Question 11: Why not adopt from the US?
That being said, there is A LOT of misconception about domestic adoptions.
For every healthy non-african american newborn placed for adoption in the US, there are 35 waiting adoptive families. For every healthy african american newborn placed for adoption in the US, there are 12 waiting adoptive families. There is not a huge NEED for families to adopt healthy babies domestically.
But what about babies and toddlers with Down Syndrome? Robin Steele runs a fantastic adoption ministry placing babies with Down Syndrome for adoption domestically. There are currently over 200 families on her wait list and she does an average of 26 placements a year. Why the great demand? Because a) children with Down Syndrome are a huge blessing and b) they are aborted at a rate of 90% in this country so very few ever are born, let alone come available for adoption. Again, the need is just not there for adoptive families.
What about other special needs? I actually run Special Angels Adoption in which we help agencies find adoptive families for special needs newborns and toddlers (www.specialangelsadoption.org) domestically. I LOVE this work. It is very rewarding. The demand is much lower for babies with significant special needs but so far (knock on wood) we have yet to have a situation where we could not find a family for a baby (as long as the fees were in the realm of reasonable). No matter what level of special needs, we have been able to find loving, qualified, wonderful families.
What about all the kids we hear about in the media languishing in the foster care system waiting to be adopted? I am sorry to say that much of what you have heard to propaganda. Seriously. Through my work with Special Angels Adoption, we have helped many, many couples adopt special needs little ones who were legally free through the foster care system. Unless the child has a trach, there is typically 50-100 families applying for every child under the age of 8 no matter what the special needs or race of the child (for some reason, children with trachs are very hard to place). Why do they wait on the photolistings so long? Because the process through the state is very slow. They are not waiting for lack of families but they are waiting for the process. The need is just not there, in fact, it is the highest level of competition. Now, for children over the age of 8, the story is much, much different. There are many, many teenagers who need loving homes. And they do deserve one no matter what. That being said, we do not feel qualified as a family to deal with the issues that are frequently present with older child adoptions. It takes a very special type of person and we are sooooo glad that there are wonderful families out there adopting older children from the foster care system. It is just not our calling.
So why all the propaganda to adopt from the foster care system? Well, first of all, they need foster parents. The vast majority of children who enter the foster care system never come available for adoption because they are reunited with their families. That is the goal of the foster care system, when they are safely able to bring families back together they do so. Thus foster families are needed much more then adoptive families. Also, there are many, many older children waiting to be adopted through the foster care system. Especially if you are able to handle teenagers, the need is high.
Contrast all of this with the region our girls are being adopted from. In the last 4 years, there has only been one child with Down Syndrome adopted from there per year. Only one! Despite the fact that there are SEVERAL waiting. This year, there will be 3 children with Down Syndrome (ours and one other), setting a huge record. Our daughter has been in the orphanage waiting for a family for 5 YEARS. No one has come forward, until now. If they stay, they will end up in mental asylums, never to have a normal life in society. In fact, they have been totally rejected by their society because of their special need. There is literally no place for them. In this region of the world nearly 100% of children with Down Syndrome reside in orphanages. The NEED is HUGE. I have been to dozens of orphanages around the world, both good and bad, and I can honestly say that an orphanage is no place for any child to grow up.
Even a child in the foster care family, though FAR from ideal, lives in a home within the community. They are allowed to attend school, get proper medical care, live with a family, etc. I am not saying these kids don't need permanent families, THEY DO! But compared to our daughters' fate if not adopted, they have several advantages.
Again, I am not saying that one type of adoption is better then another. You should go where the Lord calls you because He knows where YOUR child is. That is why we are going where we are going. But be careful not to be judgemental of those adopting international vs domestically. Your perception may be based upon emotional misinformation instead of the facts.