DH and I would like to adopt in the next ten years although he wants to adopt through foster care and I want to adopt internationally. With what research I've done foster to adopt is much much cheaper but with DH being military I don't know how the process would go for any kind of adoption.
If it helps I know his aunt adopted a little girl from China about 8 (?) years ago and she's a great kid.
Apologies for the long comment, but it is a broad question.
First of all, I wanted to say that adoption through the state is completely free. There are even subsidies available for parents doing foster to adopt. Children adopted through the state get Medicaid until age 18. Many states also offer daycare vouchers and WIC for foster parents. Depending on the circumstances of the child, adoptive parents may be able to continue receiving subsidies after the adoption. We have several friends who went this route. It is an amazing thing to do, though you do have to be supportive of the goal of reunification. Around 25% of foster placements become available for adoption. You can work with your agency to request children who are legally free already or who the agency believes are likely to become so.
My husband and I adopted our son domestically, through an agency. The homestudy process took about six months of paperwork and interviews. We then waited for about three months to be placed with our son. We did adopt transracially (we are white, our son is black.) We did not do this to make the process quicker, but b.c this is what the agency said was needed- parents willing to adopt children of other races. We were more than willing! We live in a minority-majority city and we are not the first in our families, among our friends, or in our communities to adopt transracially. Someone above mentioned that it was cheaper to do it this way, it was not. Our adoption cost the same amount as the adoption of a healthy white baby. We know some people who adopted a newborn w. Downs Syndrome. Their adoption also cost the same amount as the adoption of a healthy baby. When you pay for an adoption, you are not paying for a baby. You are paying for many hours of work on the part of social workers and lawyers, and possibly medical and living expenses for birth parents. There are grants and things that can help defray this cost, and many of them are specific to the circumstances of the child.
Most matches are pre-birth. Occasionally, a mother will decide to place her child for adoption after the baby is born, sometimes months or years after, sometimes in the hospital. Sometimes a mother will do this b.c the alternative is that the state will put the baby in foster care. For instance, if a baby is born with drugs in his system, the state would step in and take that child. Some mothers choose private adoption so that they can give the baby more stability than he would have in foster care. A private adoption may allow a mother to choose her child's family as well, which she can't do if the child is in foster care. Of course, if the child goes into foster care, the mother may be able to get him back. If she places him for adoption, that is final.
The way that it works is that expectant parents who are considering placing their children for adoption look through profiles of prospective adoptive parents. They choose profiles they are interested in, then they can choose to interview those people to decide. We met with our son's birth mother. About two weeks later, our son was born. Our agency does not match families until the expectant mother is in the third trimester. The reason is that the goal is actually for the expectant mother to make a parenting plan and raise her own child. The agency works with her and offers her various resources and counseling to make that happen. If by the third trimester she still wants to choose adoption, she then begins to meet with prospective adoptive parents. Out of every 100 women who seek help at the agency, around 25 choose adoption.
We brought him home from the hospital. After seven days, her consent to place her son for adoption was final. This was in November 2011. The adoption was officially final by court order in early January 2013. We are still waiting on his birth certificate. We have an open adoption with his birth mother, which is what we wanted. My husband's grandmother was adopted back in the 1930s and she did was not able to have a relationship with her birth mother until she was in her 50s.
If you are trying to weed through your options, a good idea right now is to just go to a large agency website that covers all types of adoptions and start reading. Bethany Christian Services is one such. Yes, they are Christian. I am not telling you to adopt through them. That isn't the point. The point is that they do everything from domestic to international to foster to embryo. You're just gathering information. There is a lot of information there.
Internationally, there are no fast or easy countries. There may be fast referrals, but it is still a long slog of paperwork. You have to do all of the agency paperwork, then all of the specific countries paperwork, then paperwork for US immigration. We have friends currently adopting from China. It is a five year wait for healthy babies, but our friends are adopting a three year old boy with special needs. They chose a waiting child, so they already have their referral, and have had for several months. So they have this kid's picture, they know his name, etc. But they aren't expecting to be able to get him home till November, b.c of all of the paperwork.
If you want to adopt internationally, the quickest way to do that is to specify that you are open to adopting an older boy or a baby w. special needs. Apparently, everyone wants girls, not boys. And most children available for adoption internationally are either babies w. special needs (moderate to severe, things like Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, heart defects, etc. NOT mild things, like birthmarks) or boys- older toddler to adolescent. If you have excellent health insurance, you might want to look into adopting a child w. HIV. This is a lot of medical maintenance, but these children can live completely normal and full lives if they get their medications regularly.
Ethiopia did used to be quicker, but then of course they discovered a multitude of horrible abuses of the system. The reason that it is so slow now is b.c they are trying to ensure that every child adopted internationally actually has been orphaned or has consenting birth parents. As you might imagine, this is difficult to do in a country lacking a first world infrastructure. As someone mentioned above, there have been abuses and exploitation and trafficking in every sending country. Tread carefully. I really do support international adoption, I really believe that every child who needs a loving family should get one. But it is very difficult.
^Yeah, that. Frustrating and a bit closed-minded, IMO. I've never seen a secular adoption agency ban religious families, only the other way around.
Originally Posted by augusta_lee
@tarynkay - I should have clarified - I didn't mean to imply that it innately cost less to adopt a minority or disabled baby (or older child). However, it does cost far less to adopt through the government/state than from a private agency, and there is far less availability of healthy white babies through the state than through a private agency, or, as you stated, internationally.
It's certainly not as though any adoption agency is stating "it costs X amount of dollars to adopt a black baby and X+ amount of dollars to adopt a white baby" or "you don't need to pay as much because this child has medical problems". But generally, the agencies where you need to pay more (and often wait more) have more available majority/healthy infants than the state systems or lower-cost international ones where older children or babies who may have medical, behavioral, etc. issues are the most available.
I haven't yet, but plan to adopt. Your question is very broad though and price, waiting times, etc... all vary based on domestic, international, and which agency you choose to go through.
A good site for information is the government site for adoption: http://adoption.state.gov/hague_conv...ncy_search.php
This site also has great information: http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/
One huge myth however is that an adoption costs more than giving birth, it actually pretty much evens out, but again it depends on where you are adopting from. You can also, depending on your insurance, get money back from an adoption just like you would for medical bills. I'm also pretty sure the government gives you a tax break for adopting. See: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Adoption-Benefits-FAQs
I plan on adopting from China. I also wrote a paper on adopting from China for my Senior Thesis. If you're interested in it, I could send it to you, it mostly focuses on the importance of keep Chinese culture part of the child's life, but it also provides reasons as to why people adopt from China and how the process works.
Adopting overseas tends to be more expensive because you have to pay for plane tickets and hotel rooms. The great upside though is that you normally will have a closed adoption, which many families prefer.
Adopting domestically has it's problems in the fact it's rare to find a close adoption and the mother gets a grace period after giving birth to change her mind. So say you waited 2 years, finally you get a baby, you want another 9 months, and turns out the mother wants to keep it, then you're back to square one. It's a lot of waiting and not knowing, while if you choose to adopt from China, you wait 2 years, you get a baby and you go and pick him or her up. Downside is age requirements. When adopting overseas, you usually have to be married and at least 30.
On the other hand if you're open to older or special needs children, the requirements are usually not as strict and you don't have to wait as long.
@leadmythoughts Thanks for the clarification!
@catloverd- Do you mean that you would wait the nine months of a pregnancy and then the prospective birth mother would change her mind? Or do you mean that she would change her mind nine months after the child is placed with you? If the first, most agencies do not match families until the expectant mother is in the third trimester. Some will match earlier than this, but I don't know of any that match as early as the first trimester. So it's possible that an adoptive family might get a match and wait up to three months, and then have it fall through after the baby is born. But not nine months.
If you meant the later, revocation periods do vary from state to state, but the range is 24 hours to 30 days. In our state, our son's birthmom's consent to place him for adoption was final after seven days.
It is true that most domestic adoptions are now open. This is actually a major reason that we wanted to adopt domestically, b.c we wanted an open adoption. More and more international adoptions are becoming open. And many adult adoptees who were placed internationally have been able to go back and find their birth families as adults. I am not opposed to international adoption at all, but I do think that being comfortable with the fact that your child has another family is essential in adoption.
In China, the wait is currently five years for families pursuing healthy babies. The wait is much shorter for families open to special needs.
There is a tax credit available for all adoptions- domestic, international, or foster. This reduces your tax exposure. There was briefly a tax refund, in which you would get a large cash payout from the government for adopting, much like the house purchasing refund back in 2009. They have eliminated that now, though.
The 9 months was just to point out that even if you do get matched with a child, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get it, while if you adopt from China, you will. (9 months is on the extreme side, but possible)
Originally Posted by tarynkay
As for the 5 year wait period for a healthy baby, I think that's on the high end, all of my sources say an average of 2 years, there are always exceptions though, but I'm pretty sure 5 years is on the extreme side.
As for the adoptees finding their birth parents, it's possible, but very hard still in China because of the 1 Child Policy and their rule that they can't abandon their children. Not sure if that has changed now since the last time I looked up that information was in 2012.
Now I'm not against open adoptions or my future child eventually wanting to find her or his birth parents, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable with having the birth parents around while I'm raising MY child. I guess it all depends on the openness of the adoption. I'm for sending photos and updates and those kind of things, but as I mentioned, for China that is extremely difficult since most of the children are just found on the street. No one knows who their parents are. BUT if they want to pursue that in the future, then that's their choice.
However, I find that to be on the rare side since I have 2 cousins who are adopted (now in their 30's). They never once went in search for their birth parents. My husband's mother was adopted and she never cared to find her birth parents either. My aunt, who was adopted, never went in search of hers, but her mother found her. They now get along. Another aunt, before she met my uncle, had two children. One girl and one boy, she wasn't able to take care of both and decided to put her baby boy up for adoption. 20 years later, her daughter found her brother and they now all get along. So I seem to encounter the vice versa, the birth parents trying to find the children they put up for adoption, usually after the child has grown up.
It's not "close minded." The reason these places exist is because the birth parents, who feel they can't provide for their child, want their child to be taken in by someone who shares the same faith as them.
Originally Posted by milasmama
It's not just in America. There is an adoption program in Taiwan where Christians who can't take care of their children can put their children up for adoption knowing that another Christian family will be taking care of their child.
Think about it. If you plan to adopt you can pick gender, race, etc. Well this is just vice versa, the parents want a Christian family to raise their child.
Very interesting! As I mentioned, we really aren't considering adoption, I just have always thought it was a nice idea. Our lives really aren't condicive to adoption. But for those who can do it, I think it is fantastic!
@catloverd My sister is on the waitlist for adoption from China, and they indicated they're willing to adopt a child up to age 6 and with mild-moderate special needs. The current waitlist for a healthy infant <1 is over 6 years and growing fast-- children are being brought home now to familites whose dossiers were sent to China in fall of 2006. The waitlist for a special needs/older child is notoriously variable. They haven't heard a peep.
I have been gently trying to nudge her to re-consider domestic infant adoption. She is afraid of the open nature, that the birth mother/parents would be more like co-parents than simply known entities who get a card every now and again. @tarynkay, what has your relationship with your son's birth mother been like? I have two friends with domestic infant adoptions (same story as yours; they were selected pre-birth by the mother and were present at the delivery & took the child home from the hospital). My general feeling is that women who are giving up infants before birth generally are not in much of a position to play a significant role in their child's life, nor do they expect to; they are just happy with general updates and knowing their child is out there, thriving. My friends' experiences seem to confirm this.
Also, there are many religion-specific adoption agencies; they certainly aren't restricted to Christians. They usually cater to the birth mother's preferences-- it is her right to specify what kind of home she'd like her baby to be raised in. I find this completely unobjectionable, personally. There are plenty of secular birthmothers who would be queasy at the thought of their child being raised as a dyed-in-the-wool adherent of a particular faith, too.