Posts Tagged ‘ older parents adopting ’

Domestic Adoption Postponed for Older Parents?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

If you’ve tuned in lately, you’ll know my family was deciding between a domestic adoption locally in Los Angeles (less expensive, less time to wait) versus pursuing an international adoption, more specifically an Indian daughter who’d likely be age 3-5. We’d have to wait approximately two years to meet her — that’s if we could cough up the initial $12,000 – $15,000 in agency fees, immigration paperwork, etc.

We go back and forth between the process and cons of domestic adoption versus international adoption and what we always come back to is: A needy child is a needy child.

Many Adoption Age-Related Laws
We were ruled out automatically from China, Thailand and other Asian countries when we started the adoption process. A strict compilation from several Chinese agencies state, “Both the husband and wife must be at least 30 years old and under age 50. If adopting a special needs child, both must be between the ages of 30 and 55.

Also from China, “Both the husband and wife must be physically and mentally fit and must not have any of the following conditions:

  • AIDS
  • Mental disability
  • Infectious disease that is actively contagious
  • Blind in one or both eyes or wearing a prosthetic eye
  • Hearing loss in both ears or loss of language function; those adopting children with hearing or language function loss are exempt if they have the same conditions
  • Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limb, paralysis or deformation
  • Severe facial deformation
  • Severe diseases that require long-term treatment and that affect life expectancy, including malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy
  • Major organ transplant within ten years;
  • Schizophrenia
  • Obesity

To pursue an international infant adoption, consider countries that are more flexible concerning the age of the adopting parents:Korean, India, some Latin American countries, Russia, and Bulgaria.

Adopters who are flexible in the age of the child they wish to adopt will receive a quicker placement. This means saying you’ll consider a “baby” up to age 2, a sibling group where one is very young, or can accept a child with a mild to moderate physical problem that can be corrected or helped considerably in the U.S. (If the child stays in the orphanage, her chance of receiving medical care is slim.)

Which adoption do you think we’re going to choose? Domestic vs. international? Tell me your happy adoption story here:

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Adopting from Haiti? Still an International Nightmare

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:

  1. Nearly 80% of Haitian lived in abject poverty.
  2. According to most Center for Disease Control stats, over 10% of the child population die before the age of 4 most often from malnutrition.
  3. Almost 7% of children were enslaved after the earthquake when one or more parents died.
  4. Today at least 45% of the Haitian population is illiterate.
  5. 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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Older Mom Chooses Open Adoption – Twice!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I’ve been talking to Diane from North Carolina about her choice to use open adoption, where her newborn daughter has always been in touch with her biological family.

Diane recently said, “My husband Pat and I adopted when we were in our early forties after two miscarriages. There was no known reason for the miscarriages, the typical unexplained infertility, so we moved rapidly into adoption.” They wasted no time and finished home study within a year.

After doing their adoption research, choosing between international and national adoption, they selected a domestic agency that specialized in open adoption.

She said, “Picture a deer in the headlights! In 1994, we signed up for open adoption, went through one failed adoption and finally brought home our darling beautiful daughter in 1995. Katie is now a 17-year old gem.”

Katie has always known her entire extended biological family but also realizes their lifestyle and their life choices (drug addiction, teen pregnancy) are not her choices.  Because they had such a wonderful experience with open adoption, Diane and Pat returned to the same agency three years later when Katie was a toddler. And they went through another failed adoption… more heartbreak.

Diane keenly remembered, “Three weeks after a sad failed adoption, we finally adopted a newborn boy named Kevin. Kevin was born to a married couple with four biological siblings and, oddly, he was the only child the family placed up for adoption. Today, Kevin also knows his clan and has communication with them but it’s been much harder since our son has special needs.”

Diane and Pat did not realize during their placement of Kevin that he would be a high-functioning autistic with a mood disorder and learning disabilities. At 14, Kevin now functions well at his special school and participates in Boy Scouts. Diane fully admits this has been a tough road.

“But Pat and I both love being older parents to both children. Thanks to Kevin, I’m a staunch advocate for special needs kids, autism, and mental health issues during adoption,” she said. “He is a charming boy with gorgeous black hair and radiant blue eyes, and full of charisma!”

Diane has progressed to being an advocate into adoption education, especially for special needs kids. She said,  “I realized I wanted to be more of an hands-on mom, so ultimately I repackaged my skill set into adoption education. Diane also has launched an adoption site that reflects her remarkable know-how and education background.

As always, we thank Thea Ramirez for making the adoptive mom introductions, thanks to Diane and Thea for making adoption easier for the rest of us. Tell me your story here!

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Adopted Kids Who Do Not Want to Find Bio Mom

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

If you’ve been reading now for awhile, you know that my husband Darrin and I want to add to our one biological child Sam (he’s closer to six now than five) because Sam desperately wants a sibling and my guys are slowly talking me into it. I feel ambivalent a lot of the time because I like our simple, do-able life. I can go hiking with my dog when I want, Sam and Darrin are at the age when they want to play sports together.

I also travel frequently for work and I don’t want to be tied down with another little one any time soon. I think.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with a smart lady named Belinda in San Dimas, Calif. I feel like she has a unique perspective because her adoptive parents actually saved up all her adoption papers and gifted them to her and Belinda did not wish to find her bio parents.

Not one little bit. What gives?

Belinda said, “I was adopted at six weeks old and my bio mom was supposedly a young woman who came to Los Angeles to work and end up in a firm working for a man that was high powered enough at the time to have a recognizable name.  She ended up having an affair with him and getting pregnant.  He was a married man, so adoption is what she chose.”

When she was 18, Belinda’s loving adoptive mom gave her the legal notes and one-page biography in the adoption papers about her young mother. She remembers the “healthy” status of her bio mother from those notes, brown hair, blues eyes, her height and interests. “In fact both my bio mom and my adoptive one enjoyed reading and sewing. That was interesting.”

Belinda’s adoptive parents (her “real” parents) always acknowledged her adoption and encouraged her to discuss it. “They just let me know from a really early age, so it was always a part of my knowledge and never a shock. No weird comments from relatives, nothing. Also, I look enough like my adoptive parents and brother so that no one questioned me.”

Belinda has never searched out her bio-mom. “I just felt that I had my real family, nothing was missing and I assumed the same was true for my bio-mom. At least I have always hoped so, for her sake,” Belinda said. It all seems very healthy and loving, bravo.

Thanks for sharing, Belinda. Please tell me your foster or adoption story next.

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Revolutionary Software Connects Adoptive Parents with Newborns

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I found a new, cutting edge technology for adoptive parents and I wanted to share it with you:

Founded by Dr. Lori Ingber, Parent Match is the nation’s first and only national, secure and searchable professional network. Parent Match provides adoption agencies with something they’ve never had before: one central database that allows them to connect with other agencies around the country with a few simple mouse clicks. This means faster connections between birth and adoptive parents within the Unites States (only available domestically).

More than 90 percent of adoptive parents report that they are networking and researching adoption online.

“I’m an adoptive mom, as are my sisters, so I know first-hand the challenges trying to find that perfect match between adoptive parents and birth parents,” says Dr. Ingber. “I knew there had to be a way to use technology to simplify the process for everyone.”

How it Works:

  • Agencies enter their client information into a user-friendly database. Clients specify what they are looking for in a match.
  • Parent Match is a national resource that allows agencies to access agency networks across the country in one, simple place.
  • Easier access to more comprehensive information translates to shorter waits, and ultimately that means more families are created, says Dr. Ingber.

Today’s adoptive parents are using online technology as a core tool in their journey. Dr. Ingber and her team have created patent-pending technology that provides state-of-the-art security and confidentiality, but makes using the Parent Match network simple and intuitive. Agencies pay a small monthly fee for unlimited access to the extensive secure network and no other fees or charges are involved.

This web-based program walks adoption agencies through the process of entering highly descriptive information about the needs of their client, whether you are an adoptive parent or an expectant mother. Ask your agency to sign up with to make the diagnostic match and do the hard work for you.

Dr. Ingber has a Ph.D. in Public Health. She has two biological children and two adopted children from Korea. Agencies pay a small monthly fee for unlimited access to the extensive secure network and there are no other fees or charges.

Photo Credit: Dr. Lori Ingber and her family

If you have any other ideas or aids that help families adopt faster or more efficiently, write to me.

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