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Have you considered adopting?
July 31, 2002 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Have you considered adopting? There are thousands of American children in the foster care system who are without permanent families. The White House has decided to do something about it, including releasing a public service announcement (requires RealPlayer) starring Bruce Willis to help promote a new website, AdoptUSKids.org, which allows prospective parents to browse through detailed profiles of available foster children. Hopefully these measures will increase public awareness about the facts regarding adoption and help more children find good homes.
posted by insomnyuk (32 comments total)

 
If the White House wants to do something about it, get W. to talk to his brother about the situation in Florida. Let the gay folks do their share of adopting. That's a start.
posted by ChrisTN at 11:03 AM on July 31, 2002


i'm pretty sure bush's oringinal intent was to ship them off to nike factories overseas to, you know, help restore confidence in the economy.
posted by quonsar at 11:06 AM on July 31, 2002


Bruce Willis? How many children has he adopted?
posted by milnak at 11:20 AM on July 31, 2002


It'd be better to just wait until the zealots successfully ban abortion...then you will have a much broader selection to choose from when adopting.
posted by eas98 at 11:21 AM on July 31, 2002


Cool. It's kinda like shopping on Amazon.
posted by ColdChef at 11:24 AM on July 31, 2002


I'm seriously considering adopting when I am married and want kids. I don't know about importing americans though.
posted by ODiV at 11:29 AM on July 31, 2002


Post-post apologies to the un American MeFi members. And I don't mean un American in a bad way.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:33 AM on July 31, 2002


Un American can be bad?
posted by websavvy at 11:33 AM on July 31, 2002


We've discussed adoption, but since the only thing that keeps us from killing our own kids is the genetic bond we figure adopted ones wouldn't stand a chance.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:39 AM on July 31, 2002


Would I consider adopting?
[satire]
Naaa! I'm waay too busy harassing those damned-to-hell heathen women down at the abortion clinic. And I haven't even had time to read that new Ann Thrax book that just came in from Amazon where she talks about those damned-to-hell lie-berals. Besides, where's the hate in adopting?
posted by nofundy at 11:47 AM on July 31, 2002


It's kinda like shopping on Amazon.

Anybody have a link to the epinions on these kids?
posted by luser at 12:16 PM on July 31, 2002


It would be intersting to know if the bulk of people who adopt in the US are pro-choice or pro-life. I wonder if statistics like that exist (I would imagine not, collecting that information in a regulated manner would be an invasion of privacy.)
posted by pjgulliver at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2002


Hmm.
anyone care for a serious opinion here? I have run a site and support list for women who suffer from endometriosis for the past four years.
lots of the women on the list are infertile, too damaged to successfully reproduce on their own, tired of IVF, or hysterectomy queens, and still some of them, want children more than anything.

The last call for IVF help in sweden age: 38
The last call for adoption in stable heterosexual and preferably married relationship in sweden: 35

Now try and figure out why so many children are not adopted.

The potential mothers are hindred by some idiotic age-barrier. And if it isn't that, then they won't do because they aren't married, or *gasp* married to someone of another race, or triple gasp, married to someone of the same gender.
as if we should be looking at age and status rather than at how loving and willing these potential mother-to-be are.
course i don't know what age/race/marital status one has to be in the states in order to adopt, but since your movie stars fly off elsewhere to do just that perhaps they are a bit too restrictive, or too slow? Just a thought.
posted by dabitch at 12:18 PM on July 31, 2002


The wait is typically between two and seven years for a healthy infant.

Considering that a fair percentage of parents who are considering adopting have already spent a few years trying, in vain, the old-fashioned way I think this statistic (from within the FAQ) explains why adoption from public agencies is not very popular. Although it is explicitly stated that foster parent experience is not required, it is suggested as a possible adoption route. The subtext is clear, though: unless you want a "special needs" child you should expect to wait many years and jump through lots of hoops, including foster parenting, before you get a child.

There is a subtle hypocrisy here: If the worst scum of society is allowed to have children (which they bear) with absolutely no restrictions or pre-evaluation why is adoption so needlessly restrictive and convoluted? If a couple wants a child, by adoption, it should simply be a matter of going to the agency and getting him/her, with the caveat that, once adopted, the child is as much the parents' legal responsibility as a biological child would be.
posted by plaino at 12:19 PM on July 31, 2002


on second thought, what plaino said so much better than me. thats it.
posted by dabitch at 12:23 PM on July 31, 2002


milnak--yeah, i thought Bruce Willis seemed like a weird choice too, especially when so many other Hollywood couples (or singles) with adopted children come to mind. But maybe he was the only high profile actor willing to have anything to do with the Bush administration.
posted by mariko at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2002


are there enough non-special-needs children for all the people wanting to adopt them though? it sounds nice to make it easier, but a supply-shortage may be the real problem.
posted by rhyax at 12:29 PM on July 31, 2002


It's kinda like shopping on Amazon.

While I applaud the effort, choosing kids to adopt online sort of smacks of AmIAnnieorNot.com (not a real link btw) doesn't it?
posted by m@ at 12:30 PM on July 31, 2002


ratemyorphan.com
posted by quonsar at 12:37 PM on July 31, 2002


The "supply-shortage" is a myth, to some extent. The only shortage in supply is with newborn children up for adoption.

Based on current AFCARS estimates released January 2000, there are approximately 520,000 children currently in foster care in the United States. Of these, 117,000 are eligible for adoption. (US HHS, 2000) [NAIC] emphasis mine

The demographic data is more telling:

2% were less than one year old, 35% were 1-5 years, 37% were 6-10 years, 23% were 11-15 years, and 3% were 16-18 years old. [NAIC]

Now, my family adopted through a private agency that operates in South Korea. They were thorough in investigating us, and while the process was not easy, it moved as quickly and efficiently as possible. THe problem with the foster care adoption system is that parents may care for a foster child for several years, only to have a distant biological relative swoop in and take the child, even when they were in proceedings to keep the child. I have seen relatives go through court proceedings where the mother got chance after chance to reclaim the child, and clearly proved she was too stoned/screwed up/unmotivated to do so, and the system kept them uncertain about the status of their foster child for quite awhile. And when the adoption doesn't work out (fortunately for them it finally did) it can probably lead to a lot of emotional trauma. A lot of people don't want to deal with that. Also, plaino brings up a good point, the public system is much less appealing and cumbersome than the private adoption system.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:41 PM on July 31, 2002


Bruce and Arnold are two of the very few non-actors willing to be associated with Duhbya (Drew Carey and Kelsey Grammer are two more.)

Shall we start a non-scientific survey of adopters of children who are pro-choice or anti-abortion? Count me in as pro-choice in the list of those who have adopted because actions are so much more louder than words and love (adoption) is better than hate (abortion protestors) always.

I also have "genetically mine" children too, if it matters.

Perhaps a more accurate survey would be to discover religious background of adopters. If they're of the Southern Baptist persuasion my experiences would be they more inclined to hate and invective than positive action on most all societal problems.
posted by nofundy at 12:50 PM on July 31, 2002


plano: I don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't want to be the adoption agent responsible for giving a baby to some lunatic. The fact that anyone can have children 'au natural' is irrelevant. You can't help that. It's important that we don't give out children to just anyone though.
posted by ODiV at 1:14 PM on July 31, 2002


It's almost become a cliche these days. Potential American adoptive families flock to say, Russia, eschewing the local adoption processes because they are needlessly arduous. Adoption is time-consuming, extremely expensive, and strangely strict.

I think that in order to encourage families to "adopt locally" the entire process needs to be overhauled.
posted by xyzzy at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2002


I remember watching a PBS show on how the government was trying to get older children adopted. Some offices were holding picnics and other get togethers with prospective parents as well as adoptable kids. Your heart just went out to the older kids, some of whom just flat out said they knew noone wanted them because they were older, but they kept going in the hope that someone would be interested.

There are a lot of problems with adoption laws (that Swedish 35 year old age limit being the dumbest I've seen yet) but I think this might not be a bad idea. It would let prospective parents see what might be involved in adopting and at least opening up a lot of couples to discussing the idea.

I also think this awareness campaign should help couples overcome the need to adopt an infant. I've thought about adoption, and I've always thought in terms of an older child. I think the adoption agencies need to find ways to dispel myths about adopting older children and find ways to get couples to look at that.
posted by Salmonberry at 1:24 PM on July 31, 2002


I know several couples who have adopted. In each case, they choose to adopt from China - yes that means a girl. In the US, it's very difficult to get healthy white babies, and easier to get African-American babies, and even easier to get older, or unhealthy, or emotionally damaged children. It's terrible to group humans (or any animal) in this way, but that's how it works.

The couples (all white and married) had to go through many home inspections and interviews along the way to getting the babies. It would be great if all couple would have to go through the same process to have their own. It might eliminate a lot of misery for many kids.

Of course love isn't restricted by race, age, sexual preference or marital status. But some folks can't quite believe that.
posted by Red58 at 1:26 PM on July 31, 2002


I tried to ignore your bullshit nofundy, but I just couldn't resist.

Bruce and Arnold are two of the very few non-actors willing to be associated with Duhbya (Drew Carey and Kelsey Grammer are two more.)

Yes, it's so exceedingly obvious that intelligence and political acumen is directly proportional to the number of actors that support you. Your blind hatred of GWB infects everything you say.

Shall we start a non-scientific survey of adopters of children who are pro-choice or anti-abortion? Count me in as pro-choice in the list of those who have adopted because actions are so much more louder than words and love (adoption) is better than hate (abortion protestors) always.

Being pro or anti abortion is generally irrelevant to the adoption question. You are equating pro-abortion with love and anti-abortion with hate. What clear thinking, I'm glad things are so morally black and white for you! My family is anti-abortion, and we adopted. I hope that paradigm shift doesn't cause too much chaos in your perfectly ordered world. I can also tell you that thousands of Christian (and generally pro-life, anti-abortion, or whatever label you wish to use) families adopt children every year. Some of them (GASP) are even Baptists. In my own experience I know many Christian, pro-life families who have adopted children from the states, and countries such as the Philippines, China, and Korea.

Perhaps a more accurate survey would be to discover religious background of adopters. If they're of the Southern Baptist persuasion my experiences would be they more inclined to hate and invective than positive action on most all societal problems.

In my experience, people like you are more inclined to hate and spew invective towards evangelical Christians rather than take positive action on most all societal problems. Do you see how patently ludicrous the preceding statement I just made is? Your stereotypes are ill-informed and particularly de-railing. What would be the point of your surveys again? Take your hate-filled, ignorant garbage elsewhere. The only reason you're not being called out on it is because you're attacking Christians, the group everyone loves to hate. Or maybe everyone else already ignores you.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:37 PM on July 31, 2002


I don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't want to be the adoption agent responsible for giving a baby to some lunatic.

Neither would I, but the current Grand Canyon sized gap between the zero regulation child birth policy and the hypervigilent adoption policy needs to be narrowed. Ironically, even a slightly vigilent child-bearing policy would probably do wonders for the adoption problem (fewer orphaned children).
posted by plaino at 1:45 PM on July 31, 2002


If the worst scum of society is allowed to have children (which they bear) with absolutely no restrictions or pre-evaluation why is adoption so needlessly restrictive and convoluted?

Don't take a license to make a baby. To get the state to hand you one off the shelf is different. "Raising Arizona" had it right: ain't enough healthy white babies to go around.

Now, you want a nonwhite baby born to a known crack addict, the social service agencies will vet you and then let you take your pick. Not that expensive, either -- it's the foreign baby bazaars that run you $50,000 or $100,000 a head.
posted by sacre_bleu at 1:48 PM on July 31, 2002


Adopt.org has been around for a couple of years and I believe has ties to the Dave Thomas foundation. So this site doesn't seem all that radical. It is depressing to think of shopping for a kid like you would a new John Grisham novel.

One of the other things I think stops people from adopting older children is the large groups of siblings that are up for adoption. In a lot of cases they request that the kid remains in contact with the other siblings (which I agree with) but that is a huge thing to consider. I adopt a child who has 5 older silblings, they are unfortunately adopted and spread across the country and I have a moral obligation to make sure that they see, visit, remain in contact with their siblings? I think it's a huge thing to consider, almost has big as deciding to adopt itself.

I think more people should consider adoption, but then I read their story and watched the documentary when I was an impressionable kid.
posted by nramsey at 1:53 PM on July 31, 2002


Acutally, insomnyuk, you're wrong about the tie with abortion and adoption. Pro-Life groups routinely cite adoption as a "better" solution to unwanted pregancies than abortion. Therefore, it is an entirely valid question to ask if these people practice what they preach.
posted by pjgulliver at 2:49 PM on July 31, 2002


The main reason why I would never advise a client to adopt in the US (were I the kind of lawyer from whom that sort of advice was solicited) is because it is virtually impossible to sever ties with the birth parent. Almost all adoptive parents want to be sure that the birth parents have no legal rights to the children whatever, and the large majority want there to be no possibility of contact, ever. Adopting in Eastern Europe, Asia, or Latin American gives you more or less solid assurances on those points. In thus US -- forget about it. Sad but true.
posted by MattD at 6:12 PM on July 31, 2002


I don't like adoption for the sole reason that, some of these children, especially in their teenage years yell out something along the lines of "You're not my real parents, you can't tell me what to do!!"

I feel that if you were not meant to conceive, then don't try any other way. Alot of people suddenly turn very religious when they found out they cannot have children... a curious little fact I've found out.

If any of you have ever heard of The Misanthropic Bitch, i'm sure you know the content she has on her site. Although some of it may be a bit harsh, there is a stark truth to some of her articles. But that's just my opinion and I may be wrong.
posted by spidre at 12:30 PM on August 2, 2002


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