Tuesday, April 14, 2009

adoption agency #1 - small and personal

Well - I guess I have set myself up for three posts - one for each adoption agency. So here goes.
I went by myself - I am the designated information gatherer - I will collect info, digest, share it with S and then we will decide what to do next.
The small and personal agency is in a non-descript building in the suburbs. One of the directors opened the door to me. It's a small office. They schedule their information sessions to be one on ones - the personal touch, you know.
I wouldn't say she was warm - open and friendly enough but not warm. She wanted me to tell her a little about what had brought us to this point. I told her a short version of our journey. I tried really hard to use all the correct terminology - because I am a social worker and I like to be pc! She probably saw right through that! ( yes I can read minds!)
She basically told me that the birth mothers get to choose who they want to be the adoptive parents (I knew this of course) and that their agency doesn't have specific categories or criteria that would rule us out like many other agencies, but us being older and being a lesbian couple would mean that less birth moms would be inclined to pick us. She said that we needed to be realistic about that and that the more open we were about what we would accept in a potential match, the less likely that we would be disappointed. She also said that it wasn't hopeless, but that we probably weren't what most birth moms were looking for. ( I am paraphrasing)
So that was kind of a wake up call. And confusing and a little discouraging.
We talked about the money - it's kind of a pay as you go deal. The most money gets spent once you are matched with a mom. You can lose a lot of money if the mother changes her mind after the baby is born or any time up to that point. You could spend $30,000 and lose some of that.
The next step is to have a long consultation with them ( which we would pay for) and set up a plan of action: dear birth-mother letter and our profile, legal issues, home study, foster parent training and licensing.
I know this is sounding incredibly flat. That's honestly how I am feeling. It is hard to get excited about something that is so difficult, expensive,and where the odds are not good. I know that we will have to decide if we want to accept a baby that has been drug or alcohol exposed at some point. Etcetera etcetera etcetera!
I am honestly re-considering the whole egg/ embryo donation route. One thing is for sure - or more than one thing - there are no guarantees, we can't control it, the element of risk and uncertainty cannot be denied. Whichever way we go - we could sink a lot of money into this and come away without any children. I know - it's sounding like the glass is half empty right now!
Onward and upward.
Watch this space for the next installment of the wonderful world of adoption and infertility!
Part two after Thursday!


Kristen said...

ug, that is a lot of stuff to digest. Its like you are shopping for a car instead of adopting a baby, you know, all the procedures, interviews, etc. I am sending lots of hugs to you both and hope one of the next places feels less "flat".

Lisa said...

Yikes, talk about being blunt. Are you open to adopting through the state? I know that has it's own set of issues but you'd spend less money. I'm interested in reading more about the embryo adoption. I don't know much about it. Good luck as you find out more information. I'm definitely rooting for you.

Mommy and Mamita said...

I'm sorry this is not looking more promising -- what a let down for you. I really hope it works out for you and you end up bringing home a baby one way or another.

Anonymous said...

We actually went to an agency exactly like this before we decided to TTC (we have always been open to adoption). Your experience mirrors ours. They also told us our chances weren't great, but that it did happen for other same sex couples they worked with. Ours also told us that they advertise for unwed mothers in the low-income parts of the state, which was another turn-off for us. Are the other agencies you're visiting using the same protocols, or will you not know until you've met with them?

All the best in however you decide to proceed!

cindyhoo2 said...

What a downer! That woman provided you with such little hope. NO wonder you are feeling a bit flat. All the adoption obstacles are 1 big reason J and I are looking into either using her eggs or using donated eggs or embryos. Why must this be so darn hard?
Also you know all the issues that can come with accepting a drug-exposed baby. I am not saying that I would definitely not do it but it would take serious thought and dedication.
I hope that agencies 2 and 3 are more positive experiences for you.

Kimi723 said...

Yuck... Doesn't sound like you had a lot of warm fuzzy feelings after leaving that place. I hope you find a connection with one of the other agencies you plan to visit.

Anonymous said...

hm, that sounds less than encouraging. i hope one of the other two agencies can provide you with a better outlook/plan.

Anonymous said...

When people suggest that we adopt instead of going through this TTC nightmare, I remind them it's not easy and your experience is further proof of that.

I think there's this general assumption that there are so many unwanted babies out there who aren't getting homes because selfish people like me are trying to conceive instead. Adoption for queers is not a quick fix. I can only imagine how that time after the birth would be... when the mother has the opportunity to change her mind. Talk about the longest two week wait ever!

When I saw on Oprah the other day a story of a gay couple who adopted their children from Cambodia and Guatemala I was screaming at the screen: "HOW DID THEY DO THAT?!" Those more anonymous international adoptions where the children are adopted from orphanages seems less messy than having to wait for a birth mother to choose you. But there are no agencies I can find that say gay people can adopt internationally.

So frustrating! I hope that you can feel more positive and helped after your next couple of interviews. Best of luck.

BTW, have you read Dan Savage's book, The Kid? Him and his partner adopted a child who was almost fully expected to have some sort of illness caused by the drinking his mother did while he was in utero. He turned out to be just fine.