Another Adoption Meeting, Some Excitement & A Decision Made

When we left our most recent meeting with the adoption agency Mr. MPB said something to me. Something that I will never forget.

I am excited. For the first time in months, I am excited about having kids. Each pregnancy became more and more about dread, fear and death. And while I am still scared, I am also excited again.

– Mr. MPB

And with that, hope has returned to our lives and excited anticipation is back in our lives. I will acknowledge that fears do exist, but our fears are currently massively outweighed by our hope and excitement.

On that note, I’ll share the details about our meeting with the adoption agency.

When I first re-initiated our interest in adoption, I was able to have a telephone conversation with the director of international adoption at our local agency. She introduced me to the idea of international open adoption with the USA.

So, I scheduled a meeting so Mr. MPB could be involved in the conversation. When we met with her, Mr. MPB and I both really liked her immediately. We really enjoyed our conversation. She had a good mix of warmth, knowledge and compassion. We spent about an hour with her discussing everything adoption, and all of our concerns. We discussed the various international adoption benefits and concerns as they compare to the domestic route. We discussed different programs in multiple counties – Thailand, South Africa, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, USA, etc.

Ultimately, with her help, we have made another adoption decision and have officially started the process!

We will be adopting from the USA!!

Ultimately, by determining all of the pros and cons of the USA, we have been able to determine that this is the right route for us. In case anyone is curious, here is the list of pros and cons, at least as we see them.

USA Adoption Pros:

  • The USA adoption system is very similar to ours. All agencies we are considering facilitate open adoptions where we will have some contact with the birth mother and possibly father. That said, given the geographical distance, it will be a much more restricted given the geographical distance. This means our child will have the ability to know their heritage, but we will not have to contend with random visits.
  • Adoption time is less than 1 year once the dossier is submitted, as opposed to the three year wait we will face locally. Evidently Canadians are very attractive adoptive parents, which apparently has to do with the stereotypical belief that Canadians are nice and non-Caucasian children will face less racism, and the Canadian health care system is viewed very positively. I’m not sure how much I buy into these three things, but it is what we are told.
  • In our province we are required to wait 12 months between adoptions. Yet, if we adopt from the USA, we can have multiple applications in with multiple agencies. When we are placed with one agency, we can pause our second application, rather than terminate it. This means we can just do an amendment and re-initiate the other application about 8 months after our first child, and be higher in the queue because our application will just be re-initiated. (The cost of submitting two applications at once may make this unattainable, but it’s a pretty good option).
  • The revocation period in our province is 10 days. In the states we are considering, it is either immediately after the birth and the paperwork is signed or 48 hours after birth. Somehow, this helps us reduce our anxieties about a potential failed adoption.
  • In our application we will make all the choices that we would make if we were to adopt locally. We will check off boxes related to race, level of birth mother drug and alcohol usage, etc.

USA Adoption Cons:

  • Cost – $30,000 to $40,000. Local open adoption is about $13,000. I am no math whiz, but this is a pretty big price difference. There are two reasons for the different costs. First, in the USA, everything is done with lawyers, where as in our province everything is done by social workers and only the final adoption paperwork requires a lawyer. Second, in our province adoptive parents do not pay any of the birth mother’s costs, whereas in the USA, adoptive parents pay many of the birth mother’s costs. So, when you think about this, the cost difference actually makes a lot of sense.
  • Adopting international can be viewed very negatively, as there seems to be a belief that you should help a local child rather than an international child. This will likely be more prominent as we are choosing to adopt from a well-off country. While we do not see this as a negative, we know some people do. We are told to expect some judgemental backlash.
  • In the USA couples are able to prepare online profiles. As we are bound by the laws in Canada, it is illegal for us to do this, so potential birth mothers will only be able to see our application should the agency show them a hard copy. We are not too worried about this given the standard wait time for Canadians is only 1 year.  I want to find out more details about this, but on the surface it sounds like we can not “advertise” our adoption intention, which would mean my blog absolutely has to stay anonymous and I cannot share details of our adoption profile on my blog or via any other electronic social media avenue.

Our next big decision is the adoption agency we will work with, which will determine the State we will adopt from. There are 5 Hague compliant agencies currently approved by our province that our local agency has worked with in the past, although only 4 are accepting international applicants right now. We can apply to have a new agency approved by our province, but we no interest in doing the additional paperwork to work with an unproved agency. So, we will use one of the 4 agencies that are already approved. This means, the possible states we will adopt from are:

  • Florida
  • California
  • Arizona, Nevada, Utah

As we have to complete a number of steps locally before we can submit anything to the agency in the USA, we don’t have to make this decision right away. Which excites me because I could use the time to research each agency and the legislation in each state.

Our upcoming, immediate adoption steps that we will complete in the next few weeks include:

  1. Submit our formal application to our local agency. We are waiting to receive this from the agency.
  2. Apply for our Criminal Record Check – this requires a trip to a local police station and the application is very quick once there. Although, it takes multiple weeks to be processed.
  3. Apply for our Child Welfare Check – the application is done with the adoption agency, and takes 2 minutes to fill out. Although, it also takes multiple weeks to be processed. (We have already completed this step)
  4. Attend a one day international adoption seminar – we have already signed up and paid for this. It will occur in a few short weeks!!
  5. Pay our initial local fees for our home study before the end of 2014, as costs will increase in 2015.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

80 Comments on “Another Adoption Meeting, Some Excitement & A Decision Made

  1. AAAAAAAAAA! So exciting! I’m so happy that both you and Mr. MPB are excited again. Hooray for the reemergence of hope! Thanks for sharing all of this. Our current plan is do the amount of fertility treatments that are covered by insurance, and if those don’t work, begin discussing adoption. As of now, I am very clueless about the process, so I am really looking forward to reading your accounts. I can’t wait to hear all about the adoption seminar.

    Like

    • The process is incredibly overwhelming – we just got our first set of papers to fill in, and its 59 pages long. But I am convinced that it will be worth it in the end. 🙂
      I think your plan makes perfect sense to me! Best wishes to you, and I am excited to hear about your journey as well.

      Like

  2. (Warning: I’m about to be a huge cornball. I save this for special occasions.)

    This totally warms my heart. I’m so happy to see you and Mr. MPB finding hope again!

    Like

  3. Really inspiring post — I’m glad the two of you are making decisions and moving forward, and are excited to boot! I also love all the information you’ve provided. Adoption is a complete mystery to so many people, and it’s helpful to look under the hood and understand it a little bit better. Hope the process continues to go smoothly!

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    • Thanks so much! I too hope that the process continues to go smoothly.
      I don’t think we could enter into the adoption world without excitement as it is a long an hard path! (I just got our first set of paperwork today, and its 59 pages long – and I’m told this is the “easy” paperwork to fill in).

      Like

  4. Very cool! Isn’t it amazing how wonderful it feels when hope reenters your lives?

    A couple of random thoughts from the wealth of info you shared:
    * “Yet, if we adopt from the USA, we can have multiple applications in with multiple agencies.” Wow. That is big, as the agencies we worked with (adopting domestically within the States) would not allow us to pursue multiple programs. As a word of caution, I would verify this with the agencies you work with before writing any checks on the risk that you may be disqualified.
    * All three of our children were born in Florida, so I’m biased towards the adoption process in that state. There is good (the 48 hour window until consents can be signed is about as short as you’ll find) as well as bad (Florida allows birth mother expenses to be paid by the adoptive parents, which does add expense – and are not refundable if she decides to parent—we found that one out the hard way).
    * Plus, if you’re going to have annual/bi-annual trips to visit birth family, Florida is a great destination (relatively cheap travel and very family friendly destinations).
    * I have no idea if they do an incoming international program, but I would highly recommend Heart of Adoptions in Florida. A great staff and the lawyer who runs the agency (Jeannie Tate) is regularly honored by adoption groups for ethics, advocacy, etc. In short, if you read birth mother blogs you can get a negative opinion of adoption agencies. We saw or felt none of those things from HOA.
    * Since online profiles are out, are you able to do a print profile? We produced paper versions that went to our agency, and were then passed to prospect matches. If so, I have a recommendation for the best in the business.
    * While the lack of a profile may hurt, I would imagine the pro of being Canadian would outweigh that.

    Best of luck in your adoption process!

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    • Thanks so much!!
      As for the two applications at a time, I think from a financial perspective, we wont even be considering this route, so no need to research it further. But, an important point for anyone else looking into this.
      If you don’t mind, this weekend I may send you an email about adoptions in Florida specifically. Heat of Adoptions is not one of the agencies available to us, but there is still another one that we will be investigating next week and may have some questions for you then.
      We will have a print profile for sure. I’d love your recommendation for the best in the business!

      Thank you again!! 🙂

      Like

  5. I’m so happy for you!! This is huge! Once we settled on adoption we also had a renewed excitement. It feels good to be excited about having a family again after YEARS of it being a negative thing in our lives. Ride that wave, girl!

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    • It really is nice to have excitement back in our lives. And the idea that we could still actually have children is just so awesome! I’m so happy you understand this perspective, and we will continue to share such a similar path – I am just so thankful for your support through all of this! 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you! I’m dreading all the paperwork (first set of paperwork we received today if 59 pages, and we are told it’s the easiest of all the paperwork we will have to fill out in the coming months), but I am so excited that it will all be worth it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So excited for you guys!! While I was reading this I felt myself getting excited for you, and also breathing a sigh of relief that things are getting better! Yay!! I know that making decisions about big things in life can be such a relief, and I just realized how good it feels to be excited again!! (Will blog shortly!) Beyond happy for you guys, and I think with everything you’ve said you’re making the right decision….and who cares if people judge you, you have to do what’s best for you! ❤

    Like

  7. I am so very excited for you!!! And that’s awesome that rights are terminated immediately after the birth or within 48 hours. That is not the case for those of us in the US. Not sure if it’s a state by state thing or a federal thing, but in WI at least, the birth mothers have 30 days to change their minds. I have a feeling that is going to be the longest 30 days of my life!!!

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    • Wow, I thought our 10 day period was long – I don’t think I could handle 30 days.
      That said, I completely understand why birth mothers are given time, and I know that its largely due to my own selfish concerns that I don’t want a longer revocation period.

      Like

  8. This is amazing news! I know of a couple that adopted twin boys recently, the adoptive mama made a picture book from scratch, as in she even made the paper and the covers! This could have helped her and her husband stand out a but from other couples other than them being really amazing people. Just an idea since you can’t do an online profile. I am so glad your hope is renewed and that Mr. MPB is excited again too! I can’t wait to hear about your journey as it progresses. :). Good luck and I’ll be praying for you two and your future baby!

    Like

  9. This is so exciting! You should totally adopt a California baby! Not that I’m partial or anything. 😉 I’m so happy to hear you talking about all of this with enthusiasm.

    Like

  10. I am so thrilled for you that you’ve made a decision. It’s so interesting that Canadian adoptive parents are a popular choice. That’s to your advantage! I am happy that Mr. MPB is once again excited about having kids. I can only imagine the fear and the dread for each pregnancy for you both. You’re such an organized person. I hope that this skill serves you well in the adoption front and the career front. ❤

    Like

    • We had no idea that Canadian adoptive parents are a popular choice, but I’m not about to complain about our one “advantage”.
      I do really hope my organization will come in handy with the adoption process – we received the first and supposedly the easiest set of paperwork today, its 59 pages long! Unfortunately I am not a patient person, I’m sure that skill would be really beneficial.

      Like

  11. I’m so thrilled that you two have been able to find hope again. This sounds so exciting and I hope that you will be able to welcome your perfect little one soon!

    Like

  12. This is very exciting! And very informative. I hope you get a Florida kid because I am severely biased. 😛 Florida kids are pretty swell (per personal experience), plus the added bonus of having an excuse to visit such a nice, warm, sunny state. Although I have to admit, Arizona is pretty sweet for visiting, too, even if I can’t speak to the quality of child produced here.
    Ok, creepiness aside, this is awesome! There’s nothing like finally having a path to follow after having the one before ripped out from under you. Here’s hoping the process goes incredibly smoothly.

    Like

    • It is kind of funny comparing state rules and climates as we make the decision on which state to choose! I guess we should also compare the agencies as well, I suspect I’ll start making the necessary phone calls on Monday.
      Thanks so much for your hope – we sure could use a smooth process. 🙂

      Like

  13. Sounds really great! And the price (although it is still really expensive) is nowhere near as much as I would have thought. For the price of a really nice car, you can adopt a baby from the US. How exciting!

    Like

  14. I’m so thrilled for you both and can feel the dark clouds of fear and loss opening up to something more hopeful… you both deserve this after all the pain you have been through….yay!!!

    Like

  15. I got a little teary-eyed reading what Mr. MPB said. I’m so happy you guys are feeling excited and hopeful again. The price difference between local adoption and adopting from the US is definitely a lot, but it does make sense why and I think the pros are definitely worth it! As for the online profile con, I was thinking that although it will make it harder for the birth parents to make a decision because they won’t have as much information about you, it could be viewed as a pro for you too because it will help protect your anonymity. I am so hopeful you will have your take home baby soon!

    Like

    • We haven’t started to think about our profiles yet, we figure we need to get through the mounds of paperwork first. I’m really trying to focus on taking it one step at a time as to not become overwhelmed by the process.
      Thank you so much for all your encouragement and love!

      Like

      • I can only imagine how much paperwork you have! I think that’s a solid plan hon. It will all fall into place. I’m so excited for you guys. I have such a good feeling about this!

        I saw these on Pinterest and thought of you:

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  16. EEEK!!! This is so great! I love this, so much! I’m slightly bummed my home state didn’t make the cut 😉 But that’s ok, I’ll forgive you!! Oh man, having hope and excitement back is such a gift! So amazing!!!

    Like

    • If we wanted to do more leg work, we could find an agency in other states, but honestly I don’t feel like adding more layers of paperwork to our process.
      Yes, it is nice to be hopeful again. 🙂

      Like

  17. It is so exciting to watch things come together for you and Mr. MPB. Even more than that, it’s great to know that *you two* are feeling excited. Amazing. I am so grateful tides have shifted and you are finding your way to your forever family one step at a time.

    Like

  18. Oh my gosh this is soooo exciting! Me MPB’s thought is so interesting, it’s true, no more TTC ups and downs for you! I can’t wait to hear more about your process.

    Like

    • So far it’s been quick, but it’s also just been the easy preliminary stuff. I suspect things will start to slow down as we just got the first set of paperwork, and it has 59 full pages that need to be filled in. I think I am about to become a full time paper pusher! 🙂

      Like

      • Oh, you just made me think of something….The fact that you are off work while starting the adoption process + paperwork race is great. I bet you’ll move along much faster than if you were working at your old job. Neat how this is working out.

        Like

      • We too have talked about the fact that it is cheaper for us to go to California then Florida from a travel perspective. And, we love California, so visiting there is absolutely an option. That said, If we felt the Florida agency was better we would go with them (although, based on some phone calls today, the Florida agency has proven themselves to be pretty disappointing).
        And yes, not working full time will absolutely help me/us get through the mounds of paperwork!! 🙂

        Like

  19. Yay! I am so excited for you guys. I would imagine that the Florida option would be a bit more expensive (due to the flight) than the others based on your geographical location? Take this with a grain of salt, but I love, love, love California. We’ve explored adoption ourselves and equals being equals, we thought we’d like to adopt from a place that we’d like to visit again and again. We figured we’d want to make at least one trip when the child was 14+ to where they were born. All the best in your decision! I am excited to follow your journey.

    Like

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