If You Have Adopted a Child, Pls Give Your Opinion or Share Your Experience

Updated on May 21, 2014
M.M. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
13 answers

This is a question for someone who has adopted a child. I have an only child who is 6, he is the light of our lives, I never intended to have more than one. One was always the way we wanted to go. Before my son was born, I always thought though if I could not have a child naturally, I will adopt. My son has been begging us for a sibling, he wants a baby sister he says for a year now. My husband and I have been talking about adopting and the pros and cons for a few years now. It's a big decision that we do not take lightly. We have room in our hearts to love one more child and give someone a good loving home and love this child like our very own. We feel strongly that an addition to our family will benefit us all, and it would be great to have a have a bigger family. HOwever, we do not know anything about adoption, domestic? international? I am also concerned because sometimes the fit is not good. Pls relate any experience you may have.

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answers from Toledo on

Why not make an appointment at son adoption agency and just talk to them? Adopting is a very, very emotional process. (Big understatement, right?). You could talk to one of the counselors about you desires, fears, concerns, expectations, etc. they may even be able to arrange for you to meet other couples who have adopts children.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Richland on

I know you say you take this seriously but that you mentioned your son has been asking for a baby, much in the same way a child asks for a puppy, kind of shows you are not taking this seriously.

I haven't adopted, I was adopted. This is a sore subject for me because my mother should never have been allowed to adopt. Still as hard as my childhood was I am grateful I wasn't my older brother's puppy. :(

By the way regardless of how you go, sans the foster system, it is very expensive!

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm sorry, but you don't add another PERSON to your family because your 6 year old wants one. Would you get a dog or a boat or a horse or an orange refrigerator because he asks for one for a year? If not, then please don't add a child for that reason.

You've edited your post, leaving out the parts where you stressed never wanting more than one child, you were completely satisfied with only one, but your son really wants a sibling. You felt sure you would be able to love another child, your husband too, and it would make your son so happy. That is why I responded the way I did.
You also edited your post to leave out the part where you just couldn't ever consider an international adoption and don't know how people do.
I just think it's kind of lame to change your post when you realize you've come across as a jerk.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I see that you are from Pittsburgh. I strongly suggest you talk to someone from Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC). They handle local adoptions that come from the Allegheny County Children, Youth, and Family system. They have social workers you can talk to, and they do an education program for anyone adopting through them so that you can be fully informed of the joys - and challenges - of adopting. I personally have not adopted, but I have friends who have completed their family through TRAC.

Answering questions like the ones you have is a big part of what they are trained to do, so don't be shy about taking your questions right to them. They are also the ones who match the family with the child, so they can address your concerns about finding the right fit.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

We adopted an 8 month old boy from Russia. We were pretty much in your same situation, wanted another child, an only child at home etc. While I wouldn't trade him for the world, he has proved to be an extremely challenging child. He has, among other things, attachment disorder as well as fetal alcohol "effects". I know several other people who have adopted and most of those are a great, easy fit. Just go in with your eyes WIDE open, knowing what you can and can't manage. I wish you all good things!!

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Don't adopt because your 6 year old wants a sibling. That's not a good reason. Six year olds also want a puppy, a pony, and all kinds of things that they see that others have. After you go through the lengthy process of going through everything that prospective adoptive parents go through, he will have forgotten his wishes, and by the time the child gets old enough to play with him, they will have nothing in common and he'll be begging you to make his little brother or sister stay out of his room and leave him alone.

This should be PURELY about you wanting another child SO much. Nothing less.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Personally, I don't care about the reason you consider adopting a child (obviously the son's desire for a sibling only sparked the idea. It is HIGHLY doubtful they would make the decision based solely on such a whim, and as the OP stated, they have considered the benefit to the family... )

As long as you will be giving this child a loving home, it is a good thing. ESPECIALLY if you are looking into adopting an older child, which is more of a rarity. It's better than staying in foster care or an orphanage.

That said, I do think it would be wise to get counseling for everyone before, during, and after the adoption process; individual AND family sessions.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My sister and her husband considered adoption when her daughter started asking for a sibling.
So my sister took on an inner city foster child for 4 weeks in the summer - same age as my niece.
To say that things did not go well was an under statement.
My niece thought this girl would cave in to her every wish/desire.
She wanted a subservient "mini me".
She's use to calling the shots (my sister really lets her run the house so what ever she wants she gets).
Um, no, not by a long shot.
It was fighting and screaming and the girl didn't last more than 2 weeks before asking to go back home.

If YOU want to raise another child, then you adopt or have another one and you love him/her as your own and your first child has a sibling whether they like it or not and you deal with any/all their special needs they might have or develop as you would your own child - they ARE your own child.

If you want another child because your first child is asking - it's no reason to have another.
More often than not the kids change their minds and want things to go back they way they were.
Asking for a sibling is a very common phase kids go through (so's asking for a pet) and they haven't thought everything through and they have this idealized vision in their heads which doesn't always pan out.
Our son only asked a few times while he was in pre-school.
But he soon was hearing from friends of his how THEIR brothers/sisters take/break their things/clothes/toys/bikes, fight, have to share Mom/Dad time, have to pick and choose which activities because Susie has a dance recital but Bobby has a soccer game and they can't go to both, etc.
Soon his friends were talking about how nice he must have it and he was SO OVER wishing for a sibling.
Your son will be getting busier in school and with after school activities.
He's going to want to play with kids his own age.
A baby sister with a 5-6 yr age gap between them is going to get pretty boring for him and he's going to hate making sure his toys are out of the babys way.
Even with siblings, they are not always compatible.
It was sheer hell growing up with my sister.
My sister and I fought like cats and dogs till we grew up and moved away and we STILL can't stand each other (I'm 52 now and she's 22 months younger).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

We adopted a child. I was curious as to what and how you adopt a child and we went to the local office of the state agency. We were interviewed, had financial records and background checks, a mental and physical check and a neighborhood check. After those we completed a house visit was made and at that time the caseworker kept mentioning a boy. We or I figured it would be three years before we would be eligible for a baby as there were not when we started.

Then we began the foster phase of the adoption process where and if there are mental or physical issues that come up the process can we terminated. It is usually about six months. Hubby received orders so things were sped up a bit but it still took a year before the process was finalized. Our adoption is closed and the only person who can request info is our son. He knows that he is adopted and has had no desire to find his birth parents.

As to open or closed adoption that would depend on the birth and adoptive parents. I would not feel comfortable having the birth mom kind of looking over my shoulder as to how I raised her child she gave up as is common in some open adoptions. I don't have the time to remember to send things out now let alone then when you are busy raising a child.

My personal feeling is that once your relinquish your rights they are severed and you must hope that the child gets a decent home and a decent life that you could not provide for him/her. I always felt that until the actual paperwork was completed that she might want to come back into his life. However, I would fight like hell to keep her out of it as I was the one who lost the job because baby was sick. I was the one who stayed up all night comforting a child with teething and allergies or whatever. That I was the one that this child bonded to and knows and trusts and has become mine.

We have two children one adopted one bio. I tell them both that they were wanted and that they are special because they both have papers. Daughter born outside the US and made a citizen of the US. So they each have their ups and downs but they are both mine.

Don't adopt because son wants a sibling. You do it because you and hubby want another child in your home to love. The decision for adoption has to be between the two of you and not your son. He can make statements that you consider but he does not get to make the final decision.

As for adoptions abroad these do take longer and sometimes they can be up to four or five years depending on the country of origin. There are enough children in this country without a home that need one and could benefit from a home grown adoption. But that is my take. I will get off my soapbox now as I could go on about many things.

We had a couple while we were stationed in Germany who adopted a Romanian baby. The baby looked about three or four months old in development but was closer to a year chronological order and was used to sleeping in bed with mom and dad. Some orphanages are not that attentive to touch and feel as should be so be aware when you do adopt.

Good luck to you.

the other S.

PS Keep us posted on your progress.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

My kids have so many aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc....sometimes I forget I'm adopted!!! Not only will you give a child an immediate family and sibling like my parents did, but an extended one, and your newest child will add so much to so many lives. I hope you do it!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't know by direct, in house experience. I do know that friends have 2 sons from Russia and they are great kids, but they have had to overcome their early years in orphanages (one was under 2 and one was under 4). They have worked with local professionals to overcome ADHD-like behavior and language problems.

My cousin was an infant adoption from South Korea. My aunt and uncle tried to adopt domestically for years before going overseas and they did so because a failed placement was too hard on their other kids. The last one the grandmother convinced the mother to take the kid back during the wait period. After that my aunt and uncle decided to only go for adoptions where the parental rights were terminated and my cousin was in an orphanage.

I have other friends who would like to adopt kids in the foster care program, but have not been matched. They would like siblings, but their son is 7 and the adoption program doesn't want to upset the natural order, so they don't want to place a sibling set where the biological son would be the youngest or middle child. So they are waiting.

You also need to talk to agencies about things like open and semi open adoptions. My friend's son is in a semi open adoption. She knows his family. She gets annual updates from his grandmother, but she does not visit, call or write. He can find her when he's 18 if he wants to. You have to be honest about your level of openness and not lie to say you can do x and really never have the visits the birth parents hoped for. Personally, I struggle enough as a stepparent so I would not want an open adoption. I would want a kid to be able to have information later, but the relationship in the younger years would not be something I could do. Some birth parents want a very closed adoption (no info later, please don't contact, etc.) and so it can go both ways.

Adoption can be an expensive and lengthy process (my aunt said the 2 years was the longest gestation ever). I personally think it is better when it is not a secret. My cousin knows he was chosen and has no shame in being adopted.

So...bottom line...start checking out agencies, going to meetings and talking with other parents who have used those agencies to gauge their experiences. Make sure this is a step you as parents want to do and it's not really about your son wanting a sibling (and perhaps he won't get the exact kind of sibling he dreams of, either...) Perhaps it is a quibble but you said "love like our own". I would keep talking til you can definitively say "as our own". I was adopted by my stepfather and when my sister came along, I felt the difference between like and as, not just from him but from the extended family. You should also think about how your families will react and if they are reticent, how you will handle that and keep the child from feeling less-than.

I overall think adoption is a good thing, and wish you all the best in your journey.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have never adopted, but I do know that a domestic adoption is much easier and cheaper (especially if you do foster-to-adopt).

I also want to add that if you do adopt, make sure you have a zero chance of getting pregnant (if you already haven't done this), because can you imagine if you adopt (or are in the process of adopting), and all of a sudden you get pregnant? Then you will go from 'one and done' to THREE!!! Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I know a couple who adopted a girl through fostering. They were the foster parents from birth to two years then they were finally able to adopt. The girl's biological mother was doing drugs so the girl was taken away and placed into the couple's home. The State gave the biological mom an opportunity to clean up her act and reunite with her daughter, but it didn't work out so the couple adopted the girl, which was their hope from the beginning. It appears they have all adjusted well and doing well.

Another couple I know adopted a baby boy from Asia. Can't remember how old the boy was when he was adopted. Initially, the adoptive mom had a difficult time bonding with the boy, which was frustrating for her to say the least. But now it seems they have bonded and they also seem to be doing well.

Another couple I know adopted a girl from Asia when she was about 20 months old. Despite much counseling, it just didn't work out. The couple ended up giving her up after almost three years of trying to make it work to another couple who was more experienced with dealing with adopted kids with some of the issues the girl had (she had some trust issues due to being in an orphanage, etc.).

I really don't know all the technicalities of domestic adoption vs. international, but if I were going to adopt, I would adopt a child who is still an infant based on what I've seen.

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