Posts Tagged ‘ open 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 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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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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Loving, Gay Dads Choose Open Adoption

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

You may have seen and giggled with Tori Spelling’s gay sidekicks on her reality TV show, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Early on in the series, Tori dubbed her pals “The Guncles” (Gay + Uncle) because of their close relationship with her own children, and the nickname stuck. The show is currently in production on its sixth season, which will air later this year.

Hollywood dad Bill Horn,  39, (right) remembers when he and partner Scout Masterson, 37, first knew their dream of adopting was coming true; it was natural recounting the journey on reality television.

“Just 14 months ago, Scout and I became the proud parents of Simone Lynn Masterson-Horn, a healthy, gorgeous, smart little girl who we just adore,” says Bill who co-owns a boutique marketing firm. “Our journey led us to open adoption, and we couldn’t be happier with that choice.

“We keep in close contact with Simone’s birth mother, who is a wonderful woman for many reasons, not just because she picked us,” he says. They began working with a private agency in Los Angeles less than two years ago.

Bill says, “We were also drawn to open adoption because we liked the idea of maintaining a relationship with our birth mother. We know her decision to ‘place’ was a difficult one, and we wanted to have the opportunity to share our lives with her. We’ve kept in close contact with our birth mother and we feel truly blessed. ”

Bill says, “As luck would have it, Simone was born during the season finale in season five.  The episode ends with us telling Tori and Dean that we’ve been matched with a birth mother.  When the sixth season premieres later this year, we’ll become the first gay family series regulars on reality TV.”

“Parenting Simone has been so natural, sometimes we forget we didn’t conceive her!”

Blessings to Bill and Scott, you know that child will be smart and stylin’! If you have a great adoption story, tell me.

Photo Credit:  Jessica Lewis Photography. Scott, Bill and Simone

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