Posts Tagged ‘ adoptin over 35 ’

South Carolina Adoptive Mom Gets Baby #2 Fast!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Part 2: Here’s the  heartwarming finale from Valarie J. from South Carolina, who adopted baby son Mason  (photographed below) with little turmoil and an excellent legal team. But when baby number two comes up in a private and open adoption, this birth mom changes her mind. Nightmare!

domestic provate adoptionAfter adopting her beautiful child Mason (photographed here, nearly five years old),  via private, open adoption, Valarie and her family thought going through adoption number two would follow the simple, step-by-step legal procedures she told us about on Wednesday — no such luck!

Valarie said from the very beginning, “This second adoption was a shock. We looked at adopting through the state and we had started the classes in the spring of 2011. My husband had to go away for professional business training and we put the adoption on hold for a couple months.

Just a week or so later, on September 28, 2011, my son and I were going to the movies when I got a phone call, but did not recognize the number. I had a mother’s intuition and picked up the phone anyway… Glad I did.

It was our adoption paralegal saying, ‘We have a 2-day old baby girl who needs a home. She is about to be discharged from the hospital, are you interested?’”

Valarie remembered, “I was confused, bewildered, scared because I knew this is what we wanted, but I did not think we were adequately prepared. I called my husband from the theater and we discussed everything with him, while Mason was tugging at my leg begging for popcorn and drinks. LOL.”

At 5:00 that evening, Valarie drove to her attorney’s office, and met the birth mother and the birth mother’s family. Valarie said, “The crazy thing about this story is the birth mother remembered me from the high school where I taught.  She told me that she always wanted to be in my class, and I was very nice,” she said.

Mason was already a happy product of Valarie’s open, private adoption too. He set the bar high.

“We were so excited to have a baby girl in the house, but the next day I got a phone call from the paralegal. The birth mom had doubts about giving the baby up and wanted her back asap. We were devastated. After a lot of talking and exchanging notes, we came up with the conclusion that her family was pressuring her to raise the baby as her own.”

After one month of back-and-forth, birth mother finally left the picture. “The week before we finalized our adoption, the birth mother  sent the attorney an email asking us for pictures. We were so very happy that was all the broth mother wanted from us!  This February 3, we finalized our adoption of a beautiful baby girl, Ava, who’s now over six months,” Valarie remembered.

Hurray, two more beloved kids in the world!  We know that Mason and Ava feel lucky too. Thanks for sharing, Valarie from South Carolina!

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Two Million Adopted Children in the United States on Earth Day

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Let’s celebrate upcoming Earth Day in style. There are roughly 1.5 million – 2 million adopted children in the United States right now, well over 2% of all U.S. children. But my research parameters change constantly, so by next month this might be outdated info.

The criteria on adoption changes dramatically per year, every time a new international law is passed, or when you consider that a major portion of domestic adoptions  occur when a new step-parents adopt their spouse’s kids. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) gathered adoption totals from a variety of sources, and estimated that 126,951 children were adopted through international, foster care, private agency, independent and step-parent adoptions. NCSC estimated that stepparent adoptions accounted for 42% of all adoptions and foster care adoptions 15%.

When step-parents adopt, that totally skews research for me. If you marry someone and adopt their kids, it’s not like forging an international or domestic adoption journey with total stranger yourself. For the purposes of The Adoption Diaries, I’m always searching for the most updated statistics on domestic adoption, international adoption, and especially those families who adopt after age 40, which is most appropriate to our family’s situation. Over the last year or so, my husband, son Sam (bio son who is six years old) and I had contemplated both local fostering and international adoption. We’ve narrowed down an international Indian adoption perhaps next year.

I just came up on a pretty recent update on how many families in the USA are actively adopting within the last two years. The surge, in some cases, accounts for many single women trying to adopt solo for the first time, according to research by the Adoption Institute in a related study entitled, “The Number of Adoptions Have Fluctuated Over Time.”

For a variety of societal and economic reasons, there have been dramatic fluctuations in the annual number of adoptions. For instance, adoptions skyrocketed from a low of 50,000 in 1944 to a high of 175,000 in 1970.  Think about the difference two decades make… While there are reporting mechanisms for foster care and international adoptions, states are not legally required to record the number of private, domestic adoptions.

Another interesting stat I found on the Adoption Institute site is that nearly 60% of Americans have a personal connection to adoption in their own lives. That is so correct! Since I’ve been writing this column, for instance, I discovered quite by accident that no less than three of my pretty close friends were adopted!  The Adoption Institute’s Public Opinion Benchmark survey found that 58% of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child or has relinquished a child for adoption.

And some stats I cannot even get my hands on yet have to do with Single-Parent Adoptions and Gay Parents Adoptions because so many gay parents cannot divulge their true sexual orientations when they choose to adopt. They check off the Single Parent box instead.  What do you think of single, gay parents adopting? I am all for it on The Adoption Diaries — are you?

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Part 2: Mom Blogger Adopts Child at 44

Friday, April 13th, 2012

If you tuned in on Wednesday, you met ballsy blogger Andrea Fox [at right] from Boston who began her adoption journey with the love of her life husband Bill. She wrote to us, “I didn’t meet the man I was supposed to marry until late in life. I consider myself quite a traditionalist, so I didn’t want to have children until I got married – to the right guy.

I found the right guy – Bill – when I was 41 and we got married exactly one year after we met. Having both come from large families, we wanted our children to be surrounded by siblings. Cognizant of our age, we realized that it might not be possible to achieve this biologically, so we planned on growing our family both biologically and through adoption,” Andrea told me.

When the couple visited fertility specialist, they were given a less than 1% chance of success, so they dove headfirst into international adoption instead! She said, “Two weeks after we got the news, I feverishly plunged right into adoption paperwork. We signed up with an international adoption agency, had our dossier completed in two months, and one month later we got the call that we had been matched.

We were ecstatic, yet on the way to the agency the following day, I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably, and didn’t stop for one week before realizing that I just wasn’t ready to adopt. With the help of the adoption agency, I found an adoption/infertility counselor who helped me to see that I hadn’t given myself a chance to grieve my infertility. After an agonizing decision-making process Bill and I decided to withdraw from our international adoption. Even though I was faced with yet another year or so of postponing motherhood, we all knew it was the right thing to do for everyone involved.

Bill and I gave ourselves several months to adjust to the fact that we would not become biological parents. We took mini-trips, had family gatherings and did some renovations on our house, all the while attending infertility counseling.

When we both felt ready to start adoption again, it took just five months from signing with a domestic adoption agency to getting the call that would change our lives forever. A birth mother and a baby were waiting for us to meet them seven states away. Cricket was born several weeks early and weighed a slight two pounds, three ounces. Her birth mother and I bonded instantly, talking effortless on the phone during the 15-hour drive. By the time we met in the lobby of the hospital we felt like we knew each other already,” Andrea told us.

On Sunday, March 9 2008 at 8:20 pm,  Andrea held daughter “Cricket” for the first time.

Andrea said, “Cricket’s birth mother led us to her crib in the Neo-Natal Progressive Care Unit. She noticed that I was hesitant to pick her up, so she picked up Cricket, told me to sit down and placed her in my arms, taking the very first picture of us as a family.  As I looked down into my daughter’s eyes, a myriad of emotions washed over me, none of which included regret at having waited so long to become a mom. The only thing that was important in my life was loving and protecting this beautiful, fragile, tiny child.”

Hurray, thanks for sharing your beautiful and inspiring of international adoption, mom blogger Andrea Fox. Read all about it on her site, and keep those stories coming to me!

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Part 1: Adopting a Child After Age 40

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Mom Blogger Andrea Fox from Boston, Mass., got my attention when she responded so positively to a former post on “The Adoption Diaries” on the day I confessed that I (more than my family, I personally) wanted to adopt an international toddler daughter based on the off chance, on the sickening perchance, that my biological son Sam dies early. He’s only six.

Whatever you think about that, how incredibly selfish that sounds now, Andrea wrote back that she was feeling the exact same way about her sole adopted child, a daughter she adopted four years ago when she was already 44 years young. Andrea she she might consider adopting another kid just in case the first one well… you know what we mean! It’s horrifying to consider.

She wrote to me, “Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only adoptive mother in the world who thought about adoption number two in case my daughter died. Thanks for writing that line. So honest! Whether it’s a selfish or pragmatic reason to have another child, I’m just glad I’m not the only mother in the world who has had this morbid thought…”

We got to talking, and Andrea, 48, had this to say about her own adoption journey: “While many couples are postponing parenthood for career, travel, or advanced college degrees, the reason I became a first-time mom at 44 is quite simple: I didn’t meet the man I was supposed to marry until late in life. I consider myself quite a traditionalist, so I didn’t want to have children until I got married – to the right guy.

I found the right guy – Bill – when I was 41 and we got married exactly one year after we met. Having both come from large families, we wanted our children to be surrounded by siblings. Cognizant of our age, we realized that it might not be possible to achieve this biologically, so we planned on growing our family both biologically and through adoption.

Shortly after we got married, we went to a fertility specialist who told us that our chances of becoming parents biologically were less than 1% and that fertility treatments were not an option. No one was more aware of my ‘advanced maternal age’ than I was, so I was neither surprised nor disheartened – or so I thought at the time.”

Tune in on Friday when Andrea journals in Part 2 about her battle with infertility and also about her own adoption journey along with the love of her life, husband Bill.

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Sexting is a National Concern for Tweens, Teens and Parents

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Does your Tween or Teen sext? Prospective parents, potential adoptive parents have to be especially careful about this necause so many older children in the foster care system are already aware of their sexuality. A new National Poll on children’s health ] measures public opinion about legislation addressing teens who send sexually explicit messages.

Sexting – sending sexually explicit, nude, or semi-nude photos by cell phone – has become a national concern, especially when it involves children and teens. A new poll shows that the vast majority of adults do not support legal consequences for teens who sext. Seventeen states have already enacted laws to address youth sexting and another 13 states have pending legislation in 2012 that focuses on sexting.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health recently asked adults across the United States for their opinions about youth sexting and sexting legislation. The poll found that the vast majority, 81 percent, of adults think an educational program or counseling is an appropriate consequence for teens who sext. Most adults also favor similar non-criminal programs: 76 percent of adults think schools should give all students and parents information on sexting, and 75 percent of adults support requiring community service for sexting teens.

In contrast, most adults do not favor legal consequences for minors who sext other minors. About one-half, 44 percent, support fines less than $500 for youth sexting, while 20 percent or fewer think that sexting should be treated as a sex crime, or that teens who sext should be prosecuted under sexual abuse laws.

As youth sexting has become more of a national concern, many states have acted to address the issue. However, before this poll, very little was known about what the public thinks about sexting legislation,” says Matthew M. Davis M.D., M.A.P.P., Director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, Associate Professor in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.

“This poll indicates that, while many adults are concerned about sexting among children and teenagers, they strongly favor educational programs, counseling, and community service rather than penalties through the legal system,” says Davis.

The poll also asked adults who they think should play a role in addressing the problem of youth sexting. Almost all adults, 93 percent, believe parents should have a major role. Many adults also believe that teens themselves, 71 percent, and schools, 52 percent, should have a major role in addressing youth sexting.

Do you have experience with sexting in your family? Read the fascinating study here, and then tell me your happy or inspiring adoption story here!

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