Monday, March 14, 2005

Adoption oddities

This is a strange and humbling process. The social worker is checking into every area of our lives, from health to finances to what our house looks like. I'm done with the first chunk of paper work without running into too many snags. I need 5 copies each of our birth certificates and marriage certificate, so I had to send cashier's checks to 3 different states. In Wisconsin, each copy cost $3 and I received them within one week. In Connecticut, each copy was $5 and I had them within a few days. I'm still waiting for Massachusetts. Of course, I need 10 copies total from that state, at $28 each. Yes, for each push of the 'copy' button....$28. Or perhaps they have a clerk more adept with copying technology, and is able to get the task done with even less button pushing. They'd better arrive soon on some pretty fancy paper. I've been connecting with many families who have adopted internationally. The basic process includes an approval process by the state you live in, and then petition the federal government to bring an orphan into the country. After you've jumped through those hoops, you need to meet the requirements of the country from which you'd like to adopt. Almost all of them have age restrictions, but here are a few others I've found interesting: Philippines: proof that you actively practice a religion. Any religion. Korea: a very specific weight requirement. No overweight parents. Colombia: proof of infertility (and my heart disease doesn't count) Each country has different fees as well, and different travel requirements. Russia requires that both parents travel for 2-3 weeks, twice. Guatemala requires that only one parent travels for 3-5 days. Korea will allow a child to be escorted by someone other than the adoptive parents. Now I'm on to the next part: soliciting letters of reference from family and friends, and statements from our doctors stating that we are not likely to check out any time soon. This screening seems excessive when I think about how darn easy it is for the average person to have a kid. No state license nor clearance from Homeland Security required for sex.


  • At 3/14/2005 12:33:00 PM, Blogger Cap'n Marrrrk said…

    what if I practice human sacrifice? Will the Phillipines grant me a child to raise in my own way?

    I promise not to eat him/her.

  • At 3/14/2005 01:22:00 PM, Blogger dawn said…

    If it comes down to it, I hope the Rev. JohnFen can make up some sort of religion for me based on my everyday activities. Like toothbrushing. Then I will have been "practicing" my whole life.

  • At 3/14/2005 01:33:00 PM, Blogger JohnFen said…

    Hell, I'll certify you as fully Discordian! I wouldn't even have to lie.

    There's precedent for this sort of thing -- The CSEA Affair. That link doesn't follow the thing to it's completion -- but in the end, Discordianism was recognized as a valid religion.

  • At 3/14/2005 10:21:00 PM, Blogger Miko said…

    Hey, you guys have a social worker! So do we, albeit for somewhat different reasons. We get home visits three or four times a year. The first was the worst, they were poking around and asking us about our sleeping arrangements!

    Red tape, red tape, red tape. Yep. Been there, done that.

  • At 3/14/2005 11:44:00 PM, Anonymous chasmyn said…

    When we were thinking adoption we were liking Guatemala because of the only having to travel once and also the care they give the kids and the fact that if we wanted to go and visit before the adoption process was finalized, we could.

    Not that you asked. We didn't get very far into the process either when we found out about the pregnancy.

    I heard that Guatemala might be changing the laws again making adoption even more restrictive?

    It doesn't seem like it, but have you chosen your country yet? Or are you still in the process?

  • At 3/15/2005 08:38:00 AM, Blogger dawn said…

    Yes, Chasmyn, Guatemala is my first choice. For many reasons, among them I am familiar with the culture and I speak the language. The babies are in foster care, and the medical care is better than in other countries. Less likelyhood of substance abuse than some other countries. Colombia has a similar program. Both countries will cost 28-35,000 for one child.

    Guatemala is in the process of changing things, and Colombia has a long waiting list for children under 12 months.

    When we finsih all the requirements for this country, then we'll look at the international programs. The cost for Latin America is the highest, though, and we'd like to have the option of adopting another in a few years. The China and India programs are about half the cost of Guatemala. And frankly, we are going to have to go with the country who will accept us with our long list of medical issues.

    It's gonna take a lot of cakewalks no matter what we end up with. ;)


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