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The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Mockingbird, my wife and I are (likely) moving to Los Angeles for her medical residency. Could you point us to some websites for California state (and possibly county) processes for adoption? We are both on board with adoption, but are a bit... concerned about open adoption and the impact on the kiddo being tugged around between us and possibly antagonistic bio parents. It wouldn't stop us or anything, but we kinda have a thought of closed > international > foster > open adoption.

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The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Mocking Bird posted:

Welcome!

Open adoption can sound scary, but please read up on it - it's not often about two families having equal access, but more about a child having access to their family story with the boundaries negotiated by their adoptive parents

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/openadoption.pdf

https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/openness/understanding-open-adoption/

Also, foster-to-adopt is one of the last ways someone can have a truly closed adoption as a matter of course. If you adopt a child through foster care (with the exception of older children who have bonds with family members such as siblings and grandparents) they won't force you to have any contact with family, but PLEASE read about open adoption because a child with no history has a higher likelihood of post-adoption stress.

http://lacdcfs.org/shareyourheartla/index.html

Start here! Go to an orientation and hear what they have to say. Fostering to adopt costs a maximum of $5000, which private adoptions tend to start at $20k and have no upper limit. Explore your options!

http://www.cakidsconnection.org/

I have mixed feeling about this program, but these are older children and toddlers already freed for adoption and waiting for families. They need someone, and the first step is foster care licensing through the county and state.

Thank you so much for the reading. This is a wonderful start. We'll probably have to begin in 2018, but I'm the kind of person who feels the need to do lots of research way ahead of time.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Can't really add anything (wife started residency and pulls 8-14 hour days at the moment, don't know how we could foster at the moment) but I love reading this thread and everyone's stories. It helps for what to expect when we go through the process.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


JIZZ DENOUEMENT posted:

I loving love everybody in this thread you all are incredible people and the world would be a better place if the average human had your level of compassion and responsibility.

I'm not being sarcastic, I mean this genuinely. You are drat good people.

Not emptyquoting.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


N. Senada posted:

Hey parents who are married, how did the conversation with your SO happen when you brought up adoption?

So, not parents yet, but my wife and I actually talked about adoption while dating. We both independently figured on "have one, adopt one," which has morphed into "have one (or two?), adopt one (or two?)" but it's easier to imagine raising kids when you can save money after leaving grad school.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Panfilo posted:

This is the best time to do it. Better you both know whether you are on the same page about things right away then find out one spouse has some issue they never talked about when you are halfway through the process.

If I may add something else I think is important, what kind of personal limits you might put on adoption before you get there too. Wife and I are both working professionals (she's a MD, I'm an engineer), and I don't think we could handle taking care of a kid with intellectual disabilities like downs or what have you, due to the time and emotional costs of it. I learned that I am super skittish around kids with intellectual disabilities from time I spent volunteering for disabled kids, and I've been unable to get over myself, and my wife also thinks that she'd have trouble connecting with a kid with such issues.

I also learned that she did have some minor ethnic preferences, because she wouldn't want to deal with having to explain to people that "Yes, this is my adopted child" over and over again, which I never thought of.

The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


My wife (after a cancer scare) has expressed interest at foster-to-adopt older kids, and we've realized that there is a huge goddamn bump in kids looking for homes after 8 years old or so, and that sibling groups of older than 8 seem like a huge uphill battle for the kids to find a family. I'm guessing that a lot of people looking to adopt want to stand tallest in their kid's memories over their biological family. Confirm/deny?

What is there to look for in how to help these kids? I assume things like "keeping up with extended family" and "visiting with biological parents" are normal (and good) for older kids, but what else could I be missing? I mean, I'm not worried at problems we can throw money at like flights to visit grandma or what have you, if we move around (wife probably wants to move after she finishes residency), but what might I be missing here?

I'm the day-to-day life person out of the two of us with organizing/cooking/cleaning/general scheduling, so I'm trying to figure on these things ahead of time.

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The Dipshit
Dec 21, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


VorpalBunny posted:

The number one thing people worry about with older kid is how much trauma they have been through. It's hard enough with a teenager, but one who has been sexually abused since birth? Or even kids who have no outward violent tendencies, who are totally "normal", are still "damaged" in that they have enough of a history of abuse they are in the system. And sometimes being in the system can gently caress up a kid, or sibling sets who have been moved around and separated/reunited, and the trauma from that might not be so obvious. And there are obviously some selfish stuff in play, a newborn child will only know you as their parent, etc. It's a lot of work, but if you guys have that desire and are willing to deal with these issues, I say go for it! The world needs more people willing to take in children in desperate need of a soft landing.

I personally am open to the idea when my bio kids are all older, my friend specializes in older adoptions through the Dave Thomas Foundation. My bio kids are all still little, so we focused on newborns/toddlers. We ended up taking in 2 meth-positive newborns over the past few years, completely aware they might be affected for life due to their drug exposure. We adopted one in 2016 and are on track to adopt the other later this year.

I think both of us are reasonably prepared to help out with that angle, and probably would be good with some classes on how to approach it as a parent. Frankly she's better trained for that, spending a few years as a rape crisis counselor, growing up with a sister who was molested by a mentor, and the whole general MD training for mental healthcare. I suppose I might be the problem parent for that, I had a close friend who was sexually abused, turned to drugs, got clean (I was her sitter for her opiate withdrawal) and died a few months later in a car crash. I still get a bit morose over it from time to time. I probably need to remain under therapist supervision for a while if we have any kids come to our home that have an abused background, don't want to push any of my guilt bullshit onto the poor kiddo. Thanks. It's good to plan for that.

Is it a normal worry that older adopted kids might have issues with babies/newborns? Is it generally not recommended? We were thinking of also having a kid or two in the next few years. I'm guessing it's a case of "Oh no, I will be loved less because my adoptive parents have a kid of their own" or something? Is that something we bring up to the kids as when we meet, like "hey, if you want to be with us, you might have to be a big brother/sister, and no, we don't expect you to babysit".

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