A Real-Life Post: Babies and Adoption!
My husband and I have just made the official announcement to our friends and families, and I wanted to share the exciting news here as well.
We are currently in the process of adopting our first child!
Though there are no guarantees with these things, we hope to have a new addition to our family by this time next year, and I look forward to sharing adorable pictures when I can.
We made the decision to adopt back in August, and since then have noticed some continuity in the questions people ask, so here are some…
Domestic or International?
There are certainly valid arguments for adopting both domestically and internationally. Jesse and I have chosen to adopt domestically, right here in Washington state.
Private or Public?
Private adoption typically refers to babies who are relinquished by their birth parents at birth. Public adoption refers to the foster care system. Jesse and I have chosen to work with Amara, an adoption agency that fosters both types of adoptions, and we are open to both. So we’re kind of letting fate decide on that one.
For our first child, Jesse and I are hopeful in adopting a baby (0-24 months). We have no preference on gender. Again, we’ll see what fate hands us.
What is the process even like to adpot a child?
The process varies based on a variety of factors (domestic v. international, private v. public, and more), but generally, adoptive parents complete a home study, either through an adoption agency or the foster care system. The home study includes a series of interviews, a home inspection, training and classes, and lots and lots of paperwork. It typically takes three to six months from start to finish.
From there, families undergoing private adoption will usually put together a profile that introduces themselves to birth families – their lifestyle, values, etc. That profile is given to birth families who can choose who they think is the best family for their child.
With public adoption, you work with a social worker who will find a child from the foster system that will fit your family, and that you will be a good home for.
(That is obviously a very, very simplified look at the process.)
Aren’t you worried about all the risks?
This question comes up a lot, but can refer to a multitude of different “risks.”
Risk 1: You have an arrangement with a birth family/pregnant woman, but when the child arrives, they change their mind and decide to keep the baby instead.
Risk 2: You receive a child from the foster care system, but then they’re reunited with their birth family before your adoption can be finalized.
Risk 3: Any number of health issues, both in the child and the birth parents, or psychological issues due to abuse or neglect.
Risk 4: The “you’re not my real parents and I don’t have to listen to you!” rebellion stage, and/or your child wanting to learn more or even meet their birth family at some point.
The fact is, the adoption process can indeed be a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs, but we’re willing to weather the storms as they come. A lot of the training that adoptive parents go through is focused on making them more prepared for these potential heartaches.
(Not to mention that there are plenty of risks with having a biological child, too!)
It’s probably none of my business, but . . . why adoption?
This is my favorite question because everyone wants to know but everyone also recognizes that it’s probably rude to ask. But we are an open book and have no problem talking about our decision.
Obviously, it’s common for people to choose adoption after experiencing fertility issues, so that tends to be the first assumption. In our case, adoption is and was our first choice for having a child. Jesse and I recognize that there are a lot of children all over the world in need of stable, supportive families, and it was more important to us to offer our home to one of those children rather than have a genetic connection. Without negating the biological bond that forms between a parent and child, we feel strongly that the true value of parenting is about the love and security you give. So adoption felt like the best choice for us from the beginning.
That pretty much covers the big ones.
I am very, very excited to meet my child!!