View Full Version : How did you start your journey?

05-16-2005, 10:14 AM
DH & I stumbled upon a conversation about adoption this weekend - Afterward, I attempted to research the topic a bit, and found that there's so much information out there... Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it downright ugly... How did you begin the search for your child(ren)? How or why did you choose an agency? How or why did you choose to work independently? With a facilitator?

TIA... Renee

05-16-2005, 10:50 AM
For our adoption, we asked around A LOT. You'd be surprised at how many people know someone who adopted through a certain agency or from a certain country. There's nothing like real-life experience to help guide you to a more informed decision. The following is based on what we learned from the area where we live about domestic newborn adoption, so things may be different in other areas (nice disclaimer, huh?:))...

We leaned towards using an agency because we liked the fact that all fees were included in the total amount (even if you had several failed adoption attempts, the fees never changed). The facilitators we looked into would have potential adoptive parents pay for reasonable fees for potential birthparents (ie. phone, rent, groceries, etc), but if the situation didn't work out, you were out of the money. That could get quite costly. Additionally, they seemed to not provide as many services to both birthparents and adoptive parents as we would have liked. We didn't feel that we were the "type" to do independant, as we weren't thrilled with the idea of advertising ourselves in newspapers, dealing with any potential prank calls, or feeling that we could handle all of the legal and emotional stuff ourselves.

We chose the specific agency that we worked with because they provided lots of counseling (both before and after placement) for birthparents, several classes for adoptive parents, had been providing adoption services for a long time, and have a good reputation in the adoption world. We know people who have adopted through them and a co-worker who was adopted as an infant through them. When we asked how fees were used, they were able to explain where the money went (advertising, social worker salaries, etc). They also were able to provide us with placement rates per year and average waiting time (which can vary greatly, as you are picked by birthparents, not waiting on a list). To sum it all up, they made us feel "safe".

I don't think any agency or facilitator is without people who are unsatisfied. You have to take what people say with a grain of salt and look into any concerns yourself. Adoption is such an emotional rollercoaster. For us, we had already been through so much before we decided to adopt, we were sensitive and trying to regain control of our ability to build a family. There were things that ticked us off at times, but, in retrospect, really weren't *that* big of a deal. Some people, trying to help, would tell us things about our agency that were outright incorrect or happened unfortunately to one person. That stuff is scary to hear when placing your trust into someone to build your family, but, again, you HAVE to look into things yourself and judge their validity.

~Connor's Mom~

05-16-2005, 05:46 PM
You know I don't honestly know. We knew that we didn't want to adopt domestically for a number of reasons, some of them which probably are not accurate but more our perception of things but none the less that lead us to international.

What you do depends on whether you are interested in adopting domestically or internationally. No matter what you do, you are going to have to have a homestudy done by a local agency. So one thing you can do is look to see if any agency that is local to you has information classes. Even if you have no intention of using that agency or you have no intention of adopting from the countries that agency works with (if it's also a placement agency) many times if you go to a couple of information sessions you will start to get a feel for the type of questions others ask and things to ask yourself.

do you have an idea yet whether you are leaning towards a domestic adoption or an international one. If you are leaning towards one or another people can probably be more specific as to what they looked at or for and what helped them make their decision

05-17-2005, 06:38 AM
The stream-of-consciousness conversation we found ourselves having makes me feel like any potential adoption would most likely be international, probably Eastern European.

There's so much information out there (on the web) and so little in print (in comparison...) Our local library (usually pretty great!) has about 10 adoption books, the most recent copyrighted in 1999... And our Barnes & Noble wasn't (much) better... I sent away for a subscription to Adoptive Families, but that could take 6-8 weeks, so though I hate to keep randomly reading websites, I keep finding myself pulled back to the internet....

Nothing I've found on the internet seems to be local, and so much seems to be contradictory, and yahoo groups, etc. seem to be so argumentative!

05-17-2005, 09:53 AM
The reason there is, generally, so little in print, is that things change so rapidly. You can find good books written by adoptive parents about there experiences, understanding that their experience won't be yours. This website http://www.emkpress.com/index.html is an adoption publisher - you might find something there.

Everything I could tell you would be about China, which operates very differently from Eastern Europe - as I understand it. If you search this form for some of Neve's posts, she had a really comprehensive list of on-line resources for the Ukraine while she was in process. O.k., I found it (it's just on this page http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=67&topic_id=58&mesg_id=58&page=).

HTH a little,

05-17-2005, 10:36 AM
You might want to check out www.tapestrybooks.com - they sell only adoption-related books and have a pretty good, updated selection (I recommend to purchase from Amazon, though....less costly). Also, www.adoption.com has boards for international adoption and specific countries...the people there have a wealth of knowledge.
~Connor's Mom~

05-17-2005, 11:38 AM
Well if you haven't looked at it already you can look at adoptive families on line https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/adoptionplanner.php while you wait to get your first copy of a magazine

It pretty much gives you a description of the current requirements for different countries. (For example if you could not travel for longer periods of times, certain countries would probably not work as well as others)

05-26-2005, 08:53 PM
I second Tapestry books, but I disagree with buying from Amazon. For the simple reason that if we all just use a wonderful resource like Tapestry to search for books but don't purchase from them, they are unlikely to stay in business.

I like to support business who support things I believe in.

They have a wonderful set of resources available!


05-27-2005, 05:10 AM
We are in the beginnings of our journey. The first step was for DH and I to have an open discussion on how we feel about adoption, both international and domestic. We both agreed on international after doing some research on domestic (we also know people who have done both and talking with people who have done an adoption is invaluable). The biggest thing for us was deciding on a country. We narrowed our search to two (entirely different places!) and went where our heart led us. I joined several yahoo groups and read all the information, links, etc.. that people share. I asked around about agencies and quite honestly, still haven't made a decision regarding an agency yet but am leaning towards one. I really want someone to hold my hand. I am afraid I am going to screw something up!

I really feel like we have gone with our heart and that is the most important thing. When you have made the intial decision, everything else seems to fall into place. China was not at the top of our list when we first discussed adoption but through our research we discovered that it is the perfect fit for us. We are really taking our time with this (trying to straighten out other things in our home like some basic repairs, paying off some debt, etc..) because we want to be able to focus our energy on our adoption.

I think this is such an awesome and emotional experience. I have been on the infertility roller coaster and this is not any easier, just different. At least I don't feel like poop on toast, physically. I am sure I will at some point (ha ha) but the joy this little princess is going to bring us is worth it.

kathleen a.
08-25-2005, 11:33 AM
Hello there,
I just started my journey as well and started out by researching adoption agencies in my area. Adoptive Families Magazine is an EXCELLENT resource for this!
Then I did a serach on the intertnet for free seminars in my area with the agenices near me. Watch out for agancies that charge a BIG FEE a small one is fine, but be warry over half day or all day seminars that cost more than a couple hundred...
That narrowed it down to two for me.

Personally I would never work with an agency that i couldn't learn more about and deal with in-person first. it also really helps to go to as many of those seminars that the agencies hold because families with their adopted children are usually there and always tell their "success" stories for everyone.

Pay attention to the stories that sound real..not "sugar coated" and ask them questions in private and ask for their e-mail if they are comfortable with that (most people who put themselves out there to share their story want to help and spread their joy to others...so don't worry!)

NEVER give money or sign up for anything ...jus ttake their info (card or pamplets) think long and hard and make your decision in private..not there with all the excitement that's bound to be going on. SLEEP ON IT! Then, sleep on it some more!

Finally when you are comfortable start discussing it with CLOSE friends and family members and get their take on it. You're gonna need a VERY STRONG SUPPORT system!

Hope I had some helpful advice for you!
I'll be hoping and wishing you well along the way!

Kathleen A.