I'm in a state of shock because after 5 long years, my husband told me yesterday that he wants to adopt. As I have researched this process over the past 5 years, in my mind, I have always been solid in wanting to foster/adopt. I have many reasons...wanting to give back to children who are in need, but also being realistic about what our family can do. I want to adopt an infant, and we are already a family of five, my husband is a pastor, and we don't earn a lot of money. I posted a similar post on another forum just for adoptive parents. But I am wondering if there are any of you out there who have done things both ways - both a domestic adoption and foster/adoption? My husband told me yesterday he doesn't want to get into a situation where kids will be placed in our home and removed. He wants to do straight adoption of a healthy baby. In my mind, that says foster/adoption is completely not an option anymore, but I am also thinking, no birth family would ever choose us and I'm not sure we can afford a domestic infant adoption. Any advice is appreciated. Kathy
Why do you say that no birth family would ever choose you? Is it becasue you think your husband doesn't make enough money? Good luck
Basically, yes. We live comfortably, but we also live frugally. We are able to live within our means, don't have big debts (just a car payment and a small credit card debt which is quickly being erased). But we also don't do extravagant vacations, our kids wear hand-me-downs a lot of the time, etc. We have health insurance, but our kids use state-subsidized health insurance (called Child Health Plus in NY state) because it would almost double the cost (we pay for private health insurance) and we just cannot do it. I just wonder if those things disqualify us. Thanks, Kathy
I would have to say no because you never know what a pbmom is looking for. I believe most pbmom's want to know that their baby is going to a loving, nuturing home. Some will want their child to be the only one or even first born. You just won't know until you are chosen. If you have the love to give and the room to have your family grow why wouldn't you??? Good luck in your journey.
I just would like to comment, that just because a child is in foster care, it means he/she is not healthy. We are adopting a healthy baby girl that she was placed with us since she was 2 days old. Good luck.
We are pretty well on the "low" end of middle class, and we pulled off an adoption through an agency. About $18,000, mostly added on to our house, a bit on credit cards, some just saved up. It hasn't been easy but SO worth it.
If you're worried about a birthmom not choosing you, here's my advice: there are a few agencies that use a backup waiting list system -- meaning if a birthmother doesn't want to choose the adoptive couple for some reason, the agency will offer that child to the couple that has been waiting the longest.
That's how we got our daughter.
We never got anyone to call us back from the foster care system, either in our state or any other state we tried. Any communication was done by US and didn't get any results. Of about 30 kids we inquired about we were considered for one, but I assume we weren't chosen as it still says they are looking at homestudies.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
it might be a longer wait but it would definately be less expensive to pursue legal risk placements and foster to adopt. Definately pray about it. You can contact CPS and find out when their foster parent trainings start you would get paid when the child comes to live with you and the adoption legal fees will be small (here in TX they are 1500 max)
With foster/adopt we are all afraid we will lose the children after we've grown attached. But that doesn't make the children need us any less. There are many people on this forum who've been heartbroken when kids returned to their birth family. But most of them say the they are comfoted knowing that the child benefited from their love and nurturing for the time they were there.
If you feel at all drawn to foster/adopt I would really encourage you to pursue it. As you must know, there are more than enough hopeful adoptive parents available and waiting through domestic private adoption.
Keep the communication open and continue to pray, and you'll make the right decision for your family. Godd luck!
Another option with the foster/adopt is if you are willing to look at sibling groups of say 2 or 3. Many times there are sib groups of say an infant and a toddler that are, or will be legally free for adoption. Just a thought.
We chose to not foster to adopt, due to the reasons your husband is concerned about. We didn't want to have a child with us and then have them move just as we were getting our hearts set on adopting them. We have fostered, and we have adopted, but have not adopted any of our foster kids.
We were told that 5 of the children we fostered would likely be going to termination of parental rights, and not one of those children did. They are all reunified with bio parents. We were offered 2 infants (at different times) that were also supposed to be fast tracked to adoption. We opted to not take those placements as we didn't want to go through that process if they weren't going to stay with us. One did go to adoption, I think, but the other did not. Out of the dozen or so kids we've fostered in our home, only ONE ended up being placed for adoption, and this was not an infant, and actually surprised all the workers by ending up being placed for adoption.
We have not adopted any infants. We have adopted 4 separate children, ages 26 months, 14 months, 14 months, and 11 months at placement. Of all of the children we pursued through adoption we were never matched with a little girl. Preschool, toddler and infant girls, for some reason, are 'difficult' to get by adopting through the foster system. It can be done, and is done regularly, but it is statistically more difficult to do than boys.
Of our four adopted children all were prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol, one was neglected for the first year of life. All but one have had developmental delays of some sort. All have the potential for continued problems of some degree, but by the grace of God we've been able to deal with them.
I have a heart for children who have higher than average needs and are less likely to be adopted, so I'd encourage you to at least investigate that possibility. This awareness only came about after we adopted and found out what we'd jumped into! There are private agencies that specialize in placing infants with some health problems that would make the child harder to place. Medically correctable things like cleft palate, deformed limbs, etc. Some of these children are also eligible for help with adoption and medical costs, and some would qualify for help from organizations such as Shriner's, for instance.
Sometimes what WE think we can/should do and what God GIVES us to do are widely divergent. By way of example, we were VERY CAREFUL with our first adoption to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that we did not want to adopt a child with fetal alcohol problems, or attachment problems, or any serious issues that would have to be dealt with. Guess what?
So since we were already dealing with brain differences (fetal alcohol, neglect, whatever it is that our first adopted child has) we adopted two more children who were not only prenatally exposed to alcohol, but were born addicted to their bio mom's drug of choice. And, no, I'm not anyone 'special' or 'a saint', nor did I feel a special 'calling' to do this. God just placed us here, and that, as they say, is THAT. LOL And no, we didn't PLAN to have 5 kids, it is just how God arranged for things to happen. :) In fact, we said we were done...and then the phone rang...!
The fact is, it takes about 2.5 seconds to get attached to an infant. This being said, you run the same risks if you go private OR foster adopt. A birth mother can change her mind and you would be in the same boat you would be in if you had fostered. Also, we adopted our son's thru foster care one was 2 days old the other 8 weeks old. They are both healthy and doing great. As a previous poster said...just because they are in foster care does not mean they are not healthy.
I am a little confused. You adopted your children through a private agency? And they were already legally free? I am just curious. I have not heard of many situations where kids from one to two years old were legally free for adoption.
just my two cents... we have 5 children also. 4 that are birthed to our family and one who we adopted. We were heading down the path of Foster/adopt... took the classes, started the homestudy etc..... when the rev. at our church called and said an unwed couple came to his office wondering if he knew of anyone in the church looking to adopt. they were pregnant and due that coming July. ANywy, we ended up pursuing that and baby "S" came home with us from the hospital... We are currently in the proces of taking on a 12 year old boy. Basically, you gotta roll with the punches. another thing to remember is that if you decide to wait for a domestic adoption and looking for a birthmom to choose you, you have no guarantee of a 100% healthy child. even your birth children are not guaranteed that. SInce your dh is a pastor, he should know that whatever his plan is for this is not the plan that has been chosen for him already....
Whoknew, no we didn't use a private agency. We adopted toddlers from the foster system. All but one was legally free when placed in our home. The 11 month old was not yet legally free when placed, but the TPR trial was scheduled. (I can't remember if I stated in my other post what the ages were of the kids we've adopted, but they were 26 months, 14 months, 14 months and 11 months.) ASFA timelines give the bio parents 12 months to comply with the caseplan; these kids had parents who were unable/unwilling to comply with the case plan, so they ended up going to TPR prior to the one year date. One child had gone thru a reunification attempt, and then both bio parents signed relinquishment papers.
Also we were willing/able to adopt children with probable fetal alcohol, born drug addicted, etc., which I think is why we were matched with the little ones we inquired about.
Additionally, we sent out many, many, MANY inquiries about waiting children in our state. For every 10 inquiries we sent out we'd only get maybe between 4-6 responses. Usually the responses were 'not interested in your family' or 'child already matched'. We also were considered at committee for several children with whom we were not matched, so it wasn't a cakewalk.
We've had homestudy in hand (so to speak) and ready to adopt since the fall of 1999. In 7 years we adopted 4 kids, 3 of whom are children from the general population of children waiting adoption from foster care. (One of whom was a relative so we didn't have to go through the same recruitment process for that child.)