Posts Tagged ‘ adoption homestudy ’

4 Great Reasons to Adopt this Year

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

domestic adoption siblings1. Adopting is, in its essence,  a very selfless thing to do. You’re choosing to love a child—not for biology’s sake — but because you want to tow a child to baseball practice and help him master math, or, in short, be influential and patient to a child you’ve never met before, who will turn your life upside down. Midnight trembles and seasonal coughs, sunscreen for two.

2. Adopting a child can save the world. We want to adopt a child whose chances we immediately, socially and economically improve her life — she can attend kindergarten without becoming victim to famine or a civil war in Ethiopia or the Sudan.

When my family eventually adopts a toddler from another continent, we ensure someone else’s daughter will understand about women’s rights and have a right to vote, and to drive, and to pick her own husband. We lean toward adopting an international daughter from India because so many little girls in Third World countries are sold into prostitution and slavery.

3. Private domestic adoptions are more open, communicative and kinder than ever before. Families can (and often do) sidestep the stigma of adoption to meet and establish initial communications between both families; yearly reunions or monthly letters helps the adopted child with health histories and cultural identity.

4. The average wait time for an domestic adoption of a newborn to baby has decreased to two years or just under. International adoptions still take more time than domestic adoptions due to visa and regulatory immigration issues. But across the board, agencies and federal governments are trying to make it easier to adopt. And more expeditious, too.

Tell me how long it took your family to adopt a child in Comments below.

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Jillian Michaels and Partner Adopt Daughter from Haiti

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

This beautiful daughter bonding photograph of NBC’s former Biggest Loser top trainer Jillian Michaels spotted running mommy errands with newly adopted daughter, Lukensia, at a farmer’s market in Malibu this weekend. We were right down the street. And pretty envious.

It’s certainly been a busy month for the former star and her younger girlfriend Heidi Rhoades who also also gave birth to a son, Phoenix, on May 3 here in Los Angeles. I’m nearly positive Jillian adopted Lu as a single mom because Haiti is very conservative about who adopts from their country. They do not allow gay people to adopt at this time.

In fact, my husband and I looked into adopting from Haiti two years ago, we even started the paperwork on adopting internationally from Haiti, and immediately ran into trouble. We could not adopt from Haiti for three huge reasons, and yet Jillian Michaels can adopt as a lesbian.

  1. We were too old.
  2. My husband has a chronic health condition they could not overlook.
  3. We’re not half as rich as Jillian Michaels.
  4. We could not prove our church affiliation!

Really, that last one is ludicrous — at least to me. Haiti and the adoption agencies that work in Haiti are very Catholic organizations, and needed proof and comments about our fitness for parenthood from our very own church affiliation.

Needless to say, my Jewish husband and I (zero church affiliations) stopped the paperwork, and we began to examine and re-think adopting from another country with less restrictions, more specifically India. We’re progressing into an international adoption with an Indian daughter.

Jillian Michaels has said she waited two years for her daughter Lu, and we’ve been waiting a lot longer than that. I wonder… if we had big cash $$$ like Jillian Michaels, would our adoption wait be cut in half?

Tell me your adoption story here, and many happy wishes to Lu, Jillian Michaels and their new  insta-family. Thank goodness for Lu, and one less hungry orphan in Haiti.

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Actress Charlize Theron Adopts a Son, Jackson

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Would you adopt a child on your own if you were in your mid-thirties, single, very rich plus had your own amazing mom nearby? Actress Charlize Theron has opened up about life with adopted 6-month old son Jackson. And she said, “I feel like I can’t remember anything prior to him.”

The Oscar-winning “Monster” star became a first-time mom in March, and she chose Mother’s Day month to open up about life as a new parent.

The 36-year-old blond beauty adopted chocolate-skinned son, Jackson back in March but only recently unveiled him. Before his airport appearance, Charlize kept Jackson hidden under a blanket while she toted him around in his baby carrier. The fierce mother has reportedly stated that her African-American son was born in the USA.

Theron has been open in the past about her hopes to one day have a child.

“I always knew that I didn’t want to get married. I’ve always known that I’d be a mom from the time I was a little girl,” she told W magazine.

This is the first child for the South African-born actress, 36, who split from beau Stuart Townsend in 2010 after nine years together. We think that  giant breakup prompted a whole new chapter in her life. She told the December  issue of Vogue, “This is the first time [being single] in my life. I’ve been in relationships since I was 19 years old.”

Would you be up to adopting as a solo mom if you could afford it, just as Theron can?

Snow White and the Huntsman” hits theaters June 1. That’s one lucky little boy, no? Tell me your adoption story here.

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Adopting is Too Expensive for Many Families

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Reader Joanne inspires me with her adoption story of two kids and how her family fared through the ultimate roller-coaster of domestic adoption, but ended up with two county-sponsored adoptions via foster care that cost her family little to no financial investment. I don’t know about you, but not being able to afford adoption is the worst thing.

If innocent little kids can find worthy homes but don’t all because of money, something is incredibly wrong with our legal adoption system.

Joanne said, “I would love to keep hope alive since it was something my family had to do while waiting. We were living in California at the time and applied to the local county adoptions.  We moved through all the classes you are now going through, and we were placed on a list to be matched.

While I had three grown sons from a previous marriage, my husband never had children and always wanted one. Since my bio clock was done for — we were both well over 40 at the time — we decided to try foster to adoption. Our home study was approved in May 2002 and we did get matched with a newborn on Christmas eve. The county had a program called concurrent planning where  you are placed with an infant that is 95% sure will lead to an adoption.

It was unfortunate that during that emotional first placement, the birth mother changed her mind and after six glorious days, our potential new daughter was returned back to her birth mother.”

Joanne and her husband waited another four months or so after finishing classes,  until March 200, to get the call about a safe surrender baby girl. All 50 states have some kind of safe surrender program where the birth mom can drop off an infant at any hospital or fire station and not be prosecuted for doing so.

Joanne’s daughter was delivered by the birth mother at a hospital where she left saying she did not want the baby.  Joanne said, “We brought her home at 2 ½ months old and her adoption was finalized in September 2004 so it was a total of 20 months all together.”

In late May 2006 we  were matched with yet another safe surrender baby girl. This little one was a home birth and the birth mother dropped her off at a hospital and left. She was only 2.5 pounds, and was in the hospital for months. We started visiting her daily, feeding and holding her until she was able to come home. Since being placed with us that July, we finalized her adoption in April 2007,  only nine months later.”

Joanne’s family has moved to a different state and they are now in the process of getting a foster care license in their new state so we they can again  help children who need a safe place. She said, “At this point, we are in our mid-fifties and very happy with our late-in-life adoptions and being able to help others. I hope that my life story will encourage others to keep their dream alive.

Keep up the great work, Nicole!” Tell me your adoption story here:

Thank you back, Joanne, the world needs more parents like you. 

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Mother’s Day Gifts: Over-40 Mom Adopts from Thailand

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Mom blogger and London-based writer Carole Turner-Record told me how she adopted from Thailand when she was 41 years old. At the time of the adoption, Carole already had one biological son, who was 14.

She said, “Emma was already 21 months when the international adoption became final, and my son was 14. Because Brian was so much older there was no sibling rivalry ever; they adored each other from the beginning.”

There was so little written emotionally and honestly about the process back then, that Carole wrote a book about her adoption experience (McBooks Press 1999). Available on Amazon, her case study of different adoptions back them read like a detective novel.  Carole said, “These stories are interviews with real people who chose adoption and they are still completely relevant today.  The only difference is that cell phones were not around and people had to stay at home to wait for phone calls  — this added a certain amount more tension to the process.”

Carole said, “I wrote the book because I have a biological son and an adopted daughter and I wanted people to understand that you love them equally.  I also wanted people to witness the journeys taken by parents who created their families through adoption. The biggest challenge was the snail pace of Thai bureaucracy during those years.

We chose to adopt from Thailand because we became friendly with a business colleague of my husband’s who had adopted twin girls from Thailand.  We were in a second marriage and hadn’t planned to have a child together, but fell under the spell of those twin girls!

The best part of adoption was realizing that I loved both of my children absolutely equal. Today, I  am just as proud of Emma’s accomplishments as I am of Brian’s. That was the main reason why I decided to write my book, and why I blog about adoption still. I wanted potential adoptive parents to know that you could love an adopted child just the same as you could love a birth child.  I think that message comes across  loud and clear.”

Thanks for reading The Adoption Diaries on, and offering up your story. Tell me all about your story right here in Comments!

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