After looking at information online or through email for weeks we finally decided to go ahead and visit one of the agencies on our list to see what they were like and if there was any reason we would not want to work with them. It was an early Saturday morning trek down to the office and we were sitting in a room full of about a dozen different families looking for more information on adoption. It is kind of scary at first seeing just how many people our agency (at just one location) talks to each and every month about the possibility of doing an adoption through them. If there are that many people each month how will you ever stand out among so many to potential birth mothers.
The meeting itself was really informative though and by the end of the session we had met some great people that had some heart wrenching stories for why they were looking at the Independent Adoption Center (IAC). We really liked the IAC and have decided to go ahead and enroll in their weekend intensive program to start the adoption process and home study with them. The counselor that ran the meeting today was really great and has a personal connection to adoption which helps us feel like she understands how difficult the next year or two will be. We also, loved that our agency doesn’t discriminate about adopting families meaning that they accept any couple (or single) that is interested in adoption that can pass the background and physical checks. With me being in a wheelchair one of the things we worried about was if we could find an agency willing to work with us and not see me as being ineligible to care for a child.
I think today we just made a very important decision in the future of our family!
We had some questions that led us to our decision to seek out adoption agencies that have an extremely open policy between the adoptive and birth parents. Did we know what we were getting into when we finally made our decision on how we wanted our adoption to be? Are we afraid if too much contact will be more difficult for us and the child we adopt? These are a lot of the questions that we have talked about and researched when it came to what type of adoption we want to do now that we have decided on a domestic adoption instead of international.
It is hard to come by a truly closed adoption agency at this point within the US. All agencies have some form of open adoption when going through a private agency. Even some children that are adopted through foster care have open communication with part of their birth family (as long as it doesn’t pose a threat to the child emotionally or physically).
After taking that into account and realizing there will be some form of communication more than likely between us and the birth parents/family, we had to do more research to find out just how open we were willing to be and how that will affect our family in the future.
We are both a little worried about what the interaction will be and if it will be difficult to feel comfortable with the relationship between us and the birth family. We have read articles that say that it is better for the child to have some form of contact so they have more information and all we can do at this point is hope that whatever relationship we have is the right one for everyone involved.
There are some agencies that allow the families involved determine how open their adoption is and I think that is the best for us to look into at this point since some birth families might want more than we are comfortable giving at this time.
We have a meeting soon with a potential agency and hopefully after that we will feel more comfortable with what open adoption means.