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:
- 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:
- Submit our formal application to our local agency. We are waiting to receive this from the agency.
- 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.
- 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)
- Attend a one day international adoption seminar – we have already signed up and paid for this. It will occur in a few short weeks!!
- Pay our initial local fees for our home study before the end of 2014, as costs will increase in 2015.
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