Archive for the ‘ Local US Adoptions ’ Category

We Want to Adopt an International Indian Toddler

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

In a previous post, I was honest enough to admit that if my family moved forward with this toddler daughter from India — after slogging through adoption paperwork and finances for two years — both my husband and I would prefer a physically pretty child with no developmental problems.

Reader Tee commented, “Do you really think that your Indian daughter wouldn’t be reminded of her not “belonging to (you) and (you) alone” every time she looks at her brown skin or wonders who her birth parents are and why she was adopted and what the land of her birth was like? There is no such thing as adopting a child who is “yours and only yours.”

This is a harmful myth that continues to be perpetuated by a subset of adoptive parents and the adoption industry. Adoption is not a fertility treatment…  You don’t just “get” a baby who has no issues and is yours and yours alone.

You enter a complex web that involves at least one other mother and father who will always be with your child spiritually and emotionally, if not physically. In some cases there are other mothers and fathers, too (such as cases where a child is adopted after being in foster care or attached to their orphanage caretakers).

In many cases there are physical and mental health issues relating to the child’s lack of prenatal care or early life in an orphanage. If you cannot accept being part of this complex web, I think it’s fair to say it would be very hard for you to help your adopted child learn to love and understand themselves and their history. Don’t think that I don’t understand the desire to have a “no strings attached” baby — I do! As a foster-adoptive parent I sure do fantasize about having a child of my own who I never had to “share” with a dysfunctional child welfare system and the birth family most foster children are very loyal to (no matter how abusive or neglectful).

I do empathize with the feeling behind this. What I don’t empathize with is actually taking action to adopt while holding as an ideal the “perfect” adoptee who will be grateful for being “rescued” but will never remind you that she is, in fact, a person with an identity that is different from yours and which likely includes her first family. A number of my friends who are international adoptees have found their birth families (despite “closed” international adoptions).

Don’t think for a second that in the age of the internet they will be forever severed from their birth family. A number who have adoptive parents who are threatened by their desire to know/find their birth families (such as your husband) have also stopped or limited contact with their adoptive families once they reached adulthood, out of resentment and pain. Think seriously about whether adoption is the right path for you and your husband.

I wish you much luck,” Tee finished.

Tell me your adoption story below in Comments, thank you Tee for responding as a veteran foster mother.

 

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Father Dearly Remembers an Adopted Stepchild Who Died

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Adopting a second dog made my family realize how much more work two is than only one. Dogs and kids, two is more work than one. That’s all I meant; it’s good to be reminded of how much work/love/chores/discipline you need for two. Not one — two is so much more.

That’s what I meant when I compared domestic child adoption to a rescue dog adoption. In fact, we did rescue a second dog after long conversations and hair-pulling, arguments and opinions. Adopt a new dog (my choice) to prepare for a second child who we adopt as a toddler and save from a life of abuse and neglect (husband’s choice).

And then, a miracle letter from a reader tho has gone through emotional torment when his adopted stepchild died. Read this letter about putting life into perspective.

Thanks for sending it:

“I also want to reply to this adopt a pet vs a child issue. All those getting upset about this are being silly. There are many reasons why a pet would be better off in a home than a child would. Perhaps financial constraints play a factor. The pet is much cheaper to care for. The pet and owner can provide much love for each other. Many times women get pregnant simply because they want someone to love them. They wind up making horrible mothers.  There is no requirement that you Must raise a child.

[Today, at this point ] I have no kids but I can’t afford a kid anyway. Suits me fine. I have more time and money to do the things that are important to me. If raising a child is important to you, go for it, but don’t sit there on your high horse and look down at those of us with different ideas about how life should be. That said, when I was a young man I did have a wife and a wonderful stepson.

I raised this boy for 5 years and loved him as my own. His biological father wanted nothing to do with him. Wife and stepson were killed in a car accident. That was over 20 years ago.

Took me years to get over that loss. A long, long time. You people need to get a grip and let people live how is best for them.”

Forgiveness can take forever. Leave your comments below:

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Foster Kids: There are Monsters Under our Beds

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After going back and forth relentlessly between domestic adoption, closed adoption (my husband) versus open domestic adoption (the wife), we are at a standstill. Bio son Sam has been waiting so long for a young sister or brother that he almost doesn’t care anymore (two years and counting). At age 4, Sam was excited about a sibling; at six he’s nearly over it.

Another standstill: It’s harder and harder to leap over all the adoption barricades: finances, emotions, huge disagreements, our busy working lives, etc.

Barricade #1: Cost of an international adoption which is clearly the winner vote by our family. Hard to scare up the initial $15,000 to get the international adoption ball rolling. The total cost of an international Indian adoption for a young toddler daughter will costs total between $30,000 – $50,000.

We have some emotional obstacles around international adoption as well: Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?

If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.

From International Adoption to Domestic Adoption

You can read about our fears and ignorance around foster children in previous posts, but I still urge everyone to look into local domestic adoptions first. You adopt in a shorter amount of time and deeply serve your local community.

Re: Domestic Adoption from the Los Angeles County foster and family agencies. After several posts over the last few weeks, devout reader Jayme, who spent young, formative years in foster care in another state wrote to me.

Looking back, she remembered, “Nothing short of horrid. We used to be told about the monsters under our beds when we were young. Sometimes I wonder if they really are real? Monsters are everywhere. I learned the hard way.

“Sad sad sad,” said reader Jayme. Keep up the good work on adoptions, and I will. Share your stories with me:

 

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My Stepmother Abused and Neglected her Foster Daughter

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Reader Claudia started off my complimenting The Adoption Diaries and telling me how great Parents.com is for bringing to light the issues surrounding foster-care, domestic adoption and busy caseworkers who stash troubled kids in homes where they might be abused or neglected.

Claudia said, “Caseworkers must look for legal proof  of convicted felonies; in order for there to be anything incriminating in your background, you have had to have been arrested, tried, and found guilty in a court of law.”

But then Claudia argued that most pedophiles are in the wings watching, fitting into society like Jerry Sandusky was able to for all those years. How are you ever to know what happens behind closed doors? As an example, Claudia told me about her deceased stepmother who terrorized one of her foster daughters.

“My step-mother (who is now dead) and father adopted two little girls out of foster care. She spoiled and over-indulged the one, but couldn’t stand the other. She was verbally and emotionally incredibly abusive to her and today she has a lot of issues. Both grown women actually have a lot of emotional problems because of their foster mother. Even my father was relieved to watch his wife — their foster mom — suffer and die from cancer.

“She was what most people would say was an evil woman. But she could certainly turn on the nice and pleasant for company, be nice when it served her purposes. Sometimes evil is carefully concealed. We as a family did help the situation, but our hands were tied legally. You must look around to help children who are begin abused because abusers lurk in the shadows.

“Keep your own eyes open to children around you,” Claudia urged. “Maybe it’s not only up to the caseworkers and government who go in and
schedule a visit so the evil people can be prepared and on their best behavior. Maybe it’s up to us, neighbors and relatives, who see the truth and act. The government can’t do everything. Maybe we need to stop looking to Big Brother and expect them to run our lives for us and come up with all of the answers. Maybe we need to do something.”

Who else agrees with Claudia? Thanks for the wise words and I’m so glad you spoke out about the abuse those foster kids received.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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Private, Open Adoptions are Healthier for Kids and Families

Monday, September 24th, 2012

domestic adoption blogWhile my family is still considering an international adoption with an agency, we have not totally ruled out an open, domestic adoption… yet. We prefer going the international route — I like the thought that the bio parents will live far, far away — but I would be amenable to open adoptions too.

Adoption research by Deborah H. Siegel, Ph.D. and Susan Livingston Smith show how years of secretive, closed adoption information among prospective adoptive parents and children stigmatized everyone. Only 20 years ago, when adoption was shrouded in so much secrecy and stigma, that adoptive families knew nothing about each other or the child.

Our new reality today is that a large majority (well over two-thirds) of adoptive families will establish either a partial open adoption or a fully open adoption where birth families and adoptive families stay in touch through the years.

•    “Closed” infant adoptions have shrunk to a tiny minority (about 5 percent), with 40 percent “mediated” and 55 percent “open.” Now, in fact, 95 percent of agencies offer open adoptions.
•    In the overwhelming majority of infant adoptions, adoptive parents and expectant parents considering adoption meet, and the expectant parents pick the new family for their baby.
•    Women who have placed their infants for adoption – and have ongoing contact with their children – report less grief, regret and worry, as well as more peace of mind.

“The good news is that adoption in our country is traveling a road toward greater openness and honesty,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. His recommendations include counseling and training for all the parents involved (expectant and adoptive), as well as post-placement services.”

Would you be agreeable to an open, domestic adoption where you might socialize with the kid’s bio family?

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