Saturday, July 19, 2008

International Adoption

I get the impression that it is chic to adopt from other countries. I’m not entirely sure I understand the reason, but somehow many view it to be much cooler to go and adopt a Malawi baby or Vietnamese baby than it is to adopt just a "plain ol’" American baby. I know there are beaurocratic hoops to jump through in the United States that take years. I also think it is much easier to complete an adoption in another country. For some reason there seems to be a more expedited process in other countries. I don’t know if this is necessarily a good thing, but I do think we need to change our current system in the United States. I ultimately wish more would adopt from our own country. There needs to be extensive adaptations to our system to help expedite the process without sacrificing all the necessary legalities to give children in our country homes with loving parents.

It breaks my heart to think about kids going to bed at night, feeling like they don’t belong or are unloved. My kids frustrate me and there are times they flat out drive me crazy. There are times we go rounds in the battle of the wills department, but my kids always know, without a doubt that they are loved unconditionally by their father and me. They know they are safe and secure. They know that there is nothing they could ever do that would cause me to love them any less. They are secure enough to act out, to misbehave, to express themselves, to show vulnerability, to demonstrate compassion and know that they are loved and supported. All kids should have that.

If I were desperate for a child and I knew it would take 2 years for anything to happen here but it would take 6 months if I went overseas it becomes a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the ones that suffer are children in the US orphanages and foster care. There has got to be a better way. I don’t know what that is; I don’t have the legal expertise or social welfare experience. However, there are people out there that do.


A. Gillispie said...

Hi. I saw a link to your blog from Google Alerts: International Adoption. I just want to encourage you that if you'd like to adopt from the U.S.--go for it! My husband and I have adopted internationall three times from three different countries (didn't plan it that way, but that's how it happened) and I don't at all feel like it is somehow more chic to adopt internationally. The US media might portray it that way with celebs, but that's just stupid, and not reality within the adoption commmunity.

It can be difficult to adopt through the US foster care system if you want to adopt a young healthy child--that's the "waiting for years" part--but if you are open to a child with special needs, or an older child, or a sibling group, you might not have much of a wait at all until a child is placed with you. Likewise, if you'd like to adopt a healthy newborn infant and are open to an African American child, you probably won't wait long at all.

Whomever is telling you that it is easier to adopt internationally in this day and age is just wrong. International adoption is going through a huge upheaval. Many of the countries that have consistently been open to adoptions are now closed or severely limited. An international adoption within 6 months is a fantasy. MAYBE 12 months, if you have a "fast" program. But 18-24 months is much more common, from beginning to end.

It is basically free to adopt through the US Foster Care system. To adopt a healthy US newborn is going to cost several thousand dollars, but is pretty much the same (or less) than international adoption.

Don't buy into stereotypes with adoption. =-) All choices are valid, as long as it's the right choice for your family.

Anita Gillispie
AAI Ghana Adoption Coordinator
mom to 3 (from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Ghana)

Moxymama said...

Thanks for taking the time to post your comment. I appreciate the information as I know little about the adoption process here or abroad. Some friends of ours went through the adoption process here in the U.S. for years which ended in great heartbreak for them. They ended up adopting a beautiful little girl from China. Watching the adoption process through their experience it just seemed that an overseas adoption was much easier to obtain.
I agree that where you adopt from should not matter and it is up to each individual family. I just would like to see the process here in the States somehow become more streamlined and made easier so that those who want to adopt from the US are able to do so in a timely manner.
Best of luck to you! I checked out your blogsite and your children are gorgeous.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment!