A friend was recently asked about why she was choosing to adopt a domestic infant (a pretty expensive way to adopt) rather than adoption through the Foster care System. This question can make an adoptive parent feel a bit judged but as you know I never want to deter anyone from asking questions. I have written a little about this before in Choosing Adoption but I would like to address it a little more.
Domestic infant adoption is giving an opportunity to a woman to choose life for her child when she knows she is unable to parent the child in the way she wants. She is able to make an adoption plan in order to keep her child safe, well loved, and taken care of. If a mother is unprepared to have a child and does parent, this could increase the chances of CPS involvement in the child’s future. I am in no way saying that a birthmother who chooses to parent will have CPS called on her but counseling and the option of making an adoption plan would increase the chances of preventing any future encounters with CPS.
I also encourage people to have a completely open adoption in order for the child to know their Birthparents. Which is pretty specific to domestic infant adoptions. Although there can be contact in some CPS adoptions, this is not the norm or even necessarily a positive thing in some cases. Open adoption allows the child to hear about what a hard sacrifice it was for their birthparents to make an adoption plan and although they were unable to parent, they are very loved. I was also very glad to save our money, fundraise, and ask for donations in order for social workers and counselors to get paid for the many hours of their time counseling these women and thoroughly investigating potential adoptive parents. Adoption can be extremely expensive but most of these women choose to parent after these counseling sessions and are much better parents because of their time spent with a social worker. As children of God I feel that it is not only important to comfort and care for the children but also the mothers. I hope that our child’s birth mother feels the love we have for not only our child but for her too, along with the birth father and birth siblings of our daughter. Giving these mothers options on who they want to parent their child is a good thing. What some refer to as a “waiting list” is seen through my eyes as options for the parents out there who are thoughtfully choosing a safe, loving home for the child. Our particular agency never had more than 12 families in the adoptive parent book at a time and when we were picked there were only about 7 families.
I also should add that as adoptive parents we should be diligent about picking an agency or lawyer who we know will be supportive of the birthparents decision making and ethical in every step of the process. We never want to be a part of coercing any mother into an adoption plan that doesn’t want it in this country or in any other.
I am in complete support of adopting through CPS and international adoption in addition to domestic infant because there are way too many children out there who need forever homes.
When deciding on an adoption route we need to try and find God’s will. Nate and I felt completely led to adopt through domestic infant and if we do adopt again we aren’t sure exactly how we will go about it but I am sure prayer will be our first step. Adopting a child is a very complicated and intense process. What is right for some families may not be right for others.