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Can you share your favorite resources? I'm interested in general information, good or bad experiences with agencies, inside info that may not be readily available on the web, etc. I'd also like to know how you decided to adopt domestically or internationally, and if internationally, how did you decide which country,


We're having this discussion again, for about the millionth time in 16 years. But now because of our age we feel like we need to actually do something besides talk if we're ever going to do it.


Thanks for the info!

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What type of adoption are you looking into. We have adopted twice from China. While I wouldn't encourage adopting a non-special needs child from China at this time due to the extended and unknown wait time, international adoption has been a tremendous blessing to us.


China adopt talk forum has great information about adopting from China, both non-special needs and specials needs (which includes older children.)


Other great sources would be Yahoo groups devoted to the country (ies) you are investigating. So many parents, especially those in the process and those recently home w/ their children welcome the opportunity to share what is really happening in real time, both the good and the bad. (sometimes agencies mislead) There is also a Yahoo group devoted to agency reviews from people who have used their services. (If interested, I can dig up the name.)


We adopted using Childrens Hope International, in St. Louis and had a wonderful experience both times. YMMV.


Adoption has been such a blessing in our lives. Good luck on your decision making. Please let me know if you would like any specific info.

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We've been through the adoption process 5 times. 3 were private infant adoptions and 2 were foster-to-adopt.


The best advice we got in the beginning was from aquaintances who had adopted 8 times. For private infant adoptions they advised us NOT to work with an agency that required $$ up front. Instead find an agency that is payment upon placement. If you give $$ to an agency little by little then your stuck if you're never picked by a birthmom. I can give you the name of the agency we worked with successfully twice in the is manner.


The 2nd piece of advice we heeded was to not adopted anyone older than our youngest. We've never regretted that decision. However we do know families that have adopted older children from the outside it appears to be working out well. Still, I wouldn't mess up birth order.


Each adoption story is unique. Each child we've adopted is a blessing beyond measure. Even on the tough days if someone asks me about their adoption stories I can't stop smiling.


The unknowns, the emotional journey, the long term committment to a child rquires two wholeheartedly committed parents no matter what the future may be.

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We adopted domestically, but children of a different race than we are. It was very quick from the time we inquired - 10 days for our first daughter, and 2 months for our second. We went through an adoption attorney. It was also much less expensive than international adoption. There are many minority newborns that go straight into foster care from the hospital in this country.


It has been the most wonderful blessing I could ever imagine.


ETA: Both of our daughters came to us straight from the hospital at 2 days old.

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I have adopted from China but wouldn't recommend it if you weren't patient enough to wait multiple years. I heard that the wait is up to 4 years now! EGADS! I was also told that the agency we used stopped adopting out of Russia because there were too many problems with the kids. While I'm sure there are plenty of Russian kids who are doing well, there have been an extraordinary number of those who are deeply troubled.


I believe a large number of orphanage kids ARE special needs kids. Do your research about attachment disorder so if you notice the subtle signs, you can do your work EARLY and have better success. We've had a long, painful and stressful journey - one that didn't need to happen. Our agency should have informed us about attachment disorder so that we could have worked with our daughter when we brought her home at 14 months. The good news is that she's doing FABULOUS right now. I love her dearly and she is a tremendous blessing to our family.


If we were going to adopt again, I do think I'd try for a biracial kid within our country. We couldn't afford another 23k to adopt from China again!

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We used New Hope Christian Services in NH. You don't have to be Christian to use them (we're not).


We decided to adopt internationally because we felt in a lot of ways it would be easier, and more of a "sure thing" -- if there is such a thing with an adoption. We adopted primarily due to fertility issues, though adoption had always been in my heart. We knew we wanted a child 2 or under, and we knew that could take a long time if we wanted to go the domestic route. I was also hesitant because I knew emotionally I could not bear to be matched with a birth mother and have her change her mind. Financially I knew it could be devastating as well. I have personally known people who have gone thousands of dollars into debt paying all of the birth mother's expenses just to have her change her mind at the last minute. That's money you can't get back. Although country programs could close, and referrals are sometimes taken away, I knew with international adoption even if a referral fell through, there would be another child waiting for us without several months--a year between. We knew that with IA it would be expensive, but it would be more of a known cost than domestic, which could cost a little, or cost far more than IA. DH was also very adamant that he didn't want an open-adoption. He likes to keep our lives simple, and felt that adding on relationships with the birth family could potentially create a lot of problems. I was more open to the idea, but in a case like adoption, I think it's always best to adjust your desires to the more cautious spouse.


DH and I didn't care if we had a newborn, so that was a factor in our decision to adopt IA. Why take a domestic newborn when so many people truly wanted newborns? DH was firm that he wanted a Caucasian child. He's not racist, but he wanted to avoid the whole, "your child must be adopted" conversation that was bound to pop up in public places -- more for our child's sake than his. Caucasian international adoption pretty much meant Eastern Europe. DH is originally from Russia, so Russia made perfect sense for us. Adoptions there were moving very quickly at the time (from submitting our application to adopting our son took 6 months -- this was 6 years ago). Our challenge was finding an agency that worked in St. Petersburg (where DH lived until he moved to the US at 18), and was willing to accomodate our desire to adopt a child only from there. New Hope's Russian program worked almost exclusively there at the time, and they were more than happy to work with us. Our son's baby house (orphanage) was 2 blocks from the apartment DH grew up in. Our other challenge in finding an agency was finding one where the adoption wouldn't be suspended if I became pregnant. Most agencies drop you if you become pregnant -- even if you've already met your referral. With unexplained infertility, we knew pregnancy was still a slight possibility. As it turns out, it's lucky we went with New Hope. Otherwise we would have ended up lying to our agency, because we met our son, we were scheduled to fly back 3 weeks later to adopt him, and in the meantime I found out I was expecting! After holding him and falling in love with him, there is no way I would not have lied, cheated, or stolen if that's what it took to bring that baby home!


There is no right or wrong way to adopt -- it's all a matter of which type of adoption will fit you best. Our best friends happened to deal with infertility about a year before we went through it, and we all began the adoption process at the same time. They went with a domestic adoption because they really wanted the whole newborn experience. They knew international adoption would be expensive, and held onto the hope that they could possibly do an inexpensive domestic adoption. They waited a LONG time. They were at it for 2 years, and they were what agencies considered the "perfect" potential couple (small blonde, married to tall, dark, & handsome, 20's, home-owners, extended family nearby, she used to work with autisitic children and would be a SAHM, yadda, yadda, yadda). They were told they wouldn't have to wait long, but they were rejected countless times by birthmothers. One rejected them because they had dogs instead of cats. Seriously. They did luck out with an awesome newborn adoption where they were even allowed to stay in the hospital for the 2 or 3 days before their child was discharged. The birth mother wanted a closed adoption so she never met them and never read their profile -- the agency matched them. Their adoption was very, very inexpensive, and their child is healthy and happy.


Bottom line is, we're both happy with our kids, but an IA wouldn't have suited their needs and desires, and a domestic adoption wouldn't have suited ours. Weigh out all the pros and cons, and see where your comfort-levels lie. Domestic vs. IA is only one in a series of decisions you'll have to make if you decide to do this.


Wanted to add (because this just isn't long enough already) that it also is very important if you go IA to make sure that the in-country staff have good working relationships with all of the officials in that country. We ran into a couple of things that could have been potential problems had the Russian staff been inexperienced. The biggest hurdle was that our judge was sick the day of our adoption hearing and almost canceled court. Had that happened, we probably would have been issued a new court date several weeks away. Our facilitator had worked with this judge several times, talked her into going, picked her up, and drove her to court that day. The facilitators in Russia told us that pretty much the only time they ever have problems is when they have new people in any of the offices that they have to work with.

Edited by jujsky
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I am an adoptive mom of two children from China. We looked into adoption domestically through the county but was not able to do the foster to adopt thing--just could not stomach the ups and downs and uncertanty. We had bio children and our county was pushing us in a direction that we were not comfortable with taking so we put adoption on the back burner.


The thought never left us and we met some people who had adopted from china that sparked our interest. We had freinds that had adopted from Russia and the Romania and they told us crazy stories about having to pay bribes and such once they got there...They also paid 30K for each adoption. We assumed international adoption was out of the question due to costs until we learned about China. We learned that we could adpot from China for less than 17K which made is very managable for us.


As a former nurse with cleft kids I was drawn to adopting what is called a "waiting child or special needs" cleft affected child. Both of our children are cleft affected and were adopted at 3 and 6 years old. Our first adoption took only 11 months from start to finish and the second took twice as long due to our agency closing its doors and having to start all over again with the paperwork.


What I liked about China was that is was very black and white and very very predictable. I cannot speak for the non special needs kids as I understand the wait for the traditional "as young as possible healthy baby" is quite long. The china program offered us what the domestic could not and that was peice of mind from start to finish. It is not for everyone but for us...it was right. In the end we paid 16K for adoption number one (for everything including fees, paperwork homestudy, and travel costs) if you subtract out the two weeks of travel we would have spent roughly 11K. The second time around we are looking at 18K mostly becuase of we took the whole family with us and so our travel costs were more. When you subtract our the adoption credit you get when you file your taxes, our costs for adoption were less than 6K.


I know of some families have paid upwards of 30K for China which seems insane but it appears that while everyone that adopts from China pays the same fees...the big difference is in what the agency charges for their services. We used Chinese Children International Adoptions which is known to be one of the lowest cost agencies. That we can attest to twice.


I cannot say enough great things about being blessed via adoption.


samba in sac


dawn in sac

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Amy, I only have but a second to post now, but wanted to quickly tell you that I used to work in private adoption in TX and have also adopted four times in that state. If I can help you in any way, please PM me!


I adopted through two agencies. Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services did my home studies on all four adoptions and placed three of the four kiddos. They are a wonderful resource! I worked for them briefly as well. My first child was actually placed through Bethany Christian Services, though they are no longer operating in TX for domestic placements. I understand that you can still work internationally through BCA if you have a local homestudy person. I worked for Bethany for several years as well.


Got to :auto:! Best of luck.

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We did our homestudy over a year ago for a domestic adoption. We know our profile was looked at by many birthmoms & we were actually chosen by one, but she decided to keep the baby. In September, we made the decision to switch to an international program. We're going through Children's Hope, same agency as listed in an earlier reply. Been very happy with the process. We adopted our youngest daugther through Bethany Christian Services, transracially 8 years ago. Now, there seems to be less of a need than there was at that time. We wanted to adopt a child that NEEDED a home, rather than put our names in a pool where we may never be chosen (I realize we're ancient to a 17 year old...we HAVE a 17 year old son!).

Our paperwork is in customs right now...Ethiopia's wait depends on age/gender of child requested, through CHI, about a year for an infant. Feel free to ask if there are other questions we could answer!

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What type/age/country are you looking at?


I see your youngest is only 2. I would be very careful about adopting a child above an infant or young toddler until he is older. I know it can work to adopt a child older than your youngest but there are very good reasons for only adopting younger than your youngest child.


We adopted 3 through foster care. Our placements where with the Indian Child Welfare Agency. We went through training to become foster parents and before we were even done they matched us with our son---who was 7 1/2 at the time. We figured we would wait a few years to adopt but he was our very first placement. We then had a few foster placements and got our 14dd at 7 1/2 months just 6 months later. Then 7 months later we got her full bio sister at 2 days old.


We got all 3 of our kids that we adopted in a span of just over 15 months. We did foster over 100 other kids through the years as well.

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I good resource for reading about adoption is the book Adoption Nation by Adam Pertman. It is a very readable book. The book discusses adoption in general, the vocabulary of adoption, the different routes to adoption and more. The appendices list lots of adoption resources as well. I bet your library has a copy.


We have adopted our last 3 foster children.


Good luck.

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We adopted from China in August 2007. Our son was 26 months old on Gotcha Day. From start to finish, it took us exactly 1 year. However, we were open to a child that had special needs/waiting child and we were open to a boy.


Our DS has been a joy. No problems and his special need was very minor.


China is very transparent in their process. Follow the rules and you will get a child. Special needs/waiting child is the only way to go now as the wait for a non-special needs child is unfeasible at the moment.


I help run an adoption support group so if you want more information, let me know.

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