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Have you adopted a child or are you considering adoption? Or, were you adopted? Have you fostered a child? Did you place a child for adoption and are you eager to reach out to him or her? Share your stories and support for others.
Replied By: babycade on Jan 12, 2014, 11:04PM - In reply to fostermomne
Hi.  I hope you are still on the Dr. Phil message boards.  I think I have alot of valuable and first hand experience and knowledge.

First, posting on this website that if someone is thinking of placing their child up for adoption to consider you and your husband is not appropriate at all.  I am sure that your intentions are good but it is not really the place to solicit.  Sorry if you take offense but I feel very strongly about this AND you are obviously vulnerable and I would hate that you skip a step that could protect you and your family and potentially be taken advantage of.  Additionaly, I think it "cheapens" who you are.  I have no doubt that your heart is in the right place but not everyone else's is.

I was adopted at birth 45 years ago AND I used to work for a private adoption attorney.  It was a very small practice so my involvement with the birth mothers, birth fathers, adoptive parents and the courts was intense.  Adoption is a very emotional and complicated transaction.  My adoption was thru Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia, PA and was totally closed.  My parents were called one day and had me the next.  I am not sure how popular this type of adoption is today or if it even exists anymore.

My employer/lawyer practiced semi-private adoption.  The birth mothers came to us pregnant (usually before the end of the second trimester (ideally by month 4)) and was "matched" with one of our approved adoptive "couples".  This is a couple who had their home study completed and was interviewed by the lawyer and had paid a deposit/retainer.  Birth mothers were also interviewed (several times), completed extensive paperwork, had a medical certification of pregnancy and at least 1 pre-natal visit prior to being accepted into our firm.

I will just refer to the lawyer as "Judy" to make this easier but this was not her name.  Judy would present birth mothers to adoptive couples first.  Depending on the couples budget and requirements (usually few), they would be preliminarily matched with the birth mom.  If the couples were receptive, thay would be the couple that we would present to the bm (birth mother).  If the couple was approved by the bm and all agreed, a face to face meeting would be set up with Judy or myself present.  If that went good then an official contract for that adoption would be written up and signed by all parties.  The inital required court papers would be filed at this time too.   

The contract would list all of the fees and scheduled monthly payments to the bm (rent, groceries, utilities, transportation allowance, ....) whatever is agreed upon ahead of time is all part of the contract.  The law in FL (where the lawyer practiced but was licensed in NY, CT, NJ and FL) allowed for reasonable living expenses to be paid to the bm to assist her during her pregnancy.  Her medical bills were covered by Medicaid and an OBGYN (that we had an exclusive contract with) was used (to induce delivery at a  hospital local to the law firm) to better manage the birth and consent.  The OBGYN costs were also paid by the couple and any travel expenses and temporary housing for the bm before/after delivering.

As I stated in the beginning, adoption is a very complicated and emotional transaction.  Maintaining the relationship with the bm was the most time consuming of all.  Depending on her situation, some bm's required more care than others.  This is true of couples too.  Contact between the bm and the couple is usually dictated by the bm and it is imperative that the couple is cooperative with this.  There are so many nuances that are very specific to each adoption, is the main reason I made the comment about you posting on this message board about your desire to adopt a strangers baby.  Do you understand?

I do not know your financial situation but most adoptions (at my law firm) were in the $35,000 range.  To me this seemed outrageous and when you consider the home studies and travel that may be required it could be closer to $40,000+!!!  There is also no guarantee that an adoption will go thru.  In my time with this specific law firm I only had 1 adoption fall apart and I think from the start we all had an uneasy feel about the bm's intentions.  A one point (prior to the fail) a decision to go forward was made (including the adoptive couple) and it was a risk that was taken.  In the end, the couple had nothing to show for all of the money that was paid and no legal recourse.  This is the risk that adoption has and since selling a baby is illegeal, a transaction can not take place in the sense of a "sale".  Any time the lawyer has spent, the court filing fees and reimbursement of any expenses paid by the the lawyer related to this bm, usually a deposit is not returned either.  To say that a couple is devastated is truly an understatement.....emotionally and financially!!!  There used to be insurance policies related to adoption but to my knowledge, these do not exist anymore.

While working in this field we came across many, many shady lawyers, agencies and birth parents.  Making the decision to choose your liason should be based on recommendation and reputation!!!  This cannot be stressed more.  A check of the lawyers bar record is imperative.  The firm that I worked for was very transparent (a good thing) and she was also a licensed Social Worker as well.  Her husband was a Psychiatrist and he reviewed all the birth parent profiles and any concerns were discussed with him.  This lawyer took on only as many clients as she could manage at one time and that depends on the number of birth mothers (and how far along they are).  Her waiting list was always long but she never required any money to be paid to her until she got closer to or actually matched the couple with thier bm.  An exception was any home visit that was required and if that involved travel.  This attorney had couples that were located in many different states.  All adoptions went thru the State of Florida and most births would happen in FL (preferably local to law firm).  There was a conscience attempt to keep costs down at all times.  I have to say, I was always impressed with how much care was taken to save money.  Again, you would be surprised how some attorney's act about thier clients escrow accounts.

If it sounds as if I am selling this lawyer, I am not.  I moved from FL 15 years ago and have not had much contact with her.  Being adopted myself, I have maintained an interest in the industry and followed any legal cases that I find to be intriguing.  Major changes were made in Adoption Law in 2010 and not much since then.   All states are different and when I worked for this firm, FL was a state that was known to be an adoptive parent friendly state but again, anything is possible.  I believe the other states that were known to be the same way were TX and CA.  Again, this is only based on my opinion and could be wrong.

I know that most couples don't first decide to run out and adopt.  They usually have exhausted all other options (like IVF, and possibly explored a surrogate mother) before coming to the decision to adopt.  Adoption is difficult to accept and everyone wants their own biological child.  Adoption is also difficult if you are older, have any addictive or criminal past, have been divorced or have a medical issue.....there are many reasons that adoption may not be right for your family.  The attorney that I worked with would also (in some cases)  do international adoption or work with a State Child Services situation.  It depends on the size of the firm that you decide to go with.  There are many avenues available to a couple that wishes to adopt....being flexible and patient is the key. 

I think adoption is a wonderful experience and road to embark on.....for the right couples.  If you find the right advocate to be on your side guiding you, it can be so beautiful.  My hope for you is that you are blessed with a beautiful child in the right amount of time.  It will be if you want it to.

Good luck and God bless you and your family,

Ocean City, NJ                       
Replied By: fostermomne on Oct 31, 2013, 8:03AM
In 1998, a month shy of my 13th birthday, I required a surgery that left me unable to conceive children. I was truly devastated at first because even at that young age I felt a calling to be a mother. I decided at that time that someday I would adopt. In 2010 I married an amazingly wonderful man, Joshua, and he shares my dream of a big family. We have done fostercare. I recently became employed with the state of Nebraska providing ongoing ongoing care for state wards and their families. This employment has left us unable to foster, but I truly believe that with one door closed, another will surely open and we will see our dream of a family fulfilled.

We are currently on a waiting list in our state. If any of you who have adopted have any advice we would surely welcome it. If you are looking to place your child for adoption certainly consider us :)
Replied By: tothewoodz on Oct 29, 2013, 5:51PM
In 1994 my husband (now ex) and I Decided to use the cryo- bank of California for a sperm adoption. We live in the state of Oklahoma and here at that time you must go threw all the Legal adoption procedures even if it's just for a vial of sperm. I remember reading all the sperm Donors background checks and some of them were American Indian. We almost at the time chose one of those vials. I wonder if this to will become an issue with  the American Indian Tribes to be Encouraging for the donors to proceed in finding these children? Does anyone know if it has? Maybe Dr. Phil should touch on the subject.
Replied By: sohappysioux on Sep 20, 2013, 12:05PM
Parents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol love their children just as much as parents that aren't addicted.....they just have a terrible problem.  I had children while I was addicted to drugs and used during most of their childhood, and I loved them as much or more than any parent alive.  

I'm now clean and the foster parent to kids who's parents are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.  They have heard comments from previous foster parents about "your parent loved the drugs, more than they loved you".......and "how could that parent not love their child enough to quit using".  

These statements are simply untrue!!!  Addiction and love cannot be compared, and are totally separate from each other.

Please don't make comments such as the ones above to children you take into your home, or even while watching a program on TV etc.  Kids who have gone through having an addicted parent need to know that their mother or father loves them just as much as anyone else, but that they have a bad problem or illness that they need to work on so that they can be a better parent.....but it has NOTHING to do with love!

Replied By: moosmamma on Sep 9, 2013, 3:47AM
My husband and I adopted two children.  Our daughter was 6 days old when we got the call to come and get her and our son was 17 months old, weighed 17 pounds , would not talk.  We were a normal middle class family. My husband and I taught our children what we believe to be the important things in life.  Family comes first, be loving and respectful, work hard, tell the truth,say I'm sorry, give more than you take and do your fair share.  We taught them that money does not make happiness.

They are both grown now and we have 3 beautiful grandchildren.  The oldest grandchild we helped raise while our daughter made transitions while in the Marines.  We loved EVERY MINUTE of it and would not trade the experiences for anything in the world.

We have a good relationship with our daughter but our son met and married a girl that does not understand adoption.   We have had ups and downs because of comments that she has made about us as "parents" .  We have tried to make her part of our family but she continues to disrespect us in other areas. Most recently we found out third party through facebook that they are expecting. I wrote an email to my son trying to "fix" our relationship with him and his wife and his wife wrote an email back to me telling me that they never intended to tell us they were expecting , that it was HER baby and we would never see the child, we had no biological rights to the child and it was not our grandchild. She commented that she did not know what "family" I was talking about but the only family her child would know was her family that had her from birth.

The whole point to this is I love both of my children unconditionally.  We have never considered them to be anything other than our children and we will always feel that way.   For this person to say these mean, hurtful things is unthinkable and I am not sure how I am going to get over it if there is ever going to be a chance to have a relationship with our son and his new family.

I have never given up hope until that email.  My sons response was that he told her she should not have sent it yet to date there has been very little effort on his part to see us.

Wish us luck that this can be worked out.
Replied By: janealvarez on Aug 21, 2013, 5:17PM
My name is Jane LeMond-Alvarez.  I am a retired crime analyst, mother of 2 biological sons and adoptive mother of 3 severely abused children that I adopted 23 years ago.  When I began to adopt my 3 children I had to fight the system (police, social services & courts) and I was working in the Oxnard Police Department as a Crime Analyst at the time. 

 Kenny was over 5 years old, weighed 18 pounds, no teeth or verbal skills.  Elizabeth was 3 years old, had a dislocated shoulder and never taken to the doctors.  Jon was 18 months old and had a broken femur when I got him and had never been taken to the doctors.  He had also been marinated in methamphetamines while his mother was carrying him in her womb - she was a drug addict.  Jon suffers from brain damage because of this.  All three had broken bones, starvation and had been sexually molested.  The father of 2 of the children was a registered sex offender and social services knew about it and still allowed him in the home.  There were 29 police reports of I was so outraged, that I started tracking child cruelty 23 years ago and began to challenge the system. 

In my capacity as crime analyst, I have tracked and followed thousands of cases of child cruelty and abuse, both nationally and internationally.  I am the founder and owner of the Children's Wall of Tears (tm).  We are a non-profit organization and we are called The National Association Against Child Cruelty and we are currently building the Children's Wall of Tears (tm) which will be escorted by bikers and travel from State Capital to State Capital across the United States to:

  1. Honor and memorialize the children killed by their caregivers
  2. Raise the awareness of child cruelty
  3. Educate the public to what is happening to our children, and
  4. Inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and do something about it.
The National Association Against Child Abuse began as a grassroots effort and has grown internationally.  You can visit our web at
Replied By: ardisrose on Jun 7, 2013, 9:39AM
Check out my profile for more details. But we are in the adoption process. I have been doing video logs of our progress as we go :)
Replied By: cwells031 on May 28, 2013, 12:09AM
My daughter placed her precious newborn son in the arms of a loving, adoptive couple almost 11 years ago.  This was the most difficult decision she ever had to make, and the most painful time our family has ever gone through.  She placed her sweet baby knowing that he would have a better life than she could ever give him, with two adult parents who were in a stable marriage.  She put all her wants and desires aside and considered what was in the best interest of her baby.  As her mother, it was heartwrenching to see her in such emotional turmoil and pain over her decision.  As the baby's grandmother, it was devastating to see him go to another family.  In the end, however, her decision was the right one.  Her child is in a loving, stable home (we receive photos and letters from time to time) and he has the life my daughter wanted for him, but knew she could never provide.  Her courage is beyond measure, and her selfless actions shows what it means to really love your child, and to put their needs above your own.  To me, she is a hero.
Replied By: allyson4jake on Mar 10, 2013, 11:58AM - In reply to my2beads
Baby Veronicas mother, who must not have had much money to begin with, will never have to pay that money back! If she does pay the money back, it will be a total surprise to me. Now, i did see a similiar case in court, here in North carolina, where a mother was getting money from the father of her child, child support. She also was receiving govt asst from the local social services dept, food stamps and i think a check for aid for dept children, this was many, many years ago now. the judge did n't like her little "game' she had to drop the asst and take the money. what she wanted was both, all she could get her greasy, greedy hands on...i went to school with her and she was known for being a 'bitch'. Now, I do some  extreme cases, like maybe if the dad is disabled, on ssi, the govt can step in and "pick up his slack', poor choice of words, im sorry. This case with Veronica, it's pitiful anyway you look from it. I feel bad for the entire group of people involved. The mother, she seems to have wanted a better life for the child, which is stepping up and being responsible, she just went at it the wrong way.Now, human trafficking is not what i would think this falls under at all, totally different thing. Every child deserves the right to a good home, whatever their race or color or whatever they are.I do think some changes need to be made to this law, not everyone of these children born are all 1005 Indian, what about those mixed race? Don't those children deserve a good home, maybe with a parent who might not be the indian parent. What if the child was half white, could the white family raise the child if the mom gave it up to them? No!, not under this law.This is taking and placing children in homes that they might not be better off in, just because the color of their skin. I hate this law! i hate it hasn't been changed, it sucks for everybody involved. the indian nation will not run out of ppl, comeon. They are not all going to disappear and turn white or black on us.These ppl will not dissolve into something that will no longer exist.It needs to be some laws that dissolves though, like this one.
Replied By: jamiejam1970 on Feb 24, 2013, 9:45AM
Searching for my daughters Grandfather, he dated my husbands birth mother by the name of Connie Ruth Betlock of Overland Park KS. My husband (Bradley Witschner) who is now deceased was born and given up for adoption at Shawnee Mission KS Hospital 09/25/1970. I have no idea what his birth fathers name is or even where he lived at the time. My daughters are still having a hard time with their fathers death and all they want is to know someone that is a part of him. We found Bradley's (my husbands) birth mother years ago and she wanted nothing to do with him and would not even give a medical background, which we also need. My husband had beautiful blue eyes and dark thick hair. If anyone can help we would greatly appreciate it, I wish I had more information.

Thank you
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