Archive for the ‘
The Ethics of Adoption ’ Category
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
My family is still interested in adopting a little girl through an International Adoption agency, and it is so very interesting that the adoption of girls internationally has outnumbered the adoption of boys roughly 60% in the last several years. According to several agencies I tapped. In 2007 — the last date I could get my hands on those stats — of the 19,471 children adopted internationally, 11,846 of were girls and 7,789 were boys.
Choice of gender is, obviously, a factor when it comes to adoption around the world. Parents will usually choose a girl instead of a boy to adopt.
Why do most adoptive parents want a girl? According to one agency that offers motivating adoption stories, there are several myths about the adoption of girls versus boys:
Myth: Is it easier to adopt a girl verses a boy.
Fact: In fact, it is the opposite. The wait time is most always longer to adopt a girl.
Myth: Adoptive parents think boys will get in more trouble than girls.
Fact: As you probably know by now, girls can get in just as much trouble as boys! The success lies in the parenting abilities of the parents!
Myth: There are more girls available for adoption than boys.
Fact: No, there are more boys available for adoption than girls in all countries except China. The prevalence of Chinese girls adopted by Americans has given the false impression that girls are unwanted but China is a patriarchal society and this is why girls are available for adoption there.
Okay, so I’m going to throw this out there to this outspoken adoption population about the differences in gender: Do more families want to adopt a toddler daughter because the girls may be less aggressive, with fewer emotional issues? The gender differences may not matter so much with babies, right?
I do know one horrid story in Orange County, Calif. (that I have verified) where a Romanian son (7) was finally adopted and went on to sexually assault his new little sister who was a biological daughter to the family. (Young rapist was sent back to Romania, FYI…)
Be brutally honest: Is this why we prefer to adopt females? Let’s explore the honest conversation without allowing emotions to run wild! Can we do that?
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Friday, March 23rd, 2012
All over the country, couples are postponing parenthood. Birth rates for women in their thirties and forties have in- creased and for men over age forty-five, rates have increased by almost 20 percent since 1980. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, the birthrate for women 45 and over more than doubled between 1990 and 2002.
Latecomers: Children of Parents Over 35, a book by Andrew Yarrow reported the results of research of adults who grew up with older parents. He wrote that children benefit from having parents who are mature and experienced adults, and who can provide more stability and attention than younger parents.
Older adopters may have difficulty in finding an agency in their area that will accept them for a home study (pre-adoption preparation) from a licensed agency, which is mandated by federal law.
You need to be prepared for questions about your health; have the physician whom does your health exam make a comment on your expected longevity. If you have a chronic health problem, this doesn’t eliminate you, as long as you are under medical care and are faithful in following the required regimen. An agency must be sure the new child would not have to face another “loss” in the near future.
Here’s my quick Pro and Con list of older parenting:
Less selfish and work-obsessed
Rare sex. (Have I mentioned I’m exhausted?)
According to Yarrow’s book on older parents who adopt or foster children:
1. Children of older parents had an ever-present fear (even when they were young) for the health of their parents.
2. As young married couples, these children had to become caretakers of aging parents while the parents of their contemporaries were still very active. They were also caring for their own young children at the same time.
3. As children they knew their parents were wiser than other parents who had children when in their 20s. Some mentioned that today’s older parents are much more health conscious, and have more interest in staying on a healthy diet, not smoking, and exercising regularly, than those of previous generations.
Interesting, right? Tell me your adoption story here, Granny.
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
My friend Denise Imbesi began thinking about and then preparing for an international adoption nearly four years ago! She was single (at the time) and always wanted to be a mom. She is also a successful business owner and funded the nearly $20,000 ($10,000 plunked down to start).
She also highly recommends her Indian Agency/ IFS India Family Services because they ushered her painlessly through the process for two years!
She said, “They expained costs and paperwork along the way, and, yes, it felt like a big chunk of change to lay out with nothing to show for it for the first year or so, but the end product is worth it”
Denise went to India July 4th to pick up her 4-year-old daughter who she’s been trying to adopt for 2 years. She spent one week in India finalizing immigration, visa, etc. Denise said, “I was a nervous wreck and began crying the second I walked into the orphanage outside of Delhi. It was a beautiful building, clean and neat, with Mickey Mouse on the walls. There were 50+ orphans sleeping and living in one huge room, most of them girls under four. That was pretty sad because they had no parents but all seemed well-tended.
Jaya, 4 years old, looked so scared and she was wearing too-tight clothes and dirty shoes. She was in shock and frightened, she was petrified but she warmed up quickly and she began saying “mama” pretty quickly, and she fell asleep in Denise’s arms within 15 minutes of me holding her for the first time.”
“We stayed with our Indian liaison who told us everything to do to make her feel better. I toured her room of 50 beds lined up and some were cribs and some were obviously special needs kids, India’s special needs kids among the healthiest ones.
All the little kids were praying and saying ‘Namaste,’ and then the following day we took her through legal proceedings, filed final papers and took her to the hotel. Jaya spoke only Hindi and communication was difficult for the first few days. Lots of gesturing.”
Denise and her partner Sara found out the hard way that Jaya at 4 was never potty trained and she began crying as they left the only home she’d ever known. “Jaya was carsick, she’d never been in a car before. The trip home was trying for her but her life is better than it ever could ever be in India.”
Photo above: The first moment adoptive mother Denise (in white at right) met her new daughter, Jaya!
Tune in on Friday when Denise realizes that Jaya does not speak a single work of English!
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Friday, January 13th, 2012
I have a soft spot for the poor, neglected children orphaned in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. About six months ago, I visited the adjacent country of Dominican Republic and talked to natives there about the countless Haitians looking for work in neighboring cities. The situation is most terrible for the children.
Haiti has long been a nation of suffering. Here are the latest statistics I can find from certifying world bodies:
- Nearly 80% of Haitian lived in abject poverty.
- According to most Center for Disease Control stats, over 10% of the child population die before the age of 4 most often from malnutrition.
- Almost 7% of children were enslaved after the earthquake when one or more parents died.
- Today at least 45% of the Haitian population is illiterate.
- Following the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010, conditions are much worse for the Haitian people. Especially little ones.
Two years after the earthquake, tens of thousands of families still huddle under tarpaulins strung off of sticks and broken timbers in enormous tent camps, with no access to toilet facilities or potable water. Cholera has killed thousands. Families are shattered. The need for effective and accountable aid for Haiti is greater than ever before. Things just keep getting worse there.
All Blessings International is one adoption agency I’ve been in contact with that is proud to partner with Brebis de Saint Michele de L’Attalaye, or “BRESMA”, a Haitian orphanage with a long history of providing effective aid to Haitian children and their families.
In the past, it was common practice for families in the village of Castaches to send their children away to be servants/slaves in Port-au-Prince or other large cities, in the vain hope that the wealthy families they served might provide them with some sort of education and steady supply of nutrients.
According to All Blessings, my family is not able to adopt from this poor illiterate country because we are too old ad also, strangely, we cannot show our proof of Christian religion. (My husband is Jewish and I am an atheist so we are really screwed in this country, not a chance of adoption here.)
All Blessings has almost completed a new facility that will allow them to serve 70 more children at a time – 70 children with very little hope for survival otherwise. According to All Blessings, these are the things the county needs most for their children:
- Funds to complete another new orphanage building
- Sponsorship for Women’s Economic Empowerment Program
- School sponsorships
- Vaccines and pharaceuticals for the orphanage
Stay tuned while my family narrows down our international search for an Indian daughter, more next week. And tell me your inspiring adoption story here!
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Monday, November 21st, 2011
Since I’m over 40 now, my age not only factors into making it harder to adopt internationally, but makes it more difficult to get pregnant if adoption does not work out. The risks of something going wrong in your pregnancy, including genetic disorders and miscarriage, rise as you age. I get it! After the age of 35, you are considered to be “advanced maternal age” and your pregnancy is categorized “high risk.” Mine was when I gave birth to Sam almost six years ago.
Once you’re 40 +, the major genetic risk is Down’s syndrome, and there are increased risks of gestational diabetes, preclampsia, and cesarean section. What’s more, research shows that your chances of having a low-birth weight baby or premature one (less than 5 1/2 pounds) also increases.
So how does getting older affect your odds of adoption? Quite a bit, actually.
Age greatly affects your ability to adopt, as I am slowly finding out. Some countries will not even allow applications for potential families if both parents are over 40 (which we are).
And some other countries, such as Haiti, will not allow your adoption application if you are over 45 and also have biological children of your own (we have son Sam, 5).
While that dampens my personal take on adoption, there is great news afoot for older parents: In the year 2000, the rate of birth among women 35 to 39 years old was up 30 percent from 1990. In women ages 40 to 45, the increase was 47 percent, and for those ages 45 to 49, the rate of getting pregnant was an astounding 190 percent higher.
So if more women over 40 are getting pregnant, I hope I can extrapolate to say that many more parents will soon be able to go through the international adoption process too! You have to hold onto hope when you’re considering adoption, there are so many things that can go wrong…
Tell me what went right on your adoption journey, especially if you’re 40+.
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