Posts Tagged ‘ newborn adoption ’

Adoption Expert: “How to Avoid a Private Adoption Swindle”

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Across the United States each year, there are an estimated 25,000 domestic private adoptions annually; and there are roughly 13,000 international adoptions, according to the official Adoption Guide 2010. The good news is there are also over 57,000 state adoptions via foster care per year, according to private adoption expert Thea Ramirez, a go-to experts on the subject. After years working for a country agency, she is now on her own helping parents sidestep common scams with private adoptions, and she works with individuals and private agencies… but this social worker has seen it all!

Here are Thea’s top 4 “stay-away” scams when desperate parents find a birth mother:

  1. Birth mother who start an adoption conversation with any phrase such as… “How much money will you give me for my baby?” Regardless of her intentions to place her child, this birth mother has just broken the law by intending to sell a child.
  2. The birth mother refuses to work with a professional or any kind of intermediary agency to look out for the welfare of the baby. Instead a scammer might say, “Let’s just keep this between us or keep it online because you don’t want to pay out attorney fees.”
  3.  If a birth mother (or often a birth mother’s spouse or even her parents) does not make or keep her doctor appointments, if she blows off any single appointment with you or your representatives, you must become  very suspicious. “Obviously if a birth mother begins asking for escalating monies, be warned and stop paying immediately,” says Thea.
  4. This one is subtle but it pays to really listen. “If you become aware of any small inconsistencies in her story, from her due date or reasons she skipped a doctor’s appointment, why she cannot keep her baby, these discrepancies often reveal there’s more to the story that she is hiding.”

Thea urges adoptive parents to find a balance, and urges all of us to become very open to the adoption journey, so couples should talk about it every day, and avoid second-guessing every single little step. “Abject fear of something going wrong sucks the joy and excitement from the journey and generates negative energy for all parents,” she warns.

Remember as you prepare to adopt: A birth parent is not some obstacle or barrier to your dreams, she is the vehicle for you to get to your dreams! Thea says, “Your reality is not controlled or confined by a mathematical equation. Life is short, loving and being fully present in a tough situation regardless of the outcome will make you a far richer person. Be present, be bold, love always.”

Thanks to Adoption-Share for fighting for parents and babies everywhere!

IMPORTANT: American Baby Magazine is having a baby cover contest and I’d love to see an adopted child win the cover contest this year, so enter!

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Adopted Son Steve Jobs was Loved, Adored and… Adopted. RIP

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Of course, the adoption boards are buzzing because this brilliant entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was placed for adoption in 1955, has died after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. Much more has been written about the love and support of Jobs’s adoptive parents who also adopted his sister, Patricia, than his little-known birth parents.

But I’ve been wondering about the biological parents and about the child they placed for adoption at birth. Steve Jobs. Whew.

Bio-father Abdul Fattah Jandali was a young Syrian immigrant in Wisconsin, who never even met his newborn son. When the baby was born to the 23-year-old Jandali — now known as John — and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Joanne Schieble, in 1955, there was no chance baby Steve would be able to grow up with his biological parents.

Joanne, born to a white, conservative Christian family, allegedly could not convince her parents to marry an Arab, and a Muslim at that! You can read much about this slim wunderkind of Apple computers and technology as we know it.  (Interestingly, Jobs was not ever interested in meeting his birth parents although he was aware of them. Years later his birth parents did marry and raise other children. That’s wild too!)

More than anything, though, when you consider the soaring heights and successes this business impresario has enjoyed, how many people his companies employ all over the world… ya gotta admit both sets of parents did something quite right with this child.

First his young and terrified birth mother (in the 50s!) ran to San Francisco from the Midwest to place her child into a caring nurse’s arms in a hospital. Safe and sound. How amazing and selfless and responsible this decision can be.

Then, consider the childless couple who yearned for him, finally found him and adopted him and then joyously nurtured Jobs throughout childhood and adulthood. Growing up, Steve Jobs lived a kind and beautiful life, he lived in a privileged world to Clara and Paul Jobs in the suburbs of Mountain View, Calif., now commonly called Silicon Valley. They adopted his sister Patricia as well!

Imagine? Imagine the possibilities for children who enter adoption or foster care because they deserve a chance like Steve Jobs had? Imagine the possibilities…

This adoptive son made good. Very good, indeed. What a great story. RIP Steve Jobs, adopted son. Next one might be you!

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Part 2: Birth Mother Chooses New Parents in Open Adoption

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

On Monday, Kristin Metzger was courageous enough to tell her story about getting pregnant at 19 in Maryland. This post is about how Kristin, from among so many worthy families, chose exactly which married couple would parent her newborn daughter.

Kristin, now 30, keenly remembers getting pregnant at 19 and how many momentous decisions she suddenly had to make. In today’s post she explains the gut-renting choice to place her newborn for adoption. In Wednesday’s post Kristin will explain why she chose one specific family (great insider advice from a birth mom) and also why they opted for an open adoption.

 “This is one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can go through, and last-minute changes of heart happen all the time. The adoption agencies have a responsibility to counsel the potential adoptive parents about this very real possibility.”

Kristin said, “So many parents at the agency I eventually chose seemed to be loving, compassionate people, but one family stood out. I wanted to meet them, so we met for the first time over breakfast. They had two biological children already, but had always wanted to adopt one day. It was all very surreal, but I knew right away that they were the perfect fit and would be able to give my daughter the life I could not.”

The clincher for Kristin was the family agreed on an open adoption. “They supported the idea of an open adoption, where there is some level of contact. When I was in the hospital ready to deliver, because she was so supportive, I invited the adoptive mother into the labor and delivery room. It was very emotional.”

Kristin is happy to have given her daughter the chance of a safe and secure home life, with a mother and father who could provide financially and emotionally. Kristin said her daughter is now 10. “She is a wonderful child whose many talents are supported and applauded by her adoptive family. She has seen more countries than I, speaks two languages, has two sisters who adore her and the wisdom of her parents has shaped her life brightly.

“Her adoptive family has raised her to understand that she is adopted. There is no regret in knowing that she is, above all, loved and cared for.”

Kristin is glad to sustain contact with the whole family. “It gives me great comfort to know where our daughter is, how she is doing. I know that as she gets older she may have questions for me that might be tough to swallow, but I will face that time when it comes the best way I can and pray that she will understand.”

Thanks for being so open and honest Kristin. Tell me your story here!

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Part 1: Birth Mother Chronicles Open Adoption Decision

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

birth mother open adoptionMaryland native Kristin Metzger, now 30, keenly remembers getting pregnant at 19 and how many momentous decisions she suddenly had to make. In today’s post she explains the gut-renching choice to place her newborn for adoption. In Wednesday’s post Kristin will explain why she chose one specific family (great insider advice from a birth mom) and also why they opted for an open adoption.

Kristin says, “This is one of the most traumatic experiences a woman can go through, and last-minute changes of heart happen all the time. The adoption agencies have a responsibility to counsel the potential adoptive parents about this very real possibility.”

At the time, she became pregnant, Kristin neither had a car nor or a job and zero family support. “I ended up living in a group home for women facing crisis pregnancies, through an organization called The Gabriel Network. My grandmother wrote me a letter encouraging me to consider adoption, and after wrestling internally, I knew she was right. I contacted an adoption agency called Adoptions Together in Silver Spring, MD and through my social worker was given portfolios of different couples wishing to adopt a child.”

Interestingly, Kristin’s mother was also adopted, born to Armenian and German immigrants, who could not afford to keep her upon immigrating to America. “My mother has never known her birth parents because they did not wish to be found. That is partly why I chose open adoption, even though it is emotionally taxing.”

“I love my adoptive grandparents, but part of me wants to give a big hug to the birth grandparents who gave my own mother a better life when they placed her for adoption.”

“May God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”
– a Franciscan blessing

Tune in on Wednesday for Part 2:  A Birth Mother Chooses New Parents for her Daughter.

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Back to School Makes Me So Sad!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

IMG_3803When I finally walked my rambunctious 5-year-old Sam into his first day of kindergarten, I was so surprised at how emotional I was, and how calm Sam was, my little guy is growing up.

Sam held my hand tightly though and finally confessed, “Mom, I’m scared by all the kids,” and he let me kiss him up before I was dismissed along with 600 other parents on that first day of public school.

Walking home, I began to pass other families also on their way to work or home and the differences between us were obvious: The happy-looking moms were holding younger kids in their arms, siblings still at home who needed their attention. Other parents did not have the luxury of feeling as heartbroken as me.

My arms are empty all day for the first time in a long, long time.

And now that my biological son Sam is 5, he suddenly wants to hang out with his dad and other kids a whole lot more than he wants to groove with me. This is a new thing for our family — before it was me and Sam against the world!

Now? He’s already closer to six years old than five. Does Sam miss me? Not so much! I stare at the toddlers still hanging on their moms, and I feel empty and sad. Where is my chubby 2-year-old who still thinks I am the moon and the stars? Who needs me more than anything in the world?

Where is she? How can I make my way to her? This weekend, my husband and I are taking another 3-hour foster-to-adopt orientation. We will be the most ready parents to a foster child in the coming months. Stay tuned as we move through our 24 hour of foster training. We start next month!

But before that my empty nest requires at least one more mouth to feed, one more heart to make whole — I still want to adopt another dog.

Please tell me your adoption story here!

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