Saturday, February 28, 2015

So, how much does this cost?

      With the goal of this blog being to help recount our experiences with adoption from the beginning, I guess I have skipped a huge issue: how much money is actually going to be involved here? This is a hard question because it is so incredibly variable. But, I will try to give an idea of some of the things I have found and how we are planning. It is important to note that this is our experience researching agencies. If you are doing a private adoption and just working with a lawyer rather than an agency, this will be VERY different. Also, adoption through foster care has pretty minimal costs, usually less than $3,000.

Updates and lack thereof

        Today is 3 weeks since our final homestudy visit, and 5 weeks since we submitted our background checks and fingerprint cards. As a recap, here are the approximate wait times we were given: First, it would take 4-6 weeks for our background checks and fingerprint cards to be processed (which must happen before our homestudy approval can be submitted to the court system for official legal approval), then it would be 6-8 weeks for court processing and approval. So, we were hoping that we would be officially approved to adopt and could start having our profile shown 10-14 weeks from February 9th (since the 7th, when we had our final homestudy visit and social worker approval, was a Saturday).
     Well, there has been a bit of a glitch in the first part of this waiting period-- the fingerprint cards.

Friday, February 13, 2015

About the Title-- "Confused Stork"

          Some people would love to "see their stork" but he refuses to show up, while others experience him barging in, uninvited. This was the idea behind the title of the blog-- the stork is confused about who actually wants to see him, and that combination is usually where adoption begins. However, someone pointed out to me today that the title of the blog "When the Stork Gets Confused" could be interpreted in a hurtful way to someone coming from another point in the adoption triad. The concern was basically that I was implying that the wrong person became pregnant with my child, and after reading the message I have to admit that I can totally, 100% understand how it could be interpreted that way. I honestly had not considered it from that perspective, and I am deeply sorry if anyone else has seen this and thought that I was suggesting any such thing. The title was simply an attempt to be witty (apparently not a great attempt, at that!) based on a couple of different jokes that have been made by people close to me (neither in the spirit of criticizing first-parents/bioparents). Here's a quick explanation for the title of the blog, and a sincere apology to anyone who may have stopped by (or seen a link somewhere else) and interpreted it as anything critical, hurtful, or offensive.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Revocation periods

   For a couple of days I have been researching about the thing that makes many potential adoptive parents nervous: the revocation period. This is basically the time frame in which the biomom has the opportunity to change her mind about the adoption plan and regain custody of the child, even if she has already signed the adoption paperwork and the baby is already living with the adoptive parents. The other period that is often-nerve wracking is the waiting period before the biomom can sign. While some states allow the biomom to sign as soon after the birth as she would like (or even before the birth, in a few cases), others impose a waiting period of 2-5 days. Since our agency does quite a few interstate adoptions, and we have said that we are open to stork-drop situations, our social worker said it would be a good idea to become familiar with the different states' policies to know if there are any states we aren't comfortable working with. So, I've decided to share my research here, hoping it can save someone else some time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Research: Are visits with the biomom good for teenagers?

          This is day 2 of my whole "be productive and read research while we wait" endeavor. The article I read today was from a 2008 issue of Adoption Quarterly entitled "Many faces of openness in adoption: Perspectives of adopted adolescents and their parents." This study only included 52 adolescents, so it isn't huge, but it did have interesting results.

 What is the biomom's role in their lives?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Research: How do adoptive parents feel about openness?

So, in the several weeks that we will be waiting for all of our homestudy paperwork to be processed, I've decided to do something productive: read research articles! I know, it sounds super exciting, right? I'm a bit of a nerd and I enjoy reading research, and I thankfully have access to research journals through my job. Yes, there are books on adoption, but very few incorporate recent empirical research. So, for those who don't think that reading an article a day sounds quite as exciting as I do (or don't have access to the articles), I am going to summarize them as I come across ones that have interesting information. So here we go!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Homestudy Part 2

   The past 2 weeks have been filled with getting the various paperwork we needed for our second homestudy: doing our taxes for this year, collecting employment statements from work, and the oh-so-obnoxious process of having our doctors do health verification forms. Here's a tip: there is a good chance that your health insurance will not cover some of the labwork if your doctor indicates that they are for legal purposes and not out of a health concern (such as drug screenings and HIV/STI testing). Ours sure didn't! So, unless you want to be surprised with a pretty significant bill (a few hundred dollars, in our case), you would probably be better off getting your own tests done (you can get a voluntary drug screening, and of course HIV testing is readily accessible) rather than going to your doctor and them insisting on ordering those labs (CYA, you know) and then the lab going "Oh, sorry, we don't process insurance if this is for legal rather than medical purposes, because they won't take it, anyway." By the time I found that out, we were running out of time and I just had to fork over the money and do it, or take the chance of having to reschedule our second homestudy. And with my husband unavailable every weekend for the next 4-6 weeks or so, that just wasn't a great option for us. Hindsight is 20/20.
               Anyway, this is a post about what to expect during part 2 of the homestudy.

Confirmation of materials: