Adopting the Child of a Friend or Family Member
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Adopting the Child of a Friend or Family Member
My husband and I have recently been presented with an amazing
opportunity to adopt a baby. We've spent years trying to conceive and had just
begun the international adoption process when we found out an
acquaintance is pregnant and planning to place her child for
adoption. We've spoken and so far this seems like a good match
for everyone involed. But we have tons of questions -- and
don't even know which questions to ask. If you've gone through
a private adoption, I'd love to hear about your experience. How
early in the pregnancy were you involved? How did you find an
attorney? What are some of the key elements in an adoption
agreement? Did you or the birthmom go through counseling?
What's the post-adoption relationship like (with the birthmom)?
In our case, the birthmom wants her little boy (5 yrs old) to
be able to have contact with his sibling. We don't have a
problem with this, but we're just not sure what it will be
like. Is anyone in a similiar situation -- and is this
something we should be wary of? What were some of your fears
and and concerns and how were they resolved? Thank you in
advance for sharing -- any insight or advice would be greatly
There are many books available on private adoption...just check
on Amazon. You could contact PACT in Montclair. Beth Hall is
very helpful. You could call Anne or David Brodzinsky who are
experienced psychologists who specialize in adoption. They
practice in Montclair. 510-985-1773
I've seen questions like yours before and note that many folks
on BPN respond with a recommendation for adoption attorney Diane
Michelsen. I just wanted to chime in with an opposing view. We
worked with Diane briefly, and I found her and her office staff
to be cold, unhelpful and nonresponsive. I felt that we had much
better service once we found someone else (out of state) to help
Oh, that sounds so wonderful! We adopted two children through
Diane Michelsen in Lafayette 925-945-1880. We chose her after
attending adoption conferences and hearing her speak. We
strongly believe you should get the very best professional
help - no skimping - this is crucial. She expertly advised and
guided us - including how to spot the red flags and when to
walk away from the situation. You sound mature enough to know
that you may need to walk away- don't persevere after a
situation that has red flags. Your situation sounds good
though. You can arrange the degree of openness and contact any
way you and the birth parents want, just make sure it is right
for you. Allow for the fact that after a couple of years her
interest may dwindle so structure it so that it is optional for
her. She doesn't need any more guilt, I am sure. Adoption is
a beautiful way to start a family, and I can't imagine my life
without my kids. Good luck to you!
My brother has asked me to adopt his 4 year old son. He
currently resides in India. Him and his wife are not getting
along and my nephew is witnessing a lot of things he should
not. Needless to say, he has some behavioural issues such as
delayed speech and is quite spirited.
I am a single parent with a son close to my newphew's age. My
son is the opposite end of the spectrum. He is well-mannered,
speaks really well and is calm most of the time.
Has anyone gone through with an adoption similar to this? Would
like to hear about any issues. I am worried about how my son
would react. Also wondering about legal issues. Can I adopt my
newphew and bring him to this country or best to have him just
visit. I don't have to adopt him per say but I want him to have
all the rights, with respects to schooling etc. Lastly, I am
fully aware of the strain this would put on my finances.
Would this reduce my financial obligation to my ex?
Would like to consult with a lawyer who specializes in this
I am an adoption open outreach consultant, so your question is not exactly my area
of expertise. But it does come up occasionally and I have learned a thing or two
over the years.
An international kinship adoption is going to be legally complex and cost you some
money, but it is not impossible. I recommend consulting Lynne Jacobs, director of
Adopt International, 415-934-0300 to see if they can help. Lynne will probably be
able to roughly estimate the cost of this endevor as well as the time frame. You will
be required to pass a CA adoption homestudy, and will probably have to hire an
adoption attorney, both here and in India.
Adopting an older child is an entirely separate and very large issue. For all adoption
and/or attachemnt related issues, I strongly recommend Virginia Keeler-Wolf of the
Bay Area Attachment Center, 510-339-9363. Virginia is amazing with both kids
and parents and specializes in children adopted from overseas.
I am not quite sure of all your circumstances, however, I
recently took in my niece. We did not go the adoption route,
because I think that would take a long time to do. However, we
did the ''legal guardian''. The parents were going through
terrible times and I think it would have affected their
daughter terribly. The one thing about legal guardianship, is
both parents must agree that you would be the guardian.
However, at any time, they can go to court and revoke it (e.g.
Divorce/Custody etc.) As for the little boy, he may have those
issues/problems because he is not getting the parenting that he
needs. You really need to consider how much you
can/willing/able to handle. Initially it will be very tough
because as a 4 y/o he may not understand, but young enough to
teach him. It will be a difficult time and you may end up
resenting his parents or him. In the long run it was hard for
me, but you end up loving them as if they are your own. I wish
you the very best. You could contact a lawywer and just get
some questions answered over the phone. Just call a couple
places. Good luck
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