Safe Surrender?
My husband & I are currently hoping to adopt from foster care in CA. We have made it known that we are willing to accept safe surrender babies but I am a little nervous not having any background or a picture of the birthparents to show the child later. I would love to know if anyone has experience and would like to share.
Thanks!
I am in California too. We have been waiting for nearly 17 months now for a match. We are open to 0-5, gender, race, drug exposed, drug addicted and familial history of mental illness. We thought we had a match, but it looks like it isn't going to go through.
In PRIDE they told us that safe surrender babies are like hen's teeth.
Please forgive me for being jaded from the whole process that I am going through. You might be that charmed person who is licensed just in time for everything to work out the way you dream. Realistically, I think you are in for a long wait. Mind you any kind of adoption generally involves quite the wait. Adoption from China is taking around 4 years right now.
How long you wait varies from county to county, as well. If you are in a larger county, then your chances should be better.
Best wishes.
17 Months!! That must be so hard.

We are really struggling with wanting to go private but the thought of having to wait another two years if we start over is more than I can handle.
We are in Orange County. I'm not even sure how I feel about the SS option but the appealing thing is the (in theory) speed to finalize and no required visitation!
We are in IL and we were told that SS babies are only available through the private agencies and that you have to pay for everything involved in the process. They also said that there are very few children available this way and there are MANY parents waiting in line already.

We have one daughter from China but the wait for a Non special needs child is over SEVEN years now. People getting their referrals this month will have waited 5 years and the wait continues to lenthen every month. It is actually hopefull that people will only wait 7 going into it now. HOWEVER if you are willing to go Special needs which are NOT as severe as US standards the wait is less than 18 months from start to finish. If you want a boy the wait is considerably less than that.
Haven't had the experience, know someone who adopted a baby thru safe surrender. Eventually the biomom became known -- tho I don't mean to imply that would always happen. (And biomom still didn't want to parent baby, she was steadfast on that.) I just mean to imply that sometimes you might get some identifying info, even if rarely.

You could make a really cool book for your child, based on their appearance. "We think your mom looked like this (insert pic real person), and did this! (insert mom w/ chef's hat in France). Or maybe your mom looked like this... (insert person pic), and did this! (insert drawing or collage of mom on a ship in the ocean getting ready to go say hi to some penguins in Antarctica). Or maybe mom did this! Mom taming a wild mustang in Montana. Grab a few more careers... scientist, librarian, teacher, bowing in front of a huge crowd in a giant concert hall in front of orchestra with cello/flute/bassoon... or whatever careers you think would be fun, and/or appeal to you, and/or fit with your family's interests.

Anyway, all things that give an impression of a wonderful mom, someone anyone would be proud of. At the end you might have a space to dream up more things mom might've been doing -- when baby is a bit older, you could play that game together. "I think mom was on a rocket ship and lived on the space shuttle!" "I think your mom sailed a tiny boat over to Africa so she could ride across the desert on a camel." "I think my mom was a ranger in the forest!" "I think your mom got a job where she could cook for people who were too old to cook for themselves."

If you're not the creative type, find someone to create it... theoretically now you have extra $$ that you'll be spending on baby later. Happy
In CO there have only been 3 safe haven babies since the law was enacted. Again, not to sound jaded, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
We're in CA too. Don't have any advice, just wanted to say hi!
I have no experience with safe surrender babies, they are very rare here also. But I did want to chime in on not having any info. That is a possibility even with other foster children. We got our Lil Miss at 6 weeks old. Her parents have pretty much dropped out of the picture. I can get info about mom's side of the family because there is ongoing contact with great grandma (who is wonderful!) However, the only info I have on dad is his name and mug shot from when he was arrested. Granted, I realize that is more info than might be gotten from a SS baby, but it's still not much to go on. I am hoping we can one day get some medical history, but if not, we will make it through!
When we were going through PRIDE our instructor was talking about how many people want these babies. Actually our newspaper ran an article a few months ago about safe surrender and in my county for 2010 there were 8, from what I recall. I have heard that sometimes info is obtained in safe surrender cases...just based on what our instructor said.
Our DD might as well have been a safe surrender because after Bmom gave birth no one saw her. She didn't even see DD. We sometimes wonder about her and what we will tell our DD when she gets older but we are so happy and in love with our DD and being a family that we have decided to just live life and take it one day at a time. The only time we wished we had more info was back in January when DD was sick (nothing serious just winter cough and Fever) the Doctor was asking for medical history info and we had to say we don't know. Luckily it wasn't serious but I did have a moment of "darn I wish we knew"
When we adopted our first child he was a safe surrender and we have very minimal information on the birth mom or birth dad and no pictures whatsoever. But, it doesn't matter. You just be honest with your child and tell them age appropriate things. When he gets to be of age if he wants to find his birthparents, at that time we will help him. I wouldn't stress about it too much.
Al so in CA
We're also in CA and we just received our second placement, a Safe Surrender baby. You should know from the outset, that SS babies are legally high risk (they're a level 5) because birthmom has 14 days to reclaim the baby, and the law doesn't address birthdad's rights at all. In the absence of clarification, the state assumes birthdad has the same rights as birthmom. That means that he also has 14 days to claim the baby. BUT, if he was never informed of the baby, he can show up any time before finalization and assert his rights. In 2010 there were 8 SS babies in our county, and there has been an increase in the number of interrupted adoptions of SS babies in the last few years. Don't want to scare you, but no one told us this stuff until after we had the baby in or home. Having had a previous interrupted adoption, we wish we had known from the beginning what could happen. We thought it was all "no strings attached, no one to interfere" and that's simply not true. As far as how long it takes, it's different for everyone, and it all depends on how many babies are surrendered in your area. CA state law also dictates that the baby has to be in your home at least 6 months before you can finalize, and parental rights can't be terminated until the baby has been with you for at least 4 months. It's a long, tense waiting game.
Don't worry about how much information you do or don't have. Be honest with your child. And sometimes there IS information, but it's all totally voluntary so there may not be as much as you want.
alys1 said...
Haven't had the experience, know someone who adopted a baby thru safe surrender. Eventually the biomom became known -- tho I don't mean to imply that would always happen. (And biomom still didn't want to parent baby, she was steadfast on that.) I just mean to imply that sometimes you might get some identifying info, even if rarely.

You could make a really cool book for your child, based on their appearance. "We think your mom looked like this (insert pic real person), and did this! (insert mom w/ chef's hat in France). Or maybe your mom looked like this... (insert person pic), and did this! (insert drawing or collage of mom on a ship in the ocean getting ready to go say hi to some penguins in Antarctica). Or maybe mom did this! Mom taming a wild mustang in Montana. Grab a few more careers... scientist, librarian, teacher, bowing in front of a huge crowd in a giant concert hall in front of orchestra with cello/flute/bassoon... or whatever careers you think would be fun, and/or appeal to you, and/or fit with your family's interests.

Anyway, all things that give an impression of a wonderful mom, someone anyone would be proud of. At the end you might have a space to dream up more things mom might've been doing -- when baby is a bit older, you could play that game together. "I think mom was on a rocket ship and lived on the space shuttle!" "I think your mom sailed a tiny boat over to Africa so she could ride across the desert on a camel." "I think my mom was a ranger in the forest!" "I think your mom got a job where she could cook for people who were too old to cook for themselves."

If you're not the creative type, find someone to create it... theoretically now you have extra $$ that you'll be spending on baby later. Happy

Seems to me creating a fantasy such as these would not be a healthy choice. While it is a creative idea in theory, just rubs me the wrong way and doesn't in any way benefit the child . . .
Im in California as well and have been with an agency for one year and they have had a couple of safe surrender babies in the short time I have been with them, also asked me if I wanted to take more infants 3 x's already so I guess it just depends on timing, we have had only one other baby who re-unified, and now we have a little boy that will be going TPR at the end of June. Good Luck. BTW the infants were newborns straight fromthe hospital.
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