Hello, again,
My dh and I are still trying to decide on an agency (if any) or facilitator (if any) or what. After reading several posts here, we are starting to wonder if domestic adoption is really the way to go. There are so many heartbreaking stories about birthparents scamming for money and changing their minds later, that we are now hesitant to risk everything we have-emotionally and monetarily-in order to try to adopt a child domestically.
We had been leaning toward a biracial adoption program domestically.
Does anyone know how often birthparents change their minds? I've heard the national average is about 20%; do your personal experiences bear this out? And how often, do you estimate, scams happen in adoption? I read once that it is highly infrequent, and now I'm wondering.
Thank you, and God Bless.
as with any stories, you never hear the good...only the bad. Trust your instincts. Don't let your desire for a child eclipse your good judgement. There are scams....but not nearly as many as you think. A good lawyer will be able to point out the red flags. Also they may not be scams, but you must be prepared for the parents to change their minds after the birth. I would suggest adopting domestically thru the state. There are many children in desperate need of homes and it is usually very inexpensive and "low risk". Keep researching, your path will become clear to you.
Hello. Let me preface my response by telling you that two years ago we were where you are. . . confused. We read voraciously, which only led to more questions. There is so much information and so many options; it is essential that you become a self advocate. We, too, were convicted that domestic adoption was for us. We adopted transracially; our daughter is African American, and we are Caucasian and Asian. We used a small non-sectarian agency in Utah, which I take every opportunity to recommend. We began with a large, old and reputable agency in Texas but altered our plans after some time. Options include: independent adoption with an attorney, agency adoption, facilitator, depending on your state of residency, and the use of a "networker" who generally connects you to one of the aforementioned. Some swear by each method; usually one's opinion is formed by their experience. Facilitators can be costly and require the money up front and do not provide any guarantees. Of course, there are no guarantees in this journey. "Networkers" have contacts, which I frankly, think one can make himself. Further I am skeptical of how they list "Available Situations" like a grocery store flyer. While an agency is usually more expensive than an independent attorney adoption, there is a good reason. All monies paid often go toward a successful adoption, not a match if you choose one that does not require additional birthmother expenses. It should be all inclusive. Therefore, if and when a mother changes her mind, you have not lost your money. As a business, they take the financial risk. In addition, an agency does not limit you to your geographical area. They may have "in house" attorneys to provide finalization or work closely with someone from the AAAA to whom they will refer you. You may have greater confidence in their treatment of potential birthmothers and the assurance that appropriate counseling as well as options are available.
About mothers changing their minds. . . It is part of the deal when pursuing domestic adoption. It is absolutely within their right to do so within the confines of the individual state laws; some states have no revocation while others have 10 and 30 days. Know your personal limits. There is no way to predict when that will happen. Everyone that I know who has successfully adopted experienced at least one failed match. We had what one Social Worker called all of the "pluses" - young professionals with no children. It happened to us twice. I firmly believe that my brief disappointment during those experiences could never compare to the pain of a woman who might have made the wrong decision for herself and for her child. Each experience prepared me for the perfect daughter that I have now. I feel fortunate to be her mother; I never felt entitled to anything. Become familiar with state laws; the variation is vast.
We used A TLC Adoption. Best of luck on your journey.
We had been leaning toward a biracial adoption program domestically.
I might be able to help. Please feel free to email me at: Please put adoption in the heading so I don't think it's junk mail. :-)
Some States do not allow adoptive parents to pay birthmothers' living expenses during pregnancy; hence, there would be no monetary advantage for the birthmothers and therefore no "scammers".
That is not to say that the birthparents may not change their minds anyway... but at least you'll know it wasn't a scam. There was a thread awhile back entitled "bmom's living expenses" or something like that... you could go to "Search" and look it up. In that thread, I believe there is some discussion about which states allow birthmothers to receive "living expenses" or financial recompensation. You might want to look into adopting from a state which has more stringent policies regarding this.
I entirely understand your fear. There's always a risk. Most potential birthmothers make adoption plans because their circumstances seem less than ideal for a baby... but occasionally circumstances change, or potential birthmothers decide to keep their children despite their circumstances. You simply can't consider a child yours until after the adoption is final, or at least until after the relinquishment is signed. I realize it's difficult and unfair, that it is emotionally traumatic and can be devastating financially to have adoption after adoption fall through. I wish that adoptive parents didn't have to pay agencies or facilitators any money until after they got the baby. The way it is now seems like such a gamble.
Best wishes to you, whatever you decide.
Sincerely, ~Sharon
There is no risk-free way to become a parent, even biologically. Choosing your adoption path is about discovering which risks you're willing to accept/work with/mitigate and which are intolerable.
For instance, in International Adoption there is generally no risk of birth families changing their minds. However, there are risks that a country will change it's rules suddenly, of fraud, risks associated with not having any biological history, risks associated with parenting a previously institutionalized child, and risks associated with travel to another country.
In domestic parental placement there are risks with birth families changing their minds, risks associated with having openness with birth families, risks associated with domesic travel (if you have to), risks associated with professionals' misconduct/fraud.
In domestic waiting child adoption there are risks associated with parenting a child who may have been a victim of emotional/physical abuse or neglect, risks associated with working with a bureaucratic system, risks associated with domestic travel (if you have to).
It all comes down to two things:
1. Which risks are you willing to take?
2. Where does your heart tell you your child is?
3. Do you believe you can trust your 'gut instinct' in face of odds?
Believe me, we heard tons of stories and were quite frankly terrified of domestic open adoption when we first heard of it. Over time, we learned that the old advertising rule "if a customer is happy, they'll tell 3 people, if they're unhappy, they'll tell 23" applies in adoption - we tend to share our unhappy stories much more often then our happy ones. We found that in only a very small percentage of cases, and in many of those there were huge red flags, did birth families change their adoption plan.
It also is a matter of trust. In our case, there were red flags all over the place - Ryan's bmom was young, first pregnancy, made plan early on in pregnancy, most of family opposed to placement, reunited with bdad later in pregnancy, wanted to take Ryan home with them from hospital. All of these are potential 'uh-ohs' Something in our hearts (and their hearts too) said though that this child was meant to be raised by us. And so he is.
Regina, Amom to Ryan Joshua Thomas