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Old 04-15-2011, 12:23 PM   #21
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

We have taken on quite a lot of debt for our international adoptions. It's hard and frustrating and sometimes I get very nervous thinking of what other things that money could be doing, but in the end, I'll have my boys. Some people happily take on debt for a new boat, you know? I'm doing it for my boys. I've seen combinations of personal loans, 401k loans, home equity loans, borrowing for family, credit cards, etc. We have done some of these.

I do think loving the culture and the country of the the Philippines is a good way to start considering that country. There's so much more to adopting internationally than just picking a "cheap" or "easy" country--you are going to be raising a child for LIFE who deserves to have parents who honor their heritage and ethnicity.

I would NOT recommend trying to adopt internationally without using a reputable agency. It might not even be legal, depending on the laws of that country and ours. The Philippines signed on to the Hague convention, so there are additional things to consider there, not to mention immigration and emigration laws.

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Old 04-15-2011, 12:25 PM   #22
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!?

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i really love the idea of adopting from the philippines. we have a friend who moved here from there 6 years ago and her dd is like a sister to my dd, i babysit her every day. is that a silly reason for wanting to adopt from a country? i know there are more important things, like requirements and fees and whatnot...but if there were no other factors i would look here first. i know that being aware of the child's ethnic heritage is important and we have already attended several cultural events in our community and love them! my husband is in love with the food. is there any way the adoption could be easier by finding a child without the help of an agency? her whole family is there and i think finding an expecting mother there through them might be an option. is this feasible?
It's not silly at all to want to adopt from a county that you know a little about and have a friend of that heritage. It's a HUGE benefit to the child to know others from that county and who look like them.

I would assume that if you adopted independently from another country that the only money you are saving is the agency fee (start at about $3500 last time I was researching) and (as in the case of China) a "donation" to the orphanage. The "donation" in China was $3000. You would still have to travel to that country, get a passport/visa for the child (and perhaps yourself if you don't already have them), file paperwork in both countries, etc. I think it would be worth the agency fee to have someone tell me exactly what paperwork I need and in what order. So you'd really only be "saving" the donation/required fee to the orphanage. The travel is a big part of the cost. When I was planning to adopt from China, I looked at it as I was getting the added bonus of a trip to China. That alone will cost several thousand dollars, so that actual adoption is only $12-15,000. That's not a lot compared to most domestic adoptions.

And again, of all the kids I know adopted from foster care, I don't know any, personally, with behavior or even major health issues. Many certainly do have issues, but by no means all of them.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:09 PM   #23
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

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As pps have said, domestic infants are not in need of homes. That's why you hear of families waiting years to adopt.
That's not the case in my city. There are newborn infants that end up in foster care because they have been relinquished and local agencies cannot find homes fast enough for them.

I was speaking to a friend who works for an agency in the city and she said that about once a week the social workers scramble to find a family who is working with any of the other agencies in the city who is willing to adopt and AA baby.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:37 PM   #24
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!?

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I would assume that if you adopted independently from another country that the only money you are saving is the agency fee (start at about $3500 last time I was researching) and (as in the case of China) a "donation" to the orphanage. The "donation" in China was $3000. You would still have to travel to that country, get a passport/visa for the child (and perhaps yourself if you don't already have them), file paperwork in both countries, etc. I think it would be worth the agency fee to have someone tell me exactly what paperwork I need and in what order. So you'd really only be "saving" the donation/required fee to the orphanage.
I'm no expert, but I know that for all the paperwork I've filed with USCIS (customs and immigration), I have been required to have a homestudy to be eligible to bring in a child from another country.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #25
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

For what it's worth to you, our story goes like this:
Like you, have no infertility issues but felt compelled to adopt/give a child a home. Ruled out domestic infant adoption as there are more families waiting than babies; didn't seem like they really were in need of homes. Really wanted to do international as in many cases that actually saves a life/provides access to otherwise unattainable medical care for the child, etc., but couldn't afford it - no how no way. That left only foster care. When we start the licensing process our daughter was almost 3 so we agreed only to take children two and younger as that was the limit of our parenting experience. We have no fost-adopt program here, only foster The foster agency worker agreed to try and send only children our way who looked like they would be going to termination/adoption. Just before our daughter turned 4 we picked up a newborn from the hospital and adopted her at 15 mo old. Although she was drug exposed in utero she has no health or medical issues as of yet (she's 2 and 1/2). Sidenote: we also had a call for a newborn a few months before the one for our daughter who was going to be terminated on at birth because of siblings case history.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:25 AM   #26
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

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If a birthmom/agency does not like your child having CP, then TUFF and they aren't the right match for you.
this is true! thanks for the support. having a kid with CP has only made us better parents, i think. and definitely strengthened our marriage and brought us closer. honestly, if we can get through my pregnancy, the trauma of dd's birth, and living with her disability, i firmly believe we can get through anything. we are an awesome team!

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We have taken on quite a lot of debt for our international adoptions. It's hard and frustrating and sometimes I get very nervous thinking of what other things that money could be doing, but in the end, I'll have my boys. Some people happily take on debt for a new boat, you know? I'm doing it for my boys. I've seen combinations of personal loans, 401k loans, home equity loans, borrowing for family, credit cards, etc. We have done some of these.
this is so true!!! people buy EVERYTHING on credit. adoption is certainly a worthy reason for taking on debt. i think that if we didn't already have a boat load of debt we would strongly consider this option, especially for an international adoption. we have accrued over $50,000 in student loans, then there's the mortgage. we have a few grand on a credit card from a car repair a few years ago too. i can't imagine taking on more debt until this is paid off, and i can't imagine anyone giving us a loan with this amount of debt relative to my husband's income.

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That's not the case in my city. There are newborn infants that end up in foster care because they have been relinquished and local agencies cannot find homes fast enough for them.

I was speaking to a friend who works for an agency in the city and she said that about once a week the social workers scramble to find a family who is working with any of the other agencies in the city who is willing to adopt and AA baby.
when i read this my heart skipped a beat. no really. LOL thanks for the info via PM mama!

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For what it's worth to you, our story goes like this:
Like you, have no infertility issues but felt compelled to adopt/give a child a home. Ruled out domestic infant adoption as there are more families waiting than babies; didn't seem like they really were in need of homes. Really wanted to do international as in many cases that actually saves a life/provides access to otherwise unattainable medical care for the child, etc., but couldn't afford it - no how no way. That left only foster care. When we start the licensing process our daughter was almost 3 so we agreed only to take children two and younger as that was the limit of our parenting experience. We have no fost-adopt program here, only foster The foster agency worker agreed to try and send only children our way who looked like they would be going to termination/adoption. Just before our daughter turned 4 we picked up a newborn from the hospital and adopted her at 15 mo old. Although she was drug exposed in utero she has no health or medical issues as of yet (she's 2 and 1/2). Sidenote: we also had a call for a newborn a few months before the one for our daughter who was going to be terminated on at birth because of siblings case history.
this is what our thought process is right now. it is SO encouraging to hear these stories. i know it doesn't happen for everyone this way, but it is really good to hear.

this thread has been so helpful! i even made dh read it. we had a good talk and decided to rule out international and special needs adoption for now, and to investigate domestic infant adoption as well as foster care/adoption through the state.

so if we do get licensed for foster care in our county, would we get a homestudy through them? i'm a little nervous about that, i'm guessing thats pretty normal though? because of the different programs in racine and milwaukee i'd like to look into getting licensed in those counties too, would we need separate home studies for each county? do we pay for home studies through the state?

for domestic adoption, i've made it clear to family and friends that we are looking into adoption. maybe we will have a miracle like others and we will find a match that way. other than that i am very skeptical of going to an agency. dh would like to explore this possibility. does anyone recommend an agency in WI? also if we pursue an adoption through the same while simultaneously registering with an agency how would that work with our homestudy? would we need a separate one from the state and the agency? if not would we only get one through the state or only the agency?

i'm so scared to get started! people tell me how hard it will be to go through the process and how hard it would be on me to try to adopt through foster care and have it fall through. i know how hard it is. what most people don't understand is that pregnancy and birth would be very hard as well, with many risks and a potentially devastating outcome. it would be hard too. we just have to pick which "hard" to deal with right now. and i'm just not ready for another pregnancy right now.

i think thats all for now. you guys are awesome!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:49 AM   #27
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

I would look at a sliding fee agency. I WOULD Not go into debt if you have one child and are not childless (well, I would not go into debt either way). I can't imagine the stress of being that far into debt and then worrying about taking care of a new child. I know people do it and are fine with it, but its not something we would be. So, please really think about this before doing it.

For domestic, who knows why a birthfamily may pick you (remember it may not just be a birthmom - it was the family who was our situation and we would not work exclusively with an expectant mom/unknown birthfather) - they may have a family member with CP/sibling, and that is near and dear to their heart. There are many high functioning people with CP who do very well in life. They may have some physical limitation or other, but as we all get older, really, who doesn't. It is hard as there are many who will find it a negative, but reality is they will then find anything bad about you/your family to use against you and in no way/shape/form do you want to be associated with them or adopt through them. The standards that we hear are the looks, money, house, religion, weight - high or lower, and all that. Its funny as our facilitator got really nasty to us, really nasty and was so mean and all the "mean" things she said... hee hee, that's exactly WHY our son's birthparents picked us. Its funny how life works out, usually for the best.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #28
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

Just a note, this might have already been addressed, but there are generally not any brand new babies available for adoption through international adoption. Generally the child will be at least 18 months old (sometimes this is at the time of the match and sometimes this is at the time the child comes home). Most countries are changing things to make it easier for people to adopt special needs children (of all ages) and are adding waiting times where the child has to be listed in their country of origin as available for adoption for 6 months or more before be placed for international adoption.

There is a GREAT need for special needs children to be adopted internationally. Some of these issues are correctable once the child arrives in the US through adoption or very treatable through medication like HIV (check out www.projecthopeful.org for more about adopting a child with HIV). That is a consideration when you consider adoption. Generally the country and sometimes the agency will reduce fees on special needs or older child adoptions. There are also more grants available for special needs and older child adoptions to help fund your adoption. You can do your own fund-raisers to help raise the money for your adoption.

If you do adopt through an agency look at bi-racial or AA infants and a lot of agencies will have reduced fees/rates if you are adopting these infants and often times that have much shorter wait times (like 9 months or something). I think you never know when and why a birthmom chooses a family unless she decides to share that. A BM may be moved that you have a special needs child and are open to bringing another child into your home.

Don't give up, be realistic, but don't give up and keep looking into your options!
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:08 PM   #29
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

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I would look at a sliding fee agency. I WOULD Not go into debt if you have one child and are not childless (well, I would not go into debt either way). I can't imagine the stress of being that far into debt and then worrying about taking care of a new child. I know people do it and are fine with it, but its not something we would be. So, please really think about this before doing it.

For domestic, who knows why a birthfamily may pick you (remember it may not just be a birthmom - it was the family who was our situation and we would not work exclusively with an expectant mom/unknown birthfather) - they may have a family member with CP/sibling, and that is near and dear to their heart. There are many high functioning people with CP who do very well in life. They may have some physical limitation or other, but as we all get older, really, who doesn't. It is hard as there are many who will find it a negative, but reality is they will then find anything bad about you/your family to use against you and in no way/shape/form do you want to be associated with them or adopt through them. The standards that we hear are the looks, money, house, religion, weight - high or lower, and all that. Its funny as our facilitator got really nasty to us, really nasty and was so mean and all the "mean" things she said... hee hee, that's exactly WHY our son's birthparents picked us. Its funny how life works out, usually for the best.
dd's extra needs are so much more manageable now that she is older, thus the decision to grow our family at this time. i want a potential birth family to understand that she won't suck up all of our time away from the baby. also, i can't believe that your facilitator was mean to you. was she saying that birth families wouldn't pick you because of xyz?!? i woudl thinks it woudl be in her best interest to encourage you that you would be chosen. i understand yours wasn't exacly a typical adotpion process though!

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Just a note, this might have already been addressed, but there are generally not any brand new babies available for adoption through international adoption. Generally the child will be at least 18 months old (sometimes this is at the time of the match and sometimes this is at the time the child comes home). Most countries are changing things to make it easier for people to adopt special needs children (of all ages) and are adding waiting times where the child has to be listed in their country of origin as available for adoption for 6 months or more before be placed for international adoption.

There is a GREAT need for special needs children to be adopted internationally. Some of these issues are correctable once the child arrives in the US through adoption or very treatable through medication like HIV (check out www.projecthopeful.org for more about adopting a child with HIV). That is a consideration when you consider adoption. Generally the country and sometimes the agency will reduce fees on special needs or older child adoptions. There are also more grants available for special needs and older child adoptions to help fund your adoption. You can do your own fund-raisers to help raise the money for your adoption.

If you do adopt through an agency look at bi-racial or AA infants and a lot of agencies will have reduced fees/rates if you are adopting these infants and often times that have much shorter wait times (like 9 months or something). I think you never know when and why a birthmom chooses a family unless she decides to share that. A BM may be moved that you have a special needs child and are open to bringing another child into your home.

Don't give up, be realistic, but don't give up and keep looking into your options!
that site is heartbreaking. i saw your post on the HIV adoption thread and my heart really goes out to these kids, as well s the other waiting children with special needs at home and abroad.

we are open to biracial/AA babies!!! well myself more than my dh. he has a black cousin adopted from central america by his white aunt and uncle who had 2 bio kids. well the dad's first wife couldn't have children so they adopted M then dad remarried and had 2 other girls. they were treated much differently by his extended family and dad's new wife and they turned out COMPLETELY different. M has 5 kids by herself from varying fathers and obviously is struggling to care for her family. in contrast the other girls both have college degrees and careers in addition to well educated husbands (one just had her first baby) and are very well off financially. of course this was all 30 years ago and things were handled much differently then. this experience has put him off to the idea, but i don't think he is dead set against it. we need to be better educated about the subject and thats all part of the process.

i shared this with another mama in a PM, but since i was little i have always had a picture in my head of holding a baby AA girl (MY baby) with a pink bow in her curly hair. Her name was maia. i have always thought i would end up with a little black girl named maia...and its my SILs name...weird right?
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:48 AM   #30
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Re: why is it so hard?!?!? aka Ingrids giant list of questions!

I really think it depends on your county and the need. The need is very great in my county. We attended adoption orientation in late January, foster orientation in early February, did everything required by mid-March and were licensed on March 23...our baby was born on March 25 and we brought him home on April 8. Now, he is not legally free for adoption. He is #8 and all have been adopted, so our chances are very, very good. Our baby was also meth exposed. It's a risk we were willing to take, and when that call came, I knew it was "the one."

I have heard other counties that basically say, "there are no babies" and maybe there aren't...my county has a very low reunification rate and high unemployment...etc. There are some 2100 kids in care and only 300 certified foster families...and my county is huge.

I would they to talk to people in your county who are foster parents. Attend an orientation.

Also, we decided against a foster agency since the county places with it's own homes first, then they look to the agencies if they can't find placement.

Our situation is out of the ordinary I think because of how fast it happened, but we were on the ball with the things we needed to complete and God had a plan for us...I knew that morning that we would get a call. When they said 2 wk old baby boy (plus some other specifications) I knew it was the one. now we just have to pray that he is our forever baby.

Ok, I have rambled, sorry! LOL
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