Friday, June 1, 2012

Questions with Answers


With adoption, and with all of life, there are many questions that are left unanswered.  Why does it have to be so expensive?  Why do some people wait for years for a child while others adopt quickly?  Why do some birthmoms change their minds before the baby is born and others wait until they are at the hospital?  There are many questions in the adoption world that I don't have good answers for.  But I thought I'd tackle a couple of questions that we have been asked recently that I actually do have answers for!

Q:  How will you connect with a birthmom?
A:  We're applying to various agencies and lawyers offices that work with birthmoms.  When a situation comes up with a birthmom looking to make an adoption plan, if we fit some of the qualities she's looking for, we will be contacted.  We'll learn about some of the details (fees involved, health history of birthparents, due date, etc.) and can decide if we want our profile shown.

Q:  What's a profile?
A:  A profile is basically like a scrapbook of our family with lots of pictures and information about us (what we do for fun, what our holiday traditions are, what our personalities are like, etc.).  Our extremely talented friend, Heather, made ours and I'm hoping to share it on here soon!  The profile is an EXTREMELY important part of our adoption process.

Q:  How does a birthmom choose a family?
A:  This varies case by case.  Sometimes it's through a personal connection (like the situation we were connected with last month).  Often, a birthmom will contact a crisis pregnancy center, an attorney, or an adoption agency for help.  She will hopefully receive some counseling and help to process the decision to make an adoption plan.  Then, she'll be shown some profiles of adoptive families and choose which family she wants to raise her child.  (Hence, the importance of the profile!)  At times, she will ask for a phone call with the prospective adoptive parents before making her decision.

Q:  Don't you have to wait for years to adopt an infant?
A:  That depends.  The largest percentage of couples in America that adopt are Caucasians that are seeking to adopt a Caucasian healthy infant so those lists are very long.  There are MANY infants who do not fall in that category; minority babies, babies whose birthmother has a less than perfect health history (mental illness, any drug usage, any cigarrettes, etc.), and babies with special needs are often waiting for adoption.  The wait time for these situations is much shorter because, sadly, there are not long lists of couples waiting to adopt in those situations.  (And there's an even shorter wait-time if you are adopting from foster care or adopting an older child.)  

Q:  Are you seriously telling me that minority babies often are born without anyone willing to adopt them?
A:  Yes.  It makes me sick but the answer is yes.  Sometimes babies are even born and are placed into foster care because there is no one willing to adopt them.  I could write much more on this heated topic but I'll do that another time.

Q: So are you adopting an African American child?
A:  We will most likely be adopting an African American or Bi-racial child.  Again, I will write more about this in another post but the main reason we are doing this is because that's how God has led our family.

Q:  Where are you at in the process?
A:  On Monday we will send out applications and our profile to four different agencies/attorneys.  From there, we wait to be matched with a birthmom.

Q:  How long will it take?
A:  We have no idea.  Sometimes people are matched immediately.  Sometimes people have their profile shown to 20+ different birthmoms before they finally are chosen.  It could go very quickly for us or it could not.

Q:  How much will your adoption cost?
A:  Thank you for asking that instead of saying, "how much will your baby cost?"  We aren't buying a baby; babies are priceless.  But we will be paying fees related to agency/attorney costs, birthmom's counseling & medical fees, etc.  Our adoption will probably be around $25,000.

Q:  Do you have all the funds that you need?
A:  Nope.  We still need about $9000.  We're saving, applying for grants, continuing our Etsy store, and praying for God to provide.  If you're interested in giving, we will be putting up a PayPal button on my blog soon.  Every little bit helps!

Q:  You're not going to have any contact with your baby's birthparents, right?  
A:  We absolutely hope and pray that we will have contact with our baby's first-parents!  Research has shown that children deal with their adoptions much better if they know something about their birthparents.  (This is VERY different than what was thought about adoptions in the past.  Adoptions used to be totally closed where there was NO information shared between birthparents and adoptive parents.  That's why you used to have lots of situations with kids never being told they were adopted or children turning 18 and suddenly going on a search for their birthparents.)  Initially, we were afraid of the idea of contact with birthparents.  But as we've read more research, we've come to believe that it's in a child's best interest to know about their birthparents.  And we've come to see that our child's birthparents will always be an important part of their story.  We already care about our child's birthparents and we don't even know who they are yet!  I'm praying that we'll be able to develop a great relationship with our child's first-parents for the years to come.  

What other questions to you have?  I would love to hear them!  Leave me a comment (feel free to do it anonymously if you want) or email me at alreadyloveyou at gmail.com with your questions and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

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