Monday, March 23, 2015

Adopting U.S. Children

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on February 7, 2014. Image credit: Puravida at Morguefile, http://cdn.morguefile.com/imageData/public/files/p/puravida/preview/fldr_2008_11_11/file000932944015.jpg.)





Yet another post inspired by going back through my old web site...the discussion there of why some overseas adoptions hadn't worked is sort of out of date, after more than a year. No apologies: news stories turn into old news. (And nobody pays me if you read them.) But then an ad displayed on Bubblews prompted me to share a current thought on the same theme.

Middle-aged people who don't have children, or whose children have grown up and left home, often want to adopt children. Why do so many of them complain about this being so hard to do? Possibly because some of them are obsessed with adopting the kind of child who is discussed, often very coldbloodedly, as the commodity called a "White Newborn." 

The supply of White Newborns is limited, such that from time to time, in communities with a lot of low-income White people like mine, people actually advertise encouragement for more young White women to have more babies they can't afford to keep. The ads are always meant to suggest that they were placed by a nice older couple who want to adopt a child themselves. Upon examination these ads may have been placed by a couple, but even if they were, the couple are agents who will be placing the child with some other family, for a profit. The difference between giving a child up to them and selling the child outright is that the needy young mother gets less money from the agents. 

Meanwhile a lot of children in need of foster or adoptive families are languishing in state-run shelters, basically being brought up by social workers, because they're not White Newborns. Seriously: that's considered a heavy stroke against them in the adoption-placement industry. They've lived long enough to have developed personalities...sometimes wonderful personalities. And some people have a problem with that...with being able to get to know a child before you try to be his or her parent. ? ???

Actually, it's easier to adopt a child who you know, and the state can assure others, will fit into your home nicely. The easiest way to make sure adoptive parents and children are compatible is for them to try living together as a foster family first. 

Any social worker who'd allowed me to adopt any child when I was 22 should have lost her or his job...but since I only helped someone else foster the child known to cyberspace as my adoptive sister, it worked out well. Now I have two sisters. They're about the same age (nine or ten years younger than I am) and size (both were bigger than I am at age 11). One's biracial like me, so far as we know; one's triracial. One's cheerful like me; one's depressive. I feel much, much closer to the one who's cheerful...I try to love all of The Nephews impartially, each in his or her own way. 

If you, too, would like to find a congenial child who needs a home, here's the link to a site I saw in a Bubblews ad, investigated, and found informative: www.adoptuskids.org/ . State regulations for foster and adoptive parents vary but this site tries to provide an overview. You don't have to be wealthy. You may or may not need to have a certain level of income, size of house, and/or motor vehicle. You may or may not be required to sit through "classes" or attend counselling sessions. You do need to love children and bond with the child or children you adopt or foster.