Adoption: Worth the Heartache
My friend's story
I stay connected with my out of state friends on a chat room. Recently, my friend recorded an entry that got my attention:
(My friend) is ?!=(
Hmm. A puzzling entry but I just thought she had a bad day. But then came ...
(MF) is riding this roller coaster called life.
and later ...
(MF) is praying for the arms of GOD to be wrapped around (my husband) and I in the coming days.
By this time I started to panic. I knew she was going through the adoption process and, from her entries, I guessed things were not going well. As it turned out, the birth mother had disappeared. My friend's tumultuous adventure through the adoption process had taken a tragic turn.
Potential Problems ...
My friend's story is heartbreaking but unfortunately very common. Very few adoptions processes can go from beginning to end without some kind of interference. The most common problems adoption hopefuls go through are:
- Long Wait Time
- Financial Difficulties
- Unforeseen Health Issues
- Birth Parents Decide to Keep the Baby
- Difficulties with Adoption Agency
... and Potential Solutions
(1) Long Wait Time
The estimated time between the beginning of the adoption process to the end ranges between several days and several years. A variety of factors impact the length of time:
- Private Agency vs. Public Agency - Parents who decide to go with private agency pay a higher price tag but normally achieve faster results then those who list with public agencies. Theories vary on why this is but most experts agree private agencies have a smaller worker: case ratio; with the smaller ratio, private agency workers have more time and resources to work on their client's cases.
- Race of Child - Caucasian children are the most frequently requested; parents who adopt a child with a Minority Ethnicity will experience a shorter wait time then parents who requested a Caucasian child.
- Health of Child - Children with no apparent disabilities (emotional / mental / learning / physical) are in demand with adoptive families. Parents willing to adopt a child with special needs often find the adoption process goes much quicker.
- Family History - Families can expect to go through an extensive background check when starting the adoption process. Parents with a history of criminal activity or health concerns could go through months of additional paperwork and rigorous testing. Some prospective parents face the chance of getting denied if they fail the screening process.
(2) Financial Difficulties
Families need to be aware of the potential costs associated with adoption before they begin.The price tag for adoption is staggering, ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 or higher. As stated above, clients who choose private adoption agencies can pay higher costs than those that work with public agencies.
To help offset these costs, parents can seek help from their local governments through:
- Tax Deductions
- Tax Credits
- State Grants
(3) Unforeseen Health Issues
The health of a child is the most pressing issue, and the reason for long wait, for potential parents. Often, parents request children who do not have:
- mental impairments
- emotional disturbances
- learning disabilities
- physical handicaps
Parents going through adoption can expedite their process by caring for a child with one of these special needs.
Other factors that accelerate adoption is a parent's willingness to adopt:
- Children of minority heritage
- Children over the age of five (Caucasian children over the age of nine or 10)
- Children with multiple siblings
Multi-Racial Adoption of Older Children
(4) Birth Parents Decide to Keep the Child
This was the situation my friend went through - the mother changed her mind and decided she wanted to keep the child. This becomes a difficult and heartbreaking situation for the birth mother and the prospective parents.
Check with your agency to see if they have any safeguards against this situation but often birth mothers are allowed to change their mind, whether its halfway through the pregnancy or directly following the birth.
Interestingly, when this situation occurs, it's called a "failed adoption". Although the phrasing does accurately describe the situation, I wonder if another phrase could be coined so the decision for the birth mother to keep her child isn't seen as a 'failure.'
(5) Difficulties with Adoption Agency
It's appalling to think of the criminals that exist in the adoption world that feed on a prospective parent's heartbreak and pain to make a financial gain ... but they exist. Some parents have spent thousands of dollars to adopt a child - only to find the child was stolen from the birth parent.
How can this be avoided?
- Research - Research the agency you want to work with. By using the checklist listed below, prospective parents can safeguard themselves against scam artists:
- Ask Questions - How long has the company been in business? What is their license number? Do they have a list of references?
- Talk to Others - The Internet has hundreds of adoption websites and chat rooms. Families can discover how an adoption company operates by speaking with people who dealt with the company first hand.
You might be interested to hear the lastest from my friend. When I got on my account to check on her, this is the entry I found ...
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain.
Is the end result worth the heartaches that impede the process? Judging from my friend's words, I can guess her answer to that.
Interested in Adopting? Need more information? These links will provide you with more information. These links are not guaranteed so remember - DO YOUR HOMEWORK
- The Adoption Exchange: The Adoption Exchange
The Adoption Exchange serves children waiting for adoption, current and prospective adoptive families, and child welfare professionals.
- The National Voice of Foster Parents
The National Foster Parent Association is the only national organization that strives to support foster parents, and remains a consistently strong voice on behalf of all children. With affiliates in U.S. states and territories, NFPA serves foster fa
North American Council on Adoptable Children
- Adoption Exchange Association (AEA)
The Adoption Exchange Association advances the availability and capability of Adoption Exchanges to carry out effective services to link waiting children with adopting families. Sharing resources so waiting children find families sooner!
- AdoptUsKids - Children In Foster Care Awaiting Adoption
The Collaboration to AdoptUsKids is supported through a cooperative agreement between the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children & Families, the US Department of Health & Human Services, and the Adoption Exchange Association
- American Adoptions - America\'s Adoption Agency
Licensed non-profit adoption agency serving pregnant women, adoptive families and adoptees across the world.
- Adoption.com - Adoption. International, Domestic, Waiting, Child, Baby, Infant, Adoption, Adopt, Ado
Adoption.com is the authority for all things adoption. Check out our resources about pregnancy, domestic & international adoption, parenting, adoptees, foster parenting and more.