DH and I are slowly coming to the realization that its unlikely we will be able to have children without medical intervention (7 cycles actively ttc, 3 more NTNP). I know it's fairly early considering what a lot of people go through, but we're really wanting a LO to love and are unsure we want to delve into the world of fertility treatments.
So we've decided to take the next couple of cycles and actively research all our options, costs, risks, and chances, so I'm looking for information, what you wish you'd known, good adoption agencies, time frames, etc., etc.(we live in the US, in Tennessee) I've done some research but please don't assume I know anything!
We are thinking most likely, if we do adopt, it will be domestic newborn.
Domestic Private adoptions of newborns in the US can get really expensive. Especially if you have certain criteria that you are looking for ie race, sex ect... Sometimes the wait can also be long not to discourage you but that is just how it is for most. I would call around to some local agencies and ask lots of questions. They can definetly give you a good ideal of the process. If you are not afraid to talk to your friends and family about it let them know. Word of mouth is also a very good resource. I know quite a few people that were in my training group who had got their newborn becuase of someone's family member that went to church with them. Another friend who is in the process right now got her baby from a friend of a friend. These type private adoptions are much cheaper than going through an agency instead you hire an adoption attorney. We adopted our son privately from a relative and went through that process. We ttc for 12+ years and decided instead of putting money into fertility treatments that adoption was our best bet. Good Luck.
We are also pursuing U.S. domestic infant adoption. My suggestion is to start with a lawyer in your state. You need to know what your state laws are before you make any decisions about whether to use an agency or whether you can do this yourself with only an agency and a social worker. We have found that the agency is the expensive part. If you go private with a social worker and lawyer, you can get it done for under 10k and then you will get that $ back on your next tax return.
I did a brief look up for Tennessee laws for birth mother expenses. This can also be a huge cost driver. Some states have a cap on what you can pay which reduces your expenses (but can make for a longer wait). For example, in Indiana there is a 3k cap. In Pennsylvania, there is a $0 cap--you cannot provide any expenses. My current state, South Carolina has no cap as long as expenses are "reasonable, customary, and related to the pregnancy/birth". That can get really expensive. You just have to be open with your lawyer/social worker and let them know what you can and are willing to do. More money likely = a shorter wait, but not always.
Raising $ for an adoption is a challenge, but we were in a similar boat as you--we did not want to drop all or our $ down a fertility treatment hole with so little guarantee. We have found that you can borrow from your 401k without penalty for adoption. You can also use a home equity line of credit or try to get a line of credit from a local (non national chain) bank.
Good Luck. I am happy to answer any questions you have if I can (not an expert or anything--just a lady in the process myself). Contact info is on my website in the signature line.
it is free to adopt from brazil, no fee's BUT they recently changed the requirement for foreigners and instead of the 6 month requirement to live with the child in the country, you now have to live with the child in brazil for 1 year. So they can evaluate and make sure you and the child are compatible and happy together. Also they give preference to brazilians for adoptions before letting foreigners adopt from their country, aka you'll probably not get a new born and if it is it will probably be black. I am not saying a black baby is a bad thing, just a fact that they are the least likely wanted by other brazilians sadly.
All those reasons foreigners are not usually keen on adopting from brazil. China seems to be a popular place to adopt from but I only know about brazil because that is where I usually live and that is where I will be adopting from for our second child. If you have any questions about it feel free to send me a private message so we can chat and I can answer any questions you have to the best of my ability
Puppymom- we are telling friends and family that we are thinking about adopting so hopefully if someone hears something, they'll let us know. We haven't even started our homestudy yet so we have a little bit of time before anything could happen. I did talk to a local agency who only does home studies and post-placement visits and I think we're going to sign up with them after this cycle (decided to give it one more shot). Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any local agencies that do it all that will work for us... either because of marital restrictions or because they are religious and we are not.
Ipen- I thought if we didn't go with an agency, we'd have to do most of the advertising/matching by ourselves, and I think I'm willing to pay extra money for that. But maybe it's not the case? How is it working with you? Did your lawyer give you any sort of time frame to be expected before you get your baby? How do you hire a social worker? If you'd rather me email you, I can do that too. Thank you for your offer to help!
kassiaethne-Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately, we don't have the ability to move for adoption so the Brazil idea wouldn't work for us, but I'm glad to hear that it works for you! Congrats on your new baby on the way too!
The money you pay to the agency does go to advertising, but to advertise the agency and all of their clients. In other words, the agency will drive people to their site where there are 100s of people to chose from so you do have to do your own advertising either way if you want to shorten your wait.
Since the birth parents chose these days, there is no way to say how long the wait time will be. Some people with our agency are waiting over 2 years without a single contact. Others are active for a month and are matched with someone 8 months pregnant so there is virtually no wait. That would be quite a party .
The answer to almost every adoption question is "it depends". I will admit I am a little sour on our agency at the moment (we paid them most of our $ 7 months ago and are still not active on their website) so that is coloring my feelings about agencies. Just feel like we wasted so much $ and we have not gotten anything for it yet. We get calls from our South Carolina social worker with leads all the time and we paid her very little. We hired the social worker from Google . Just googled "south Carolina home study" and found a licensed social worker who works independently. It was 1/6 the price of the agency that our agency recommended and she has been awesome. Our agency could not do the home study because we moved states after selecting the agency. Normally, your agency will do the home study so there is no need to double up if you do use an agency.
Thanks. I found a book detailing how you could do the advertising yourself and left a message for a lawyer here today. I was really skeptical but it doesn't look as intimidating as I first thought to market yourself. I'm actually kinda excited to make a website and get started!
Many couples, after careful consideration, have made the decision to adopt. There are many children in foster care who need permanent homes. Children who are in foster care are place adoptively thru state agencies. There are many private agencies that place children for adoption. Whether private or public, all agencies must be licensed in accordance with their respective state's laws. Continue researching the issues of adoption, before making a decision. Adoption impacts the immediate, as well as extended families, so it is important that you make an informed decision. I would suggest you do a lot of internet research, talk to people who have adopted, and talk with representatives from agencies in your state. Most public agencies have orientations that are designed to help you determine if adoption is right for you. In addition, the library would also be a good resource for information.
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