happy with another. After months of talking about getting a vasectomy, he instantly said if someone handed him a baby right now he'd be happy. So at this stage it's just an idea. And a very new idea at that. Yet I've been on this forum looking around, checking websites, now that I have the idea I can't seem to think of anything else.

So I have some random early stage questions while we start thinking about this. We think we would probably want an infant. Newborn to six months, maybe a year. I know domestic adoptions are usually newborns and that some countries don't release children for adoption until they are older. Are there other countries that allow the adoption of babies?

What about blended families? Does the adopted child feel more different (for lack of a better phrase - more differnt than if you had no bio children, I guess I mean) if you have multiple biological children and they are the only adopted child? We have three children now and I would like four, can't imagine more than that - at least not right now, so that would mean only one adopted child. Would they feel left out?

Transracial, transcultural adoptions - again with the if 5/6 of us are caucasian would the one who isn't feel akward, uncomfortably different? I would have a child that was white, black or stripes, but how would they feel? Would being the only one that was different really emphasize that they also are the child not ours through biology? I guess, for me, the confusion is because we already have three children. If one adopted a few children from different countries or races, they would still be different but each of them would be (does that make any sense?). In our scenario, only one would be really different.

I guess this is very much on my mind because a friend of mine has a daughter from a previous relationship that is half African American. She later married and had a son. She, her husband a son are all caucasion. Her daughter is extremely light skinned but absolutely hates being different. By 7 she wanted dreads and was asking to go live with her father (who had never had anything to do with her - my friend's husband had adopted her a young age). She was always saying she wanted to move to NYC to be with her people. (Very verbal and very dramatic for her age) So I guess I keep thinking about how a child can be raised in love and yet feel left out. If this can happen to her with her biological daughter, I can only imagine it happens in some adoption situations.

And what exactly does a homestudy involve? I know it is to determine if you should be able to adopt but what are they looking for? Would it matter that we'd have kids sharing a bedroom? That type of thing? And you hear such second hand horror stories or taking years to adopt or having adoptions fall through. What is it really like?

I'm sorry, I know this is rambly. I just am feeling almost obsessed with getting some basics. Trying to decide if we really want to do this. We would honestly take a child handed to us right now but do we want one enough for the sweat, blood, tears and years that adoptin can take.
 

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I cannot really answer your questions but I think your plans are wonderful. We currently have 4 kids (bio) and we are pretty much done adding more kids to our family the traditional way but we have both discussed adding more kids later on through adoption. We are looking at getting some special needs or older kids though, not necessarily a baby.

I dont think the adopted child would feel any less loved in your house. It sounds like you would make the perfect family for many more kids!

good Luck
 

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We have 3 bio children and are planning to adopt when #3 is 4-5 years old. We don't want an infant so we will be asking for a toddler. We will be adopting from Ethiopia and I know you can get very young babies from there. You could definately get a baby home that is under 6 months. I don't have answers to the rest of it as I haven't done it yet but we do plan to do two adoptions from Ethiopia so our children will have a same race sibling.
 

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I have a friend who is biracial AA/CC and was adopted into a family with four siblings who were bio and white. And she was the middle child. While not crazy about the arrangement when she was younger, she is doing well and loves her family.

We only have two children, a bio son (white) and an AA daughter who was adopted. I think we are done, but if we were to have more children, we would adopt another AA child.

L.
 

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We're a caucasian family, and we're planning to adopt a daughter from Asia. I don't worry about it much (though it is something that deserves thought)... I see so many multi-racial families, and so many families with children adopted from Asia, that I don't think it will be much of an issue. Plus, someone in this forum said a while back that their new family (post Korean adoption) was Korean-American, and I like that way of thinking. Once we adopt, we're all going to be part of a multi-cultural family, a family that should (and will) celebrate both cultures. I hope that helps make our future daughter feel proud, confident, and secure.

Your question about adopting babies... We're planning on adopting from Korea, and you can specify wanting a baby. Same with China. The range of ages you set at your homestudy (wanting a baby between 3-12 months, or 6-18 months, etc.) usually guides the age of the child placed with you. Usually. As with anything, there can be hiccups--but I've never heard of a 2.5 year old placed with someone who wanted a baby under 12 months.

From other posts in this forum, it also seems like Ethiopia and Guatemala are programs where you can request babies or even infants. I'm sure there are others.


We're just starting the adoption process (application goes in on Wednesday!), but the homestudy varies in its requirements depending on what kind of adoption you want to pursue and which country you might adopt from. Once you pick a program, or country, you'll be able to get more specific answers.

Good luck, and happy learning!
 

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Hello!

Good questions! My background: I've always wanted to adopt, and started the research to adopt from Russia back in 2003. Things changed and we ended up pursuing a domestic adoption. We signed with an agency in May 2005, matched with a birthmom in October 2005, and Jack was born in January 2006. We took him home from the hospital. He is AA/CC, or black and white. We are CC. He's our first, though we will adopt at least one more child (a girl) when Jack is older. We'll request AA/CC so his sister can have a similar background.

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I know domestic adoptions are usually newborns and that some countries don't release children for adoption until they are older. Are there other countries that allow the adoption of babies?
Most countries have laws that require a baby be available to in-country parents for at least 6 months. Thus, the youngest baby you're likely going to find internationally is 7 months. That is, 7 months at the time of the referral. After the referral, there is another wait, the length of which depends on the country. Haiti can be very long, for example, and Ethiopia is supposed to be very short. Although, I cannot speak to any of the Asian countries; we went from Eastern Europe to Ethiopia to the USA, so I never investigated them.

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Transracial, transcultural adoptions - again with the if 5/6 of us are caucasian would the one who isn't feel akward, uncomfortably different? I would have a child that was white, black or stripes, but how would they feel?
That is a great question! I highly recommend a book called, "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla" which discusses how to talk to children about race, and to avoid instilling racial stereotypes. (I'd actually recommend it for your friend as well, because this book isn't about adoption, although adoption is discussed.) Most "experts" agree that there should be two "alike" children in a family. However, the community can be a supplement. If you live in a diverse community and are committed to ensuring that your child's culture is important, then maybe having a "like" sibling won't matter so much. (Of course, you could always adopt twins.
)

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And what exactly does a homestudy involve? I know it is to determine if you should be able to adopt but what are they looking for? Would it matter that we'd have kids sharing a bedroom?
It depends on the type of adoption you pursue. Foster-adopt home studies are apparently more strict, or by-the-book, than domestic or international home studies. Different agencies, states, and countries all have different requirements. Our home study involved:
- Education. We had to complete a certain number of hours of education about parenting and adoption. Our agency allowed us to do this on our own, rather than requiring classes. Thus, reading counted as education.
- Medical information. We each needed to have a basic physical. Most illnesses or disabilities, including depression, are not a problem, at least in the US. Some countries do have issues, especially if the mother is the one disabled. However, usually only major medical issues are a problem.
- Home visit. Mostly, a child can share a room with 1 or more other children of the same sex. Some states have square footage requirements, I hear. Otherwise, they're just looking to see that your house is not a toxic waste dump, cockroach infested, falling down, etc. Normal clutter is expected.
- Worksheets. Essentially, these were talking points for us to discuss how we would be as parents, how we would incorporate a child's culture into our home, etc. We also had to write brief autobiographical statements.

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And you hear such second hand horror stories or taking years to adopt or having adoptions fall through. What is it really like?
My opinion, based on my reading, and on the information from the online support group I'm a member of, is this: If you are waiting more than 2 years to adopt, something is wrong with the method of adoption. Perhaps your agency isn't doing all it can for you. If you are going independently, maybe you need to consider a different attorney, or step up your advertising. Most of the people I know have adopted within a year, and most people in the US adopt within 2 years, according to various surveys.
As for adoptions falling through: That is a huge fear, and a real one. That can also affect your wait time. There are suggestions for how to avoid red flags when matching with prospective birthparents to reduce the likelihood of an adoption falling through. This appears to be a greater problem domestically than internationally. That is something you have to think about. On the other hand, I know that we didn't let that stand in the way of optimism, and truly wanting and planning for our son's arrival.

I hope this has come out OK, and not all preachy. I was a technical writer, and still tend to "talk" that way in posts. Our adoption didn't go perfectly, but the outcome has been terrific. We love Jack, and we are blessed to have him and his birthfamily in our lives.

I have some book recommendations if you'd like them. PM me. Also, Adoptive Families magazine is sold at major booksellers, so you might want to check that out.

Good luck!
-R
 

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Originally Posted by rredhead View Post
Most countries have laws that require a baby be available to in-country parents for at least 6 months. Thus, the youngest baby you're likely going to find internationally is 7 months. -R
Just a small correction to an otherwise excellent post...our daughter was 6 weeks old at referral from Guatemala, and 5 1/2 months old when she came home. Things are changing soon with Guatemalan adoptions, but I just wanted to encourage you to investigate because each country is unique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the replies. We are both definite that we would love a child handed to us right now. We're trying to decide if we are willing to subject our family to all the time, effort and insanity involved in trying to adopt. We go back and forth - we'll see what happens.

I'll keep reading and learning from all of you.

Thanks
 
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