Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just Curious - Why Adopt?

Hello all my bloggy friends! Well I'm nosy, but I'm wondering, my adoptive bloggy friends, how did you choose your adoption path? Why international, domestic, or from foster care? What country did you choose and why? Special needs versus healthy? Older child versus infant?

No one is here to judge your particular decisions. Just curious and interested in hearing some stories. If you're not an adoptive family, do you have bio kids and why did you choose that route? If no kids, why or why not? Participate in any way you'd like.

I'll start. We chose to adoption because, honestly, I never felt the urge to get pregnant. The whole thing kinda freaked me out. My husband wanted to adopt because he didn't feel justified in adding a life into an already populated world just for our own DNA to be spread (which isn't that desirable anyway). We researched all types of adoption, private domestic, international (from every country imaginable), and from foster care. I had lots of experience with foster kids and knew what they were like, but I didn't know much about the process to adopt or if they even "gave out" young children. After getting discouraged over and over at the high cost of international adoption, I met someone who had adopted a 7 month old from foster care and learned about how it all worked. We would have readily accepted a child from another country but couldn't justify going into debt or putting off plans to buy a house, to pay for a child that are so readily available here (and for free!). And I couldn't bring myself to go forward with private adoption because I know there are so many women who can not have biological children, who wait for a newborn a very long time, and I couldn't justify getting in the way of that when I can (as far as I know) have bio children. Plus, I didn't care if we had an infant or not.

After attending an open house with our social service department, our hearts started beating for children in foster care. My heart already beats for any children, but this was a big deal for my husband who isn't a "kid person". For him to suddenly care so much about children who've been abused and tossed around a system, was a big sign for both of us. That, and free college tuition. The process is free, plus our son gets a subsidy every month for medical costs and health care till age 21. Oh, and they do "give out" young children. Even infants.

We were (are) young, so we decided a younger child would be best for us to start with. We picked ages 0-3. Although I would have taken an older child, my husband didn't feel comfortable. We got our son at the perfect age of 14 months. We were also open to many special needs, including drug exposure and cleft lip/palate. The downside to adopting from foster care is, of course, the legal risk. There is no "sure thing". But there are levels of risk and you can choose to only accept children with a low level of legal risk. We picked medium level, I think. I know, it sounds weird. Oh, and we didn't specify a gender, but like everywhere, people prefer girls and more boys are left in the system waiting. In the U.S, most are African American.

Anyway, we had such a great experience working with our local office that we've decided to use this way of building our family for the future. So...what about you?


Matthew said...

I should address your question on my blog...I think I will after this stomach bug fully leaves! but long story short, we chose international adoption because I lived the first nineteen years of my life overseas in Africa and wanted a child from my "home." More later!

J-momma said...

matthew, i would love to read about your story. but you have your profile blocked. if you'd rather not share, that is fine. just thought i'd let you know, no one on this blog can access your blog.

The Knott Family said...

After 3 miscarriages, we decided to adopt. We had always talked about adopting and decided that this is how our family would be built. We had no desire to try in vitro or anything else along those lines. Having a child that shares our DNA did not matter to probably didn't need to be spread anyway! We decided on domestic adoption and chose to adopt a child "of color"...meaning any race or any race mix or any race that is not just caucasian. Our daughter Anna is bi-racial, her birthmother is caucasian and birthfather is african american. She was born 9 months after we started our adoption paperwork...ironic?...our son Carver is black, his birthmother is from the Virgin Islands and birthfather is african american. We started our paperwork in February of 08, assuming that it would take around the same amount of time that it took for Anna, but we all know what happens when we assume and Carver was born in the end of April! So, they are 17 months apart to the day...they were both born on the 29th or their birth months. We have had both of them since birth, we met Anna the day after she was born and she was discharged from the hospital to us...I was able to be in the delivery room for Carver's c-section! So, that's our story!

janiece said...

For us, I nearly died during an infertility test. Scared the heck out of my husband and myself. Decided that God wanted us to do our family another way (months of discussion back and forth). Finally decided on adoption. Checked out foster care and it quite frankly scared us. Decided to check out international. Hubby loves Russia, studied it extensively. Thought we would have a "healthy baby boy". Yeah--then we got the call about our little princess that was cleft-affected with amniotic banding and never looked back. Then decided we we're comfortable with clefts--let's do it again this time with a boy. Ended up in Kazakhstan. Then did it again this time with an older cleft-affected child from Krygzstan. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Why did we go international?? I can't really say why except that's where our children were and that's where we felt the call.

Amanda said...

We were very close to adopting before even trying to get pregnant, but we didn't know much about foster care then (and I was still a student when we decided the time was right) so we tried to conceive for about 18 months, doing nothing beyond Clomid. When that didn't work, we checked into private adoption but got *really* turned off by the sliding scale of fees for babies of different races so we started fostering - Lily was our third placement.... along the way there were a couple of weird friends of family situations that didn't pan out and a false start with the agency who placed Lucy with us - they were the only one we contacted that had set fees that were low enough to not feel coercive. So that's how we got here. We really want our next child to come from foster care as well, and we're secretly hoping for an AA boy. So that's our story.

Kim said...

I have both bio kids and an adopted child. I can positively say that yes you can indeed love an adopted child every bit as much as a bio child!

My bio kids were from a previous marriage. Had my tubes tied after having my 2nd. My husband was happy to accept my 2 as his. A few years later I really wanted another child. I could have gotten the tubal reversed but that didn't appeal to me. I loved the idea of adopting a child who was already living in this worls in need of parents. I brought the subject up to my husband and the words were barely out of my mouth before he said yes.

I was afraid of having a birth mother change her mind, so we didn't even look into domestic adoption. (i realize now how stupid that kind of thinking is) We were planning on Russia. We saw a photo of a baby boy on a photolisting. Contacted the agency and started the process. Turned out he was in Kazakhstan, not in Russia. Then it turned out the agency was corrupt and the photolisting was illegal and also a bait and switch tactic. Many, many thousands of dollars later we went to Kaz to adopt a different child. It was a long road full of hard knocks, but in the end we brought home our amazing son. I wouldn't trade him for any other child in the world!!!

We would love to adopt again. Even after surviving and adoption scam. This time we will be more informed and make better decisions though. Not sure if we will do domestic or international. I feel as though it may be better for my son if he is not the only internationally adopted child in the home, so I feel we may choose IA again.

Laurie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!
We went the foster care route with our first for financial reasons and ended up fostering total of four infants and toddlers over the course of a year. Our Isaac was our second and the first and only from foster care to be adopted.

We went into a domestic infant adoption next and 3 months later our baby girl was born! We feel very blessed to be parents and it was not going to happen in any other way than adoption. I love reading adoption stories as well!