Adoption. Did your heart beat faster? Did your breath catch in your throat? Did you smile? Did your blood pressure rise? Did you just pop an anxiety pill? Let’s talk about the basics of adoption. Maybe we can get that blood pressure lower and that smile wider with just a little more info to ease your mind.
1. It must be a desire that is growing in your heart.
Adoption is difficult, in many aspects, and doing it on a whim is just going to end in heartache for someone. The desire can be birthed out of many things: infertility, loss, adoption within your family as a child, or just a desire that’s always been there. Infertility and loss spurred me on, but the desire was there even before those issues came to be. There is an adoption poem I have always loved…
Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart,
But in it.
-Fleur Conkling Heyliger
2. Adoption can be open, closed or anything in between.
Some birth families choose adoptive families early in their pregnancy and get to know them throughout it. They develop a relationship that then grows into something so beautiful for the child: two families blending together to love a child. Some birth families choose at birth or after, and some don’t have a choice due to choices they’ve made and rights being stripped.
My family includes my son whose adoption is semi-closed. We send pictures and a written update once a year to the adoption agency we used. His biological parents have the choice whether they want to contact the agency and see those updates or not. They may not ever choose to do so, but if and when they do they will have that information. My daughter’s adoption was through the U.S. foster care system and it is completely closed. Her biological parent’s rights to her were taken from them by a court of law and so contact was not allowed. We have continued that after the adoption, for her safety.
Open or closed is the decision of the adoptive and birth families, and it can be altered to best suit both families’ wants and desires.
3. Adoptions take place internationally or domestically (in-country).
International and domestic adoptions take place through an adoption agency. A private adoption is one between two parties that can be done with a lawyer; leaving out the adoption agency. In the US we also have foster care, which is full of children of all ages awaiting a family. Foster care adoptions take place through child welfare agencies. There are so many more details specific to each type of adoption, but we are just sticking to the basics here.
Adoption, like most things in life, does come with a financial cost. Domestic and international adoptions come with hefty fees–to give a broad scope, it would be between 15k and 50k. Private adoptions tend to run lower in cost coming in between 5k and 15k. Foster care adoptions are next to nothing in comparison, between $500 and $1500. Some foster care adoption fees are completely reimbursed which is a huge blessing! The costs can be astronomical, but trust me when I say that it is all worth every dime!
5. No more privacy.
Be prepared to let it all out. You will be required to fill out form after form asking invasive questions in regards to your childhood, family, and your past. Then, a caseworker will come into your home and ask you the same questions in person. You will also have to give a tour of your home; inside, outside, up and down. Your financial status will be reviewed, evaluated, and questioned as well. Privacy no longer exists, but that pretty much is to be expected with parenting as well!
It is so hard to get through all that adoption entails in one article. Out of all of the details that adoption requires remember that it will be one of the very best things you will ever do in your life. It is loving a child, giving a child a family, giving your family a child and there is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than that. I hope this info helps ease that anxiety and make that smile a little bit wider. Happy adopting!!! (And don’t forget if you have an adoption question to ask right here!) If you want to start the adoption process by creating an adoption profile, visit adoption.com/profiles to do so.