Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Adoption notes

Author Topic: Adoption notes
Member # 3383

 - posted      Profile for Dan_raven   Email Dan_raven         Edit/Delete Post 
Jestak asked me in a different thread if I would give my thoughts on adoption. Since we finished ours about 7 months ago, and would like to do another in a year or so, I agreed.

I'm no expert, and the info I give needs to be verified. Standard legal disclaimers follow.

There are four basic types of adoption.

The first is in-family adoption. If you marry a spouce with children from a previous marriage, or your sibbling passes away and you get custody of their children or in some other way you want to adopt children that you are a guardian for. This is a simple procedure requiring the aid of a lawyer for the paperwork and preferably the agreement of the children in question.

My wifes step-father adopted her. It is one of the highlights of her childhood. It clears up a lot of legal details and is relatively inexpensive.

The second adoption method is to adopt children in the US from orphanages or the foster care system.

Let me say that the kids in foster care really need parents. This is a great way of not only growing your family but in helping the community and someone who needs love.

Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, has a great organization to help anyone interested in adopting from the foster community.

The only negative I ever heard about our adoption was "Why didn't you adopt a local child in need."

There are problems with adopting from the foster-care system.

1) Many of the kids are too beaten by the system to respond well to new parents.

2) Many of the kids have physical or mental or addictive problems. These are called "Special Needs Children."

3) Parental rights in the US greatly favor the birth parents. This is why we didn't go this route. We didn't want to loose a child to a mother in rehab who wants her child back after we've spent years raising them.

4) Older kids are available easilly. Babies are not. There is also a question of the race of the children available. While this sounds like a silly detail in today's world, to some people it is very important. They want their child to look like them, and to pass as thier birth child, not to be reminded of their adoptive status every time they see a family picture.

My wife's grandmother volunteers with families around town. Her favorite is a sweet family that has adopted 4 children from the local foster system. They are extremely happy.

It is also less expensive than some of the other options. However, it is also very well regulated in most states. What I mean by that is, there have been people who abused the system and the children they adopted, so the people in charge do their best to make sure the parents are caring, capable, and correct.

The Third way to adopt is to contact a pregnant woman who does not want to keep the child. Legal arrangements are made for the adopting parents to cover the medical costs of the mother, and perhaps a bit more. In return, the mother promises to give the child to the adopting parents.

Open Adoption is the most popular variation on this tract. With Open Adoption, the child is raised knowing it is adopted, and the birth mother (and sometimes the father as well) keep in contact with the child and its new family. She becomes kind of like an Aunt, who visits occasionally, and who writes often.

These arrangements are expensive, and there is always the possibility that the mother, upon giving birth, will be unwilling to fulfill her end of the contract. By law she has several days to decide to keep the child. The adopting parents still have to pay for the medical care.

One of the reasons Open Adoption has become so popular is to gaurd against this. The parents all meet before hand several times, and exchange emails and letters often. Promises of the birth mothers rights are etched in contract. So when the child is delivered the desire of the birth mother to keep her baby is tempered by the desire not to break the hearts of her new friends.

When you go this route you get as close to experiencing a normal pregnancy as possible, mentally. You start just a couple months after conception and you help the mother along until after the birth.

With the internet, the mother could be from somewhere at the other end of the country, so expect to take a couple of months for the delivery and initial baby time. For the adoption to be legal you will have to reside in the state where the baby is born for a certain amount of time. This is dependent on each state.

There are all kinds of resources to find out more about this type of adoption on the net, and there are good organizations to help you through it, for a fee. Check them out thouroughly first. There are also people who will feed on the desparation of adopting parents. (IE. the woman in Missouri who sold her child to three differnt adopting parents).

Oh, and don't expect to be helping out the 16 year old high school girl who got pregnant. Many women who give up their children for adoption are older, may have other children, or are just not who you expect.

Finally there is foriegn adoption. The idea here is that there are places around the world where orphans are destined to lead a terrible life. Rich Americans can come in and save some of them. Here we have the racial question pop up again, and in many countries the children have been living in what we would consider sub-standard conditions so are below average to begin with.

However, that changes once the get a good diet and steady love.

The details depend greatly on the country that you choose to adopt from. Most require that you come to that country to pick up the child. Fees are expensive, but a good part of the country's fee goes into the adoption system.

In the 1950's hundreds of thousands of American men went to Korea. Some fell in love with the children there and started adopting them. The fee's that the orphages charged for the adoption went into improving the orphanages. Now South Korea has one of the best orphanage systems in the world, and children adopted from there are in great shape.

And it spread. There are some specific countries that need to be discussed.

At the moment there are some changes going on in the Russian system. Fear and doubt has put the whole country on hold. How long this will last I do not know.

China has a strict one-child policy to combat its overpopulation problem. Many families want a boy to carry on the family name. This means that girls are much more readilly put up for adoption. If you want a baby girl, go to China. If you want a boy, don't.

And expect to wait a good year for the child. China is famous for its clerks. They take one step at a time and do so at their time.

Guatamala has recieved a lot of help from faith-based organizations in the past. The result is that they have a requirement that you must be a member of an Evangelical Christian church in order to adopt. (That's who run their orphanages).

There is a big dichotomy when it comes to orphans from around the world. Many people in other countries refuse to adopt their own children because they assume that the child must be defective for its parents to put it up for adoption. The sin of wantonness or promiscuity is assumed to be genetic. On the other hand, they are afraid of American's adopting thier children. They fear we are either stealing all their great kids, or are using them as lab animals, slaves, or organ farms. This organ-farm fear had stopped the Guatamelan adoption process for 6 months last year.

The costs range, depending on when and where you go. What it cost Cindy and me to get Alex/Sasha would be different today. There are levels of organizations you have to deal with, all who change their fees at a whim.

Plan to spend $25,000 no matter what you do. That should cover almost anything.

Getting Special Needs children is quicker, less expensive, and less of a hassle, and the special needs could be sibblings, a cleft pallet, or something correctable.

The Federal Government offers a $10,000 Tax Credit for adopting.

Some states offer tax credits as well. The State of Missouri offers an additional $10,000, but only to the first few hundred people who ask for it each year, and then they are thinking of limiting it to local adoptions only.

Some companies also offer $$ to adoptive parents. Why not, they don't have to cover the costs of a regular pregnancy.

I can answer any other questions you want to the best of my ability, but I will be a bit busy. It will take me a day or two to do so.

Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for typing all that up. No questions, but I wanted you to know it was appreciated.
Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Insanity Plea
Member # 2053

 - posted      Profile for Insanity Plea   Email Insanity Plea         Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you very much, do you have an suggested "dos" and "do nots" for anyone thinking about adopting? (not me mind you, I've got years before it'd be financial feasable...though I think I'd like to adopt some day)

Posts: 359 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1565

 - posted      Profile for Ralphie   Email Ralphie         Edit/Delete Post 
I wanted you to know it was appreciated.
Posts: 7600 | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5715

 - posted      Profile for JonnyNotSoBravo   Email JonnyNotSoBravo         Edit/Delete Post 
I know Icky adopted from ( I *think*) the foster care system and I think it cost him $450. This seems a lot less than $25,000. Maybe he can post something about it or link to posts he's already done about it.


Given the huge monetary difference and the fact that you mention foster care adoption as an option here, I'm sure you looked into it. Would you list some of the specifics about that that you personally experienced?

Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Constant Reader
Member # 7282

 - posted      Profile for Constant Reader   Email Constant Reader         Edit/Delete Post 
Since we're on the topic, anyone know how an adopted child can find her birthparents without spending lots of $ ? I'm almost thirty (ugh) [Angst] and I live in Fl. but was adopted in Phoenix, Arizona. Closed adoption through an adoption service there.
I have no names or info at all. Anything you all might know would be appreciated. Thanks! [Wave]

Posts: 70 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5715

 - posted      Profile for JonnyNotSoBravo   Email JonnyNotSoBravo         Edit/Delete Post 
Yesh, i think it's a little bit crazy that adopted kids can't find their birth parents, when the birth parents have important information like history of diseases in their family, Also the birth parents may be needed for things like bone marrow donations...

although, I understand the other side of the coin too, with birth parents who are ashamed that they have to give up a child, or who just want to forget they had a child, to avoid the responsibility, or even for the adopted parents who want a clean start with their kids without worrying about whether their kids might want to leave them for their birth parents.

[ January 15, 2005, 12:43 AM: Message edited by: JonnyNotSoBravo ]

Posts: 1423 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 3831

 - posted      Profile for Shigosei   Email Shigosei         Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, Nikki! Welcome to Hatrack. I don't know of any way of getting in touch with birth parents, but others around here might.

Dan, thanks for the info on adoption. I didn't realize there were so many different options.

Jonny, yeah, I think that while it's fine to seal records, basic family medical histories should be given to the adoptive family.

Posts: 3546 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trisha the Severe Hottie
Member # 6000

 - posted      Profile for Trisha the Severe Hottie   Email Trisha the Severe Hottie         Edit/Delete Post 
I'm planning to foster sibling groups when mine are older, especially special needs. Maybe it leads to adoption, maybe not. While people of the Mormon faith seem kind of overboard about their families, we also should recognize that we are all just fosterparents in the bigger picture.

There is a family in our ward who adopted all of their 10 children. (The have mostly minority and 1 baby born to an addict.)

[ January 15, 2005, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: Trisha the Severe Hottie ]

Posts: 666 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Goody Scrivener
Member # 6742

 - posted      Profile for Goody Scrivener   Email Goody Scrivener         Edit/Delete Post 
Nikki, welcome to the 'Rack! (p.s. are you also a King fan with that name? [Smile] )

As a birth mom who went the open adoption route, I can tell you that laws changed drastically over the years. Used to be that those records were completely inaccessible for the protection of both the child and the birth parents. I don't know when the change took place (the agency we worked with told me but I don't remember).

Unfortunately, since you have absolutely no information at this point, the only suggestion I have is to talk to your adoptive parents and explain what you'd like to do and why, and see if they can help you fill in the blanks to try and find them. But do keep in mind that your birth mother may not be interested in a reunion.

Good luck! [Smile]

[ January 15, 2005, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Goody Scrivener ]

Posts: 4515 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 5575

 - posted      Profile for School4ever   Email School4ever         Edit/Delete Post 
I just wanted to point out that a couple will only be able to get the full amount of the adoption expenses credit ($10,130) on the first child if they make more than $40,000. That is if they get the child tax credit and no other credits, and if they only take the standard deduction. So, if you have more deductions, more credits, or more children, you would have have to make more money to get the full credit. By the way, that is for the entire five year period in which a person or couple can take the credit. I did not do the math for a single person, but they would be able to earn less than $40,000 with all the other factors being the same.

I ran the math for a paper I wrote for a class. The reason I ran the numbers is because my husband and I have been waiting 4 years and 9 months for a cheaper agency to place a child with us (we don't have $15K-25K). People tell us to go to another adoption agency because of the credit, but they don't understand we would never get the full credit, we don't make anywhere near enough money. (Plus we just don't have the money to spend.) We can't even adopt a child from foster care in our own state because they require you to be a stay-at-home mom to adopt children five years old and younger, and we just can't take a child older than that. Five months ago we went to a county in another state and applied with them, but the will only place children with us if they terminate the rights of the parents when they did not think they would do so. Next month they will allow us to open our application to the entire state. I am very excited about that.

Posts: 188 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1227

 - posted      Profile for Bob_Scopatz   Email Bob_Scopatz         Edit/Delete Post 
Dan, very interesting post.


Posts: 22497 | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for this, even though it's from last year. I'm doing research on adoption right now for the far away future.
Posts: 9942 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8384

 - posted      Profile for Lisa   Email Lisa         Edit/Delete Post 
Originally posted by Goody Scrivener:
Nikki, welcome to the 'Rack! (p.s. are you also a King fan with that name? [Smile] )

I believe that's actually a Dorothy Parker-ism that King adopted.
Posts: 12266 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, given that the poster in question hasn't posted in over a year, we'll probably never know.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post 
Why do I get all teary eyed everytime I read adoption stories?
*reread Dan-Raven's adoption story*

Posts: 9942 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 3383

 - posted      Profile for Dan_raven   Email Dan_raven         Edit/Delete Post 
Funny, so do I.
Posts: 11895 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 9549

 - posted      Profile for cmc   Email cmc         Edit/Delete Post 
; )
Posts: 1355 | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1178

 - posted      Profile for Miro   Email Miro         Edit/Delete Post 
I really need to start checking date stamps.
Posts: 2149 | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2