Adopting children

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Out of curiosity- anyone adopted a child, or know someone who did?

    It's interested me as of late. NO plans to have kids ANYTIME soon... lol. Don't even have a boyfriend, so yeah. This is way off. Not even 100% if I want kids at this point. We'll see if I meet the right person.

    But it's intrigued me a lot lately. Working at a daycare, I've met a few kids who were adopted and really clicked with them. I love watching them learn, and adapt, and the parents seem so full of love.

    I just think it would be a very neat process and be a great way to raise a child, and give them a life they couldn't have had otherwise. Not to mention, the whole idea of actually being pregnant and giving birth gives me the heebie geebies. I also am set on having a boy and well.. it'd be nice to control that ;)

    But if I ever had a husband who was on the same boat as me, I think it would be something I'd be very interested in in the far far FAR future.

    What is the process? Is it easier to adopt from certain countries rather than others? I hear China is extremely strict (cannot be overweight, no homosexual marriages, over and under a certain age, etc). But I'm sure it can't be like that everywhere. And that it's a somewhat expensive endeavor.
     
  2. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    i was adopted. so i ALWAYS KNEW i was wanted by my parents.
    personally i'd like to see something established to help place orphans from afghanistan & iraq w/ families in 1st & 2nd world countries.
     
  3. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    We, at this point in my family, probably have more adopted children than genetic children lol
    I have about 8 internationally adopted cousins. We like to joke that we are trying to collect them all but here goes..

    We've got...
    - Russia
    - Haiti (2)
    - Dominican Republic
    - Ukraine
    -The Phillippines
    - Korea
    - Kazakhstan

    Ok so first off, you are looking at different requirements, some are stricter than others (married, single, income, weight, healthy etc.. etc..)
    other than that, you are looking at in-country stays (for example, the stay for adopting from Phil. is only 1 week. The stay for Kaz. is very long, at about 5 weeks.. my cousin stayed for about 8.

    Other odd little things.. For Korea, you and your spouse can't be older than 35. Can't be obese etc.. but it is considered to be the easiest/smoothest country to deal adoption wise.
    BUT.. big but here.. regardless, it's a tough process. One that require patience. And when going back to adopt child #2.. I heard that they might be no longer allowing gender selection (girls are more popular adoption wise from the states)

    You are also looking at cost. It sucks to think about, it sucks to even put a price on.. but it is what it is. It depends on the country, and in many cases, the child. Some children are written off as "special needs" for things like being cross eyed, very small etc.. and things that are easily fixed in more well developed countries. the wait for "special needs" children is much shorter.

    You are also looking at various places where children are kept.
    For example, in Haiti..you are looking at bare minimum orphanage conditions (babies with flat heads from being on beds too long.. sick babies. etc.. aren't uncommon)
    In Korea, instead of orphanages, in many cases, it's more of a foster mom system, which is where our oldest and first adopted girl came from. Her adoption was very quick and she adapted much faster.

    Waiting lists.
    China has about a 4 year waiting list. Keep that in mind. BUT they are the best to deal with if you are open to special needs kids.
    Haiti's waiting list used to be very short.. but the earthquake halted all adoptions and things are just starting to pick up.
    ..as for waits in my experience, our boy from Russia I believe took the longest. But, he was a baby, a boy, and a healthy butterball of blond hair and blue eyes.

    YOU HAVE TO BE VERY VERY CAREFUL with agencies regardless of country you select. You will need a great one. Corruption is common. Find one with great references and parents to back it up.

    -Besides the process.. I would also take a look at your family and how this kid will blend in.
    As it is, there are so many different cultures in my huge frikin family that at this point, it's a non-issue. Other than the adopted kids, we are also just huge in general and open and loving to just about everyone. But I have seen cases of adopted kids, sadly, getting the cold shoulder from relatives. Which is heart breaking.

    -Keeping their native languages or names. It's a very personal choice. All the kids that came as infants got a name change, all old enough to speak kept their names. All native languages/traditions are kept up around here as much as possible, they are given the choice to learn, we learn lullabies/games from their country, and keep an adoption book of everything for them to look at when they are older.

    - Age. Both Haiti adoptions were older (7 and 11), all others were toddlers, except our little boy from Russia and little girl from Korea, who were little babies. All blended in beautifully lol it's a lot but I mean.. it's a loving home. Especially the little ones, they don't remember anything else. The toddlers were my favorites because they are fun almost immediately lol

    There is some catch up as far as school systems, social norms, environments and things like that of course, not to mention language.. but kids are little sponges.

    -Your child, very likely, won't look like you. This is a problem that we run into CONSTANTLY. People assume I'm the nanny when I take them out. This is something they have grown into, and especially the older ones, accept with grace and sometimes humor.
    My little cousin from Korea loves to make people uncomfortable with things like "This is my cousin.. don't we look alike?" :D ..people are usually like o_O.. "err..yes.."

    - "Real child" ..People will call your children unreal like they are unicorns. Politely correct. I always do. Most people don't mean any harm.

    - Meeting parents. With many international adoptions, this isn't possible. but it's something you might want to think about..if the opportunity arrises, how would you feel? Think about medical histories, questions etc..


    Now back on track with the process.

    Is it expensive? Yes. Very much so. The agencies, going to the country, the fees..it's quite the financial upheaval.

    Is it worth it? Lol I guess you can tell from how I talk about my little mottley crew of cousins.. but it certainly is.
    Some came from better situations than others, but either way, they are kids who had nothing. They miss out, many times.. on proper food, attention, love, education..so much. and it's so nice to bring them here and see them through all that.

    I wouldn't say this is an adopted kid thing.. but all my little cousins are amazing in their own way lol but maybe I'm biased.

    It's also very easy to over-romanticize adoption.. like they are these grateful little souls who just know the goodness and the hardship you went through to get them lol
    Erm.. perhaps the older Haitian girls a bit.
    but the babies/toddlers? HA.
    Brats.
    all of em.
    lol kidding. but still, just because they are adopted doesn't mean they are angelic or naturally so thankful for everything. THEY ARE KIDS. Of course they are thankful, they know through us where they came from, but yea, they are sometimes funny, loud, boisterous little terrors who have no appreciation for their parents (..same with any kid really lol)
     
  4. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    My little sister was adopted. It's a wonderful and very rewarding process that when done right, can be amazing.

    However, sometimes things can go horribly awry. My brothers little sister was adopted, and she didn't handle it so well. She has A LOT of issues because of it.

    That can happen in both birth and adoptive children, though.
     
  5. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Wow, that must be the best feeling in the world....

    And yes I agree on the that!
     
  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Wow... so awesome. See, that's exactly what I didn't know anything about!

    How cool is that?!?! I love a huge mixed family!!

    My family would have no issues accepting a child. We are very open to that kind of stuff, so I definitely know the kid would be very much loved and fit in.

    Thanks for all the info, very interesting!
     
  7. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    My brother and his wife are foster parents for the state. They take care of babies and toddlers. Their last foster was a poor little guy that was taken from his mom at birth (crack baby) :(

    The parents signed off on parental rights so they had first dibs on adopting him, but decided to pass because his wife is 5 months pregnant with their first baby and she was kind of overwhelmed since babies born addicted to hard drugs are very sickly and difficult. There's a waiting list though, and someone's in the process of adopting him right now. If you're interested, foster care with the option to adopt if blood relatives decide to relinquish their rights is always an option. I think it's probably one of the less expensive ways to adopt too. I'll have to ask them how it would have worked out if they decided to adopt. In our state you get training and a monthly stipend to help care for the child while they are being fostered.
     
  8. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I'm on the other side of the fence. I place children with families for adoption.

    There is an awful lot to consider when placing a child. When I get a moment I'll try and add a few bits. But when adoptions work they're wonderful, but when they breakdown they're heartbreaking.

    Also, China is very strict unless the child is "disabled". My brother and sister in law live there, and my sister in law volunteers in a Chinese orphanage. I might add that though, that workers will list all kinds of things as a disability so the kids get adopted more quickly (eg, hare lip). Most of the children in orphanages in China do have a disability, and are from poor farming families.
     
  9. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    I adopted my kids domestically.

    The process to adopt international changes all the time honestly, a lot of countries are really strict now, so most people adopt in the US... after that it depends if you want to do domestic infant adoption or adopt from foster care (which is really not always easy, but it's free, while adopting a baby through an agency costs a lot of money).

    I think China is going on 5 years wait now :( The cost is really crazy too... $40,000 isn't uncommon for a lot of international adoptions (I think $25,000 is the average for domestic but it varies a lot).

    Fran your family sounds awesome!
     
  10. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    Adoption is something we have been considering strongly for the past while. If we add another child to this house we are hoping it's through adoption. We'd like to adopt a slightly older child (like in the 3-5 year old or so age range) but I've also heard that if you have a biological child it can make it really difficult to get approved for adoption.

    A family at one of our homeschool co ops has 5 internationally adopted children and another lady a the other co op is in the process of bringing home a daughter from the Ukraine. I'd like to try and adopt within the US. there is a wonderful local agency that does amazing work with families and fostering and adoption and fostering to adoption.
     
  11. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    We've looked into it quite seriously. It's the only way I'd consider raising a child. I've specifically researched international adoptions quite thoroughly, talking to adoption agencies that specialize in a couple different countries of interest. Every country is drastically different in their policies.

    Most countries are now adopting the policy where children must be available for in-country adoption for the first 3-5 years of their life, and then are available for foreign adoptions. Infants are hard to come by, if that's something you're interested in.

    The costs vary. Generally the country's fees are between $15-20k, and the travel expenses and domestic fees you pay on top of it are another $10-$20k. Some countries make you travel their twice (for up to several weeks at a time); a few only require one visit (though generally longer). Some countries match you ahead of time, others tell you there are options but you have to meet the child first before accepting the referral.

    There is/was an adoption tax credit up to $13k, but it's expiring this year and is only renewing for special needs adoptions as far as I can tell. Some companies offer adoption credits in their benefits (my husband's offers $3k). It's basically a $30k+ investment though, no matter how you look at it. Kind of frustrating since "making your own" is basically free with insurance.

    The timeline is different in different countries too. The quickest I've ever heard of is a year for a special needs child from China. The average wait for a healthy chinese baby though is around 6 years (and you can't even apply until you are both 30). Most countries for a healthy child under 5, the wait is ~3 years.

    If we decide to have a child, it will be from a foreign adoption. I just can't justify having my own when there are so many children who need their own homes (and whose "disabilities" are often easily fixable in the US). It really depends on how important it is to my husband though. I would be happy never having a child, but I think one day he's going to want one.
     
  12. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Just curious, but why do so many people go with international adoption when there are plenty of children needing homes here? We have friends who just adopted a baby girl in their state - they were able to be there shortly after she was born and she went home with them just a few days later. It seemed to work incredibly well for everyone involved.
     
  13. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I am curious too. How do adoptions work like... say, when teenagers get pregnant and give their baby up for adoption? Here in the US?

    I think I'd like an infant, honestly, if I was going to adopt and I know that's the popular choice and hardest to get... but I just would like the aspect of raising a child from infant-hood.

    The costs stink... maybe I'll marry a rich guy. :rofl1: Just kidding. I think if I in a relationship where the man wanted it just as badly as me, we would make it work.
     
  14. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    - Each state has their own policies, which is a pain.
    They are all pretty intensive and just as rigorous in many cases as international adoptions
    http://www.childadoptionlaws.com/

    - How long the mother has to sign over her consent is also quite an ordeal.. (Which is commonly from 48 hours to as much as 2 months)

    The amount of time that a birthmother can revoke her consent does vary by state (also, there tends to be different guidelines for birthfathers as far as when their consent can be obtained, when it becomes legal, what happens if the birthfather is unknown, etc). I believe that the laws of the state that the child is born in are the ones that are followed for the adoption.

    It is also important to note that while a birthmother can sign her rights over starting at the 48th hour after birth, it doesn't mean that she has to (she might need more time before making the decision -she can take as long as she wants to make the decision). Also, there is usually a waiting period before the child can be taken from birth state to his/her new home state (amount of time is dependant on the state's involved and how quickly paperwork and people move, can be days, could be weeks).

    - Costs really aren't that different.
    Both types of adoption have similar total costs, typically ranging from around $25,000 to $50,000, but they both have their own unique costs. (international: traveling to country, Domestic: traveling to state.)

    According to the National Council for Adoption, domestic and intercountry adoptions can cost $8,000-$40,000, typically falling in the $15,000-$25,000 range. In comparison, according to Adoptive Families magazine, the estimated cost for a China adoption - which is the No.1 nation for international adoption in the U.S. - is $20,000-$25,000. The estimated cost for a Guatemala adoption is $25,000-$30,000 and a Russia adoption is estimated to cost $30,000-$40,000

    It's a common misconception that domestic adoptions are the less expensive route. It CAN be true, but sometimes.. not by how much you would expect.

    - Domestic adoptions sometimes involve paying for birth mother expenses.

    - Newborn domestic adoptions fall through.. a lot. You are dealing with birth mothers, agencies, families of that child, father drama, cold feet... it happens. It's heartbreaking.


    But some things I would like to clear up


    - It is a total myth that in the US, a birth mother can up and claim her child back years later. This has been HIGHLY media hyped and has only happened a handful of times in the past due to shoddy/shaddy adoptions and bad lawyers.
    THE LAW IS CLEAR. Once consent is signed, that child is yours. PERIOD. No matter what state, no matter what.

    - You can only get a newborn in the US. You can get an INFANT from other countries though.. but if you have your heart set on a newborn... domestic is going to be your route

    - You have to be very careful with birth mothers.. we had a domestic adoption fall through after paying for rent, food, medical expenses etc...

    As for why my family did?

    Ok, to begin.. Let's face it, you cannot compare even the WORST US foster home to the orphanages across the globe. There is no comparison. They all need homes but MANY of my now spoiled happy little cousins were facing malnutrition, flat heads, a myriad of other health problems VERY CURE-ABLE in the US (From clef palate, to lip, to intestinal blockages,to signs of abuse and just plain neglect) not to mention emotional trauma from the conditions. We have a claustrophobic 6 year old who can't be in any small space because he was kept in a crib, as a TODDLER, with bars on the top so he couldn't get out for most of the day/night.
    US foster homes aren't a walk in the park either.. but at the very least, you have basic care and aren't facing malnutrition.

    and thinking of what the future could be for them. In haiti, human trafficking is PREVALENT with girls. It's hard to imagine the fates of many of my now loved family members..
    Don't get me wrong, growing up out of US foster care, it's tough. But.. you arent' dealing with slavery, prostitution, mercenaries, drug trafficking mules etc..

    I don't mean this towards you, but you wouldn't believe how often people are rude about these kinds of questions. Like adopting internationally is something to be ashamed of or something.

    I just really hate the "our children" and "their children" mentality. We all live on this planet, who cares WHERE you are getting your needy child from? adoption is wonderful regardless of where. I don't think location makes some children more deserving of homes then others.
    you would not BELIEVE how much flack we get for adopting internationally. Like we have done the kids in foster care in the US some great insult or done something awful.. UMM.. They are adopting children who need homes. It's awesome. PERIOD. The choice is very personal and those who haven't adopted at all are usually the ones takes offense which in itself, I find laughable and a bit hypocritical.

    Love for the different cultures, travel, people, places. We call my russian cousin our little souvenir lol they fell head over heels for the culture, even those in the impoverished places ..they worked with farm owners and poor people for work and wanted to personally help, so applied.

    being able to offer health care to kids that wouldn't. Like I said before.. all of them had something that was going untreated (or being treated the wrong way) Proper health care in orphanages internationally are sometimes very lacking.. other than basic neglect, we were also dealing with more serious health problems that were previously over-looked.
    My cousin from Haiti is about 13 now. She looks about 10 from the years of malnutrition and the strain on her body. The nutrition she WAS getting was wasted away due to a problem with her intestines/digestive tract. She's had countless surgeries on her spine from it developing incorrectly and if it weren't for her being adopted..all these things would've gone un-treated.

    At the end of the day..personal choice. It made more sense for what they were looking for, wanted, application processes etc..
     
  15. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    because when you adopt a baby girl out of say india or ukraine, you are very likely removing at least one child from the strong likely hood of being sexually abused or enslaved as a prostitute at some point in their life. while the same could be said of adopting domestically the odds are far higher in those countries than in industrialized western countries.
     
  16. JoLeigh

    JoLeigh New Member

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    Like Pops I was adopted also. I ALWAYS KNEW meaning I was told since before I even really knew what it meant mom says I used to say " I wasn't bornded I was 'dopted" :rolleyes: It was a private adoption so other then the legalities of it no one else was involved. And I feel that is one of the most vital aspects in adopting an infant, no lies, no hiding the truth, no "waiting till they are ready" that just harbors distrust and a feeling of betrayal. It is a wonderful and beautiful thing to be adopted by such a loving caring mother I truly cant thank my bio enough for giving me the chance to live the life I did with the family I have.

    But not everyone will understand, not everyone has tact even when speaking to a very small child (or in front of them) just something that if you decide to you should be prepared for. Some of the things Ive heard said to me or to my mom in front of me.
    -When are you going to have a REAL child.
    -Thats so good of you to raise a child that isnt yours.
    -So do you know your "real" mother
    -It must be hard to not know who your family is.
    That's all I can think of right now but there have been others Im sure.

    Oh and it is always interesting having to explain I dont have a father people always assume he died and cant quite grasp I just ~don't~ have one never have lol.


    Legacy of an Adopted Child
    Once there were two women who never knew each other.
    One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
    Two different lives, shaped to make your one...
    One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
    The first gave you life and the second taught you to live it.
    The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it.
    One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
    One gave you a seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.
    One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
    One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
    One gave you up ... that's all she could do.
    The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
    And now you ask me, through your fears,
    the age old question unanswered throughout the years...
    Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?
    Neither, my darling … neither.
    Just two different kinds of love.

    ~ Author Unknown ~
     
  17. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

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    joleigh
    my dad says i came to him when i was about 4 or 5 and asked him if i was adopted. he said yep. i said okay and went off to play. about a year later i came & asked him what adopted meant. :D
     
  18. JoLeigh

    JoLeigh New Member

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    Not intirely there is a period of time the birth mother can change her mind now in GA (the only one I know for sure) it is 2 weeks. When I was born it was exactly 1 entire year.
     
  19. JoLeigh

    JoLeigh New Member

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    :rofl1: my mom said I used to think I came from an orphanage and had a whole tales from my stay there I was like 2-3 at the time The Rescuers was one of my favorite movies :p
     
  20. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    If you mean infant as in newborn..the US is going to be your route. The youngest international baby we have is the youngest you can get them..around 4 months old.

    lol Juno really wasn't that far off. You can work with the mother through lawyers/an agency who specializes and pairs you or a teen you know from someone.

    You can work on terms of the adoption. Open, closed, semi-closed. Closed is traditional (here's the baby. No contact. No nothing), Semi-closed is more popular ( Sometimes closed with updates, options for the child knowing the birth mother etc..)

    Then when the baby is born, the mother consents/signs the rights to you. This can be anywhere from 48 hours after birth to 30 days.

    Challenges? Families that pay for the mother's..rent, food, medical expenses, money just because etc.. only to have her back out. There is no legal refund policy on this kind of thing.

    Cold feet. all that excitement, a baby is born, a baby you have been waiting for FOR MONTHS.. and there is still uncertainty. Still time for her to sign, does she want to hold the baby? when do you get to? etc..etc..etc.. It's not paying for a baby by any means, there is so much grey area, nothing is guaranteed.

    It is a MYTH that birth mothers can take kids back at any time. They have a certain amount of time, set by the state, to sign the consent. but after that, that baby is yours. Period.
     

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