Welcome to episode #1 of the Infant Adoption Guide Podcast!
Studies show that thousands of couples have considered adoption, but have not followed through. Why? Misconceptions? Fears? Costs? Too complicated?
10 reasons why you should adopt now:
1. You can afford to adopt, even if you’ve heard how expensive it is.
- Costs can range from FREE (foster-adopt) up to $40,000 or more
- On average: $20,000 to $35,000 for domestic infant adoption. See the Adoptive Families Magazine survey that shows their results at http://www.theadoptionguide.com/cost/articles/how-much-does-adoption-cost
- Some agencies offer sliding scale fees. Click here to check out my post that lists several agencies with sliding scale fees.
- BOTTOM LINE: it is expensive to adopt(and maybe it shouldn’t be) but this is reality today. If you want to be a parent – you can get the help you need.
- if you choose to foster adopt: usually cost nothing. Process is lengthy and the baby may be returned to their birth family.
- the adoption professional you choose (sliding scales, cap on birthmother expenses, agency fee, etc)
- how much advertising you will do (usually costs thousands)
- state laws (some require additional social worker for the birthmother – example: Nevada)
- domestic vs international adoption: less money spent on travel for domestic
- can you get an adoption grant?
- do some fundraisingadoption tax credit (in 2012 it is $12,650 per adopted child)
- check out my post http://www.infantadoptionguide.com/adoption-fundraisers
- can get donations for your adoption by “selling” things
- adoption prayer bracelet
- adoption T-shirts
- does your employer offer adoption benefits? Get help from www.adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org.
2. Availability of babies to adopt in the U.S.
- National Council for Adoption research shows there are at least 22,000 domestic infant adoptions that take place every year.
- Even though there is a lot of adoption talk about international – but adopting domestically is the only way to do adopt a newborn.
- After dealing with infertility, my wife and I knew we wanted to adopt a newborn – to experience parenting a child from birth.
- You may have the opportunity to be at the hospital when the baby is born if the birthmother is OK with it.
- There are agencies that specialize in adopting infants & newborns.
- BOTTOM LINE: you can adopt a infant/newborn.
3. It doesn’t take as long a you think to adopt an infant.
- Domestic infant adoptions currently have a shorter wait (on average) than international adoptions.
- Most domestic infant adoptions: average wait is 12-24 months.
- Adoptive Families magazine survey in 2010 had 15% respond to say they had received “the call” after the baby had been born.
- Depends on your adoption preferences (baby’s gender, race, location, etc.).
- Depends on your age, if you already have children, if you’re single.
- BOTTOM LINE: birthmothers choose you in domestic infant adoption. You’ll wait, but be persistent.
4. Open adoption is a good thing.
- You get to let the birthmom know they made the right decision – their baby is taken care of – and you get answers to health questions.
- You’re able to answer your child’s questions about their adoption story and their birth family. It can remove the mystery of where they came from and why they were placed for adoption.
- Usually have access to medical history – can help with treatment.
- Check out 20 reasons to love open adoption at http://www.americaadopts.com/archives/8215#comments
- My open adoption blog post: http://www.infantadoptionguide.com/what-is-open-adoption
5. Attachment or integration issues are not as bad as you’ve heard.
- In our research before we adopted, it seemed that it could be a problem “attaching” to an adopted child. We couldn’t see how this could be, especially if we adopted a newborn – which was our preference.
- At the hospital seeing our birthmother and our daughter for the first time – and we got to hold the tiny little baby – it was clear to us there would be no attachment issues. God brought us together as a family, no doubt about it.
6. “Special” circumstances shouldn’t keep you from adopting.
- Disability or serious illness: these do not automatically disqualify you from adopting. You may need to show proof (such as a detailed report from your doctor) to an agency that your condition doesn’t keep you from parenting and meeting the needs of a child.
7. You are not too old to adopt.
- Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger.
- There really is no “perfect” time to start the adoption process.
- Most states have no legal age limit to adopt.
- A lot of agencies have pushed their age restrictions well past 40 and some even to 50. Also, private adoptions through attorneys usually have no age restrictions.
- Even though you won’t know how long you will wait to adopt, God knows the perfect time for your family to grow.
- You just need to take the action and start – let God handle the hard parts.
8. Failed matches disruptions happen, but they are not the norm.
- You can a lot of negative talk about adoption disruptions and failed birthmother matches – where a birthmother decides to parent rather than making an adoption plan.
- Agencies and attorneys offer pre-placement counseling and birthmother screening to help eliminate the risk of a failed match.
9. If you have a reluctant spouse, there is help.
- Tips to work through your differences in wanting to adopt:
- Talk through your differences, write them out and thoroughly discuss them, and give your spouse time to digest.
- Counseling – from social workers, marriage counselors.
- Find an adoption support group (either online or live) – talking with others who have been where you are can go a long way.
- Online adoption support groups:
- Creating a Family adoption page: http://www.creatingafamily.org/adoption-resources/a-reluctant-spouse-when-one-partner-does-not-want-to-adopt.html
- Check out the “Reluctant Spouse” article at Adoptive Families Magazine website: http://www.theadoptionguide.com/advice/articles/the-reluctant-spouse
- The often overlooked (and sometimes discarded) part of domestic infant adoption is that it takes more than birthparents and adoptive parents to make this work. God is the primary force in this journey.
- My wife and I struggled with starting our family, miscarriage & infertility problems took years to go through. Through much thought and prayer we decided to pursue domestic infant adoption and we are so happy we did – the blessings are great.
- My personal adoption prayer story:
- Along our 1st adoption journey during the waiting phase, I was getting frustrated with God (sound familiar?). After all of our suffering through the infertility years, why must we wait even longer? Then one day I explained our adoption situation to our priest & he asked what I really wanted. I want to be a daddy. He said, what will it take? I said we’ve done everything, but now we just need a call telling us that a birthmother wants us to be parents of her child. He said, ‘then that is what you ask for – daily, be persistent, don’t give up – he’ll answer you.” This forever changed the way I prayed for fatherhood – and it wasn’t long after that we got ‘the call’.
If you’ve struggled to start/grow your family, adoption is a great option. When you bring the baby home, you’ll experience how much joy that little one can bring to your family and you won’t remember as much how much you struggled and waited. Everything you went through will be worth it.
Is adopting easy? No. Is adopting for everyone? No. But it is worth all of the struggles, emotions, stress, and time that it takes.
Adoption news & notes, thoughts & quotes
“We didn’t give you the gift of life,
But in our hearts we know,
The love we feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For all of us to be a family
is like a dream come true.
No, we didn’t give you the gift of life
God gave us the gift of you.”
Here’s a great adoption book to read:
—Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It; Straight Answers to Heartfelt Questions by Dr.Ray Guarendi. Great book about adoption from someone who has dealt with infertility and went on to adopt 10 kids!
Check out more adoption resources at http://www.infantadoptionguide.com/adoption-resources