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Old 04-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
amandacv86
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Heading towards adoption, have some questions

My OH and I both agree that after about 5 years of trying that we would like to adopt instead of using fertility treatments. Nothing against fertility treatments, I just feel like it's the right thing for us.

Just a note that most of this is hypothetical, and TIA for reading my novel. I truly do appreciate it:

A friends niece is 13 or 14 and pregnant. She says she wants to keep it but both of her parents want her to give it up for adoption. I've never met her, but I "joked" the other day that she just give me her baby. Keep in mind I know it is her choice. They actually said that could happen, so I told them if they wanted to talk to her about it cautiously I would be willing. I'm thinking her wanting to keep the baby COULD be just because her parents don't want her to, but that's just a theory. I think even if we don't adopt it she's too young if she doesn't have full support from her family. Plus, I'm not going to get into it, but it sounds like her home life isn't the best.

I'm thinking I first want to see if there's any free counseling she can go to so she can talk to a neutral party about her decision. I want her to do it because that's what she wants to do, and because she feels it's best.

Also, how would we go about this legally. We don't have thousands of dollars, but we could afford a couple thousand. We live in California if that helps. I'm hoping we would be able to have the home study through social services(about $500) and hire an adoption attorney for the rest. We still want to adopt if this baby doesn't work out.

Also, is there any way we would ba able so have some kind of "pre home study" done? Our house needs some repairs. It's my OH's family home that his grandpa let go for several years. There's a lot of water damage left from the roof leaking(fixed now). We weren't able to do anything until he went into the hospital then into a reabilitation home(sad I know, but he wouldn't let us). So far we have the living room, Dining room, one bedroom, and the kitchen done. This leaves the Bathroom, hallway, two more bedrooms, and the laundry room. We're fixing it up as the money comes in.

1. The Bathroom seems easy, pretty much needs a new paint job, but the wall behind the bathtup needs some waterproof sheeting on it(we have it), the paint is peeling prettybad there. There's also a vent that needs to be replaced, and I think a window is cracked.

2. The hallway needs the carpet pulled up(OH's grandma Elmer's glued on carpet squares in the 70s) It was like it in the dining and Living room too, but it has since been pulled out. Id like to paint the wood floors in the whole house. It also needs old wallpaper pulled down and repainted.

3. The second bedroom has old ceiling tiles we would need to pull down and re sheetrock, then just needs a new coat of paint. I think a window needs to be replaced here too.

4. The third bedroom needs carpet pulled up, floor sanded and painted, ceiling re sheet rocked, and a coat of paint. A window needs to be replaced here too.

5. The laundry room is what Im most worried about. It has some dry rot problems. Other than that just a coat of paint.

I know we can do all of this ourselves, itll just take time and money. What I need someone to do is help me figure out what repairs we would need to be done before we have the home study and which ones need to be done first. Thanks again!

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Old 04-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

Private doption can get expensive, I really don't see how you could do all the legal stuff under 8-10K. I would begin talking to an attorney who would know the best way to economically get the parental rights of the birth parents terminated. Plus of course there are the post placement visits and the filing fees.

When we adopted our son we did pay for his birthmom's counseling.

I would try to put aside the most you can, plus you would need to prepare financially to take time off work too.

When we had our home study they looked at the safety of our home, not really the esthetics.

This can be an exciting time if it works out. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #3
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

yes to everything pp said. our kitchen is torn up because we are remodeling and our worker brushed it off and said it wasn't a real safety concern. they are looking for true safety issues such as exposed wires. i would take care of windows but don't worry about paint or carpet unless the carpet is really, really filthy dirty. but i doubt that you would be living in a home with carpeting that bad.

we had an initial walk through where the worker told us about things we needed to do, like put up cleaning supplies and knives, then she came back through and signed off on everything. so we knew just what to fix.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

Thanks for your replies! I'm pretty crafty so I'm pretty sure I could come up with some ways to raise the money. A few ideas I have are an etsy shop where I can sell some handmade items, an adoption puzzle, a spaghetti dinner fundraiser, and a general donation website. Also, I could temporarily work to raise the money. I'm a homemaker and hopefully future stay at home mom.

So I'm thinking bare minimum we'll fix all of the cracked windows and old carpet. Is is pretty bad, plus I want an easily moppable(word?) floor because I have animals and will have kids. I know more repairs than that will be done, but it makes me feel better that we wouldn't have to have all of them done.

I'm starting to get excited and feel like this really could happen. Even if this baby doesn't work out, we still want to adopt.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

If the birthmother and adoptive parents know each other it is called (here, at least) an identified adoption. The costs are much lower. You pay an agency for your home study which is around $1500 and then the lawyers fees. I think around $3000 total. I am sure costs vary widely, but it is different than needing to be matched through the agency.

On your home, they are really only looking for sanitation and safety concerns.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnymommy View Post
If the birthmother and adoptive parents know each other it is called (here, at least) an identified adoption. The costs are much lower. You pay an agency for your home study which is around $1500 and then the lawyers fees. I think around $3000 total. I am sure costs vary widely, but it is different than needing to be matched through the agency.

On your home, they are really only looking for sanitation and safety concerns.
Thanks, that sounds way more doable. I'll have to call around to some agencies tomorrow. I called one today and she said it would be $200 for the consult and $4000 for the rest if we decide to go with them. We're going to start saving every penny.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

We did our study through DFCS and fostered. Our three adoptions costs, 900, 900 and 2000. Not bad at all. We have pregnancy resource centers that offer concealing and such to birth moms at no cost.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #8
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

It seems that all states vary greatly with cost. For us in Oregon, our private domestic adoption was $1,500 for the homestudy, $3,500 paid by us for the BM's counselor, and the rest for fees covering the two lawyers (hers and ours) involved, court fees, whatever legal fees involved brought the total to about 18K. That being said, a friend of ours also adopted via a private adoption attorney in Southern Oregon at the cost of 11K. Agencies here for domestic are around 25K.

I'd suggest deciding if you want to adopt domestically or internationally, contact some agencies and private attorneys local to your area to see which way you'd rather go, and then make an initial consultation appointment to gain some solid answers that will better help you make some decisions. A consultation will cost a couple hundred bucks, but in our experience it was well worth the money and helped us decide what path was best for us. Ultimately, we have a beautiful 2 year old son that we adopted at birth!

I agree that the homestudy will focus more on your family, your history, and your ideas for parenting rather than the estetics involved in your home. As long as your living quarters are safe, I doubt anyone will care that it is a process of remodeling for you. They may do a walk through but you can easily keep the conversation going about your plans for the remodeling/fixing up if the social worker that is visiting your home seems interested in it.

Good luck to you!
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

Thanks for everyone's advice. I really thought we would be able to get the ball rolling on this in as little as 2 weeks, after my OH's aunt and uncle went back home out of state and we could have the house to ourselves to clean and continue repairs. I can't even sit on my own couch in the living room and watch TV if I wanted because their clutter is everywhere and my OCD can't handle it. I'm not a neat freak but I do have a major problem with clutter, especially someone elses and in a community living space. My bedroom is cluttered but it's where they don't have to see it. I can't move it because I want to keep the peace and they've been supposed to be leaving "soon" for months. We're paying OH's Grandpa's Mortgage and Bills while we here, as it is fair, but I just wish we had more freedom because of it(because we're essentially renting) and our lives don't have to be at a standstill because there are so many projects that have to wait until they're gone.

Anyway, now we find out that only OH's uncle might be leaving because he's losing his opportunity to get a job after he finished school. I don't know all of the details, but he's supposed to be going straight into the union.

OH's aunt might be staying behind because of some health problems she wants to get fixed. While I understand that and I do care about her a lot, it's frustrating because they are equally difficult to live with, and something always comes up that they can't leave when they said they were.

So my question is, If we decide to start the process of adopting while they are still here, would we be able to do everything else except the home study and do that when they both finally do leave? We're both really anxious to start ASAP. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:51 PM   #10
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Re: Heading towards adoption, have some questions

As long as they get clearances done, it should be fine they are living there. Personally, until "mom" and "dad" say they want to place, I would not consider this as a situation as you don't want one forced. But, if you are ok doing a home study for a newborn/domestic situation, then go ahead and start. It will vary depending on the worker with how the house is. Ours did not care and year to year with our updates was more curious about the progress or lack there of.. one year we didn't have a kitchen as it was fully gutted. She didn't care at all. A baby doesn't need one. Its more overall safety and can we keep the child safe.
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