Wednesday, January 20, 2010

112 Days: adoption choices

So I was watching the new Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice crossover last week and cringed at the following conversation:

Addison: If you want to consider adoption, I can help you.
Sloan: What, like pick a family out of "The Pennysaver"?
Addison, kind of chuckling: No, that's just in the movie "Juno." :::proceeds to tell her all about adoption agencies making it sound like that's the only way to go about adoption.:::

Actually, you *can* "pick a family" out of Pennysaver-type publications. It's called private adoption.

While agencies can be helpful, they are not the only way.

There are tons of choices for people who are considering adoption for their child. When we were approached by a birthfamily in October, they didn't know anything about adoption so I did a bunch of research for them so that they would know what all of their options are. Here's what I wrote up:


-Whatever option you choose, there is no cost to you.
-It is suggested that you seek counseling, to help you sort through your feelings and make sure you are absolutely comfortable with your choice. (The agency or couple you choose pays for this.)
-Until you sign over your parental rights, which depends on the laws of the state you live in, you make all of the decisions for the baby and yourself. You can change your mind at any time up to the point that you sign those documents.

To get started, the first thing you have to do is choose how you want to proceed:

1. Contact an adoption agency or adoption attorney that matches.
-They have waiting families who are ready to adopt that you can choose from and they take care of the legal side of everything.

If you call before the baby is born, you can meet with an agency or attorney and they will show you scrapbooks that the families have put together to help you choose. You can choose more than one and meet with them to get to know them better before making your final choice.

If you wait until the baby is born to contact an agency or attorney, let them know what kind of couple you are hoping for and they can choose one for you. (Though if you want an open adoption with visitation, it is probably best to call sooner rather than later so you have the time to get to know the couple beforehand to make sure it's a good match.)

If you decide to have a closed adoption, you can call an agency or attorney at any time - before the birth, after the birth or when you are being discharged from the hospital - and they will find one of their waiting families to come get the baby from the hospital.

If you do not have insurance or Medicaid, medical care can be arranged at no charge for you. This is paid for through the fees the adoptive families pay to the agency or attorney.

2. Find a couple who is interested in adopting on your own. (This is private adoption.)
-Their attorney will take care of the legal side of everything. They will also pay for you to have your own attorney so that there are no conflicts of interest.
a. look in the classified sections of publications under "Adoption." (Not all states allow this - Ohio does not.)
b. look online for blogs created by waiting families. :::waves!:::
c. ask friends/family if they know anyone who wants to adopt.

The couple you choose can pay for certain expenses relating to the pregnancy depending on the laws of your state.

3. Inform the hospital at the birth that you will not be leaving the with the baby.
-They will contact the state and the baby will go into foster care until a family can be located to take him/her. You would have no contact and would not know what happens to the baby.

The downside with this option is that there are hospital staff that will pressure you to keep the baby or look down on you for your decision. Obviously not all hospital staff are like that, but from what I've read, it's more likely to happen than not.

4. If you decide to parent and change your mind, you can do any of the above things at any time.
-In addition, all states now have a Safe Haven law, which allows a birth parent to leave a baby (up to 30 days old) with a medical worker at a hospital, a medical worker at a fire department or other emergency service organization or a peace officer at a law enforcement agency - no questions asked. You would not have to give your name or anything, but they will ask you to fill out a form with basic info like the baby's date of birth, if it was full term, any known medical issues for the baby, if you had any medications/drugs/alcohol during the pregnancy, and whatever you know about your own and the birthfather's health backgrounds. You would have no contact.


So, as you can see, there are many choices with adoption. It bothers me that a lot of people only know things based on what they see represented on tv and in movies. (And I'm not just talking about adoption - I'm talking about, well, everything in life.) TV/movies are for entertainment and therefore not always accurate... there are usually stretches made so things are more exciting to draw people in to watch.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

104 Days: my MIA-ness

I truly did not intend to go this long between posts.

The holidays started it. We had my family's Christmas early and waited to put up a tree and stuff for when Neal's parents, sister and youngest brother came out to visit. Kasen made out like a bandit and of course enjoyed playing in a box the most. (Though the John Deere tractor toy was a huge hit as well.)

The following weekend, I had my nieces over. They are my late fiance's nieces, but have only known me as Aunt Carrie and I don't ever see that changing. We played the game of LIFE about a billion times and had a good time. Unfortunately, that weekend will also forever be the weekend that Grandma was dying. All of their family came in from out of town and we all spent time together at the nursing home. We all got to say our goodbyes while she was still able to speak and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. She truly was an amazing person and I am so glad that I not only knew her but was able to consider my grandma as well.

New Year's was hilariously lame. Neal had the weekend off so we made a bunch of our favorite appetizers and Sangria de Cava and planned on staying up watching movies to celebrate. After one movie we looked at each other and said, "Sleep?" We were in bed by 9 p.m.

We did not make any resolutions. I usually don't... I figure why should a specific date spur me on to make changes in my life that need to be done? Though, I do really want to get wills, guardianship, life insurance, etc. in order this year. Those things are just way too important to ignore.

I had a cold that has either been passed on to Kasen or he's started teething. Poor little guy is sneezy and snotty and can't breathe, so he's pretty miserable. Though if I keep on top of his medicine, he's still in a pretty good mood. Until I break out the bulb syringe to suction his nose out. I was hoping it would come and go quickly like mine did, but I think it might be getting worse. I elevated the head of his mattress, broke out the vaporizer, am keeping his nose as clean as possible and vasolined so it doesn't get raw from all the wiping and hoping it doesn't progress to a sinus infection.

We are currently researching minivans. My car is starting to groan and wheeze and squeal so it's about time. It's got 113,000 miles on it and has been a great car. Now that we finally have a baby and are hoping to expand our family by at least 2 more, I am looking forward to having more space! Right now I'm leaning towards a Chrylser Town & Country. Pros/cons, suggestions, etc. are welcome!

Anyway, all of that to say I have been a busy lady! I did start Twittering and added my feed to this site so people will still know I'm alive even if I don't get around to actually updating with a post. :)

In adoption news, I did manage to get 100 Christmas cards/letters out letting all of our family and friends know to please spread the word that we want to adopt and keep us in mind if they overhear anything. I included "busines cards" with this website address on it for people to keep on themselves so they have quick reference in case they are out and about and find someone who would be interested in learning more about us. I've got about 300 more cards that I can pass out and/or post around, but I'm not sure how I feel about doing so. I've passed out a few to random people who have crossed my path, but I worry that if I post them on bulletin boards and stuff that it'll just open us up for scams.

Anyway, we'll see where things lead. If we aren't talking to any birthfamilies come October when the home study expires, we'll rediscuss things at that time. It would only be about $100 to update it each year so we'll probably do that just so it is always ready in case the networking we are doing now pans out years from now.

Okay, this post was incredibly boring. Sorry! I am tired (sick baby = no sleep) and don't feel like I'm thinking completely straight. :)