I’m going to make this Short but Sweet 🙂
On August 9, 2005 we experienced the miracle of becoming parents through adoption. It was the most amazing day of my life, filled with anticipation, anxiety and most of all excitement. Our journey was the culmination of many years of trying to become parents “biologically” and “scientifically” and in the end I believe we became parents the way we were always meant to be.
We chose to adopt domestically. This is one of the few situations in my life where I will readily admit that my opinion is just my opinion, that there are all types of adoptions, and all sorts of stories, and while my opinion may be stronger in some areas than others, I believe all options are valid, and everyone makes a choice for a reason. Personally my experience is with domestic adoption, but a very special friend of mine adopted two amazing girls from Russia, and she will be gracing us with her posts on this topic soon. So keep your eyes out! This page will briefly discuss my reasons for choosing domestic and if you have any questions at all about why I chose what I did, I will be more than happy to speak with you. So please contact me!
Misconceptions About Domestic Adoption
It’s too expensive…. if you think that adopting in the US is too expensive then you haven’t done your homework. If you are using the right agency or facilitator, you should be able to adopt domestically for 20,000 give or take 5,000. And it really could be less than 20,000. Plus you get the 12,500 adoption credit, so keep all of your documentation in one place! I have friends who have adopted from all over the world. Russia, China, Guatemala, I’ve searched reputable international adoption agencies, there is no way you can adopt internationally for under 30 grand.
It takes too long….If I had gotten pregnant the day that I submitted all of my paperwork to our adoption agency, my son would have been born the same month. We were matched with a birth mother one month after signing on, had a failed adoption with that birth mother, then got rematched within two weeks and our son was born 6 weeks later! From beginning to end the whole process took us 10 months! Without traveling to a foreign country, without dealing with foreign governments, and with the added benefit of having some of my child’s health history.
Relationships with birth families can be difficult. OK I’ll give you that. My son’s birth mother is an angel, whom I love like family and enjoy talking to. However, if our first match had progressed, I would have been hard pressed to come up with nice things to say about the first birth mother.
The thing is, you control the situation. You should be the one who decides whether or not you want an open adoption (this means contact after the baby is born), you should also be the one who decides what kind of contact occurs. If you are looking at an agency that requires you to have an open adoption DROP THEM! We have an extremely famous adoption agency 15 miles from our house, they require open adoptions, I chose an agency 2000 miles away. Meanwhile we have an open adoption. I just didn’t want anyone to make that decision for me, it completely depends on the type of relationship you have with a birth mother, and her ability to detach from the family. I still believe with all my heart that an adoption that is too open can cause irreparable damage to a child and a family. It also doesn’t allow the birth mother to grieve and move on.
I have contact with our birth mother, my son knows who she is, kind of (he’s only 4), but we don’t see her. We talk and we exchange photos, but we also keep a comfortable distance.
The birth mother might change her mind. I wouldn’t say that can’t happen, but it can’t happen after the waiting period which tends to be 48-72 hours. There are a few states, California is one of them, that have very lenient time periods for birth mother’s to change their minds. I would suggest not adopting from that state. There is a great book, believe it or not it is Adoption for Dummies, it lays out all of the laws for all of the states. At the time we adopted I think I knew more about adoption laws than our adoption counselor. The fact is a birth mother cannot sign her rights away right away, and when you think about the emotionality of the situation that makes sense. The state wants to make sure the birth mother understands her rights and has contact with a social worker those next 24 hours. Once the birth mother signs the termination papers, she cannot change her mind, unless she can prove she was coerced. And trust me, if you have a reputable agency, that won’t happen.
Then if your baby is born in another state you just have to wait for a judge to look at the papers and say you’re free to go, and off you go home with your baby!
Adoption is a wonderful way to start a family, personally I can’t even think of a better way. I have absolutely no desire to go through all of the physical contortions of being pregnant. I know it’s a hard decision to make, and a lot of people really struggle with it. I do not want to belittle those struggles. Just keep your eye on the prize, once you make the decision, you are guaranteed to have a baby in the end!! No matter how many bumps in the road there are.
Don’t be surprised, I will not be listing agencies or facilitators here. What I want to say is besides the internet, the people you know are your best resources. Google “adoption agencies”, see what they offer. Remember this is your experience, I am very put off by agencies that are demanding. They should be warm and welcoming. They should offer to help you organize and give you a lot of information right off of the bat.
You also probably know more people who adopted (or have friends who know people) than you can imagine. Ask lots of questions and really listen to what they have to say. This is one of those situations where having contact with someone who has had the experience can help so much. I found a someone through a friend who had been through the process and although she didn’t know me, she held my hand through the whole process. Her information was invaluable to me.
I have heard of people finding birth mothers through word of mouth, personally I think that’s a pipe dream. But I still think you will find valuable resources by letting everyone know about your plans. If you are embarrassed or shy about it, you might think about why that is. You may not be ready yet. Your heart and soul should be in this 100%
If you want to contact me personally I will tell you what agency I used, but I do not intend to advertise for them. I was very happy, but each person and each experience is different.
Get this book, You may think you need some lovey dovey adoption book written by some famous expert. You don’t, you need this