This may be a blunt or invasive question for some, but I can't help asking myself this. I would love to know from other people simply why the want to adopt.
I have felt sometimes over the past 5 months in our researching that open adoptions seem to be a fight to the healthiest infant possible and that parents are waiting for these children , mostly, because they can not have children of their own.
People get upset with me because, as far as I know, I can have children. And I do have one child. Is there a place for people who are young and healthy to adopt a child?
Now I will add that we are looking for a child that is harder to place.
I respect anyone who wants to adopt, no matter their situation. But I really do feel shut out from most adoptive parents. That I really have a hard time connecting with other parents.
This is a hard choice for anyone to make. I have gotten negative remarks from my family. And my DH family just try to ignore it when we bring up the subject. Having people around who are supportive is one of the greatest things.
So I guess I just need to ask myself , why _I_ want to adopt, and go over my own motives in our choice. And still wondering, what are the right motives to adopt? -Dani
When we made the decision to adopt we had no idea we were infertile. We just had a heart to adopt because we felt it was a special way for a child to enter a family. We didn't care one bit about the child not having our genetics. I was about 22 when we first started looking into adoption and got the question "why adopt?" often. I didn't have the desire for an infant but wanted a child under 2. I am so happy with the decission we made and we love our son more than anything.
It is great to hear that there are others out there that are or were my age when they looked at adoption. I will be 20 in May (yeah , I know, I am young).
We do have a biological son together. He will be one in April. I am excited about his first B-day. We were not set on adopting an infant at all. In fact, we thought international was the best way to go. Seeing how there are do many children in other countries in need of homes. But we are not ready to put ourselves in that kind of financial strain. It is stressful to know you have a huge debt to pay, and still want to have alot of children.
We really wanted to adopt a toddler, up to 3 yrs. of age. But there really seems to be no way to do that unless you foster. And since my husband is military we move alot. And waiting for a child to become free to adopt could be long and stressful. Although I do hear that ther are great success stories.
I was wondering if you did adopt a toddler. And how you went about it. Was it international? Domestic? Foster Care? Was there an agency?
Sorry, if you feel I am being nosy. We are still looking for direction ourselves. And would love advice, if you care to share at all. If not, then thats okay.
Thanks all, for your replies. I love to hear how others came to adoption. -Danielle
If it helps, some international agencies have reduced rates if you adopt an older child. One of the ones that sent us information has several different programs--one rate if you adopt an infant, a lower rate for ages 2-4, a lower rate for 6 and up--something like that. Many agencies also have special programs if you want to adopt a special needs child.
However, I know that our agency wanted to place a very young child with us because we are young compared to other adoptive parents, and I am going to be 30 in May. So you may run into a resistance at your age adopting an older child.
Best wishes,
We have researched alot of international adoption agencies. In fact, I still have 4 or 5 packets of info. that was sent to me. It really depends on the country. there are alot of countries that want you to be older, some our flexible, and others just base it on your own state laws for adopting.
The problem with them is the traveling. My husband can't really get time off from work at this assignment and we have no one close by to watch our child. And cost of flights and traveling adds up quickly. And the European countries which we could adopt from do not really give you a set time on how long you have to stay there before you can leave with your child. Some of them want you to have atleast 6 weeks free. And thats nearly impossible for us. And they want you both there for the most part. Not the whole time, but for part of it, anyway. What I have been told is if the agency does not give you a range of 20k up then they are leaving something out. And if we knew we could handle special needs then we would probably adopt from state care. Thanks again. -Danielle
Have you looked into adopting from Africa? There are no age limits on any of the African nations (except Ethiopia wants no more than 43 years age difference usually). Their program fees are typically MUCH lower than other programs. And, all of the African nations currently open allow for an escort option. (South Africa requires 3 weeks of travel but they are currently closed due to Hague compatibility anyway.)
The biggest hurdle you'll face at 20 is the face that Immigration requires the sponsoring parent to be at least 25 years old. If you are co-sponsors then you have to both be 25. We started our IA at age 26 and had him home by age 27. We adopted a 7 year old boy from Sierra Leone. The entire adoption cost around $16,000 but $9,000 was completely covered in a scholarship by Brittany's Hope [url][/url] (and that includes the fact that DH traveled to Africa rather than opting for an escort).
We're actually planning on starting another African adoption in the next year, and we still won't be 30 year. We'll once again adopt older children (hoping for a sibling set this time) and are praying that they too will have a scholarship of some sort to help offset the costs of adopting them.
Obviously, each of our hearts feel drawn to different circumstances. And, if you heart is in domestic placements, then go for it. But, if you're opting for domestic because you think you can't do international, there are options out there.
Don't forget the tax credit. The Federal Government has a $10,160 tax credit. All adoption costs = the amount of the tax credit. Also note special needs (definations seem to vary state to state) get the full credit, no matter how much you spend.
Also on the special needs front if you adopt, you can money back from the state (usually between 1,000-2,000 I have heard of states that give more). Adoption costs can be as simple as travel expenses (as listed above) or even gas money.
I don't know what your $ sistuation is, I was just running with the previous post. Information is good have.
I mentioned Africa to my husband in the past, but I think he is very concerned with the amount of AIDS in the country. I know they are suppose to do alot of testing. But when you are working with other countries , sometimes, all you have is there word.
I myself do not know the whole situation of what is really going on in Africa. I have not researched Africa, or even asked around. So, I am sure that you are much more informed than I am.
We really would not like to spend much more than 10k. We would like to be able to continue to adopt in the future without any financial strain.
And I am afraid that I do not know exactly what you mean by co-sponsoring, or sponsoring?? I haven't heard this before. I do not even know what it is for or what the term means. (forgive my ignorance). I have only heard something about singles needing to be atleast 25 to adopt internationaly(something to do with immigration papers, or filling out a form , petition to adopt in another country, once again forgive me for not knowing).
I wouldn't mind knowing any additional info. that you could provide. I do lack knowledge in this department. I mostly know hear say. Thanks for your input. -Danielle
Honestly, I don't know if any African children who showed up in the states and were HIV+ without their parents intentionally adopting an HIV+ child. While it is obviously an issue, its also required by Immigration law to be divulged. Until recently, it wasn't legal for people who were HIV+ to immigrate at all.
The other issue about HIV status is that you are not going to get an older child who doesn't show signs of the infeciton prior to adoption. There are certain things specific to HIV infection and in Africa, they are easily spotted by those who know anything about the epedemic. Without medication, an older child will have already developed those signs and their HIV status would already be suspected, test or no test. If its suspected then it must be disclosed to the potential adoptive parents, by US law.
I have a sister from Ethiopia who is an AIDS orphan. She doesn't have AIDS. Our son is a war orphan from West Africa. He doesn't have AIDS either. Most of the children availble for US adoption do NOT have AIDS. They may have lost their parents to the epidemic but that doesn't mean they have it themselves.
By sponsor, I mean that someone who has INCOME must sponsor the child to enter the US. That income has be higher than 125% of the povery level. If you hit that with one income, and the person with that income is over 25, then it wouldn't matter what the income or age of the other spouse is. But, if you need both incomes (assuming there are 2 incomes) to hit that level, then anyone whose income is factored in the visa sponsorship must be over 25 years old.
So, in our case, I am a SAHM. I have no income. We were above the 125% poverty line on DH's income alone. So, while I was an adopting parent, I was not legally the visa sponsor. That means that it wouldn't have mattered if I was over 25 or not. Immigration says you have to be at least 25 years old to sponsor. If your income isn't factored in the sponsorship, then the age requirement for immigration does not apply (the country limits for other countrie still do). In your case, if you DH is over 25 and his income alone would keep your family at least 125% of the poverty level after adding your adopted child, then your age is not a factor for US laws.
Most of the African adoptions would be at or around the $10K mark if you use the escort option. And, most agencies have programs for older children to help with the costs. Honestly, African adoptions are some of the most reasonable, affordable and least hassle of the international adoptions.
I just want to thank everyone again for their stories, advice, and support in this forum. -Danielle
I have been thinking about you and your adopting from Africa. I do know very little about how the process would work. But I remembered when my husband and I started researching adoption 5 months ago are intent was to help a child that needed it the most. So we wanted to do international. We looked at all the countries EXCEPT africa and then decided it was to costly and took up time that we didn't have.
Well, I did look at some agencies that work with africa. And their aren't very many. And the cost is fairly close to adopting an aa infant from the states. And that includes escort (which we would definitely want, in our case). And then I did take a look at the forums for adopting from Ethiopia. And I will be honest, they talked about alot of horror stories. But they did keep mentioning one agency in paticular , which I can't talk about here but if you wish to PM I would love to hear your opinion. Since you have adopted from africa, I would love advice or anything that would help. Especialy agency advice, because we do want to use them for our prtection , but I have heard of people ending up in terrible situations because of them too. Thanks again. -Danielle
For us, we have a 5 year old autistic daughter, she is biologicly ours and she is the joy of our lives. We have fertility problems but decided not to undergo fertility treatments and opted to adopt. We love our daughter so and don't want her to miss out on the joy of having a sibling.
We have learned a lot from our daughter, and her various delays, so we have decided that maybe these skills would best serve an autistic child who needs a loving family.
We're just starting out.
I am an only child who swore that I would never put that burden on my own children. I say that to say that I've always wanted 3 kids. I have an adopted cousin and it makes me sad to think of what might've happened to him had my aunt not adopted him. So, I used to always say that I'll birth two kids and adopt at least one. Enter fertility problems. I've just started down the fertility road. So, my thoughts now are adopt the first and we'll see about the other two.
I think that adoption is wonderful whether you are fertile or not. Some women cannot conceive and others simply don't want to.
We have so many reasons we want to adopt. First and foremost being the opportunity to give love to a child who otherwise would not have had that. Secondly because we have three sons and really want to have a daughter. Thirdly because we love India, the culture, and the people. And Lastly because I want a big family(at least 8 but maybe 15 or so :eek: ) and don't want to give birth to that many children.
One of my good friends has 14 kids(4 bio) and is travelling to Ethiopia in May for 4 more. She is my inspiration! There is so much love in her home! They do so many things together, they even eat dinner all around the table every night. I admire her so much and I want to be that way myself. I have a big heart for children, I love being a mother and I want to be one for as long as I can! :-)
I am so happy I found this thread! I have spent HOURS searching for other people who feel the same way I do. I am 28 years old and single. I am currently in school and will finish in December 2006. After that I will get my Master's and begin working. I plan to adopt my daughter from China when I am 35 years old. I figure that by then - whether I am married or not - I will be setteled in my career, have my student loans taken care of and be fully ready to bring my baby home (although, emotionally, I am ready now!).
The biggest problem for me is not my family not understanding my desire to adopt (they are supportive of that), but my problem is in dating. Many men (...okay all men I've met!) have some sort of idea of having to pass their seed along and they are extremely unsupportive of someone who does not want to 'have' children. To me that just does not make sense. I have always known I wanted to adopt. I am a very motherly, child loving person who has absolutley no desire to give birth to her children. This may or may not make sense to some, but I feel the right child for me is one who does not have her own family. There are so many out there who need homes and I am someone who has a home with no child. It just feels right.
How do I explain this in a way that people will understand? Does anyone else have a problem in dating/relationships when it comes to the "Do you want kids?" question. My anwser is yes, but I feel it would be wrong not to explain that my mode of 'having' a family is a little unorthodox. I feel so alone in this, as all of my friends at church are all procreating like rabbits or putting themselves through hell to have a child of 'their own'. That just seems so sad to me and I know that God has placed this in my heart for a reason.
...I dunno, I just hope to find someone whom I can identify with and maybe learn something from them. There seem to be no support groups for single, hetrosexual women who do not desire to 'have' children, but rather 'get' them. Any suggestions?
Like a previous poster, I always thought that I would have a few biological and then adopt a couple (I was thinking 3-5 total). After fertility issues, we went straight for adoption and have never regretted it. We did want the experience of having a newborn and we wanted as few risks as possible. I needed a chance to be just a regular mom before I felt ready to take on more challenges. Now I think about adopting an older or biracial child.....I feel confident in my ability to be a parent and, more importantly, an adoptive parent. I guess we'll see what happens....