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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the last year or so there have been quite a few threads here on VB about adoption. But those threads appear only in the context of adoption as an alternative to something else.

I'd like to start a thread that's just about adoption alone. This can be a place where people who are adopting, have adopted, were adopted, or have other experiences with adoption can share stories and other information. Let's talk, let's share.

(Please no discussions here of "overpopulation", infertility, child-free living, etc. Please stick to adoption only.)
 

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Elaine, is there a reason this thread is in the Compost Heap? From your post, it doesn't seem like you're looking for a debate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

Elaine, is there a reason this thread is in the Compost Heap? From your post, it doesn't seem like you're looking for a debate.
I chose the Heap because that's where most of these conversations take place. Since the Heap gets more attention/traffic I thought putting the post here would thus produce a more interesting/thoughtful thread.

But also because there are lots of issues surrounding adoption that might spark debate. I don't want to give the impression that debate isn't OK; I just want to limit the debate to specifics of adoption, not extraneous issues like so-called "overpopulation."

Edit: but if you want to move it to the relationships and family section, that's fine too.

OK, I'll start the thread with a link to a brief history of adoption in the US
http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/timeline.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ohhhhh Kaaaayyy... clearly no one is interested in talking about this right now. How's about this just becomes a resource thread? I will share a few adoption resources. If you know of any good ones, please share those too


US Fostercare Adoption
http://adoptuskids.org/ - federal government website about fostercare adoptions. Links to state websites (laws and policies vary dramatically state by state).
http://www.kidsarewaiting.org/ - the PEW response to their fostercare investigation

US International Adoption Resouces
http://adoption.state.gov/index.php - the government website to help prospective adoptive parents learn about intercountry adoption. It has the requirements for each sending country and it lists which follow the Hague Convention Agreement and which don't. It also has interesting statistics.

General Resources
http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/ - Adoptive Families Magazine
http://www.inonadoption.com/ - book about adoption for all people involved in the process
http://www.adoptionsupport.org/res/t...e/Timeline.pdf - development of children who were adopted
http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/ - scientific research about adoption
 

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I'm interested in reading the thread if it develops, but I don't have much to contribute. I'm not adopted, and nobody in my immediate family or close friends is adopted, but I'm definitely interested in adopting some day when I'm ready to have a family. However I still don't have a lot to contribute to a discussion at this point, sorry! But I'll take a look at some of the links you posted, and hopefully other people will join the conversation.
 

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I don't think I have known anyone who was adopted or has adopted a child. I have known quite a few women in my family and at work who had kids by one father but have had their children brought up by another man acting as their parent but I don't think they ever formally adopted the kids. I think the UK adoption process is quite complicated.

I have known people who are foster parents and they have usually been parents to their own children already. I think fostering is seen as an easier option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, more resources. Some of these are more critical...

http://loveisntenough.com/ - group blog about parenting children of color (through transracial adoption, intermarriage, or otherwise)
http://www.ethicanet.org/ - website dedicated to ethical adoption, often critical of international adoption
http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_trans.cfm - government webpage about transracial adoption
http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/ - the main site from which the above comes from, lots of info there about all kinds of US adoptions
http://www.bastards.org/ - organization for adoptees that promotes open adoption (giving adoptees access to their birth records) and other rights/privileges of adoptees
http://fosterfocusmag.com/ - magazine about fostercare in the US
 

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My cousin adopted a baby from Russia in 1998.
The whole process took about a year. I think she had to wait for Andrew to be 6 months before they could start the actual adoption process. That was in August. She got to bring him home that December. I got to provide childcare when she went back to work.
 

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It is so wonderful when families are created in this way.
My husband's brother adopted 2 little girls (now 10 and 12) from China with his Chinese-American wife, and my sister-in-law and her husband adopted a little boy from Kazikstan, now 7.
 

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Friends of my Sweetie and I have adopted a baby girl from China about 6 years ago and are currently in the process of adopting a baby boy from India...its been a long and hard process but so worth it....its a wonderful situation all round for them and they are such a happy family.

Peace & LOve
 

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My feeling about international adoption is probably going to be unpopular- this article pretty much sums it up:

http://www.adopting.org/dodds.html

I had a friend who was internationally adopted from Korea, who suffered severe depression in his teen years because of this. One anecdote doesn't show the whole picture, but my gut instinct, as well as the logical arguments, is that children should be kept in the land of their heritage and culture and where possible with their parents. I recently watched a film (true story) about the British government shipping children in care from Britain to Australia in their thousands between the 50s and 70s. These children largely faced abuse and suffering in Australia but even if they had been going to loving homes it would still have been wrong. In adulthood the children deported were desperately seeking answers about their parents, their background, their family and their history.

International adoption is one thing and private adoption is another. The sale and purchase of children, often removed from their mothers via co-ercion or financial incentive, is sickening. Children should be with their birth parents wherever possible, and should stay with them unless there is neglect or abuse. Their biological mother should be supported, financially, emotionally and in whatever way necessary because it is best for the child and society should not fail its children just so the wealthy can have what they want and do tax payers don't complain.

Adoption or fostering of children who are in care is totally different and is something that should be supported and encouraged.

I am sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this.
 

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I don't entirely disagree with you on the issues surrounding international adoption. In a lot of cases, it IS pretty awful. At the same time, though, truly orphaned kids, in a lot of countries, simply won't be adopted because adoption just isn't an accepted way of creating a family in a lot of cultures. The problem is stopping the kind of money-adoptions you're talking about from the honest ones. It can be pretty tough to do.

I also understand what you're talking about with keeping people in the culture of their family - but what about people who are raised in a different country from where they're born, or where their parents were born? Couldn't that potentially raise some of the same issues? It's vastly different, but I feel like it could create some of the same problems.

I have two cousins who were adopted from China (separately, not a sibling pair), and they are both wonderful, well adjusted American girls. Depression can happen regardless of whether you live in the country where you were born or with your birth parents. Not that it didn't have something to do with your friend's struggles, but it can and does happen to people without those same issues, too - and people who were adopted into another culture can grow up without that severity of struggle as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_charm View Post

My feeling about international adoption is probably going to be unpopular [...]

International adoption is one thing and private adoption is another. The sale and purchase of children, often removed from their mothers via co-ercion or financial incentive, is sickening. Children should be with their birth parents wherever possible, and should stay with them unless there is neglect or abuse. Their biological mother should be supported, financially, emotionally and in whatever way necessary because it is best for the child and society should not fail its children just so the wealthy can have what they want and do tax payers don't complain.

Adoption or fostering of children who are in care is totally different and is something that should be supported and encouraged.

I am sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this.
Thank you for bringing up this issue. This is exactly what I was talking about in my second post when I said "there are lots of issues surrounding adoption that might spark debate. I don't want to give the impression that debate isn't OK; I just want to limit the debate to specifics of adoption, not extraneous issues like so-called 'overpopulation.'" So thank you. I do want to talk about these things.

First, I want to say that although "international adoption" is one type of adoption, each sending country is unique. There are a variety of circumstances that lead to international adoption, some are literally the sale of children whereas others are not.

The Hague Convention set up some guidelines to regulate the transfer of children from country to country. Some countries particpate and some don't. If anyone reading this is interested in International adoption, it's a really good idea to only adopt from "Convention Countries". Read more here: http://adoption.state.gov/hague_conv.../countries.php

It should be noted that a lot of adoption law and customs have changed in the last 5-10 years or so. It's not entirely fair to compare adult adoptee's experiences with today's sitautions. If you look at the stats, international adoption has been on the decline for the last 5 years: http://adoption.state.gov/about_us/statistics.php

Another good website to take a look at is http://www.ethicanet.org/ which gathers news about all kinds of adoption and makes policy recommendations to ensure high ethical conduct.

And I also want to point out that the USA is also a sending country. Yes, some of our children are sent abroad to be adopted.

Specifically regarding Americans adopting Korean children, this article is worth a look: http://www.creatingafamily.org/blog/...onal-adoption/
it cites, among other studies, the one discussed on page 11 of this: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/icd/iap/news...letter2011.pdf
It makes the compelling case that international adoptions are a better situtation than in-country longterm fostercare or orphanges. That's essentially true for any country and it's one reason why the US is a sending coutnry - kids in fostercare can sometimes fair better with adoptive parents in other countries than lingering in fostercare here at home.

Regarding domestic private adoption, well there are still some problems here too. Ultimately, to ensure an ethical adoption of any kind, the prospective adoptive parents must work very hard to know all the facts, get very involved in the case, and be able to separate their wants/needs from what's in the best interest of a child. That's an enormous task.
 

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When my husband's brother and his wife adopted their girls from China, they were infants, about 5 months old, so the language was easy to learn for them. In addition, my sis-in-law and her huge extended family is not only of Chinese heritage, but the older girl they adopted was born in a village quite close to where they emigrated from many years ago. The parents have taken the girls to China several times, they study the Chinese language and culture, and they all practice Tai chi and other martial arts as a family. The girls seem well-adjusted, happy, and healthy. If they were still living in China, I don't know what would have happened to them, since it's not like China is friendly to foreigners attempting to help the plight of children and families there. The orphanage was overflowing with baby girls.
 

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Adoption does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies or alcoholism of mothers or AIDs etc. At best, it trades issues: poverty for loss of culture, language, identity etc...

And taking children one at a time does nothing to ameliorate the poverty of their siblings, their clansmen, their village or nation. The tens of thousands of dollars paid to adopt - much of which feeds the corruption and trafficking of children - could be spent building schools, buying books or medical supplies or digging wells.

The idea that the developing world has millions of healthy infants and toddlers in need of new homes is a myth anyhow. In poor countries as in rich ones, healthy babies are rarely abandoned or relinquished - except in China, with its one-child policy. The vast majority of children who need adoption are older, sick, disabled or traumatized. But most Westerners waiting in line are looking for healthy infants or toddlers to take home.

Suggested readings:

Orphaned or Stolen: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/schust..._b_825451.html

Read Julia Rollings story at: http://bittersweet-story.blogspot.com/

Read also: The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2...he-lie-we-love

The works of David Smolin on child trafficking: http://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/1/

Re China, read:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...reign-adoption

http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/5824/

http://ouradopt.com/adoption-blog/ja...n-or-purchased
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zingypeppers View Post

Adoption does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies or alcoholism of mothers or AIDs etc. At best, it trades issues: poverty for loss of culture, language, identity etc...

And taking children one at a time does nothing to ameliorate the poverty of their siblings, their clansmen, their village or nation. The tens of thousands of dollars paid to adopt - much of which feeds the corruption and trafficking of children - could be spent building schools, buying books or medical supplies or digging wells.

The idea that the developing world has millions of healthy infants and toddlers in need of new homes is a myth anyhow. In poor countries as in rich ones, healthy babies are rarely abandoned or relinquished - except in China, with its one-child policy. The vast majority of children who need adoption are older, sick, disabled or traumatized. But most Westerners waiting in line are looking for healthy infants or toddlers to take home.

Suggested readings:

Orphaned or Stolen: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/schust..._b_825451.html

Read Julia Rollings story at: http://bittersweet-story.blogspot.com/

Read also: The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2...he-lie-we-love

The works of David Smolin on child trafficking: http://works.bepress.com/david_smolin/1/

Re China, read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/ny...ewanted=1&_r=2

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...reign-adoption

http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/5824/

http://ouradopt.com/adoption-blog/ja...n-or-purchased
Whoah. Those links are chilling.
I never thought about the possibility that so many Chinese babies could have been abducted from their families because of the One Child policy and adopted out here.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

When my husband's brother and his wife adopted their girls from China, they were infants, about 5 months old, so the language was easy to learn for them. In addition, my sis-in-law and her huge extended family is not only of Chinese heritage, but the older girl they adopted was born in a village quite close to where they emigrated from many years ago. The parents have taken the girls to China several times, they study the Chinese language and culture, and they all practice Tai chi and other martial arts as a family. The girls seem well-adjusted, happy, and healthy. If they were still living in China, I don't know what would have happened to them, since it's not like China is friendly to foreigners attempting to help the plight of children and families there. The orphanage was overflowing with baby girls.
I am not saying that every international adoptee will have problems, but the fact is that most of those baby girls (and why is it always baby girls, what happens to the older ones?) in the orphanage will not be orphans. Most will have had parents who would have kept them if the one child policy did not make it extremely expensive to have more than one child. The money a Western family use to obtain and raise that child could have been used by the child's biological parents to pay the necessary taxes which apply where a family has more than one child. It seems to me that adoption from China is driven more by a desire for the wealthy from the West to have what they want and feel altruistic than an actual desire to help children in whatever way possible even if it doesn't mean getting what you want. There are many other ways to assist children in other countries experiencing poverty, and there are many desperate children in care in that families home country just waiting for adoption, albeit they may be older, disabled or a sibling group.

This is not a comment on anyone in particular as each circumstance is different but more a general comment on my problems with how international adoption works in practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_charm View Post

The money a Western family use to obtain and raise that child could have been used by the child's biological parents to pay the necessary taxes which apply where a family has more than one child. It seems to me that adoption from China is driven more by a desire for the wealthy from the West to have what they want and feel altruistic than an actual desire to help children in whatever way possible even if it doesn't mean getting what you want.
Ok, here's where things start getting offensive, IMO. A family's decision to adopt and the method they chose is as unique as they are. You are being extremely insensitive when you infer reasons for their choices.

That is the money the adoptive parents choose to spend on adoption. They choose how to spend it. Adoptive parents have no more responsibility to contribute to the well-being of other nation's parents than nonadoptive parents do. Remember that in the US the cost of having a biological child is often covered by insurance or government programs. Do not assume it is free, it is not. Having a biological child usually costs just as much as adopting a child. It's just that as a society we share the financial burden of bringing biological children into the world. But with adoption, there's less social acceptance and thus less willingness to share the financial responsibility.

If you want to start playing those games of "the money would be better spent doing XYZ" then you should ask all the people who choose to spend money to send their biological children to college to donate that money to needy families in other nations. Or perhaps tell someone who spends money to buy a car (new or used, just any car that costs more than about $3k) "that money would be better spent sparing families in [fill in the blank country] from poverty." Or how about telling people "Don't save for retirement, give your money to charity now!"
 

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I think Lucky Charm made some good points. I used to work for an international children's charity and keeping families together was seen as a top priority and international adoption of kids by people in wealthier countries was definitely viewed as sending out the wrong message.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Ok, here's where things start getting offensive, IMO. A family's decision to adopt and the method they chose is as unique as they are. You are being extremely insensitive when you infer reasons for their choices.

That is the money the adoptive parents choose to spend on adoption. They choose how to spend it. Adoptive parents have no more responsibility to contribute to the well-being of other nation's parents than nonadoptive parents do. Remember that in the US the cost of having a biological child is often covered by insurance or government programs. Do not assume it is free, it is not. Having a biological child usually costs just as much as adopting a child. It's just that as a society we share the financial burden of bringing biological children into the world. But with adoption, there's less social acceptance and thus less willingness to share the financial responsibility.

If you want to start playing those games of "the money would be better spent doing XYZ" then you should ask all the people who choose to spend money to send their biological children to college to donate that money to needy families in other nations. Or perhaps tell someone who spends money to buy a car (new or used, just any car that costs more than about $3k) "that money would be better spent sparing families in [fill in the blank country] from poverty." Or how about telling people "Don't save for retirement, give your money to charity now!"
I don't think you get my point, which is that if international adoptive parents are adopting internationally and their reason for doing so is to help/ save children there are better ways to do it. if their reason is just because they want a child that is a different argument.
 
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