Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adoption FAQ

As most of you already know, Chris and I have recently decided to adopt a baby from South Korea. Many of you have questions about the process, so I thought i'd post a little FAQ here. I'll post a link to it on my sidebar, and continue to add to it, as more questions come up, and as I have time. If you have a question, feel free to ask! :)

When Did You Decide to Adopt?
May, 2009

What Made You Decide to Adopt?
There's not a really cut and dry answer to this one. Maybe someday, I'll write the *whole* story which goes all the way back to my high school days, but for now, I'll just say that it's an idea that Chris and I have toyed with for a few years, but never felt strong enough to act on it. But last May, after a series of events, I felt like God was speaking strongly to my heart, that he wanted us to adopt. So I told him that I didn't think Chris would go for that idea, and if he wanted us to do that, he would have to put it on Chris' heart as well. Well, God kept speaking to me about it, so the next day, I told Chris that I really felt like we should adopt a child. And chris said, "I've been thinking the same thing lately." !!! So we decided to move forward.

Why Did You Choose South Korea?
This, again, doesn't have a very practical answer, but a God one. Once we knew we were adopting, I started doing all the research I could. I looked into domestic and international. I explored the cost of different countries, as well as the time frame. We want to move through this process as quickly as possible, so that the new baby will be close in age with the other children. One thing I discovered through my research is that different countries have different regulations as to *who* can adopt from them. They may have regulations on anything from age, to amount of divorces, to marital status, to amount of children in the home. For example, Haiti will not allow you to have more than 2 children already, so that ruled them out for us. So as I was researching which countries are options, chris called me one day, and said, "I was praying about it, and I felt like God said we should adopt from Korea." So in addition to the other countries I was looking into, I began hunting down adoption agencies that worked with Korea. Well, it turns out that in all of my state, there's only one agency that we would be able to use. At this point, *I* was leaning more toward Ethiopia, but I went ahead and ordered some information from the Korean agency, just to appease Chris. ;) Again, chris called me from work one day, and said, "I was praying about it again, and really feel like God said, 'Seoul, South Korea.'" Well, I didn't think this made much sense at all. After all, it's a whole country, with all kinds of cities. How on earth could we say we want our baby to come from Seoul that would be like adopting from here, and saying, "my child must come from Austin, Texas." So I kind of blew him off, and didn't think much of it. A couple days later, we got the information packet from the adoption agency, and it said, "All of our children come from Seoul, South Korea." Well, that was enough confirmation for me. So I stopped looking in to our other options, and we began to pursue a Korean Adoption.

Do You Want a Boy or a Girl?
We would be happy with either one. But even if we wanted to choose, we wouldn't have the option. Most people who adopt want girls. Because the babies are offered to Koreans before they're offered to Americans, the girls get adopted more quickly, and that leaves mostly boys for the Americans. At one point, the agency that we're using (DSW) let people choose, but because so many people preferred girls, the boys weren't being adopted. So they changed the rules, and now, only certain people have a choice. Because we have 2 boys and 2 girls already, we don't get a choice, so we'll most likely be getting a boy.

How Long Until You Get Your Baby?
I'm guessing have about three more months of paperwork and interviews to go. After that point, we'll be put in the adoption pool at DSW. They don't go first come, first serve, so when they find a child that seems to suit us, they'll give us a call. The pool of adoptive parents is getting larger and larger with time, so i'm guessing we will have to wait for about 1 year before we hear from the agency. After we get a referral, it will take another 5 months or so, to process all of the paperwork, etc, to bring the baby home. So... we're thinking it's going to be about two years before we're able to have our baby.

Will Your Baby Come From an Orphanage?

Most Korean adoptions are pretty similar to American adoptions. A woman gets pregnant & is unable to care for the baby for whatever reason, so she give the baby to the adoption agency (Eastern Social Welfare Society --or Eastern for short). The baby is then place in the care of a foster family, which is usually an older couple who had already raised their children. They care for the baby as their own, until a suitable home is found for him/her.

How Old Will Your Baby Be?

When a baby is born, and placed with Eastern, they first try to find a Korean home for him/her. After 5 months, if they still haven't been able to find a Korean home, then the baby is offered to America. That's when DSW is able to call us with a referral. After that, another 5 months or so of paperwork makes the baby 10ish months before they're able to come home.

Will You Go to Korea?
Korea is one of the few countries that doesn't require you to stay there before you get your baby. If we want, we can go to our local airport & get the baby there. However, that means waiting even longer, until someone is available to fly to the US with the baby. For that reason alone, we would probably like to go to Korea ourselves, to get our baby. Also, because we'll raising a Korean child in a white family, we would like to be able to be able to get an understanding of their cultural heritage, so we can help teach them about it when they get older. The only thing that would keep us from going to Korea is the cost of the airline tickets. It's cheaper to fly one person here with the baby, than it would be to fly both of us there.

How Much Does it Cost?
too much!

Why Are You Using Two Agencies?
Every adoption requires a Homestudy. This is where a social worker comes into your home and asks you all sorts of questions about yourself and your life to try to determine if you're good people and should be allowed to adopt a child. They take all of the information you give them, and type it up into a nice little file that tells all about you, and this goes to the government and the orphanage (I think. --i'm a little confused about who actually gets the completed homestudy, so I could be wrong about that.) Anyway, DSW, the adoption agency that we're using will connect us to our child, and the agency in Korea. They would do our homestudy for us, but they're in another state, so we have to use a different agency, who is certified in our state, to do that. Therefore, we have two agencies: DSW, the adoption agency, and FCCA, the homestudy agency. This is a little annoying, because it means that we have to do most of the paperwork twice, because they both want almost the same thing --but it's just different enough to make us do it twice. Also, it means that we have to pay two agencies, which raises our price a bit.

What do the kids think?
The kids are *thrilled!* They've been asking us to adopt for a couple years now, ever since we heard there were some twin babies who were abandoned at the hospital. They love talking about what we're going to name the new baby, and they debate constantly, whether we should get a girl or a boy (we don't have a choice). They also pray for the baby & the adoption process daily. Evelyn for awhile, was telling everyone we met (friends, family, random people in the grocery store) that we're planning to adopt, and she would always add that she's going to give the new baby her car seat. so sweet! :)

So there you have it. What other questions do you have?

1 comment:

Tonya said...

It is wonderful that you are doing this. We will pray that everything goes well!