February 12, 2010,
R.G. asks from Clinton, MD on February 09, 2010
Adoption - Should I Agree?
My daughter is 8 years old and has no siblings. When she was younger, I wanted to have another child, but my hubby was adamantly against it. He did not want anymore kids. Now, I am much older and too old to have kids. My daughter wants a sister and playmate. Being that my daughter gets whatever she wants from her Daddy, she has convinced him that adopting is an option. I love my child and my husband, but I am not certain that I want to take on more responsibility. I feel some resentment towards my husband, because when I wanted another child, he wasn't having it; but now that our daughter wants a sibling, it appears to be okay. The adoption thing also concerns me in that some of the kids have gone through terrible experiences and by no means do I want to subject my child to situations that may not be necessary. There are so many school age children who are in need of love and a good home and I know that we can provide that. I just don't know if I want to take on the challenge. Am I being selfish? Let me know your thoughts.
B.C. answers from Norfolk on February 12, 2010
This is almost the same situation my sister was in. My niece was demanding a sibling to play with and they were thinking about adopting. But then they fostered an inner city child for a 2 week summer program and suddenly my niece changed her mind. This other girl was the same age, and she was her own person and did not want to do what ever my niece wanted to do. She was a person with likes and dislikes and she had no problems telling my niece exactly where she could stick her opinions. And that was the end of that. My niece is now very happy being an only child and loves not having any siblings to share/differ/fight with.
B.Z. answers from Chicago on February 09, 2010
I imagine that you went through a grieving process when your hubby did not want children years ago. A part of grieving is closure. Is that door really closed for you, or did you leave it open a crack in the hopes that he would come around one day? Is his openness to adoption something that he would have come to despite your daughter's prodding?
You received a lot of foster care suggestions. Please do not sign up for this without considering how the process works for kids in foster care. They have already experienced many transitions and heartbreaks... if someone comes to your home, you guys aren't prepared... don't like him or her... who knows?!?... that child will be removed and sent to ANOTHER home. The more these children get moved around, the more they suffer now and in the long run. It's terrible. Please go into foster care only after you are ready to accept the long-term responsibility of parenting a hurt child. Think of your home as the last stop that child needs to make before either returning to his or her parent or staying with your family for the rest of his life.
I'm disturbed by your hubby's logic here. Actually, I'm bordering on being offended, but I won't let myself go there until I know more about the situation. I'd love to ask him if he thinks that children who were adopted somehow require less love and effort than his daughter... like it's such an easy decision now compared to having another child years ago??? Based on what you shared, he has NO IDEA what challenges can come to your family by adopting a child. For this reason alone, I recommend a stern NO from you right now. In time you will find out if he is serious about taking on the challenges of expanding the family through adoption.
Please do not look at adoption and foster care as "saving" a child because you have the means. Because you can't. No one can love the loss out of these children. But people who are committed to parenting a hurt child can give that child a better chance than s/he may have had otherwise. Many people congratulated us for doing such a great thing, what an admirable thing, we're saving a child from whatever..... It nauseates me because these statements, however well intended, wreak of negative stereotypes of children placed through adoption. My child is not indebted to me for our choice to adopt him. I could go on... message me if you want some more of my perspective on this topic. In the meantime, you can visit www.informedadoptions.com or pick up Real Parents, Real Children by Van Gulden and Bartels-Rabb.
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D.C. answers from Washington DC on February 10, 2010
I'm a social worker and I run a foster care program. We do foster to adopt placements. If you want to talk more about this my work number is ###-###-####. My name is D. (Dan-Nee-Ka).
I will say that fostering to adopt is very rewarding if you are on board and some of our kids are not as damaged, but some DO have severe behaviors and horrendous backgrounds.
My own family was a foster family so I lived this personally and I believe and our families and other professionals have stated that I am very good at matching kids to families, but you really need to be on board or it won't work. As I said I am happy to talk and really tell you about my families and I am sure a couple of the ones who adopted who be willing to talk too. Good luck with whatever you decide!
D. Copp, MSW, LCSW
Children's Services of VA
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T.C. answers from Dallas on February 09, 2010
I'm a little biased... BUT: If you want(ed) more than one child, and now you can't have more, then adoption would seem to be the answer. As you said, there are SO many school-age children that need homes. You don't have to go into the situation blind. You can get to know the kids and their situations. If you work with a social worker he/she can tell you the individual child's strengths and challenges. You can choose what you can and can't deal with. I've been all but begging my husband to let us adopt from foster care. I just feel that there is an opportunity there to give back, and recieve a blessing at the same time. He's not on board yet, but I'm still praying. Our girls are 18 and 21, and my plan was ALWAYS to have two and adopt two. At this point, I'd settle for one... a boy.
So, to everyone who read this, would you say a prayer for RbG and myself? That both situations work out. :-)
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M.W. answers from Indianapolis on February 09, 2010
being a foster parent first could allow you all to give it a trial run before you make any life long changes to the dynamic of your family. There is a huge need for foster & adoptive families both.
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M.A. answers from Orlando on February 09, 2010
Adopting a child because your daughter wants a playmate is not a good reason to adopt. What happens when she decides she doesn't like her new sibling or gets jealous of them & wants to send them back. Will Daddy give her what she wants then?
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J.M. answers from Roanoke on February 10, 2010
You should not adopt unless you wholeheartedly are wanting to. I say this because what if later on you resent the child you adopt and your husband who has refused to have another child only to change his mind to adoption.
You need to come to your own thoughts and terms to want to adopt. I don't feel that in any way you are being selfish to not want to at all.
Good luck with your decision.
K.A. answers from Washington DC on February 10, 2010
Sheesh, for an 8 year old to take on the responsibility of a baby is quite a task. They cost a lot of money and live a long time too. You usually have one of those pesky "no return" policies if the baby's not the right gender or color. Is the baby going to match with her Princess outfits? I don't mean to sound so rediculous, but this situation is rediculous. Shouldn't she start with a puppy, you know, to see if she's ready for a baby? Once she's had to get up in the middle of the night to let it out or to clean up after it, that idea of a baby will go right out the door. And if she gets sick of it, puppies can find new homes too. Oh! Wait a minute! They want YOU to take care of this baby. Yeah right. Enough said. This is a LIFE and a LIFETIME commitment we're talking about here, no subject for an 8 year old to broach at her whim.
A.M. answers from Fort Myers on February 09, 2010
I understand your frustration in this sensitive issue of adoption. Your daughter wanting a sibling is not going to secure your place on a list of possible candidates for a school age child or under. Your concerns are more than valid and I would get your husband and yourself into counseling first on a short time basis with an impartial person to make sure that both of you understand what you are taking on for the rest of everybodys lives before moving forward. Adoption of a child is a life long commitment and not one to be taken lightly.
Best of luck to you and your family hope that everything works out for the best!