Many of you may be wondering where we are in this whole adoption process. Currently we are focusing on raising money to help fund the cost of adoption as well as choosing the way we will go about adopting. To the right of this post you will find ways that you can help us raise money. We often get the question, "why does adoption cost so much?". I hope to do a post on this in the near future to explain a bit better the costs associated with adoption. For this post however, I would like to focus more on our decisions regarding how we will go about adopting.
There are several different ways that one can adopt. The first is through the foster care system, which tends to focus more on older children, but younger children and infants do become available. At this point we don't feel as though this is the right decision for us. There is also private adoption where you get in contact with a woman who is looking for a family to adopt her child and then the process occurs through an attorney. Then there is agency adoption, where you choose an agency and pay them to help you through the process such as matching adoptive parents with a birthmother and assisting you with the paperwork and the process as a whole. Through an agency you can adopt domestically (within the United States) or internationally depending on what that agency offers. Also, the agency and/or country will determine what ages of children are available.
When adopting domestically couples have the option of receiving a newborn, sometimes directly from the hospital. In international adoptions however, typically the youngest child would be 6 months of age, and more typically would be over a year old. Some countries don't even offer children under the age of 3.
This brings us to the decisions that we now have to make. While I (Jessica) personally have always had a heart for international adoption, when faced with the reality that it was time for us to consider adoption more seriously we weren't sure that international was right at this time. As I stated before, the child will be older, which is fine, but requires some emotional surrender to let go of the idea of receiving a newborn. International adoption also tends to be more costly as it typically requires the use of an agency, plus country fees. The last drawback to international adoption is the time frame, which tends to run 1-2 years and most of the countries we were interested in were closer to 2 years.
Since we don't know of any women who are looking for a couple to adopt her child, this brings us to agency domestic adoption. In this situation, costs can still be quite high, but we could choose to be matched with a newborn. Some of our original agency choices are not actually options for us because we live in New York which has different adoption laws than other states.
We did attend a meeting the other night with a local adoption agency, which was informative and had some really positive qualities. However, there were also things that we didn't like as much such as an average wait time of 18 months. After waiting for 3 1/2 years, another year and a half sounds like torture!
So, while we feel like we have made progress in narrowing down some choices, we also have others to explore and we have learned about more options such as independent international adoption. This involves adopting internationally without the use of an agency and only certain countries have this option to begin with.
At this point our next step is to choose whether we are going to adopt domestically or internationally so that we can have a home study performed. It is important to make this decision before beginning a home study as the requirements are different. In deciding this we will have to determine how long are we willing to wait for a child, how much money are we willing to spend, how important age is to us, etc. Please pray for us as we process these decisions and seek the path that God has set before. Please pray that He will close doors and open others to guide us in this journey and that we won't become overwhelmed by this process. Thank again for your love and support!