Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Myths about domestic adoption

With so many ideas, opinions and false information out there I thought I would write a post about domestic adoption. We get lots of questions about adoption most people are very interested and open to the idea but I have found I have had to do a lot of educating. Not that I like to go around like a know it all but this is a topic I am passionate about and there is so much incorrect information I feel it is best to share the correct information. So here are some of the most asked question that I have gotten through the years that I wanted to share.
1. Isn't Adoption really expensive? Yes and no is usually what I say. It depends on lots of things really. If your adopting a newborn from a private agency then yes it can but there is also foster to adopt that is free. You also have to remember that the expense is for your home study, lawyer fees, birth mom expenses, social worker fees. Babies don't cost money you have to pay fees for all of the above if your going through a agency. You have to also remember that the government gives you a tax rebate basically. You will not be taxed for a couple years which helps the fees involved. It is a lot of money but think about when you buy a car. People have money for cars and don't think twice about spending money on them but seem scared by the costs of adoption. If you feel God is leading you to this then don't be scared off by this. There are grants, fundraisers and ways to save. Just making a strict budget will get you there that is how we paid for ours. Simple driving paid for cars, not going on vacation for one year and eating out only once in a while paid for our expenses.
2. Won't the birth mom come try and take the baby back? This is a classic for sure. To many Lifetime movies. When you adopt depending on the state you live there is a certain amount of time that the birth mom has to change her mind. Once that is over then you have legal documents that can not be broken. You go to court to make it all legal so the chance of something happening is very rare.
3. Does the birth mom get to visit all the time? This is something I went into worried about as well. God really changed my heart totally on this. After reading so much information about having a open/semi- open adoption it is best for all parties involved. There is a lot of evidence that knowing where you come from is good psychologically for the child. Birth moms have feelings too and adoption is never easy. You have to remember she gave you her child I think she deserves some say here. I honor Lauren's birth mom and we hope to meet her one day. The openness can vary case by case but typically it ranges from pictures only to some visits.
4. Aren't black babies placed for adoption drug babies? Oh my goodness, this question bothers me probably more then all the others. This is a big myth!! Although there are some unknowns and yes sadly I am sure some babies are but most birth moms care greatly about their children. They go into this putting their child's interest over there own starting with the choice of life for the baby. For them to choose adoption they thought about this and wanted more then they could provide for various reasons. They are very unselfish and fought very hard to give this baby a chance.
5. There are no babies in the U.S that is why we are adopting internationally. This one is really sad!! This is so far from the truth. I am pro adoption all over the globe but please let God lead you on your decision. Do not try to find a baby that fits your family. Adoption is about trying to find children homes not about finding a child that fits your mold. I understand trans racial adoption is not for everyone and yes I had reserves at first and was scared about the unknowns and if I could handle everything involved. God totally changed my heart on this!! The answer to this question is there are plenty of children here! White children are apparently the cream of the crop and some agencies go so far to charge costs to reflect this which is disgusting!! There are beautiful healthy African American babies here. So many that in fact the U.S is one of the top exporters of AA children to other countries!! I could not believe this until I researched this. Apparently Americans have no problem adopting any other children but black. I have no words to say but complete sadness about this situation and churches need to know about this. Some of these kids also go to foster care which is a whole other story. People sometimes think they are being more of a humanitarian adopting from foreign countries when in fact kids are orphans here in the United States. If they are not adopted they will live a life of going from home to home and feel rejected. Really pray about why you are adopting and the reasons why you will only accept certain children but not others. Check your heart!!
6. Aren't foreign born children more healthy and isn't it easier not dealing with birth parents? This is so far from the truth. The U.S has the best health care around from early on. In general 80% of foreign adoptees have some sort of delay or birth defect. You will have some medical history when adopting from the U.S. It might not be extensive but you will have some ideas. I am not saying do not adopt from other countries just be aware that the idea sounds glamorous but many are not healthy and have more issues then stated. Also up until recently before investigations took place oversees some children were not orphaned but were placed for adoption without the parents consent, or stolen. Just because a child is poor does not mean the parents don't want them or they can not be happy. There has been some scary stuff taking place in other countries that is not right.
7. Did you love her the same as your own children? The answer is yes absolutely but it is different at first. It takes time to adjust too all the emotions involved but yes my love is exactly the same. You do have to bond and that took me a few months. I have been pregnant with the boys so I can honestly say it is different at first but that it does not take long. When your pregnant you bond that way and you prepare. When you adopt you have no idea on the timing or course of events. Once that calms down it feels no different. Especially the newborn tiredness fog that all felt the same, I felt like I gave birth with all the emotions just not the physical pain. I also had two small children at the time, it is a blur now (:Sometimes now I even forget she is chocolate brown I don't see her color anymore. That sounds weird in a way but she is so much mine.

Saying all of this I hope you understand that I am pro adoption worldwide. Sometimes domestic adoption is not talked about as much so I wanted to share. It seems that many people think Lauren is from Haiti or some other country and maybe she has some other nationality but people are shocked when they find out we adopted her from the U.S. From start to finish it took only 9 months. Saying all of this I am not tooting my own horn we are not perfect angelic people just people that acted on a need and felt the call of God on our lives to love one of His. Most people adopt because they can't have children but there is a small percentage of people taking this a step further and I consider it a honor. Is there unknowns absolutely but there is when you have biological children as well. No child is perfect and they all have issues in one way or another so you should not let that stop you. People also ask about the whole race issue and how it effects our kids etc.. I will write another post on this but at this point It will only help our other kids. I am not a dreamer I know we will have challenges and we have already but I am so thankful for the gift we have been given. Thank you for supporting my family on this blog and for all the beautiful comments though the years it means the world to me.

3 comments:

  1. I think it's wonderful that you adopted Lauren! She is a blessed child and certainly you came into her life for a reason!

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  2. Thank you Katie! Seriously, you are right on. You know how we just swtiched from international to domestic adoption for the very reasons you stated. We had NO idea before, even from knowing you WHEN you adopted Lauren. I don't know why but those mis-conceptions about domestic adoptions were sooooo rooted in my thinking. Now, so many of those misconceptions are being brought to light and shown for what they really are. False. I couldn't figure out what God was doing when it kind of looked like he was leading us to domestic adoption. But then I found out about the serious need in THIS country for adoptions (primarily inter-racial). I am glad we decided to do domestic now. All adoptions are scary and filled with a lot of unknowns. But you are right, we need to support ALL adoptions. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I think adoption is such a beautiful thing. I also know that many children grow up and want to know their birth parents. 2 of my friends in college were adopted. Both of them ABSOLUTELY loved their adopted families. And they both still wanted to meet their birth mothers. It is just something that is inside many people. It doesn't mean they love their adopted parents or family any less. They just want to know where they came from.

    All adoption is beautiful. No matter where you go to get your child : )

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