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08-26-2005, 10:09 AM #1
Good morning all -
I know that some of you have adopted, and I wanted to see if some of the "experts" could give me a bit of advice on the subject.
I understand that sometimes it's a long wait, and somewhat harrowing at that, but my other questions are these:
- How difficult is it to actually be approved to adopt? I know they look into your background extensively, but what kind of thing would make them say "no"? My SO has a history of depression and such... I fear that might us "unfit", though he is FINE now, and would be a GREAT dad...
- If we adopted, I'd want to adopt a 3 or 4 year old (somewheres about there). Is it easier or more difficult to adopt an older child?
- How huge are the expenses involved in the actual adoption? I know they're... pretty huge... but... If I could anticipate ahead of time, that would help...
I'm sorry if I offend anyone by asking these questions here, but I don't really know where else to find "real world" advice.
I'm thinking 3 or 4 years down the road here, so obviously thinking ahead! I like to be prepared =)
Any advice anyone could give would be helpful.
Thanks in advance =)
08-26-2005, 10:38 AM #2
Good morning Jackie!
My DH and I are in the process of adoptiong and, where we are, it is a long one. We are adopting through the state foster care system which is extremely backed up.
We had tons of paperwork to fill out. Most of that was background checks, driving record checks, lots of psycological questions, questions about our families and upbringing, etc. We had to take 24 hours of classes which took about 6 weeks and had homework every week. We finished classes in the middle of March and are still waiting for our homestudy. Aparently DHS in our state went without Adoption Specialists for a long time and is now having to catch up on old stuff. That's what I have been told.
I'm not sure what exactly would make them refuse an adopted family. I do know that they will refuse someone that has a violent background (police record, been to prison, etc.). They will refuse even if he or she has been rehabilitated and they haven't been in trouble for a long time. I would think any sexual offenses would be refused immediately too. I seriously doubt you will encounter either of these issuses. I don't think depression would cause you to be turned down. BTW, before you adopt, at least in our state, you must have a physical by a doctor. At that point you could probably talk about any depression issues you might have had in the past.
Adopting from the state has very little or no expense. They use state lawyers for the whole process and take care of the paperwork. Now, if you are adopting privately that would be a whole differnt issue.
If you are interested in adoption I would encourage you to talk to an adoption specialist in your area to find out more details. You could probably find them on your states website.
Good luck on your decision.
08-26-2005, 10:50 AM #3
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08-26-2005, 11:04 AM #4
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We too adopted through the foster system here in Canada. There was no money involved at all.
If you have any sort of criminal record - adoption (at least here) is out. I'm not talking parking tickets and such. They will also want to see how stable your relationship is. They will also want references from several people and will look at your financial situation as well.
Here there are also classes you MUST attend.
You MUST have a physical here has well, both you and your SO.
Its a long process, however well worth it.
I too would suggest you talk to an adoption worker, read up any up to date books on adoption because there is a lot to think about. You will have to decide whether you want to adopt through the foster system, whether you want to adopt privately or whether you want to go overseas to adopt.
Its also VERY important you find out ALL issues of a child who is the age you are wanting. Its not easy adopting children who are getting older and especially who have been in the foster system. The usually come with MUCH baggage and you need to be prepared for it. Questions to ask yourself and your SO about this are:
Are you prepared to take a child who has been abused (usually they are)
Have you prepared yourself to possibly put your own child at risk because of the adopted child's abuse?
Are you prepared to ask and ask until you get ALL the information of the adopted child. Sometimes workers have a way of skirting around the issue.
Is your SO prepared to have a child who might have disabilities such as FAS/FAE, anger or even depression? Most of these kids do, especially once they are hitting the age your lookng at.
I'm not trying to scare you from adoption. You just need to be well prepared, well read up and well advised by an adoption worker and even a family counsellor before you adopt.
There is nothing quite like adoption though. I can't imagine my life without my 3 children in it.
08-26-2005, 07:30 PM #5
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We tried to adopt through the NJ foster system, but it is incredibly hard to adopt children under 4 here. We are now adopting 2 girls from Honduras, even that is only happening because of the help of well connected people. Because you are adopting an older child it will probably be easiest and least expensive to begin by becoming a foster parent with the state.
Most states also offer subsidized adoptions for children over 5 or special needs or minorities. This usually includes medical coverage to 18 and living expenses which is a big help. Good luck.
08-29-2005, 11:34 AM #6
Thanks all for your input. I am going to look on the sites mentioned for more information, and try to find out more about my state's system.
08-29-2005, 03:28 PM #7
Oh my goodness. I wish I was able to adopt some of those little angel's on there, mainly the ones with the health problems that may be too hard to place. I wish I was able to, but I know I can't .
They all look so sweer and are such innocent little spirits.
I hope they find good loving homes
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