Questions About Adoption

Updated on November 17, 2008
J.S. asks from Springfield, MO
16 answers

I have thought for quite awhile about adoption, especially when it comes to foster children. They have less chance at having a family, and it breaks my heart to think of how many children enter their adult lives without a family. I am done having kids of my own, but have always had a very strong desire to adopt. We probably aren't the ideal of an adoptive family because we don't have tons of money and we don't own our own home, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts to share with me. If anyone has adopted a foster child in particular, I'd love to hear about your experience. I am not highly informed about the adoption process right now, so it wouldn't be anything that I tried to jump into right away. I know costs would be involved, but have no clue what kind of costs. I don't know what the requirements are of possible adoptive families. Any information would be greatly appreciated while I continue to inform myself about the process. I already have 4 kids, but I believe we have a lot to offer other kids. Thanks in advance for any input!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your input so far! I have put a lot of thought into foster parenting as well, which I wondered if it would be a good starting point. My biggest fear has always been getting attached to kids that eventually get taken away, but I know it isn't about me and only what I want. It's as scary as it is exciting, but I don't have it in me to turn my back on the idea of helping the kids that need it the most. I still welcome any and all thoughts because the more experiences I hear, the more confident I become knowing I CAN make this happen. I'll keep it updated how it goes for us!

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

I dont know a lot about the process except it can take a very long time! I really just wanted to show my appreciation to you. So many children are in need of homes and so many people out there cannot have children. Adoption is a wonderful thing for a family with children of their own already, or for those who cant have children. More people should adopt!! Kudos to you! Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I am an adoptive mom, and can't say enough positive things about it. That being said, I must warn you that it is an emotional roller coaster ride to get to the goal line.

We started with Missouri DFS. Through the state, it will cost you nothing to adopt. Keep in mind that you will probably NOT get an infant, and most likely will get an older toddler/child who may have some emotional problems. Also, it is a long and tedious road to actually adopt these children after fostering them for 6 months (MO law requirement). You are NOT guaranteed to be chosen to be the final adoptive parents after fostering them. The state will do everything they can to reunite these children with their bio family...not a concept I agree with, but is how the Courts see it. We went through the entire foster/adopt program, only to be told that "we didn't have parenting experience" when we were being considered for a 9 month old! My husband is a doctor and I have a well-paying job & degrees....go figure?? Anyway, that's when we decided to move on.

Our next adoption adventure took us overseas. We chose Bulgaria from which to adopt. Things had been going well there, but after we filed our paperwork, it went downhill. Also, you must be financially prepared to go overseas. Adoptions can cost anywhere from $18K to $30K depending on the country. And be aware that many countries require you to stay up to a month in-country, which is all at your expense (including air fare). The US Federal Govt. also has tons of fees that you have to pay them for paperwork and fingerprinting. We dumped $10K in this process and waited two years with no results. Remember, you are at the will of foreign (and most likely third-world) governments who have little interest in these poor children. It is heartbreaking to know how many need homes and their governments take years to move them. Anyway, we saw the writing on the wall about Bulgaria, and also realized that we were aging, so we had to do something.

The answer to our prayers was Diane Hogan @ A Step Ahead Adoption (google it). She is a clearinghouse for domestic adoption agencies & attorneys. You have to pay her, but she is worth every dime. In less than three months, Diane put us together with a baby in OK City. She is now ours and the answer to every dream we had about parenthood. Domestic private adoption is not free (ours costed $23K + Diane's fee), so that's the realistic part about this process. We have the perfect little girl who even looks like me!! What are the odds? Diane is a wonderful resource for adoption and will be realistic with you about money and timelines.

Bottom line is, if you feel it in your gut to do it, you can make it happen. I see you are in Springfield, so your state agency may work smoother than mine in KC (we have the largest DFS in MO, so lots more problems) and that would get you to an adoptive child without much cost. I cannot sing the praises of adoption enough. I don't even think about my baby being adopted...she IS my little girl. Please feel free to contact me privately at: [email protected]____.com .

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S.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi Jenn,
You said you were still open to thoughts so I just wanted to share with you that my parents were foster/adoptive parents and I have 7 younger adopted siblings(4 brothers & 3 sisters) whom I love dearly. My parents were foster parents most of my life; they did not get into it to adopt, but God apparently had plans for our family and these children. Over the years, we had approx. 45 children come through our home and 7 of those stayed! There were many moments of heartbreak, and many more moments of joy. The summer that I turned 18 (I'm 34 now) our home was licensed as a group home and there were 12 children in our home besides me.CRAZY!!LOL I feel that I learned so much by seeing those children come into our home and watching my Mom treat each one of them just the same as she treated my two older bio. sisters and me. Not to mention the childcare experience I got right there at home. During my preteen years, we had a couple older kids, and when I was around 12 yo we began getting more younger children and occasionally a teenager or two. There were some very frustrating times dealing with DFS, the bio families and the whole system, but in the end if God intends for a child to be a part of your family, it will happen. In the mean time, if there are children who come to your home and receive even a little bit of love, a positive influence, and the experience of real family life, and then they move on, you have made a mark on that child's life that will last forever. One of my younger sisters looked enough like me that people didn't know she was adopted til I told them. My youngest adopted sibling is now 15 and she came to our family when she was just 3 months old; she was a "crack baby".
You do have to know that some older children will always have a desire to reunite with their bio families. One of my sisters (adopted at age 10)moved back with her birth parents when she turned 18 and even had her name legally changed back. My siblings have definitely had some medical & emotional struggles. These kids are tough though, and they are grateful that they have been given a family. Our family just wouldn't be the same without all of them.
I know that I am writing a lengthy response here, but I want to share one more part of my family's story in the case that it might just inspire someone to take on something that they thought maybe they couldn't do. Just after the last 5 adoptions were finalized in 1995, my step-father was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 4 weeks later and my Mom raised those 7 kids by herself while battling cervical cancer and 2 separate battles with breast cancer! At the time of his death they ranged in age from 2 yo to 14 yo. My siblings needed my Mom and my Mom needed my siblings to get her through that time of her life. They were the life preserver that God dropped down for her to keep her from drowning in the grief of losing my step-dad and to keep her fighting for her own life. So as much as we may see it that these kids need us, it sometimes can be that we may need them to teach us a thing or two and bless us with the love that they so desperately want to share with a family they can call their own.
May God pour out His richest Blessings as you raise your family and seek to make a mark in the lives of others as well.

S.

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I would contact your local social service agency (SRS in KS, FSD in MO) and ask to speak with someone in foster care/adoption services. I know they are always looking for parents to be foster parents and that can lead to adoption. If you do adopt, I think you can recieve an adoption subsidy, but I'm not sure of the amount. There is a lengthy screening process involved. I used to work at a center for abused kids and most were in foster care.. I can tell you from my experience that they are the most lovable kids and just need a good home. I have considered adoption in the future, when my kids are a little older.. Good luck!

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi! One other area you might look into while information gathering is CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. There are so many ways to help children in need that don't necessarily require the financial responsibilities that adoption or foster parenting can. Best of luck to you!

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Adoption is WONDERFUL! Thank you for considering it! It is not for everyone, but for those who are willing to take it on...it is the best gift you can give (and receive).
I was adopted and feel SO fortunate to have been given the gift of my family!
Feel free to contact me if you'd like.

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D.L.

answers from Topeka on

Well, we are a foster family entering adoption stage. I think fostering is the first step instead of jumping directly into adoption, just to make sure the rest of your family can handle "an outsider". We have extended family that refuse to acknowledge our foster children with Christmas gifts and other such problems that you have to face. There is a great deal involved but it is rewarding. The foster system offers you many classes and trainings to help you through.

Good luck,
D.

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B.H.

answers from Kansas City on

One of my friends is a social worker for TLC kids in olathe. You should definitely check it out. They have a wonderful program for foster children. You should take the site tour and see what they have to offer for foster parents.

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C.K.

answers from Kansas City on

While there may be hefty fees associated with a private adoption agency, there should only be minimal, if any, costs for foster to adopt programs.
For the foster to adopt, you would select an agency to sponsor you and they will cover the costs of your required training for state licensing. They have pretty strict child-proofing rules so that is more where the costs come in. When you have a foster child placed with you, you are required to cover their living expenses (food, clothing, diapers, and birthday/holiday gifts); however, the agency pays you a per diem to cover those costs.
To let you know my background, my husband and I adopted our first son through a private agency and are now in the process of becoming licensed foster parents so we can foster-to-adopt. We are working with the KS agency KVC Behavioral HealthCare, Inc. (formerly Kaw Valley Center).

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S.R.

answers from Kansas City on

We looked into adoption but because of money we are unable to do so. Even through the state it cost 1200.00 to have a home study done. Plus the other expenses. There are many different sites out there that you can look at about adoption. Wendys founder Dave has a site for kids to adopt. I don't think that you need to have alot of money to care for a child you just have to have it upfront to cover the expenses. Good luck

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J.S.

answers from Topeka on

Sounds like God has laid this on your heart. Just keep putting your feelers out there and it will happen. I'm a grandma to an adopted baby and I can't imangine our lives without him. He's 18 months. I always forget he is adopted. He looks exactly like his sister. God chose the perfect addition to our family. Good luck and don't give up.

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M.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi Jenn-
We adopted our son as an infant almost 2 years ago through a traditional closed adoption. For foster adoptions, there is a lot of information on the internet - I can't remember the website, but I'm sure you can find plenty out there, or contact the local DFS office. I assume you want an older child? It's hard to get infants or even children younger than about 4-5 through the foster system that are available for adoption, and if you do, there's always a chance that they'll go back to their parents or extended family (as is the case with all adoptions, which makes it hard!). Some of the requirements are different for fostering, so you'll have to check into that, but I'd be happy to help with anything else, just send me a note back. Good luck!

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R.M.

answers from Topeka on

Maybe you could "dip your toe in the pool" by first becoming foster parents??? I have heard of a lot of foster parents who end up adopting one of the children that they were fostering. I would start out by contacting the people in the SRS Office and see how their system works. I honestly think that there are streamlined and much more financially efficient ways of adopting older foster children, simply because they are sometimes so hard to place. I applaud you for being willing to share your lives and your love with children who so desperately need it!!! There is no guarantee with adoptive children just as there is no guarantee with our biological children...we just love them as we find them...and they do the same for us!!!
God Bless You!!!

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S.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi Jenn,

I am responding b/c of having an adopted sibling. We love him dearly! I can't imagine our family without him:o) There were 3 of us and my parents adopted my youngest brother right after my 16th b-day making 4 kids. Adoption is a wonderful gift to the child and also to the family he/she enters. I know there are lots of scary stories out there, but there are also alot of wonderful and amazing results of adoption!

I appreciate your readiness to share your love and the hope of a family for a child!

S.

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I haven't adopted foster kids myself, but I do have four siblings who were adopted out of the foster care system in Montana. I think probably the most important things to know about foster care and foster adoptions are that 1. it takes a LONG time, particularly if family members (bio grandparents, bio parents) are fighting for the kids; 2. the kids in the foster care system are going to have issues (I don't mean that they're necessarily "bad" kids or that they have physical disabilities. They just are likely to have AT LEAST attachment disorders and other issues of that nature, probably more); and 3. being a foster parent, kids can come and go, but once you decide to adopt, you have to be there for that kid. Most foster kids have been shuffled around so much that they're afraid to get too comfortable with a family, so when you say you want to adopt them, you have to mean it. There's no going back.
That's just what I know from my experience with my siblings. If you want more info about becoming a foster parent (obviously a first step toward adopting through the foster care system), check out the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition at www.foster-adopt.org.
Good luck!

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D.V.

answers from Kansas City on

I have adopted my two boys through the foster system (DFS). The cost is only in expenses that you would have raising your kids such as food, utilites, etc. Some things are provided to you such as childcare and insurance. You could contact the DFS office near you to find out more or MFCAA. MFCAA just started being able to license foster parents. The training is mostley free and during the evenings or Sat. Just a side note, I am currently fostering 5 more kids and plan to adopt them all if given the chance. I am not sure about MFCAA but when you are with DFS, they pay up to a certain amount for legel fees (which is usually enough to cover the full expense).

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