Friday, August 31, 2007

Adoption 101: Why is Adoption So Expensive?

Found this post on the adoption blog site...I thought it is valuable to those adopting, questioning adoption or even against know the reason it's so expensive.

Why is adoption so expensive? That is the million-dollar question. Some people will say it is because adoption professionals are making money off adoptions. However, many agencies are not-for-profit and seemingly have no reason to “rip off” hopeful adoptive parents. For example, I truly believe that Catholic Social Services is seeking to do what they believe is best for the child as part of a ministry for the Catholic Church.

However, even a not-for-profit adoption agency is incredibly expensive. Our agency, which is not-for-profit, had a base cost of $11,000 back in 2000, not counting any payments for the expecting mother (such as medical bills, food, or housing). If nobody is profiting and the expecting mother is not being “bribed,” then why does adoption cost so much money?

Here are some of the expenses that contribute to the cost:

  • Advertising adoption services to expecting mothers and hopeful adoptive parents
  • Rent, utilities, etc.
  • Salaries of social workers and other office staff
  • Literature for expecting mothers and hopeful adoptive parents

Does this add up to $11,000+ per adoption? It is hard to say from the outside, although I am sure the agency would assure us that they are not making a profit.

Our agency had additional expenditures that may or may not be included in other agencies' services:

  • Expenditures paid toward anticipated adoptions in which the expecting mother ultimately chose to parent
  • Facilitating communication between the birthmother and the adoptive family both before and after the adoption
  • Hiring an adoption attorney for contested adoptions (such as a birthfather contesting an adoption at the 11th hour)
  • Lifetime counseling for birthmothers who place through the agency
  • Parenting classes for expecting mothers who choose to parent
  • Private investigator fees to locate birthfamily or adult adoptee

Our agency provides all of these services free of charge, so somebody has to pay for them. The agency passes these expenses along to the adoptive parents as part of the adoption fee.

Knowing that our agency provides these additional services helped me to feel better about the adoption fee. However, many adoption agencies do not offer these services. For those who do not, I have no explanation for why the cost of adoption is so high.

As for international adoptions, you have two agencies that are charging for their services. You also have another country that might be using part of the fee to subsidize its orphanages or foster care system. A portion of the fee is going to be out of the hands of the domestic agency.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to Memory

Previous posts and comments have got me thinking again about memory and I've looked up more research on the subject.

Found a great abstract by Rachael Collie and Harlene Hayne at the Psychology Department of the University of Otago..Dunedin, New Zealand.

Some of the things that stuck out to me:
Over the past 20 years, an increasing number of researchers have argued that memory is not a unitary process, but rather is comprised of two or more neural systems that serve different functions and operate according to different principles (for recent reviews, see Eichenbaum, 1997; Schacter & Tulving, 1994; Squire, 1992a, 1992b)
This explains why the memory is not intact at birth because even though some of the memory is mature, not all is in place to form an explicit memory.
It has been argued that the memory skills of human infants are initially restricted to procedural memory but that by approximately 8 to 9 months of age the declarative memory system matures (Nadel & Zola-Morgan, 1984; Nelson, 1995; Schacter & Moscovitch, 1984).
It comes down to this.... Until 6-9 months of age (there is some argument between these ages) there is not the ability to have explicit memory... a memory of a face, smell, words.... There is a familiarization about the soothing nature of the mother's voice, smell ....but not a real, solid memory.

Declarative memory (which is fact storing) emerges at approximately8–9 months of age (Nelson, 1995).
Recent research, however, has yielded evidence of deferred imitation by 6-month-olds after the
same delay (Barr, Dowden, & Hayne, 1996)

Here is another study from New Zealand

This stuff fascinates me...

There's another one Here

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I think this is the way many people feel....a very powerful drama!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Legalized Gaurdianship.... There is a place

In 2002 there were 532,000 kids in Foster Care and only 126,000 able to be adopted. Explain that to me.....what is the mindset of some of these parents who will NEVER be able to take on the responsibilities of a parent? Has anyone thought about what's best for these kids?

There are some grandparents or family members that want to establish legalized guardianship instead of adoption, they want to recognize that the child is still the parent's but they are just taking care of them.....I understand that....there is a place for it.

However, a comment from Kelly on a previous post suggests there should be no more adoption but legal guardianship. The problem with that is....the child deserves more than that....having just "legal guardianship" is really having no real family. What is the point? It's telling this child no one really feels you are a part of a family....they are left in a limbo which can be psychologically damaging, as many studies have shown. Foster kids feel this way, not really ever a true part of a family.

Adoption makes kids a permanent part of a family...the name and all that goes with that name.

I am proud to be a part of my family...a real family member, no one has ever distinguished me from my siblings....there was never a "name" to distinguish me as different.

We need to start thinking about the kids....and what's best for them...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Here is Mr. Stocklaufer. He already lost 60 pounds before his gastric bypass surgery, a local hospital donated to him, for his success in adopting. They believe he will be able to lose another 200 to 250 pounds now. Everyone (except for a small anti-adoption crowd and the Texas Child Protective Services, who has a cut-off of 400 pounds), is pulling for him. His whole community is pitching in to help.

Does anyone know people who are this overweight? I do, and they are people with feelings just like you....the person I know fights it all the time and actually has no health problems for now. He's a lot better person that some others that a child could wind up with....there are a lot of obese biological parents....what do we do with them?? should we take their children away???

I pray that everything goes well, and the judge does not discriminate against a man who's only crime is that he is 500 pounds (not for long) and high blood pressure. If high blood pressure keeps you from being a parent we better open up a lot more orphanages because we will have millions of children taken from their homes!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Stocklaufer’s are the Missouri family who had their adoptive son Max removed because the court declared dad Gary to obese to adopt. This family is not only baby Max’s hopeful adoptive family, and the family he has lived with all his tiny life, but they also have a biological connection. Max is the biological son of Gary’s cousin.

Are they saying people overweight can't adopt? Then overweight people should NOT have biological children then either -The government is worried that overweight people may have health problems......? Oh, and what about people with MS, Diabetes, Parkinson's...and all the other things that can impair your health? Then they should not be allowed to have biological and/or adopted children....that should be a no no for them too- right?

This is the most asinine things I have heard.....

Stand up and lets show some solidarity for the Stocklaufer’s

show a blue ribbon (even wear one if you will)
to show we are standing up for them


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sundenly I See.................KT Tunstall

Found a great article about KT Tunstall on the Go and read all of it but I thought it was interesting what she said about adoption....she's one of those millions of happy adoptees you don't hear much about except she's famous and someone asked her about it.

Her ease in her own skin is all the more remarkable given her background. Born in 1975, she was adopted at just 18 days old by a primary-schoolteacher and her physics- lecturer husband. Quite often, people who are adopted describe insecurity about their identity, confusion about exactly where they belong. But Tunstall has a very close relationship with her adoptive parents and never felt different from her two brothers, with whom she grew up in St Andrews. "I could only have felt different if they had treated me differently - and they didn't."

As a young adult, and long before she became famous, Tunstall had tracked down her birth mother and discovered she was half-Chinese and living in Edinburgh. If anything, she seems almost more reluctant to talk now than when we first met, and I can't help wondering if tracing her roots actually complicated life more than she bargained for. (She has made no further effort in the last few years to find her father, an Irish barman.) She was not driven to find the truth, she admits, just curious. "I know much more than most people in my situation. I have a huge amount of information. I certainly don't feel right now that there's more I need to know for my peace of mind."

I loved that she said she would have only felt different if her parents had treated her as if she were different.....

"She is fiercely loyal to the mother and father who raised her and believes you are a product of nurture rather than nature."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another web site....

Julie was nice enough to link me over to where I found the craziest article
( a few actually). When does Adoption Begin? is by Marcy Wineman Axness. I am trying to think positive about what she best she's saying that all mother, even birthmothers should love their children prenatally and treat herself and the unborn child well. But I'm afraid it's not that simple and she's claiming all sorts of nonsense. She is trying to claim an "umbilical affect" when it comes to adopting (note that this guy is a "primal therapist":
"British physician and primal therapist Frank Lake believed that if maternal emotion, or "umbilical affect," is negative, the fetus feels unrecognized and insignificant (Maret, 1997.)"
but she quotes one birth mother as saying :
"I now know that this left my child very alone in the womb. He must have felt that no one cared about him, since these mythical parents-to-be were nowhere around and I had vacated my motherly responsibilities to him, in deference to their feelings. Sometimes I wonder if this is why, as a seven-month-old baby, he still doesn't smile very much."
This preposterous notion is so sad to me. This makes the birthmother blame herself for her whole life and makes her feel she may not have done the right thing....the guilt she will carry is unfounded. It is letting this woman believe that the child has these sorts of feelings in the womb....and this is absolutely not true. More later...I have a life.....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Doofus award--goes to David Smolin
Does this guy not realize this is food for fodder for the anti adoption gang? There IS manipulation and trafficking, I'll admit to a small amount, and it should stop..... but you know "they" will use it for their own evil know they will twist it like limbs on a tree to suit word....he may have no idea.....arg!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Smell of Disgust

I still have Parosmia. It is the only thing you can think about when you're hungry---and I'm hungry all the time! Everything (most things) taste rotten and spoiled or like garbage---- or smell like rotting flesh, dead bodies, vomit or acid. The only thing I enjoy is some fruit, plain bread, plain noodles or lettuce with a vinegar dressing. I've lost about 10 pounds because I make myself eat things that taste rotten but I can only eat so much and I have to stop. I drink an ovaltine every morning holding my nose and have to brush my teeth right away with toothpaste that tastes a little like rotten fruit....i guess I have to "choose my poison", rotten fruit id better than the taste of chocolate....i guess.
I have had a CT, an MRI and now will undergo some neurological tests to see what is happening. I will mention that even though chocolate is aweful OREO still taste heavenly!

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Not Dwelling

One of my adoptee friends, wrote this and I couldn't agree more:

I can see, now, that not making adoption some kind of focal point in my life, made my life normal........normal, like any other kid. If we'd spent a large amount of time talking about it, I would have thought about it more often, and I would have focused more on it, when I really didn't want to. I only thought about it from the context of it being something I could use to put into my "parents are unfair" list. It wasn't like I wanted to talk about it because it was important to my mental well-being --- it was more along the lines of wanting to make my parents talk about it because I knew it made them squirm!! nyah

I can say, that with all honesty, I had the best parents I could possibly have ever had. They gave me incredible morals and values.......they instilled in me the importance of a deep faith, love of country, a strong work ethic, personal responsibility, and love of life. They taught me to appreciate the world around me, to respect my fellow man, and how to make wise choices for myself. I never doubted for a moment that I was loved, safe, cared for, or a part of my family in the same way every other person was a part of my family. I never for a moment felt "different", nor did it occur to me to.

As dl said........adoption was a one time event. It was how I joined my family. It went no further than that, and has never been, for me, a "way of being".

This is exactly how I feel---the only difference was I didn't even ever think of me being adopted when I was growing up...even when I thought my mom and dad were being unfair.....
not dwelling on things.....hmmmm

After reading many of the blogs....good and bad, I have discovered there are so many misconceptions out there in the land of infertility and are just a few. Feel free to add some more.

1. We adopted parents are NOT wealthy, don't live in huge beautiful houses and don't give all their children a pony. We work hard for what we do have and usually have to take out a loan to afford an adoption.

2. Eggs can be bad at an early age and can still be good at 45. Just because you are young and healthy and in your 20s, you can have bad eggs. In the same turn, just because your 45 - it does not mean you have to have donor eggs to have a baby. I know a woman at 52 who is pregnant without any help and another at 47 who had IVF and is pregnant with twins.

3. NOT all adoptees are sad about being adopted.

4. Just like a lot of people with biological children, most adopted parents must also work and find a good babysitter during the work week. This does not make them bad wouldn't say people whop work with biological kids are bad so why are aparents?

5. All children go through a period of separation anxiety, it's not just something that adopted kids go through. Read some early childhood development books (the one's NOT written by anti-adoption authors) and you will see it's normal.

please add.....i know there are more - these are a few off the top of my head....

Friday, August 10, 2007


Those who we call "mean adoptees" are just that. they are mean people. They will cut you down before you can blink an eye. They will put you on their "get 'em list" and get all their mean friends to back them up. They are bullies. As we all know bullies have a chip on their shoulders because of a lack of something in their life. They can be SO mean yet will say we "happy adoptees" have something wrong with US.....amazing. These people can say they loved their aparents, that they were good people but they did not give enough all comes down to love and acceptance. There's one meam blogger who says she had great aparents and they loved her but other things she writes tells a different story. All the happy adoptees I know was very loved. Their aparents might not be perfect but they loved that child and had big hearts.

The angry adoptees need to stop trying to gain acceptance by joining in on the "happy adoptee bashing" (maybe that's jealousy?), and try to love themselves first, forgive whoever they need to forgive and be more positive - they are not doing anything being mean and trying to bring people down.....nothing accomplished.

My baby is loved ...without question, without compromise....forever.... I felt that too, it makes all the difference in the world.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

16 years

I've known T for 22 years. We started dating in 1985 and I played volleyball with him for much of the year before we started dating. August 10, 1991 we were married. It was 102 degrees 3 days before the wedding day and we were getting married outside in the garden of a historical mansion. I had a traditional dress (even though I swore I would not have anything traditional). I was long sleeve and high necked---yikes. I bought it in February and wasn't thinking straight- I know. But the day of the wedding it was 76 degrees and the horses were running in the pasture next to the beautiful was like a dream.

Sixteen years of a great marriage and a great guy. I love that we are such good friends... it means the world to me. J just makes the pie sweeter!

Happy Anniversary Sugar Baby!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


There are many true baseball fans who WILL NEVER acknowledge Barry Bond's #755 or over. Moments ago he hit #756 (yea right)-- He juiced it up, he's a jerk and has played many more games per season than Babe or Hank. So, he is NO ONE, NO BODY, NOTHING, he does not exist.
Follow Up...

I recently wrote an E-mail to "a child is waiting" agency to tell them how I felt about their "disruption" clause for adoption.
Even though I was sort of polite, it was not a nice e-mail to say the least.

This is the response I received...
I agree that it is disturbing. Sadly it is a reality when families adopt
special needs children. We hope to change policies and advocate for
reform in many area of adoption in order to prent disruptions from happening.

thanks for your email.
I hope they got enough e-mails about it that they will truly consider change.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Faces of Adoptees

This really says what I've have been saying all along

by Abby

Sometimes, the media and others paint adoptees as having major issues from psychological needs, consumed with anger, depression, etc. Yes, some adoptees may have dealt with these issues from time to time, but for the most part, their lives are not controlled by these things. There are a few adoptees that are unable to move beyond these issues, that I do understand.

In every walk of life, there are people struggling with issues, but that does not mean that everyone in that walk of life is also struggling. It is funny, sometimes it is like everyone else expects adoptees to be angry and even have issues with being adopted.

This leads one to wonder why others want, expect, or need adoptees to feel negative. Society it seems acts as if adoption is all about the birth mother or family. When adoptees do not search or feel the need for contact with their birth family members, it is just unthinkable to people. People refer to adoptees birth parents as their “real parents”. Does this imply the adoptees are living an “unreal” life with pretend parents? I have never been asked by a person questioning me about being adopted, if I had a happy childhood and am I at peace with being adopted? I have talked with other adoptees and this seems to be a common trend.

I am not saying that adoptees do not experience anger, depression, etc. for the most part we deal with it and move on. Yes, from time to time in our lives events may arise that cause us to revisit these emotions but we do not remain there.

I have been surprised myself about learning how many adoptees end up adopting children themselves. Can adoption be for the most part so bad if the same children that were adopted go on to adopt children of their own?

Adoptees do go on to live normal and productive lives. Yes, surprising as it may seem, a lot of adoptees are okay with being adopted and may even support adoption.

Below are two fellow adoptees that also seem to pretty normal. While some people think that most adoptees are against adoption is not necessarily the truth. Yes, I do know there are some adoptees that are very opposed to adoption but not all adoptees feel that way.

A Utah adoptee, Nathan gave his life for our country in Iraq. Nathan was adopted in Korea at the age of two years old. A die hard biker adoptee supports adoption and seems to be at peace with it. He has also gone on to find his birth parents.

The faces of adoptees are so different. We all have different lives, experiences, journeys, feelings, needs and yes, even struggles that makes each of our adoption experiences so different. Adoption is a part of us, but not who we are.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


There are nuts out there...let me tell you. I have come across a few - read about some but this one takes the cake.

Legalized Lies is the title of a website...the opening line:
All of our profits go directly toward family preservation and public awareness campaigns to ensure that adoption will soon be nothing more than a shameful part of our history
This gal puts out anti adoption t-shirts, mouse pads, bags and button-talk about a screw loose!

Read a little more about this here: By the way - she's not an adoptee, birthmother or aparent.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

20 things....

I was looking at excerpts from " Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge and I am amazed at the authority in which these books are written. She also wrote Twenty Life Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make and I don't think she holds one title of merit.... She has interviewed more than seventy adoptees (this makes her an expert?) and I know she is a Christian woman and formed an organization, Jewel Among Jewels Adoption Network, Inc., which "helps educate people about the unique needs of the adopted child" and publishes a quarterly newsletter, Jewel Among Jewels Adoption News. I just can't agree with what she is saying...she writes these books based on her own feelings and experiences and believes everyone must feel the same.

She begins the book by saying:
"Outwardly we appeared to be a close family, We took vacations together and played golf together, I remember my parents proudly watching the events of my life unfold. I was a model child;captain of the cheer leading team, first chair clarinet, homecoming representative for my class. But behind the scenes I was starving myself, being sexually promiscuous and stealing. My parents didn't have a clue. I never thought about the discrepancy between good/girl/bad girl aspects of my life or considered sharing my struggles with my parents. I was driven by a force I wasn't aware of.
What was the problem? Was it my parents? Were they second rate? NO! Was it me? Was I damaged goods because I was adopted? NO! A million times, no. The problem was ignorance-ignorance about unresolved adoption loss and the need to grieve."
Another quote:
"To deny adoption loss is to deny the emotional reality of everyone involved."
Still another:
"An Adoptee's wounds are hardly ever talked about. They are the proverbial pink elephant in the living room"
and my favorite...
"Grief is the natural response to loss, and those touched by adoption must be given permission to revisit emotionally the places of loss, feel the pain, scream the anger, cry the tears and then allow themselves to be loved by others" she kidding?
In the book she talks about Adopted parents wondering why their adopted child is acting out?She claims it to be them being adopted of course. What would they be asking if the child wasn't adopted? Biological children act out...what does that mean then?

It would be different if she was talking about children who were not infants when adopted....but she includes everyone. She writes that EVERYONE needs to grieve when adopted....I SO disagree with that....and I have hundreds of other people that I've spoken with or e-mailed that feels the same. There may be some exceptions, but it boils down to just a way to explain some people's problems. I guess if it helps them to believe can't hurt. But don't claim everyone is needing to "scream the anger and cry the tears" from loss that many adoptees don't even feel.

If you go back and read the first quote from her book - you notice something interesting. "Outwardly we appeared to be a close family" - that tells me right there that something was wrong in her adopted family. I think more people need to look into how they were brought up - maybe the family didn't accept them fully or give them the love they needed? Maybe they held adoption over their heads. One blogger writes all the time how great her aparents were but then turns around and writes about how her mother would say digging things about her being adopted....sorry, but that doesn't all add up. No wonder one gets psychologically damaged....

Beware of the books - take everything with a grain of salt and check the credentials - anybody can write a book....

Adoptive Parents You Might Know

Not personally - I really mean adoptive parents of whom you might have heard.

(Stumbled across this & thought it was good)

I'm not sure you should call them role models, but they're Been-There-Done-That and they're famous.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Adoption is Complicated

The more stories I read about adoption the more sad it makes me. It's complicated, this adoption stuff. When I write about adoption I'm talking about infant adoption. I girl goes in to an agency and makes a decision about placing a child for adoption. Whether that's done out of desperation, poverty, necessity, etc., it's a choice they make. They or the agency (It's better if it's the biomom) make a decision by looking at profiles and choosing a family that they can decide on and maybe even meet before the final decision is made. This is the "adoption" I speak of.

There are so many other adoption situations...the foster child (who I'm sure is always hurt in the process) and the foreign adoption (again, older when adopted and hurt throughout). These kids suffer. They are with people, then they are not....that leaves a mark that stays.

It hurts me to think any kid grows up without being loved and matter if they are with their biological family or not. Don't you wish there was an easy way to fix that?

For those who are angry, upset, sad, depressed and hurt.... I'm sorry if it was lack of love from your family or the family you were one deserves that. Find someone to give you a BIG hug every may not fix anything but it sure can't hurt!