Hey there berries! I was just curious if anyone here has experience with adoption. Although I know it carries greatly, I was wondering on average, how expensive it is, how long it takes, if anyone that has adopted did it for reasons other than infertility, and what countries are easier to adopt from.
My husband and I plan on ttc in the next couple of years, but this subject has alway sparked my curiosity :)
I've never adopted, but I do know a little bit about it - I wrote a paper on transracial adoptions in college, and have a few friends that have done it.
There is a HUGE variance in cost and how long it takes. Domestically, minority babies (black or hispanic) are more readily available, yet some adoption agencies or agents are still hesitant to place babies in transracial homes. It's horrific to say, but the "less desirable" the infant is, the faster you can adopt them and the less it costs - babies with medical problems, learning disabilities, etc. or from biological parents with a negative history (mental illness, drug use, etc.) are "easier" to get through adoption than healthy white babies. Older children can also be adopted faster and for less of a cost. Then there are options like opened/closed/partially open adoptions, and decisions like going through the government or a private agency, or choosing to foster-to-adopt.
The only foreign country I'm very familiar with is Haiti. I know it can be fairly quick (or comparable to other countries) to adopt from Haiti, but they also have fairly strict guidelines...most Haitian orphanages will not adopt to a non-Christian couple, as although as Americans we think a stable home is better than being brought up in an impoverished orphanage, many Haitians believe sending their orphans to live with a non-Christian couple is condemning them to hell, so they're prefer to keep the children there. After the earthquake, these restrictions lessened, but I'm not sure if they've returned.
I do hope to adopt in the future - regardless of infertility issues. I was told at age 21 I would have difficulty carrying a healthy pregnancy (1-2% chance), but alas, here I am 37+ weeks pregnant...but adoption had seemed an option to me before I was diagnosed anyway. I would strongly consider adopting whether I could get pregnant easily again or not, but if I was unable to without treatments, I would choose adoption before any medical intervention.
I think your questions are far to broad and general for the scope of one thread and for the scope of nameberry unless people are able to share their specific personal experieces. I would start reading through forum.adoption.com as a place to start. There are no EASY or FAST countries as far as I can tell. Wait times are up to 5 years in China. Ethiopia was the baby hotspot of the last half decade, but that's over too. Human trafficking is a major concern in just about every country. Some countries' adoption requirements are changing so fast that your timeline for taking home your child can jump from 7 months to 18 or even up to 36 instantly (I'm thinking of Uganda).
My husband and I are considering adoption right now, and I still don't know if it's the right choice for us. We went to an info sessions recenly and the cost of local, domestic, private adoption is on a sliding scale of 9-25k based on 13% of your gross household income as an average of the last 3 years (OUCH!). It's significantly cheaper to adopt through foster care, but the goal is to facility reunification with birth parents so unless you are fully open to older children or those with severe limitations (think fetal alcohol syndrome), your pool of babies is pretty small.
If we adopted internationally we'd prefer a francophone country or a country in Africa. Haiti is really disireable until you look at their restrictions for married, heterosexual couples: One applicant is 35 years-old and neither applicant more than 50 years-old, must be married at least 10 years, have no biological children. A few of these you can get exceptions to but by and large this is so restrictive it's outrageous (I'll be 36 by the time we are married for 10 years!!). We're also Jewish which I'm starting to think will be a hindrance no matter how you pursue adoption.
My parents adopted both me and my brother. I was a domestic adoption from the same state my parents lived in, Hawaii. My brother was an international adoption from Thailand. The international adoption took much longer. They applied for him first, but he didn't come home until after I was born. I believe that process took about 3 years. My birth mother chose my parents while she was pregnant with me so the process for my adoption was only about 4 months. THis doesn't happen much anymore though. I don't know if Thailand is still open to adoption. International adoption rules change all the time. My advice to you would to meet with an adoption agency to see what all your options are. And depending on your age, I would do that sooner rather than later. Many countries have strict restrictions on age of parents. There are sometimes restrictions on heterosexual vs homosexual couples or even weight/BMI of the parents depending on the country (I think I read that China doesn't allow people with a BMI >40 to adopt). If you don't mind an older child/teenage, foster care might be a good option for you.
The chart here may help you out. It lists the costs, approximate waiting times, and basic requirements of each country. I don't know how current it is. This chart appears to be more up-to-date, since it lists Russia's program as closed, which just happened a few months ago, but it does not list costs or waiting times so it may be of no help.
Bear in mind that this agency is apparently just open to Christians. Because obviously those are the only people who make good parents. -eyeroll-
Originally Posted by lori johnson
Thanks for all of the information. My husband and I really aren't thinking about adopting unless we have issues with TTC (which I don't foresee being the case). It has just always really struck me as a great concept and I was wondering if there were any berries who had personal experiences to share :)
My husband and I very seriously considered it. We are from New Zealand and the rules regulating international adoption are much stricter here than in the States (so it is more difficult, expensive and takes longer). Local/Intracountry adoption is not really an option here as hardly any babies are placed for adoption.
We did not consider adoption because of infertility but because a) my husband was adopted and has always liked the idea of adopting a child and b) partly due to considerations about adding to the population.
Unfortunately for us the whole process was too frustrating and exhausting. We needed to stay in one place for several years, which doesn't work with my husband's career. It would have cost us in the realm of $80k and taken about 3-4 years, excluding countries like China with excessive waitlists. The criteria which you need to adopt as a NZer from different countries is very prohibitive: ie only sibling groups over age 5, or only people from certain religions etc. So essentially (I wanted a baby or toddler) it was Russia or nothing.
And now we have moved overseas as expatriates, we can no longer adopt anyway... So, we will be TTC instead.
Sorry to sound negative, that was just our personal experience. If you are from the US the process looks far more streamlined (not easy or quick, but at least you have options!) in comparison.
Oh, Augusta Lee...nobody said anything hostile toward any type of parents. ;)
Originally Posted by augusta_lee
Since Christian churches are funding the adoptions through Antioch, I find it neither surprising nor inappropriate that the program only funds adoptions for families that share their convictions. Perhaps there are similar programs that target other communities and promote different convictions. I'm not well-versed on domestic adoptions and related resources, but a simple Google search may turn up some other options for people who don't share the views of Antioch Adoptions. I know that the Christian community also offers forms of financial assistance for international adoptions by Christian families (such as Show Hope), and I wouldn't be surprised to find secular organizations offering similar programs.
I know a family who adopted three girls from China after having three biologically. However, the last child they adopted was adopted ten years ago.