The contact form on my blog, and direct messages on instagram are nonstop flooded with question about adoption and Nina. While I still am holding firm on what I feel is right at this moment, which is not sharing personal details of her story (that is not mine, but Nina’s to tell if she decides to), I decided to do a little Q&A about some of the most asked questions I receive about adoption.
-Why did you adopt a baby when you already have kids?
I get asked this all the time! I can totally see how adoption can be perceived as a solution to those who are unable to have children of their own. I think it is important to share that adoption can be for anyone who feels it is part of their family plan! Whether you are able to naturally conceive or not. I actually wrote a whole post on this: Our Adoption Journey Why We Adopted
-Do you have a closed adoption?
To give a little bit of education, closed and open adoption typically mean something entirely different than what people think it does. An open adoption is usually thought of that blood relatives share custody of the child. Closed adoption is often thought of as the child not even knowing he/she was adopted and it is kept a secret. I blame both of those incorrect terms to television or old fashion times.
In real life here is what they actually mean. An open adoption is when the adoptive parents share updates, pictures, or even phone calls, or visits with the birth family. It still never means that custody is shared. The adoptive parents are the legal parents of the child and ultimately make choices that are in the best interest of the child. Whether that is physical visits with the birth parents or just yearly letters to them.
A closed adoption is a rarity. With a closed adoption a lot of times the birth mother/father choses to remain anonymous, not meet the adoptive parents, or even disclose a first name for themselves. There have been a number of studies done, and a closed adoption often leaves the affect on a child of coming from a place of unknown, which can often lead to a number of negative emotional affects (you can research this further).
We (like 99.9% of others) have an open adoption, we have always felt like it is no secret that Nina is adopted, and the more good positive people in her life that love and support her the better.
– Did you do a GoFundMe for your adoption?
No we did not. I wasn’t planning on going into detail on my personal reasoning for not having one, but for some reason I have been asked this so many times, like people are almost weirded out I did not ask strangers for moola. If you are or did any type of funding for an adoption, then I think that was the right choice for you, and it worked out! For me personally in our one and only situation we chose not to do it for a few reasons. Not because we are rich and have so much cash, though I do wish that was it! I feel as if GoFundMe was created to help startups, or even to be used as an emergency platform (example child is deathly suddenly ill and needs heath care). Adoption like any other type of child birth costs money because you have the cost of the actual healthcare, doctor appointments, birth, and hospital care. I felt like if I personally could not pay of the birth of my child, we were not ready to have a child.
Personally, we did not feel comfortable asking those I know to for money when they themselves have had their own children (covered by insurance, not covered, big deductibles, IVF costs, etc).
Yes, it was financially a stretch to pay (hello there is a 5.5 year gap between Finn and Nina). But, that is how it is when you have a baby no matter what. There is always unforeseen costs.
I know I will probably get hate for my answer, but for us, in our situation in that timing those were our thoughts.
-Did you use an adoption agency or do a private adoption?
We used an adoption agency. This is a baby we are talking about, and so many emotionally invested people involved. Plus even though my husband went to law school, adoption law is super complex. Each state has different laws and proceedings. There are multiple factors and moving parts in an adoption, trust professionals.
-How did you find your adoption agency? There are so many!
Yes there are a crazy amount! Before you begin considering agencies, I would highly suggest familiarizing yourself with the adoption laws in your state. For us, the laws in California didn’t feel as secure as laws in other states. So we decided we were not going with a California agency (process of elimination). Once we found a state whose laws alined with our needs, we begin our search for an agency there.
For me a main part of importance was an agency that had a lot of birth mother support. I was looking for one that would: house them if needed, help them better themselves (GED, AA, college courses), provide well rated doctors, birth at a well rated hospital, and one that offered emotional support during and after pregnancy.
-Did you know the birth mom beforehand?
No, we did not.
– Were you able to pick your baby/the birth mom?
This question I am sure means well, and honestly just comes out of curiosity. However, I feel like it unpacks a lot, and cant’ be answered simply.
When you begin your home study (state required before you can even begin working with an adoption agency), you are given a ton of paperwork. In this paperwork there are a ton of boxes you can check referring to your “wants” for your future adopted baby. Examples of some are appearance like: birth parents are white, mixed, black etc, some of them are religious: birth parents are Christian, and a lot of them are health related like: birth parents have a family history of heart disease, drug use, cancer etc
I have given birth before (twice!) and with each pregnancy I was unable to check boxes for how my baby would turn out. Beau and I both felt like with adoption it shouldn’t be different. We left every single box unchecked. Why the fuck would we get to play God?
On the other hand, the birth mother does see pictures of you, know what you choose to tell her, and that is how she picks her child’s adoptive parents. And I am completely fine with that. Of course she should be able to have all the facts when making this decision.
-How did you get your husband to want to adopt?
I think if you reworded this to: How did you get your husband want to have a baby? the answer would be so obvious. Making the decision to bring a baby into your family isn’t one sided and should never be. Put parents should equally have the same desire to start or expand a family.
If you are not married and in the dating phase of a relationship, be honest and upfront about your wants on a family.
-Was it hard to adopt?
Having a baby is hard. Being a single mother and having a baby is hard. Being so sick during pregnancy you have to give yourself daily injections is hard. Having a high risk pregnancy and being hospitalized for three months straight is hard. Trying for a baby is hard. Adoption is hard.
I have experienced all of the above, and what I have learned is that no matter how a baby comes into your family-it is hard. One isn’t more hard or easier than another, but every single time it is worth it.
-Are you guys going to adopt again?
That is the plan! We would love to adopt again. The timeline isn’t set, Nina is only 7 months old.