My wife and I are considering adoption. She's always wanted to adopt, and it had never been a thought of mine until I met her. Now that we've been married three years, I'm getting to the point of being more open to it.
So, has anyone here adopted? What was your experiences, good and bad?
We're mostly looking at domestic infant adoption.
My cousin and her husband adopted a newborn little girl a year or so ago. My understanding is that the cost, screening and waiting can be pretty grueling ... but, I don't think they'd complain.
While I can not add any insight into the adoption process but I ask that if you do decide to adopt, please consider adopting from the United States first. You did not mention on where your thinking of adopting from and Yes, there are children in need in other countries but there are also those same kids here in the U.S.
This is not a shot at you but I am tired of seeing people (mostly celebrities) going overseas to adopt a child when there are children here that need a family. Just my opinion though.
No baby born in the US has grown up in an orphanage in the last few generations. The same cannot be said in the countries from which celebrities (or ordinary Americans) adopt.
This means 2 things: Adopting from certain foreign countries means saving that child from a life in that country's standard of living. Adopting an American baby means lots of waiting and money.
Non-infant adoption is another story.
My tone meant to include yours. Thus the emphasis on celebrities. Still, the question remains, Why didn't you adopt domestically?
It is very, very hard to adopt an American baby. A lot of people adopt from overseas because they don't qualify to adopt an American baby, or don't want to go through the grueling process of proving their worthiness.
There have been four adoptions in my immediate/extended family. Each of which has resulted in a different tale of woe. All four adoptions were from infancy and the consequences were generally not foreseeable.
I'm not at all against adoption (although I have not adopted nor am I adopted.) Not all wine and roses despite the best of intentions and efforts.
Are you comfortable giving some details?
Sure, I will give you a synopsis:
1969: My parents adopted my sister at two weeks old. Turns out she has some sort of incurable mental disorder. She was a hell raiser from the get go; here are just a few of the highlights. At age 6 she torched our apartment. By age 9 she was running away from home like it was a game. She dropped out of school by age 12 and tried to kill my mother several times. That same year she stabbed me in the back with a knitting needle and I nearly killed her in a fit of blind, bloody rage. When she got out of the hospital she ran away and joined a street gang in a different state and never came back. When she was 17 she and an associate robbed my grandmother at knifepoint. She's been in and out of prison (mostly in) ever since. If I ever see her again I will finish the beat down I gave her in 1980.
1973: My aunt and uncle adopted an infant son. Things were OK until he was a teenager. They had told him he was adopted earlier but when he was about fourteen and really understood he couldn't come to grips with it. When he was seventeen he wanted to find his birth parents. My aunt and uncle supported his wishes and helped him find the biological parents using a professional intermediary. He met his birth parents and decided that he was living a lie and wanted to go back. Truth is his birth parents are white trash scumbags. When he turned eighteen my cousin, against my aunt and uncle's wishes, went to live with his biological parents. Of course the birth parents just wanted to extract some money from the family. When the money stopped they threw the kid out. Although my aunt and uncle begged him to come home he disappeared. The family has not seen or heard from him since.
1975: A different aunt and uncle adopted an infant girl. Turns out she is developmentally disabled and has the mind of a 6-7 year old, always will. My aunt and uncle engaged in monumental efforts to help her but she will always be a seven year old.
1990: My sister in law and her husband adopted an infant girl. Nice kid but always a little off kilter, especially about being adopted. She committed suicide when she was a junior in high school for unknown reasons.
Not trying to scare you away from adopting. Conceptually adoption is a great thing, but sh*t happens. The old saying "the only thing for certain is uncertainty" rings true.
Perhaps it was just a string of extraordinarily bad luck. Just go in with both eyes open.
My wife and I adopted our daughter, Ting, from China in 2007. She is now 5. We have three biological children (8,13, & 16) as well.
She is the most wonderful girl we could have hoped for, and we have not regretted the decision to adopt her for a millisecond.
The adoption process was long (Ting was classified as special needs, so that sped up the process - non special needs adoptions from China take 5 + years), and expensive (~30K). Of course, she is worth every minute of wait and every penny (10 times over!)
We are hoping to someday adopt again (I am not sure when we will be able to afford to do so). We would consider both domestic & foreign adoptions.
What did the special needs turn out to be?
My best friend in college was adopted. No obvious problems. Later he turned out to have bipolar.
His adopted sister, no problems.
Two 9-y-o daughters of a friend of mine, international adoption, no problems.
My friend Kim is 40+ and doing fine.
OTOH, among the *non*-adopted people in my family (we have no adoptees) . . . my eldest son is mentally handicapped.
Life happens. You deal with it.
Not related to OP, but there are *waiting lists* to adopt children with Down syndrome.
There are no unwanted children. They just may not live with the ones that wanted them.