Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption...Domestic vs International Adoption

We are continuing to "Learn the Lingo" this week.

Domestic Adoption: Placing of a child within the same country as the child’s birth. This may be achieved through a private agency or the state, such as foster care.

International/Intercountry adoption: a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parents of a child that is a national of a different country. In general, prospective adoptive parents must meet the legal adoption requirements of their country of residence and those of the country whose nationality the child holds.

Adoption, if anything, presents lots of questions.  Should we adopt an infant from our country?  Do we consider foster care?  Do we adopt internationally and, if so, which country do we choose?  The answers are different for every family and their particular circumstances.    

There is no check-list or worksheet that makes the answers obvious.  It takes time working through each scenario. It takes time seriously discussing the details of the scenarios. Though by taking the time, many of the answers you’re searching for should become clearer. Consequently, you’re then able to rule out some and include others.
and really talking about the details that will hopefully make some of the answers more clear and rule out other choices.  

Because we were facing a potential overseas move with my husband’s job (which turned into a reality in July 2011), we had some very unique circumstances of our own. We had to find a program that would work for our family, even if we moved abroad.

I made a few calls about adopting an infant domestically.  One agency was very kind, but blunt, and said that because we already had two biological children, most birthparents would not consider our family.  Why? It’s because most of the birthparents want to give the gift of family to those who do not already have children.  

We also talked to our social worker (the person who performs our homestudy...more next week on that) about foster care.  For us, two factors ruled out this option for us.  My husband and I had decided to try and maintain birth order with our children, meaning that we would adopt a child younger than our two daughters.  At the time we started our paperwork, our youngest was about 15 months, which meant the foster child would have to be under 15 months -- not a very big window.  We also did not want to disrupt a child’s life further if we were suddenly called overseas and had not finalized the adoption. (I believe that it is possible to adopt from foster care while living overseas, but we not comfortable with moving during the process). 

We have friends who have done all of the above: infant adoption, foster care, international adoption. The beautiful thing to me is that their choice was so perfect for their family.  

As far as my family goes, it “soon” became obvious that we would be adopting internationally, which had been our first inclination.  We then started the difficult task of choosing a country.  Next week, as I share more about our adoption journey, I will share more on how we came to choose China.

Don't miss a thing! Follow the entire 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption series.

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