"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My stance on adoption at the moment...

I will start this by saying that this isn't going to be a positive post, nor will it be a poor me one either, but I have a little vent to share.

Obviously, the thought of going into another adoption has been one that we've had a hard time with. Once you've been preyed upon by the likes of a horrible human being, taken advantage of, and had your dreams crushed once again, it takes a lot to want to put yourself right back out there. Still, we have discussed it, we weighed the pros and cons of private versus agency and started looking into agencies. Honestly, we didn't go with an agency originally because I never had a 'peaceful' feeling when researching any of them. Each website, each 'happy story' all left me with a feeling of 'yuck'. Not exactly what you're looking for when planning on investing lots of time and money, must less your heart. Still, after having dealt with that sorry excuse for a person we thought was our birth mother, we decided that maybe an agency would be on the safer side. So, again, back to the books, back to research, back to looking. I came across multiple agencies (more than I can count), took recommendations from others, and started perusing...

This is what I found:

1. Many of these places charge outrageous fees with very little description as to where the money goes specifically. I am not saying that it is not a pricey venture and we would pay any price for a child, but when I looked at a sliding scale and saw that our 'base price' (other fees were pretty certain to come) was 20K more than the lowest, honestly, I couldn't stomach it! I don't feel it should cost more for my husband and I to adopt because we make more money. That screams 'business' to me, and while I am certain it is very helpful for those on the lower end of the income scale, the prices (with multiple agencies), literally made me sick to my stomach. A friend of a friend reported her adoption costing 5-6K more dollars because her daughter was not 'of color'. Really?!? How is that ethical?

2. We've completed a home study, we've had a social worker inspect our homes, ask us every personal question in the book, things you couldn't imagine being asked. We answered willingly, honestly, and understood that they must be so responsible when placing a child in a new home. I wouldn't want them to be anything but COMPLETELY PARTICULAR. My problem has arisen in looking at agencies. My husband and I don't attend the same church, we were raised in different Christian faiths. We believe in God, we worship Him, and know that He is in control of all of the things we've suffered these past three years. Here's where my problem lies...
All of the "Christian" agencies refuse to approve us because we aren't attending church on a weekly basis together. Yep, you heard me! And I'm sorry if you feel this is a requirement for adoption, I do NOT agree. I know what great parents hubby and I will be and I don't want some judgemental 'approval' board giving me the yay or nay on whether or not we can adopt. We've already been approved to adopt, we've completed our home study, we've had counseling, we've had full federal background checks.

My conversation with one agency yesterday went this way...

Lady: Hello, this is _____ from _______ adoption agency. Do you have a minute to talk? (Tone was very cold, very harsh, and she sounded annoyed)

Me: Yes, I'm just driving right now. How are you?

Lady: Were you unable to fill out the questionnaire online?

Me: Um, no we printed it, but were told that wasn't necessary simply for the application and that you would call us to discuss the application and approval process and we'd turn that in later.

Lady: Weeeell, obviously that is going to be an important factor in our addressing your church issue.

Me: Um, church issue?

Lady: You and your husband do NOT attend the same church, correct?

(You can see where this conversation started to disintegrate before it started).

After a short explanation, and her informing me ever so kindly (ha!) that they could NOT just make exceptions to their rules for anyone, I interrupted her and explained...

"My husband and I have suffered two miscarriages and a failed adoption where we were completely scammed, robbed of money, and lost another child. In this situation many people would lose faith, they would feel abandoned, they would quit. Our faith has only grown, individually and together. We are certain that God wants us to have children, we KNOW that He will provide and I feel no need to justify to you my faith in order to be "approved" with your agency. We will have children and if it isn't through your agency or any other, that doesn't discourage me, we WILL have children." (Mind you I had explained that I am a youth director, which does, in fact, mean that I work for a church--WITH CHILDREN!).

Anyhow, her response was simply, "Well, obviously we are not going to be a match with your family. Good bye!" Click!!!

I would like to say that this was an isolated event, and while she's the only one who has been that outwardly rude, I've had 3+ agencies tell me that our not attending church together was a deal breaker, that we would indeed need a signed letter from our pastor attesting to our regular attendance! Who knew a Christian couldn't even adopt from a Christian agency. And we wonder why we get such a bad name?!?!

I would like to conclude by saying this, had she actually listened, had she called with a decent attitude, had she been the least bit pleasant I wouldn't have been so angry. I was under the impression that she was going to be "discussing" with us our spiritual walk and our family plans, but that was NOT what she was doing.

So, while I'm still a firm believer in adoption, and know of the good that it brings, and am sure that there are great agencies and people out there, our current adopting is on hold until further notice. It is highly likely that we will adopt in the future, but for now, I'd like to not have anyone judge me on my relationship with God, or my husband's relationship with God. Wow!! Needed to share that for sure!!!


  1. Thanks for sharing your raw emotions with us. It is, truly, a privilege. Thank you. I'm so sorry that you are encountering these obstacles. I don't know what Bethany's stance would be, but we went through them for our adoption.

  2. I agree with everything you said. You know my thoughts and feelings. I'm not thrilled with our for profit agency and all the money, but my husband and I do not attend church and that was a huge problem. I cannot tell you how many agencies I called where I heard basically the same thing. Do I agree with the fact that babies of "color" are cheaper at my agency? No way. Do I agree with the fact that many agenices want proof from a pastor/priest/etc that you are a practicing Christian? No way. Do I feel like at times we are "buying" a baby? Yes. It is a business no matter how nicely they wrap the package they sell you. It sucks big time, but there is no way we could ever do this on our own. I admire you and your husband's strength for even attempting it on your own, losing your own money, and still considering adoption once again. You are in my thoughts. Hang in there.

  3. Wow Deni! I think it is such a shame that you have one pay so much money( i really think you shouldn't have to pay to adopt at all.) I hate that adoption seems more like a business rather than trying to find good homes for children. That is such a shame and then to be told that you and hubby have to go to the same church and that you have to attend every week. (things do come up ya know even on sundays). Geesh i am sorry you had such and experience (don't know how else to explain it). Sending you hugs and Love friend.

  4. I'm so sorry that you've had such a negative experience. I honestly cannot imagine the hurt you experienced with that scam. Seriously, my heart just breaks for you. And holy crap I can't believe that conversation you had with that adoption agency!

    I personally don't think religion should factor in at all when adopting. My husband and I are of different religions, so we purposely found an agency that didn't have any religious requirements. You may think that's easy, but it wasn't at all. Most agencies we found were affiliated with a religion.

    Thinking of you, and hoping this gets easier for you.

  5. Oh heart was just SCREAMING in so much agreement with you as I read this...for so many things.

    Now, I do have to go on record and say that our agency was Bethany; our social worker was AH-MAAAAAZ-ING; our experience with Bethany was seriously a joy (our hope for a wonderful end certainly didn't hurt!) and if we WERE to look into adoption would be with Bethany.

    BUT--I know they differ. And John and I go to the same church. So, we don't have that issue that was even in question.

    But regardless--we looked into more 'private' domestic adoption situations and seriously--if it wasn't a religion issue, it was something else. And regardless, like you said, I always read and get to the end of my reading and feel YUCK. YUCK that if I dish out $50K, I can have a pretty smooth adoption process. YUCK that children 'cost' more because of ethnicity (or lack thereof, I guess?). YUCK that income is supposed to predict one's ability to parent? YUCK that there are SO many babies who could use wonderful families, and wonderful families who'd LOVE to adopt and yet--agencies, states, etc...just make it more difficult and DO NOT appropriately give punitive consequences for scammers....there's an agency we know Texas...highly recommended, know personally of 4 wonderfully easy adoptions that have happened. This agency is BEGGING clients to call around for people who may be able to adopt because with the economy, it's harder and harder to find families who qualify (read that--AFFORD) to adopt. In inquiring a bit back, we were told (because we had our home study already ready and there was a baby due in weeks with no parents!) that we'd be GREAT! AND--because we were military, they'd even give us a 'discount!'


    So, instead of $50K--we'd pay $45K.

    Seriously???????????? If these agencies can 'adjust' fees and are truly worried about finding homes for babies, then for PETE'S sake, how does that not SCREAM business in still making it pretty darned costly? And that doesn't include the two (or more) trips to Texas, the lodging for the month stay, all the legal fees, etc....

    Anyway--off my soapbox. It's sad...the whole state of children languishing is just sad. A little girl in Kyrgyzstan--born with hydrocephalus and matched with a WONDERFUL pediatrician mother OVER 2 years ago...died about a month and a half ago...because the COUNTRIES CAN'T GET IT TOGETHER. There was no, no, no reason for that child to die. And yet....she's sadly only the first of what I think will be many more to follow...

    Things on this earth hurt my heart so much. Thinking of you...sending you love and prayers and hopes for peace in your heart.


    i encourage you to read this blog if you ever have time. they suffered multiple miscarriages,a few failed adoptions, and have adopted from 2 diff countries and the US

  7. Hello Cutie Pie,

    Take a deep breath....cause I am praying that you NEVER encounter such a rude human again. Agencies all have their stance on x,y, and z, which sometimes translates to 100% full blown, windless, mindless, rhetoric and you did not deserve to be treated in such a way.

    Continue to do what you are in "this" moment! Good things are on the horizon for you sweet friend. Refuse to believe any differently :)

    Lifting you up in this moment

  8. That is just so ridiculous. You're right, no wonder some people don't like Christians. This is why!!!

  9. Uhhhh! Now you’ve got my blood boiling, too! This is absolutely ridiculous! I’m sorry you encountered such a rude lady. It makes me mad that they would say you have a “church issue”. Your faith is so strong and you are so grounded and such an encouragement. She better not have made you feel otherwise! Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Love you! - H

  10. You and I have discussed this issue before, and I don't like the idea of a Christian couple being turned away from adoption because of church attendance. I know that birthmothers may make their choice based on what answer you provide on your homestudy, but that's their choice. That question is going to be a hard one for my husband and I to fill in as well, and I wonder if it will deter a birthmom from choosing us, even if we go with an agency that does not have religious requirements.
    I would have lost it with her too, btw. Some people just come off as really judgmental from the start, and maybe you helped her temper her approach to the next couple she calls!