Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

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TxAg
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Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by TxAg » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:32 pm

My wife and I have a few friends who are adopted, and we have a few friends who have adopted. However, there is still much that we are clueless about.

In short, we have an infant and plan to have another......and then adopt one (or two) after that. I'm told we should respect the "birth order" regarding age. We aren't looking for an infant as we feel that they should go to families who aren't able to have children biologically. We don't care about gender or race but do prefer to adopt domestically.

I could ramble on, but I would love to hear anecdotal evidence from the folks here. Feel free to share successes, horrors, expenses, timelines, tips, etc.

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Re: Adoption

Post by Boglegrappler » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:39 pm

The adoption landscape has shifted radically over the past thirty years. You should attend as many support group meetings for waiting parents as you can, and learn as much as you can. There are many bumps in the road and by getting face to face with people in the organizations that are currently involved in matching families and placing children, you'll become educated.

Every agency and organization has its own situation and you need to kind of learn the landscape as it exists at present.

I'm 21 years out of date on this, but there are places for you to get current. There are some extremely good resources very near to you.

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Re: Adoption

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:56 pm

Every state has its own laws regarding adoption. Cost vary wildly between states because of legal requirements. Some agencies will not consider you if you can have children, others will. If you want a neat package at the right age or other characteristics, you may want to reconsider. Kids may come with their own medical or genetic problems that won't show up for many years. Insurance doesn't cover adoption costs and tax breaks are nothing in comparison to the costs.

We found that the best agencies were set up to give us a firm cost up front (minus travel). My state is expensive for costs. Being a car enthusiasts, I found that the average price of a new BMW M3 matched our costs each time.

We adopted our 2 sons as infants. One experience was totally different from the other. It's like the Forrest Gump saying.....like a box of chocolates....you never know what you'll get.
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TxAg
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Re: Adoption

Post by TxAg » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:24 am

I appreciate your thoughts.

Anyone else?

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Re: Adoption

Post by Flashes1 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:46 am

My sister adopted two children from Russia 2-3 years ago (at the time they were approx. 1 & 3 years old---unrelated), but fear that Vlad has since shut it down. Turned out great---they went thru an agency that took care of everything----traveling 2 times to Russia was the toughest part. Great kids....the only health issue was the boy had to have all his teeth capped----his biological Mother would leave him by himself for a couple days while she was on a bender and his teeth were never brushed. So he's small, but a bright boy---the girl couldn't be any cuter. The funniest thing about the whole process---was the interview with a Russian judge----they were given a list of acceptable things to bring the judge---things like Apple IPads, etc. I think my sister was subjected to a strip search at some point during the adoption process but I'm not sure the purpose---and I don't talk about strip searches with lil' sis.

Seems most international adoptions are currently in Ethiopia and Chinese girls---and depending on the political winds at the time, certain Latin American countries. We know several families who've gone this route----and they didn't have any major problems.
Last edited by Flashes1 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sperry8
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Re: Adoption

Post by sperry8 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:02 pm

I am adopted. I wouldn't care about my birth order or anything else other than being adopted into a loving home and being loved the same as the other genetic children. Lucky for me this was the case. I was also told I was adopted at a very early age and this helped me through the years (as it always seemed natural to me). My parents told me in a way that made me feel very special and chosen.

If possible, when adopting get as much info about the birth parents as possible (I realize sometimes it isn't possible). But where it is, get it. I never was interested in this info til I was - and sadly by that time the info was gone. Having at least medical history and ethnicity would be nice. Knowing a way to contact or names would've been even nicer.

Good luck!
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archbish99
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Re: Adoption

Post by archbish99 » Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:58 pm

My wife and I spent two and a half years trying to adopt an infant domestically following our inability to have kids naturally. Our agency had up-front fees (for the home study, the paperwork, and the search process) of about $13k, with post-placement fees roughly another $13k. The way infant adoption works, at least through this agency, is that adoptive parents see the profiles of incoming birthparents and decide whether they want to be considered. If so, the birthparents look at the profiles of the prospective adoptive parents and they pick, which means you could get a placement right away or take years.

Our agency places a major emphasis on open adoption, with requirements that at least letters and pictures be sent to the bio-parents regularly via the agency. The bio-parents may choose not to receive them, or may choose not to respond, but the pictures will always be saved for them if they decide they want them. There's no requirement to disclose, say, last name or location to the birthparents, though when the situation is stable many people do.

After 2.5 years and 54 cases (we agreed to be considered roughly 3 times out of 4), we finally conceived on our own. Our adoption case is technically "on hold," but we probably will not resume with the infant route, both because of the stress of constantly deciding whether to be considered only to be passed over, and because we believe that infant adoption should be reserved to couples who can't have kids biologically and apparently we can after all. We may, at some point, try adopting through foster care. We're told that the process there is not dissimilar, except that it's social workers making the choice and not birthparents.

The adoption tax credit reimbursed most of our already-paid up-front cost, and we treated the money we'd saved for post-placement costs as a windfall -- some on a vacation, some to pay down the mortgage and remove PMI, and some to open our son's 529.
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Re: Adoption

Post by takingcharge » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:08 pm

[OT link to adoption agency removed by admin LadyGeek]

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:14 pm

I retitled the thread for clarity. The OP is looking for personal experience from those who have adopted.
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welldone
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by welldone » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Adoption can a wonderful thing but before you pursue going forward, I would ask yourself (and your wife) why you want to adopt. I am not being facetious when I say this - you really need to decide what is motivating your desire to adopt. As an adoptive parent, I would say that if the desire is for any other reasons besides wanting more children - step back and truly rethink your position. If you are thinking about this as an "altruistic" action - I would seriously recommend several other options (donating to child welfare organizations, big brother/big sister org mentor, etc) before adding to your family.

There are lots of very good reasons why respecting birth order is important in adoption, and I would highly recommend doing some in depth reading on the subject before going forward. The fact that you don't know why this is important even with direct experience with adoptive families tells me that you haven't really thought about this in depth, nor have you done any basic research into the issue. Respecting birth order is done for the health and well being of all the children involved - it is not a "only wanting babies" kind of decision.

Here are some books I would highly recommend you read.

Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma by Deborah Gray

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah Gray

Twenty things Adopted Kids Wished Their Parents Knew by Sherri Eldridge

Parenting the Hurt Children by Gregory Keck

The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier

Inside Transracial Adoption by Beth Hall

Adoption Parenting; Creating a Toolbox by Jena Macleod

This is just a very basic list of books to research. If you have any further questions, you can always pm me.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by annie20 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:41 pm

If you are looking to adopt a non-infant domestically then chances are good you will be adopting a child who is in foster care but whose parental rights have been terminated. Although the perception of foster children in our society is ridiculously negative my daughter is the most precious thing in the universe and I'm so happy I pursued adoption through the foster system. I would encourage you to look not only at agencies that provide this service but also at getting licensed directly through the state or county in which you live. States vary tremendously so the adoption story I am about to tell may be very different than what you may encounter, but I can tell you a bit about the adoption of my daughter which occurred this year. Since this is a financial forum I'm going to focus on the financial aspects, but I trust that you know very well that there are many things far more important than that when considering adopting. The only non-financial advice I'm going to add, since you brought it up, is DO NOT mess with birth order. So so so much can go wrong, especially if you are getting a child who is not an infant.

To adopt in my state (and all states as far as I'm aware) you need a home study. I am licensed through the state directly and my home study was free. State law requires that you have a child in your home more than 6 months before an adoption can be finalized. Therefore, although my daughter's parents rights were terminated before she was placed with me and I had been identified by the state as her "adoptive placement" before she moved in, she was technically a foster child for six months. During that time I received a $600+ monthly stipend. What many people don't know is that subsidy doesn't end upon adoption. Because she is defined as "special needs" she has an adoption subsidy that is substantial (comparable to foster stipend) and state medical insurance until she is 18. I will also receive the entire $13,000 adoption tax credit because she is "special needs." However, she is not "special needs" in the commonly considered sense. Not at all. She is a healthy, smart, athletic, well-adjusted 3 year old. In my state, "special needs" children are children who are not white, who are older than 3, who have siblings who are also being adopted, who may have been subjected to pre-natal drug exposure, or the more commonly considered special needs.

So there is my btdt financial summary of adopting a non-infant domestically. If the financial aspect is anything more than an afterthought please don't adopt, but I trust that you are looking into the idea for appropriate reasons and share the financial piece only because that is what this forum is about. I encourage you to not be scared to look at foster children in your efforts to expand your family.

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TxAg
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by TxAg » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:41 am

I apreciate everyone sharing. Thank you.

Looks like we have some reading to do.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by MarSam » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:14 am

I have 5 adopted siblings. My best friend was adopted and had five adopted siblings. I agree with the view that birth order does not matter. Most children are looking for a stable, loving environment. If you can provide that, then god bless. My siblings were adopted as various ages - 3 weeks, 5 months, 2 years, 7 years old, and 1 month. They all came from International adoptions. The 2 year old and the 7 year old took a little time to adapt, but by no means was it an insurmountable challenge. For instance the 7 year old spoke Spanish and needed to learn English. Within a year he was fully ingrained into the family. My mom, also told them all from the beginning they were adopted. Probably wouldn't have been hard to figure out since their skin color was different! They all had pictures of their birth moms. The one that came as 7, still goes back to his birth country and visits his foster family there. Adoption is a wonderful thing, if you can do it.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by tibbitts » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:41 am

My only experience is more than a decade ago with one failed adoption process and three foster children.

The first two foster experiences were relatively positive, except for the frustration that the emphasis of foster care is getting the child back to the situation that caused them to be put into foster care in the first place. The third experience taught us that we just weren't capable (or willing, or some combination) of dealing with the problems that some of these kids have, so it was very valuable to us in that sense.

There is a process you have to go through to qualify for either foster care or adoption: training classes, homestudy, finger-printing, background checks, etc. It's more or less for both foster care and adoption, and it does take some time (months) but certainly isn't onerous.

Foster care cost us only a moderate amount - a few thousand dollars that the stipends didn't cover, and we could have spent less than that. It's important to understand that the process of dealing with foster kids consumes a lot of time during business hours, so if you both have traditional 8-5 jobs before you start, you need to consider that in terms of lost income. There are a lot of restrictions related to kids in foster care that will definitely affect other aspects of your life - travel, etc.

With adoption, experiences will probably vary more depending on how you approach it. It cost us less than $10k, but it would have been possible for it to cost much more and still not work out.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by EvelynM » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:46 am

I was adopted at two weeks old. I agree with Sperry8 about the importance of having medical information about the birth family. [Personally identifiable information removed by admin LadyGeek.] I found my birth family and discovered that both my mother and grandmother had died of breast cancer, which was invaluable information when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Because I had the biological medical information, I had been very vigilant about getting mammograms every year, etc., and receiving the diagnosis was not such a shock. The medical info has also been very good for my children to have.

I was the first child adopted in my adoptive family, and my parents adopted a son four years later. I don't think I would have liked it if they had adopted a child older than I. But I also agree with Sperry8 that when it comes to adoption, giving any child a loving home is what matters.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by MC2014 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:35 am

We adopted our child. It was a long process of at least 2 years and not one that the adoption agency made any easier.
We love our son very much. As much as possible we tell our son what a wonderful blessing he has been to us. We have a strong and committed marriage. I can't think of a single person who knows me better or to whom I feel closer to than my spouse, and of course, our close relationship is not based on any shared blood relationship. Thinking about our family as one of lasting commitment that comes from a deep love helps in realizing that blood does not automatically make a close bond. We also have neices and nephews who are not adopted and very much biological, and realized that all kids, even biological ones, are like a box of chocolate- you don't know what you are going to get (as someone said earlier).

Everyday, I find myself falling more deeply in love with our son. He is really a wonderful joy and I can't imagine our lives without him. We spend a lot of time with him and during the first two years he came home, I stayed at home with him. Adoption has been a wonderful experience for our family.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by eschaef » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:55 am

My friend and coworker has adopted four children domestically with his wife. The did so by becoming foster parents. They were willing and expecting for some children to come into their home and then be placed back with family etc., first, before finding an adoptable child. However, it turned out their first placement became a permanent adoption, followed quickly by a second. They now have four children permanently adopted from the foster system, three of which have the same biological mother. The last two came into their home right from the hospital after they were born.

Actually, my other coworker and his wife adopted from the foster system in a similar manner. They only have one adopted son though, and their biological daughters are much older.

ETA - They are all quite happy with their experiences overall, though adopting from a foster situation is not without its hiccups. In the past there were supervised visitations with biological parents, many court appearances, etc. In fact, a blood relative turned up and wanted to claim one of the children. However, the birth mother wanted the child to stay with my friend and his family, and so the issue was finally resolved without disruption to the child.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by therub » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:38 pm

Tragically, the international and domestic adoption process is extremely inefficient (in the market sense of the word - matching up kids in need of parents with parents able to raise a child), due to a variety of factors. But it is worth it.

We chose international adoption due to its certainty. We are currently in the process of our second adoption. I wrote up some of the economics of our first adoption process at http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=94052
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by babydoc » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:50 pm

Adoption has been great for our family. We adopted two children domestically from birth who are now 9 and 7. My wife had multiple cancers and our only way to have a family was through adoption. They were semi-open in that we met and had some contact for a period of time afterwards. We have none now which was the choice of the birth mothers. Adoption has been a great blessing for our family and I am grateful for two birth mothers who put their child's best interests first and allowed us to be parents. They truly loved their children. The amazing thing was that both birth mothers, who we met during the process, strongly felt individually that these children early on were destined to be our children and they were only the vehicle. My wife unfortunately passed away and I subsequently remarried and we also have two biological children who are 21 months and 2 months. They also are a blessing to our family. We are grateful to have the wonderful children that we have.

My advice on the openness of the adoption is to decide as a couple what you are comfortable with. Be true and honest to yourself. If you promise something to the birthparents, you need to follow through. That is what we did and allowed them to decrease contact as they felt comfortable. We felt strongly that they gave us an incredible gift that we had to follow through with what we promised. We also are open with our children about their adoption and how amazing it was that through adoption they could be part of our family. As questions come up, we answer them. At some point, they may want to meet their birth parents and we will help them if the birth parents are willing. We also now have two biological children and they are still doing well with everything.

Good luck. It can be a challenging process. We were very fortunate and blessed that adoption was an amazing experience for us.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Slowmaha » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:59 am

We've adopted two domestic newborns in the past 2.5 years so I can't speak to adopting from the foster system. All I can say is the process was tedious, invasive, emotional, extremely expensive, and completely worth it. We're blessed to have two of the coolest little kids in the world, IMO. Both are open and we (mostly my wife) have fairly frequent communication with the birth parents (moms, mostly).

Good luck on your decision, PM me if you want to discuss details.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:47 pm

1. My wife and I adopted our son (he was about a year old) over 30 years ago. It was done privately - and he is a close relative of my wife. The "process" (primarily because it was 'in the family') generally went well, and we fully regard him as out son and he regards us as his parents. Very few "adoption" issues - once or twice he said something like, "You wouln't do [or say] that if you were my REAL parents". Other challenges and difficulties not unlike others that have biological children.

2. We have many friends and acquaintances who, for various reasons, have adopted - most internationally. I believe most ended up being OK.

As far as international adoption is concerned, I would be very concerned that available, healthy infants from many countries might be "available" due to "baby selling" or deception/coercion of the mother.

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TxAg
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by TxAg » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:58 pm

I've been out of town but catching up on the replies. My wife isn't a member here, but she has also been keeping up with this thread. We greatly appreciate the stories and insight.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:34 pm

Slowmaha wrote: All I can say is the process was tedious, invasive, emotional, extremely expensive, and completely worth it.
Slowmaha summed it up well. We adopted our daughter 5 months ago (she was three days old at the time). We couldn't be happier being parents but think she'll be our only child. The process was long, difficult, and expensive for us and we don't plan to go through it ever again. Totally 100% worth it. Wish you all the very best. Adoption is wonderful.

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Re: Adoption

Post by epilnk » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:41 am

My children were adopted internationally and came home at 7 months. My info, too, is out of date; only current info is useful. The most important advice has already been given:
Boglegrappler wrote:The adoption landscape has shifted radically over the past thirty years. You should attend as many support group meetings for waiting parents as you can, and learn as much as you can. There are many bumps in the road and by getting face to face with people in the organizations that are currently involved in matching families and placing children, you'll become educated.

Every agency and organization has its own situation and you need to kind of learn the landscape as it exists at present.

I'm 21 years out of date on this, but there are places for you to get current. There are some extremely good resources very near to you.
Respect the birth order - it's easier on you, easier on the adopted child, and (most importantly) easier on your elder child. Fortunately you have a lot of research and preparation and paperwork (always the paperwork) to do, so your first child will get older. Please keep in mind that toddlers are considered the most difficult age to successfully adopt (high awareness, strong need for control, no language to express themselves or let you talk them through it) so think carefully and study well before considering this route.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:06 am

Surprised to see so many adoptive parents. Don't know why. Maybe because I don't know anyone who has adopted children.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:06 pm

Both from things I read, as well as anecdotally - the demand for young, healthy children to adopt (especially white babies) is high, while the supply/availability of such children is limited. One, of several, sources of increased demand is same sex couples (both men and women) who wish to adopt.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:36 pm

2.5% of children in the US came to their families through adoption. We have always been very open with our kids about this. So much so that our older son was with a friend one day and the friend said how cool it was that my son was adopted. My son looked puzzled and said "isn't everyone adopted?".
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epilnk
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by epilnk » Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:24 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:2.5% of children in the US came to their families through adoption. We have always been very open with our kids about this. So much so that our older son was with a friend one day and the friend said how cool it was that my son was adopted. My son looked puzzled and said "isn't everyone adopted?".
To be fair, though, that 2.5% figure includes formal adoptions by stepparents. But yes, roughly 1 in 40 children; any given classroom is more likely than not to have an adopted kid and both of my boys know plenty of other kids who were adopted. You don't usually know a child's adoptive status unless the parents tell you, but since we are a transrace family we often are offered that info.

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wilpat
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by wilpat » Fri Oct 31, 2014 5:29 pm

My (Natural) Sister and I were adopted when I was 5 and she was 6 years old. My birth Father disappeared and my birth Mother could not afford to raise us. The adoption occurred in 1945 and there was no welfare or anything else available. She had no relatives close enough to help her.
She had a first cousin (who lived in another state) who could not have children for some medical reason. So her first cousin and his wife became our new Father and Mother. They reached an agreement that she would not have any contact with us until we became of age. Her Mother and Grandmother lived near where we moved to and they kept her up to date on our status. Interestingly – Her Grandmother was my Great Grandmother both up the natural and the adopted side.
The day we were adopted when we were getting ready to move away she asked us to call our new mother “Mother”. We had been at our new house about 15 minutes and I wanted a glass of water so I went into the kitchen where my new mother was doing something and I said “Mom could I have some water?” and she began crying because I had called her Mom (it made her feel so good!). I thought “OH No what did I do?” and started crying also. We then had a conversation and she explained why she was crying and we both felt really good then!

I became reacquainted (as did my Sister) with our birth mother after I became of age and saw her off and on until her death in 1990.

This story could go on and on, but I will stop now. :happy :happy
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Slowmaha
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Slowmaha » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:20 am

wilpat wrote:My (Natural) Sister and I were adopted when I was 5 and she was 6 years old. My birth Father disappeared and my birth Mother could not afford to raise us. The adoption occurred in 1945 and there was no welfare or anything else available. She had no relatives close enough to help her.
She had a first cousin (who lived in another state) who could not have children for some medical reason. So her first cousin and his wife became our new Father and Mother. They reached an agreement that she would not have any contact with us until we became of age. Her Mother and Grandmother lived near where we moved to and they kept her up to date on our status. Interestingly – Her Grandmother was my Great Grandmother both up the natural and the adopted side.
The day we were adopted when we were getting ready to move away she asked us to call our new mother “Mother”. We had been at our new house about 15 minutes and I wanted a glass of water so I went into the kitchen where my new mother was doing something and I said “Mom could I have some water?” and she began crying because I had called her Mom (it made her feel so good!). I thought “OH No what did I do?” and started crying also. We then had a conversation and she explained why she was crying and we both felt really good then!

I became reacquainted (as did my Sister) with our birth mother after I became of age and saw her off and on until her death in 1990.

This story could go on and on, but I will stop now. :happy :happy

Neat story, thanks for sharing!

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by frugalprof » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:31 pm

If you do decide to pursue the foster to adopt route, be very careful about whether or not parental rights have been terminated. DSS workers can be overly optimistic about how close foster kids are to being "legally free." We have been fostering a child for 18 months and it will take at least another 6 months before he is legally free. We finally decided to hire a lawyer to ensure that things proceed as quickly as possible. If the adoption is contested, we could end up spending $20,000-30,000 in legal fees. Our child is four years old. His mother stopped taking care of him three years ago, and there are multiple potential fathers who have never been involved in our child's care. In our state at least, the legal system is set up to protect the parental rights of the biological parents above the right of the child to be in a safe and nurturing environment.

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TxAg
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by TxAg » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:38 pm

once again, thanks for the replies. We're having dinner with some friends (who are adoptive parents) and I have several questions to ask which were inspired by this thread.

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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by tibbitts » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:50 pm

TxAg wrote:once again, thanks for the replies. We're having dinner with some friends (who are adoptive parents) and I have several questions to ask which were inspired by this thread.
I think you have to be cautious of survivorship bias. You don't find a lot of people running around talking about a failed adoption process; it can be a difficult topic for them to discuss.

sunshinebottom
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by sunshinebottom » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:06 pm

We adopted three children. I wouldn't give up any of them. They have been the joy of my life. However, I do have to say that it's been a difficult road. All ended up with special needs, One with significant autism and we have to figure out how to care for him the rest of his life. Not that that couldn't have happened biologically, but when you adopt be prepared to take on genetic issues that you may not be prepared for. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder-- the list goes on of inherited disorders that you may be faced with. Again, I love my children and wouldn't think of life without them. It's just that this reality of adoption rarely gets talked about.

therub
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by therub » Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:25 am

tibbitts wrote: I think you have to be cautious of survivorship bias. You don't find a lot of people running around talking about a failed adoption process; it can be a difficult topic for them to discuss.
This is true. We went with international adoption after hearing many stories of failed domestic adoptions, often after significant financial and emotional investment. As another poster said, the laws are set up in favor of biological family.

A typical example - adoptive family gets involved with pregnant birth mom. Supports her financially, gets to know her (open adoption), etc. In my state, she can change her mind as late as 10 days after placement of the baby in your home. A bio dad can show up as late as 30 days after the birth.

Now, I have the highest esteem for birth mom's - please please don't take my critique the wrong way. I know in our own birth mom's case - it brings me to tears to consider the sacrifice she made for her children and our family. But being on the other side can be a roller coaster. I know of several families who have had failed domestic adoptions. One family had it fail 3 times before they gave up.

It is totally worth it. I just wish it was a more efficient market so that every child in need of a family was swiftly and safely connected with every qualified family looking for children.
Fees are the rub.

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dm200
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:57 pm

While there are truly wonderful experiences, outcomes and very positive changed lives from those who have adopted children (whether internationally, within families, through agencies, direct with birth parent, etc.) - there are many kinds of risks in any and all of the types. Prospective adoptive parents, in my opinion, should be fully aware of the kinds of risks that are more common with adoptive children and the particular adoptive process. Several acquaintences of ours who adopted children have faced some big challenges - that continue, and will continue for a long, long time. In the teenage years, we dealt with some challenges as well (much like other adoptive parent we know faced) - but the good news for us is that our son now seems much more on a good track in life.

Slowmaha
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Slowmaha » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:07 am

tibbitts wrote:
TxAg wrote:once again, thanks for the replies. We're having dinner with some friends (who are adoptive parents) and I have several questions to ask which were inspired by this thread.
I think you have to be cautious of survivorship bias. You don't find a lot of people running around talking about a failed adoption process; it can be a difficult topic for them to discuss.

As adoption in general becomes less stigmatized, so does the conversation regarding failed adoption experiences. I like to think mine is a doozy since our failed adoption involved a couple (who just so happened both to be female), the "birth mom" had a lovely Mike Tyson tattoo on her face and her partner had HIV.... And brain cancer.. We went round and round with these ladies in time, money, and emotion. Turns out it was a complete scam, she was never pregnant, and they were working their way across the country stealing from people like us.

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.. :annoyed

I think stories of failed adoptions NEED to be shared.. The more informed the "consumer" is, the better, IMO.

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archbish99
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by archbish99 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:55 am

Yeah, situations like that ^ are why we ruled out private adoption every time the discussion came up. We'd much rather have an agency who can take responsibility for vetting the birth parents, finding/notifying birth-dad, deciding and providing appropriate expense assistance to birth-parents, etc. It's not a small difference in price, but we approached the difference as insurance.
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.

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dm200
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:45 pm

Slowmaha wrote:
tibbitts wrote:
TxAg wrote:once again, thanks for the replies. We're having dinner with some friends (who are adoptive parents) and I have several questions to ask which were inspired by this thread.
I think you have to be cautious of survivorship bias. You don't find a lot of people running around talking about a failed adoption process; it can be a difficult topic for them to discuss.
As adoption in general becomes less stigmatized, so does the conversation regarding failed adoption experiences. I like to think mine is a doozy since our failed adoption involved a couple (who just so happened both to be female), the "birth mom" had a lovely Mike Tyson tattoo on her face and her partner had HIV.... And brain cancer.. We went round and round with these ladies in time, money, and emotion. Turns out it was a complete scam, she was never pregnant, and they were working their way across the country stealing from people like us.

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.. :annoyed

I think stories of failed adoptions NEED to be shared.. The more informed the "consumer" is, the better, IMO.
Yes - I agree that "conversations" about such serious (attempted) failed adoptions are less stigmatized, so the information can inform prospective adoptive parents of some things to watch for. I do know several couples who have adopted "privately" - and, in their cases, all went well and as "promised". In our case, now over 30 years ago, ours was "private", but with a relative, who - for several reasons - was unable to be a parent to our son (who was only about a year old at the time).

I wish you well in your continued attempts to adopt, and am so sorry you became victims of this horrible scam.

Dulocracy
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Dulocracy » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:40 pm

frugalprof wrote:... In our state at least, the legal system is set up to protect the parental rights of the biological parents above the right of the child to be in a safe and nurturing environment.
I believe this to be a misstatement. While I do not know your state, as an attorney handling family law, I know that most states have a clear rule that re-unification with a parent is the primary goal, in the event that the parent can provide a safe and nurturing environment. It should be made clear that the risk is real that getting a child from the foster-care system involves the chance that the parent will get in rehab, get a job, and become a good and loving parent. The court's primary job is to ensure that the child is in a safe and nurturing environment. Between a parent who wants the child and a prospective adoptive parent, of course the natural parent will have first rights.

Also, think about it from the perspective of a father who did not have notice until the last minute. His ex got on drugs and abandoned the child. He never knew she had his child. He found out he is a dad. He has a decent job, stable home, and wants to be able to take care of the child he never had. There is a reason there are notice requirements: this happens more often than you would imagine. There are a lot of fathers out there that do not know that they are fathers. There are laws to protect all parties involved. The laws are designed to be as balanced as possible.

Of course, there are also situations wherein the natural parents are just bad parents and bad people. Rather than immediately removing children and saying "you lose," the courts give the parents the opportunity to clean up their act. Some do. Some don't. Parents who adopt foster-care children are absolute angels. Those absolute angels have to realize that there are risks to this type of adoption, just like with others. Being aware of those risks can often help avoid emotional shock later on.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

robersmith
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by robersmith » Tue May 02, 2017 5:40 am

Hello everyone, I have recently hired an adoption attorney to adopt a child for my family. My experience was wonderful. The overall process was not too much tough. It gave a lot of experience. I am quite happy with this decision. My whole family is quite happy with this. Our attorney helped us a lot with the whole process.

Thanks and regards. :happy

Lilly
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Re: Adoption [Experience from those who have adopted]

Post by Lilly » Tue May 02, 2017 6:52 pm

I am on both ends of this story. I am a birth mother and an adoptive mother. I gave up my first child in 1968. I did not want to give him up. We could not find a way to keep him without any help. Two years later I married his birth father. We had 2 more sons. In 1978 we adopted our daughter from Korea. She was 6 months old when she arrived. We kept her involved in her culture her as much as we could. I talked openly about her adoption and that her mother loved her and could not find a way to keep her. When she was 18, I gave her all papers concerning her adoption. Fast forward to 1995. I got the call I had been waiting for for 28 years. It was from our first son. He wanted to get to know us. His parents were older when they adopted him. They had two natural children. When their parents both passed away, they no longer included him in family events. He was very lonely. After he found us, he was never lonely again. We had a good relationship for 21 years. He spent his holidays with us. He went on family vacations with us. Last June he passed away. We miss him very much.

Our daughter from Korea, has returned to her homeland 2 times. She loves it there. Each time she has searched for birth family with no luck. She wanted to go back again in September and she wanted me to go along. I quickly said I would join her. We bought our tickets back in December before N Korea started all this crap. We are hoping it will settle down before September. I hope my daughter can find her mother this time.

I suggest all adoptive parents watch the show on "NBC called "This Is Us" It is all about interracial adoption and reunion issues. My daughter and I have watched every episode together. Good luck to all with your adoptions. Please remember that a birth mother never quits loving her child and never forgets them.

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