Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Adoption is a pretty popular word in our family. My daughters and I discuss it quite frequently.

As in, "I was adopted, right?"

And the ever popular, "Why aren't all kids adopted?"

And lately, "When are we going to adopt another baby/sister/brother?"

In fact, it is not uncommon for us to be out in public, see a cute baby and then the girls start asking me, out loud...very out loud, can we adopt that baby? Of course this is usually followed by the parents of that baby getting up and moving away from us...very quickly!

No, we can not adopt every baby we see, but sometimes I wonder why does adoption have to be so hard and sooooo expensive?! It seems to me the largest cost of adoption is the agency fees. Agencies give a lot of good information to the prospective parents, they also screen both sides to make sure everyone is on the same page, but they spend a LOT of money on advertising to find birth moms and adoptive families. But if you know a woman who wants to find a family for her child and you have a good attorney, do you still need the agency? Most would say, "No."

I have been a foster/adoptive mother for 7 years. Fostering to adopt is really a great way to add to your family, while also being useful to the greater good. It is especially great when you are younger and have lots of time, so if you have a child for a year or two and then they are eventually adopted by a relative or go to live with grandma, you don't feel like you have run out of time to repeat the process. (Yes, sometimes it takes years to find out you will NOT get to parent that child forever.)

I have also been involved with International adoption. It too can take years before you actually have a child in your home. It can also go very well and make everyone very happy, but it is pretty expensive at about $35 - $50 thousand dollars for one child! And what does that child lose? Well, since it is so expensive, often the family can only afford to adopt one child, so that child loses out on the opportunity to have siblings.

I started looking at domestic adoption, I originally stayed away from that because I thought it was going to be tremendously expensive AND I also believed that no birth mother would ever choose me. I'm not down on myself, I am just being realistic. Since I thought most women who place their babies for adoption were single and only wanting their children to be raised in a traditional two parent family, preferably with no other children.

But I have recently found out that I may be very wrong. There are women out there that would welcome a single mother. They are less interested in how many are in the family and more interested in what kind of people make up the family. In other words, are you an active family, do you go on vacations, do you have pets, is your family diverse, I think you get my drift. The trend is to look more at the character of the family, not just do you have a Mom and Dad and a White Picket Fence.

Now I am not saying all birth mothers are looking for single women like me to parent their child, but I am saying that it is not unheard of. So where am I going with this? I am starting to think that there are a LOT of families out there that would just love the chance to adopt and add to their family except for the cost! I am saying that there are a tremendous amount of families, both big and small, with one parent or two, who may not fit the traditional look of the nuclear family from the fifties...but they would make terrific families for many children out there. If only adoption was NOT so expensive!

I am saying I do not think adoption has to be so expensive!! What if there was a a website...that birth mothers and adoptive mothers and fathers to be could find each other...without the agencies?! What if they could talk and meet when they were ready and find out if they had the same hopes and dreams for these children on their own?

What if there could also be social workers, and attorneys, and screening agencies, and anything else that these families needed on this website, to make the adoptions safe and secure and NOT cold and all about the paperwork and the $$$$!

Is there anything like that out there? Maybe there needs to be.

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