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Agencies, private, pre-matching?

I've been doing a bit of research lately and I have no idea what anything involved in adoption is to be honest. I keep seeing a lot of back and forth about agencies vs. private adoption and a lot of anger about pre-matching. Here's why I'm curious. My husband and I found out after the birth of our DD that I can't have anymore children, so after almost a year of talking about it we've decided that we're going to adopt when DD is a little older. We hope to start the adoption process when she's 3 or 4 since I keep hearing (from those who have adopted) that it takes a long time. So here's my question, Adoptive mothers, what advice would you give someone just learning about adopting?

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Asked by heratyc at 12:37 AM on Jun. 8, 2010 in Adoption

Level 13 (962 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • There is a wonderful book called Adoption for Dummies. It will tell you a lot of general information about adoption.
    I will try to give you some information myself..
    There are many different avenues one can pursue in adoption.
    Foster-adopt: This is done through your county/state system. Some states require you to be licensed foster parents before adopting from the system. Every state has different requirements. There are infants available through Foster care. Background checks are done, there is little to no cost in a foster care adoption. Many children are given a subsidy until they are 18 by the state. Some children's TPR is already signed and they are already available for adoption.
    Private- this is typically done through an attorney or an agency. It can be closed, open or semi open. There are varying degrees of open-ness in adoption and it is not legally enforceable. Continued..

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:26 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • Pre-birth matching is not palatable for many people due to the fact that women are coerced into placing by agencies and attorneys. They are told that the child will be better off, yada yada yada...when in fact many women could parent if they have enough support. Women should be given more time to sign TPR and if they are matched pre-birth the e-mom may feel pressured into placing rather than parenting their child. Did that make sense?? My 4 yr old is talking to me while I'm typing this so my brain shorted for a second there! Also, with a private adoption, you are waiting to be picked by an expectant mom- this could take days up to years.
    Embryo adoption- Sadly, I know very little about this process....
    International- this is done through an agency... there is a ton of paperwork involved- you are dealing with 4 layers of gov't..county, state, federal and the other country as well. This process is unpredictable at best. Cont'd..

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:34 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • A program can shut down with little to no warning at all and any money that has been paid is usually not refunded to you. Every country has different requirements..there are many fees involved as well. The wait is also different for every country... some countries you can get a referral for a 2 month old very quickly- then wait to travel for a year. Other countries like China have everyone in the same waiting line and you are processed by the date your dossier is received. The current wait for China is 4 years and climbing from the time your dossier is logged into the system there.
    We adopted from China 3 years ago... our timeline was a little over 2 years from the time we started the paperwork to the time we met our daughter. Our actual wait for a referral was 17 months and our dd was 15.5 months at referral/ 17 months when we met her.
    Continued...again.. last box I promise!

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:41 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • I would suggest that you read as much as you can about attachment, bonding, RAD, SPD, SID, and any special needs that you might be open to in the future. There are many SN children on lists- domestically and internationally. I would also suggest that you speak with as many adoptees, first moms, and adoptive moms as possible. Learn about open adoption, semi-open adoption and closed adoption and find the right fit for your family.
    I will say that our adoption is closed since dd is from China... I never realized how difficult that would be for our dd or for us to deal with..there are so many unanswered questions that we just can't answer and it breaks my heart that I cannot give her the answers that at 4 she is already seeking.
    Good luck and please feel free to pm me any questions.. I will try to help you if I can.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:44 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • We adopted our daughter in 2006 and more than likely she will be our only one. However, if we were to go through it again, going by the experiences we had with DD's adoption and afterward, we would definitely do it the same domestic infant open adoption through a private agency and be pre-matched. I believe at least some form of open adoption is best for the child (we have 5 visits a year with calls and e-mails in between). I believe pre-matching is the best for us because it gives a chance to get to know the PBMom and her family before the baby is born. Being on best behavior or not, you are still going to be able to get a feel for if this is someone you would be okay with being bound to in one way or another for the rest of your life.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 10:35 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • A big thing to know is take the good with the bad and vice versa. There are definitely negatives in adoption, there's no doubt about that...but there are many, many positives too. And just like everything else, it's the negative stories that get the headlines where the positive ones go unnoticed. Educate yourself to find out what adoption route you wish to take and then educate yourself on that route. doesn't necessarily take very long. We were eligible to adopt in September 15, 2005 and matched with BMom January 27, 2006.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 10:39 AM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • We are at the point where you will be in 4 years! We have a 5 year old son and we have been trying to adopt for a year as we are unable to have more children. We have had the most painful year of our lives, and if we had it to do all over again, we would have went through foster care to adopt in a heartbeat!!! If you want to know what we have been through, you can message me! Good luck!

    Answer by Christian-Mom79 at 12:40 PM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • We are using an attorney that works with a woman's crisis center. The center my attorney works with helps mothers by providing parenting classes, and various other programs to help mothers, adoption is a last resort. That is why we chose them, they help first and adoption is last, I know that when we do get "matched" the birth mother will be fully educated and will have a support system. I must also say read as much as you can before picking an agency, facilitator or attorney, as many of the ladies say a lot of them push birth mothers.


    Answer by MiddletonFamily at 1:50 PM on Jun. 8, 2010

  • Great info, mcginnisc!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:55 AM on Jun. 9, 2010

  • MCGINNISC,,Thank you for offering up your knowledge of very invaluable experiences. This will aide many in their journey to bringing a much loved child into their homes. Nobody can go wrong, when following your suggestions, as well as experience :) Blessings, CJ

    Answer by ceejay1 at 1:51 PM on Jun. 9, 2010

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