Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An update lacking in updates

       The past couple of months have been very quiet in terms of our adoption journey. We have submitted three applications (but one didn't end up being seen, more on that later), but haven't matched. We are just patiently waiting to see how things will end up! The reason we have only submitted three applications is that we have run into a big challenge with the cases we have been made aware of through the agencies and lawyers who we are working with: we have a biological child, and the expectant mom is wanting a childless family. Well over half of the cases that we would have had the opportunity to submit for (I would probably estimate about 75%) desire a childless couple, or a couple whose other children were adopted. Here is a summary of our experiences with the three situations.

      Situation 1: We became aware of a situation on July 20th through the listserve of an adoption lawyer that we follow. This lawyer only accepts hard copies of any and all paperwork, and gives a fairly large application window-- applications for this situation were due July 30. There is no charge to be on this lawyer's listserve and learn about new cases, but there is a charge for each application you submit. Right now, application fees are $110. Instead of sending a copy of your profile book, a questionnaire is developed based on some standard questions and the things that important to the expectant mother (and biological father, if he is participating in the selection process with her). This e-mom had stated that she was leaning towards or intending to give preference to (I don't remember exactly how it was worded) couples without children, but having kids wasn't a deal breaker. We decided to submit our application in spite of this due to the fact that we did meet all of the criteria that she was hoping to find. We had all of our paperwork in the mail the following day (July 21st). Because of the long application window and no cap on the number of applications accepted for a situation, this one ended up having almost 20 couples apply. She had a meeting the day after applications closed (July 31st), and we were notified that same day that we were not selected. There had been 8 (I think? Maybe it was 6) couples who met the criteria she was hoping for and were childless, and she ended up selecting one of these couples. (Update on this situation: We found out that this biomom decided to parent. She changed her mind after she gave birth.)

     Situation 2: On July 30, the day before the e-mom from situation 1 selected her family, we became aware of another case. This one was through an unmatched situations page of one of the agencies that we follow but do not have a paid registration with. The way these pages work is that sometimes an agency/lawyer gets a situation and they either don't have any PAPs who fit the profile that the e-mom is wanting, or none (or not enough of) the registered PAPs are interested in having their profile shown. In this case, the e-mom had gone to an adoption attorney group that is more "exclusive" about their PAPs and only have 10-14 registered at a time to create a shorter wait for a match (in theory). None of their registered PAPs were interested in this situation, so they networked with a larger agency to have it placed on their unmatched situations page. We communicated with the agency and got a pretty thorough profile of the e-mom (I was actually impressed by how much detail they gave us), and decided that we wanted to submit our profile if we didn't match with situation 1. We told the agency that we were currently under consideration for someone else but should know something the following day, and would email them our materials ASAP if we didn't match. This agency allows everything to be sent electronically-- even a PDF copy of the profile book. Since the due date for this e-mom was only 3 weeks away, they were hoping to have profiles shown early that next week. We gathered all of our materials, and after finding out at 12:50 that we hadn't been selected for situation 1, we had the email with all of the application materials to the agency for situation 2 by 1:15. This agency did not charge any fee to apply for this situation. We did fully meet the criteria for the type of family she was hoping for. On August 4th, we were told that this situation was being considered "on hold" as the adoption lawyer hadn't heard from the e-mom for a couple of weeks, and she hadn't been returning any attempts at communication to set up a meeting to view profiles for the past several days. She wasn't heard from again, and as I write this her due date has come and gone.

   Situation 3: The last situation was also found through one of those unmatched situations pages, but from a different agency. This situation posted on August 18th and there was a 1 day application window. We submitted our application and profile book by the close of business the 18th (also fully electronic). There was not an application fee for this one, either. The e-mom viewed profiles on the 25th, and we were notified the same day that we had not been selected. She hoped to have in-person visits with the child when she reached a more stable place in her life, eventually working up to two visits per year. While we were totally comfortable with this, we do live several hundred miles away, and visits would require advanced notice and planning. There ended up being a family who applied who also met all the criteria she was wanting and was local to her area, so those visits she was hoping for would be much easier to arrange.

So there is my lack of update. It definitely ended up being a quieter summer than we had anticipated!

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