7
   

The allure of the "orphan"

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:28 pm
@boomerang,
"Orphanage" is an obsolete term from past times here.

We got homes and 'family groups', where children with the need of living and being raised, educated outside the original family can live.
(That's because only very few are really orphans in these days.)

Those children aren't "thrown away" at all., because various social services and courts are involved before such children go in such a home.
However, it's always preferred to give those children in families, either by adoption or as foster children.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:29 pm
@boomerang,
Boomer, once in a while there is a parent who relinquishes her/his right knowing that they'd be unfit parents or cannot care for the child, but most often children enter foster care to seek protection FROM the bio parents.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:31 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
but at the same time they
realize that their parents were the ones who made everything possible and
they start to appreciate Santa's helpers.
at what age does this finally kick in?


I don't know! I think it also depends on how the children are raised.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:33 pm
@CalamityJane,
It depends on the state, Calamity Jane. The national average for finalization of an adoption is about 6 months.
I'm talking about adoptions of newborns. I don't know whether there is a difference with foster care adoptions. It sounded like Hawkeye was asking about whether a mother could reclaim an infant from adoptive parents.

A mother who has relinquished a child for adoption can change her mind before the adoption is finalized. That's part of the reason that adoptions aren't final when the child is placed with the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are visited, to be sure the child is being well cared for, and the biological mother does have a period of time during which she can change her mind. The law does not force a mother to make an immediate, irrevocable decision immediately after giving birth--she can relinguish her rights and then change her mind. And the adoptive parents can decide they don't want to continue with an adoption.

I mentioned in another thread that friends of mine did halt their adoption of an infant when it became clear the baby was showing signs of severe physical disabilities. They already had a child with severe disabilities and they felt they could not adequately manage the care of two such children. It was a heart breaking decision for them to make--they were very attached to the infant--but they did what they felt was the best thing for the infant, their other child, and themselves, by halting the adoption.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:35 pm
What I think to be an interested number is that in 2009, 13,000 foreign adoption were done in the USA - more than in all the world's countries together. (Source: a report in the German Focus magazine, from March 15, 2010).
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:48 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
russia was almost 6,000 in o4, steadily dropping to 1600 last year and in third place. Ethiopia number 2!, I never would have guessed.....
http://international.adoption.com/foreign/trends-in-international-adoption.html
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:48 pm
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
I mentioned in another thread that friends of mine did halt their adoption of an infant when it became clear the baby was showing signs of severe physical disabilities. They already had a child with severe disabilities and they felt they could not adequately manage the care of two such children. It was a heart breaking decision for them to make--they were very attached to the infant--but they did what they felt was the best thing for the infant, their other child, and themselves, by halting the adoption.


How unfortunate! Do you know what happened to the baby? Since the
mother relinquished, she probably did not want the infant back.

One of the reasons I adopted through social services a foster child was
that all necessary paperwork was done prior to taking the child in. I did
not want to have a child in my house with the possibility of losing it. I could not bear such a loss. I also wanted an older child (she was 3 years old)
since most disabilities would show by then. I lucked out though - she was
and still is the perfect child; couldn't have done it better myself!
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:48 pm
@CalamityJane,
Calamity Jane, it's not true that adoptive parents cannot be found unfit once they have the child in their care. Before the adoption is finalized, the child can be removed from the adoptive parents, by the adoption agency, if there is any suspicion, or even report, of possible neglect or abuse. This happened to members of my family, and they had to go through a court battle to get the baby back from the agency. You are not the legal parent until the day the adoption is finalized. In the case of my family, they received the infant when he was two or three days old, the adoption was finalized 7 months later, and that period included the legal battle with the agency.

Adopting a newborn might be different than what goes on with adopting foster children. Newborns are in high demand, many families want them, so finding placements isn't a problem.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 10:55 pm
@firefly,
Really? It's such a time consuming process going through the home study to be approved as adoptive parent, I cannot imagine why they would neglect
or abuse a child while waiting for the final adoption process. It's possible I guess...
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 11:39 pm
@CalamityJane,
No neglect or abuse had actually taken place with the infant in my family, Calamity Jane. Someone thought they heard my relative say she felt like harming the infant because he cried too much, and they reported this to the adoption agency. The agency called my relatives and told them to bring the infant in, without telling them why. When they got there, the agency took the baby and told them they would never see him again. No investigation, no nothing. So, my relatives hired an attorney and took the agency to court and got the baby back a few weeks later. The agency might have been right to investigate whether the child was in danger, but not to try to suddenly terminate the adoption based only on a comment someone thought they heard. The baby was fine, and grew up to be fine. No one had ever thought of harming him, he was, and is, a very wanted, and loved, child.

When you adopt a newborn it can be very overwhelming, because you may not know when you are getting the baby, you are on a waiting list. Then you suddenly get a call one day telling you the baby has arrived, which sends you scrambling to get all the basic items you need in place. And then, two days later, you have a newborn in your home. It seems to be somewhat more overwhelming for the the adoptive mothers I've known, than it is for women who have just given birth to their own children. The adoptive mother has less psychological preparation for the arrival of the baby. I remember a girl friend of mine saying to me, "I didn't have nine months to get used to this. I'm suddenly a mother". I think that's also what my relative went through, and someone misunderstood what they thought they heard her saying. It's exciting to suddenly find yourself a mom, but it sort of throws you for a loop too.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 12:58 am
@firefly,
As a biological mother you have months to prepare for the child. Family and friends are also involved giving your or lending you what you need, the room is being prepared.
When you adopt an infant you get a notice and have a few days to prepare for everything to welcome the new little familymember. Then you take the baby for a walk in the pram and the neighbours get all exited that there is a new baby and it did not show at all. Everybody getting all suprised as you did not tell anyone you had planned an adoption in the first place.
I am absolutely against open adoptions. A biological child has one set of parents and it is the natural thing, that is the way it should be for an adopted child too. They should know that they are 100% yours and not part of somebody else too.
You should not keep it a secret that they are adopted and you should never say anything bad about the biological parents, but you are their parents, they are your children.
aidan
 
  3  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 01:48 am
@saab,
My mother was raised in an orphanage in rural Texas from 1939 to 1950- because her mother was mentally ill and institutionalized, her father had left, and after initially staying with her maternal grandparents, they died within one year of each other leaving her standing alone at their graveside at the age of seven. No one stepped forward to take her, so to the orphanage she went.
She says she couldn't have asked for a better alternative to a real family! She goes to reunions there. I'm going with her to another one in June.
Twenty years later - my husband was raised as a foster child - never adopted. His experiences were quite different.

Because I had these two people close to me in my life, who'd had no family , I was determined to adopt- it's just something I wanted to do. I was living in Philadelphia at the time and knew I wanted to adopt from the foster care system and a hard to place child - minority and/or disabled -so I called the Philadelphia, Boston, and New York Departments of Social Services to gather information. I was told in every case that it would take about two years - not that there weren't kids waiting to be adopted, but there were not enough workers to streamline the process.
In the meantime - I got pregnant- a totally unplanned but happily received surprise. I had my son, enjoyed him on his own for three years and then started the adoption process.
My daughter's birth mother suffered from the same mental illness my own biological grandmother had. She was also interracial - the adoption worker told me these things on the phone as if expecting me to find those two things unmanageable- but they're exactly what convinced me that Olivia was meant for me.
I told the lady - 'Look, any biological child I have has the same risk - as did I, as did my mother, as did all of my siblings and their children - it's not a deal breaker for me. (By the way - none of us have it). The interracial thing is a plus - my biological son is interracial - she'll fit right in.'
We took her home at four and a half months and the adoption was finalized on her second birthday. There were no issues and problems, it just took that long for all the paper work to get done - there are a lot of kids in the foster care system in America- it's overwhelmed - that's why you hear so many sad stories.

Adopting is the best conscious decision I ever made (my pregnancy was not a conscious decision). My daughter is the daughter I could only dream of producing myself for myself- she is perfect for me. She does have a 'disability' that wasn't known at the time of our adoption of her (5 months) but having had my own biological child beforehand -I know - life's a crapshoot- you take what you get and you learn how to live with it.

Our adoption is not open as the birth mother did not want continuing contact. Again, being a biological mother myself- and knowing what a heartbreaking, wrenching decision it must be to have to place a part of yourself for adoption- I would have understood and worked with a birth mother who had wanted an open adoption - but she didn't.
My daughter is seventeen now. She knows the story of her birth mother, has a picture of her birth mother holding her, knows that I know her family name, where they live and that she has four half sisters, but she's not interested in meeting anyone from her birth family. I'm more interested than she is - but I won't unless she does or gives me permission to.

But yes, from the day I met her, she was my child and I was her mother- and whatever problems she displayed, that day or three years or twenty years down the line - became mine to deal with. That's what being a mother means.
If you can't deal with unpredictability or problems you shouldn't become a parent - biologically or through adoption.

0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 02:17 am
I know a Danish family - all blond and blue eyed - with a couple of sons and all of a sudden they had a little black girl. I took for granted that they had adopted her. I congratuled them to the new baby and asked if she was adopted - she could have been a foster child. NO they said - she is our daughter.
Of course I could see she was not their biological daugther, but they were correct feeling wise - no matter what she was theirs and that is what they wanted to point out. I liked their attitude.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 07:39 am
I could probably write a book on modern orphanages/foster care/adoption in modern (20th century) america. It would really amaze/stun most people.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 08:00 am
@dyslexia,
Somebody wrote a book about Swedish social services and taking away children and putting them in foster homes. This happened 30-40 years ago and probably later.
It was a night mare to read the book.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 01:03 pm
Thank you for sharing your story, aiden! I've read bits and pieces here and there before but it's great to see it altogether.

I'd be first in line to buy your book, dys.

We deal with the two moms deal (and the two dads deal) by saying "You've got two moms but only one parent -- me." I think it was Noddy who taught me that trick.
0 Replies
 
 

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