We Met With the Adoption Agency
As promised to so many of you in my last post on adoption, here is the update on our first meeting with the adoption agency.
The meeting allowed us to clearly outline the basic steps to adoption that we will need to complete:
- Step 1 – Meet with an adoption agency for an introductory information session.
- Step 2/3/4* – Attend mandatory adoption weekend seminar on either domestic open adoption or international adoption or both.
- Step 2/3/4 – Choose type of adoption – domestic open or international
- Step 2/3/4 – Decide if adoption is a viable option for us
- Step 4 – Initiate adoption application process – house visits, paper work, medical checks, etc.
(*Note that steps 2/3/4 can occur in any order).
Where are we in the process?
We now have officially completed step 1.
We have no idea when or if we will take step 2, 3 or 4. It is a distinct possibility that we will attend one or both weekend seminars. This will likely help us make an educated decision on what type of adoption to pursue and if either type of adoption is right for us.
So, what did we discover at our first meeting with the adoption agency?
First impressions are important. Neither of us really liked the social worker we met with. There was no particular reason, more of a feeling. She just rubbed us the wrong way.
But, we don’t think we can make a decision based on one individual, whom we may never even speak to again. The reality is, if we want to adopt, this will be the agency we use because they do over 90% of adoptions in our province which means much faster placements.
What we learned was virtually nothing! I guess that’s what I get for doing my homework and learning from other adoptive parents already (see an earlier post on what we’ve learned so far in our adoption research here). So, here are the few new tidbits of info we picked up:
- If we choose international adoptions, they only facilitate them. This means if we choose international we will have to secure the services of another agency to work through the other countries legal requirements. We will have to guide ourselves through the process with very little help. We can chose to pursue both avenues in an attempt to speed up the process, but obviously that costs more and there are no guarantees.
- The most popular country to do international adoption is the USA. Adoptions through the USA are also open adoptions and cost drastically more because the adoptive parents often pay for the birth mothers medical costs. Haiti and South Africa are the other current countries that people go to. International adoption can take just as long, or longer than domestic open adoptions
- They do open adoptions for older children when the parents (for whatever reason) decide they can no longer care for the child. These children could be a few months old or even older. I had no idea this would happen.
We discussed some of our biggest fears, and they did very little to put us at ease.
- Medical issues such as fetal alcohol syndrome or drug addictions. The response was this can happen, and may not show up until later in life. You do have the option to select the level of alcohol or drug consumption that occurred during pregnancy. And, apparently children born with drug addictions actually fare rather well in life and isn’t something we should be concerned about. This was fascinating to us, and we are not so sure that we can just trust this is fact.
- What happens with over-bearing birth parents? Does this happen? The response was yes, it happens, and is a risk you have to accept. It doesn’t help all the time. In fact, most of the time they find the adoptive parents end up wanting more involvement then the birth parents are willing to give.
- Providing the inner-most details of our lives to the adoption agency and birth parents – i.e. financial information and address. The response was this is just a risk you have to take if you choose to adopt.
So, the final thing we learned was that the next available mandatory weekend seminar are in July and October. The July date has one spot left. This means, we either decide to attend the seminar ASAP or we wait 3 months. A decision must be made and must be made rather quickly.
Tick Tock….Tick Tock….Tick Tock….
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