Adoption?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Strange Days, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Strange Days

    Strange Days Member

    I really like the idea of adoption and in the future if I decide to have kids, I would love to adopt a child...has anyone here adopted any of their children? Did you do it in your country or did you go abroad? Did you adopt them when they were babies or have you adopted older kids? If anyone here has adopted any of their children I would be really interested to hear your experience; I have a very small idea of how the system works.
     
  2. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    Adoption is different depending on where you adopt from. The least expensive way to go is adopting through your county child welfare department. Usually this means getting an older child and/or a biracial or minority child. Frequently you can get a child in your home through the foster/adopt program. The child is placed with you for foster care but there is a 95% chance they will be available for adoption at some time in the future. The problem with this is that 5% chance that they will go back to the biological parents. This is really tramatic when you have to give the child back. You hope that it is going to work out for the parents and the child but you know that 9 times out of 10 it doesn't and that child will be back in foster care in a few months or years. I've known people who let the social worker know that they wanted the child back if they came back into care. For some of them it worked out, for others they never saw or heard of the child again. I know one mom who got her child back from foster care and then one day took him back to his foster parents and left him there. She said she would be back in a few hours and never came backfor him. You can adopt through a private agency but it is expensive. Some people place ads in newspapers looking for a child to adopt. There are risks involved in that the birth parents must select you. Sometimes the birth parents back out at the last minute. There have been cases where the birth parents have changed there minds months later and the courts have given the child back to them. This is extremely hard on all parties involved.

    I have some experience with foster/adopt because of my former job. All of the babies in my program were in foster care and then some were returned to the birth mothers. I also had to sit through a termination trial where the parents rights were terminated and the children were placed for adoption by their seperate foster parents. I can try to answer any specific questions you might have. Or you can go to your state or county child welfare or social services office.

    As far as International Adoption, the basics are the same for every country. You have to have a home study, interviews by a social worker, finger prints by the FBI, the state, and the national child abuse registry. And be approved by all of these agencies. You file paperwork with INS to get permission to bring an adopted child into this country. After that the procedure varies depending on the country you go with.

    We started out in China. All of our papers had to be notorized by the county clerk, certified by the state, and then authenticated by the Chinese Embassy. Then our paperwork was sent to the China Center for Adoption Affairs. After a year and a half of papers sitting on a desk in China they decided that we were not going to be given a child. No real reason why. In fact we weren't even told that we were denied. Our adoption agency had to make several phone calls to China before they were told that we were denied. No reason was given. If we had completed this process, we would have been given a picture of a child, usually a baby girl under 18 months of age. After we accepted that child based only on a small picture and an even smaller medical report, we would have been given a date to travel to China to pick up the child. This process would have involved a two week long trip to pick up the child, go through the offical adoption and then go to get a visa from the US government to bring the child home. At this time no single parents go adopt from China. You must be between 35 and 50 to adopt and you must be of good health and within normal weight ranges.

    After China, we looked to Guatemala. We had to redo all of our paperwork, homestudy, health records, bank statements, fingerprints to all three agencies, letters of reference from three different people, INS acceptance, etc. All this had to be again notorized, certified, and authenticated by the Guatemala Embassy. Our agency then sent this paperwork to a lawyer in Guatemala. He sent the agency a picture of a baby girl, medical records, and a brief family history. We accepted her referral and the legal process began to work it's way through the courts. She was a month old when we started the process. In Guatemala the birth mother has to undergo DNA testing to prove that she is the mother of the child she is surrendering. She has to hold the child on her lap for a picture with the child. She is interviewed on four different occasions by the family court and the US government to make sure she is not being forced or coerced into giving up her child. About two months into the process we went to Guatemala and spent a week with this little girl. We had her in our hotel with us and began to bond with her. This was going to be our child. We returned home with the expectation that we would be going back in about 6 weeks to bring her home with us. Instead two weeks later we were notified that the grandparents did not know about the child abd they wanted her. They forced the young birth mother to bring her home. So we lost her. About two months later we were offered another child, a little boy who was then 19 days old. We accepted his referral and the process started all over again. The whole process of DNA testing, birth mother interviews, family court, etc. After 3 months we went to Guatemala to meet this child. We spent a long weekend with him in our hotel with us. We cautiously began to bond with him but tried to keep our boundaries up in case something went wrong again. Two months later, his paperwork was all approved, our paperwork was all approved, we were given the go ahead to complete the adoption. At this point our attorney met with the birth mother one last time. She signed the paperwork making him our son. A new birth certificate was issued with his birth name on it but with our names as his parents. Then a passport was issued for him. At that point we were allowed to go back to Guatemala to bring our son home. On December 19, 2002 we came home with our 5.5 month old son. We flew down to Guatemala on a MOnday, went to the US Embassy on Tuesday to get his visa and came home on Wednesday. We did not have to make the first trip to meet our son but the adoption process became simpler because we did. Because of that trip our adoption was final in Guatemala and he was a US citizen as soon as the plane landed in New York. If we had not meet him before the adoption in Guatemala we would have had to readopt in this country. We would then after apply for citizenship after the readoption was complete. The only other thing we had to do for him was to go to court here to change his name to the name we wanted him to have. We then took that name change document and got a social security card, a US birth certificate, and a US passport for him.

    I know the process is very different in other countries. These are the only two I know about. There is a move to restrict adoptions from Guatemala. Some people say there is a lot of baby selling etc. going on there. But from our experience, the process is very strict and must be followed. I know one of our papers was thrown out of court because it had witeout on it. The DNA testing makes it very hard to sell a baby. It seems like a good process. In China the babies are abandoned. It is illegal to give a child for adoption and it is illegal to have more than one child. The cultural procedure is that the oldest male child must take care of the parents in their old age. There is no social security or things like that to take care of older people. Therefore most people want to have a son. The baby girls are left abandoned in the marketplace, in the train station, in hospitals, sometimes in the woods where they are never found. One of our goddaughters was found in a train station and the other one was found in the courtyard of an apartment complex. Once a baby "disappears" the parents can get permission to try again for a boy. It's a hard process for them. There is no medical history. No way of knowing who these little girls are. It's sad.

    I could go on and on but probably have already written more than will post in one post. Ask any questions you might have and I will try to answer them.

    Kathi Proud momma to a wonderful 4.75 year old little boy who is currently in the middle of a temper tantrum. Got to go.
     
  3. Strange Days

    Strange Days Member

    Wow, thank you so much for the informative post; I really appreciate it. Your little boy sounds like a sweetheart. I think it would be great to adopt an older child, although everyone is telling me it would probably be very difficult...one of the main things I'd to do is work when children when I'm older, though, and if I decide to go in that direction, I would be experienced enough to be able to handle it.

    Anywho, I don't really have any other questions at the moment. Thanks a lot, again!
     

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