pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The state adoption department invited us to an informational meeting today, along with other couples (this time, only two other couples; apparently, they usually have five or six).

So for two hours, she told us about the selection process and adoption and answered our questions.

Some of the things that worried us a little seem to be no problem. For example, while in principle a separate room for each child should be desirable, sharing a room with another child should be fine; already having a child does not automatically disqualify you or rank you down (some mothers even request a family with children as adoptive parents for their baby); my being British will probably not be a problem or involve the common adoption centre for northern Germany until the "end".

Apparently, we're fairly young; she said that prospective parents have been getting older in recent years, and that most are in their mid-30s. (Which is one reason why they raised the suggested maximum age from 35 to 40 a while back.)

Interestingly, while the number of children placed for adoption has gone down in the last five years or so (from 50-60 to about 20-30), the number of prospective parents has also gone down, roughly at the same rate, so the ratio of children to prospective parents has stayed about the same.

Stella came out of the meeting very optimistic; she said that she got the impression that we were just about the ideal set of adoptive parents.

For now, we've taken home a questionnaire with basic data (name, age, illnesses, income, etc.), some questions to ponder (which will be discussed during interviews), and a request to write the story of our life—not just "what happened when", but things which show what makes us tick or what made us be the way we are (e.g. who was influential in our life, what puberty was like for us, whether we were allowed to be "who we were", etc.).

Once we send them back, someone will get in touch with us and we'll have a series of interviews so they can get to know us. (Or they might end up suggesting that we withdraw our application, if they see it as unlikely that we'd get a child placed with us. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Apparently, the screening process can take three to six months, and once we're accepted, they'll keep us on file for two years. (There's an option to renew for another year, but she said that realistically, if someone wasn't considered during those two years, it's unlikely they'll get the chance in the third year, especially as new candidates enter the pool the whole time.)

(no subject)

Sunday, 1 July 2007 12:51
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Perhaps I'm just projecting my own insecurities, biasses, and preconceptions onto others.

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The thought just crossed my mind -- I wonder whether a vague analogy to how it "should" be is to consider children born with a Caesarian section and those who are born "naturally".

It's a fact that some are born one way and some the other, and most mothers would probably be able to tell you how a given child was born if you asked them, but they nearly never bring it up in conversation unprompted (e.g. introducing someone as "and this is my delivered-by-C-section son") nor treat the children differently -- nor do most other people. (Though I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some people might look down on children who weren't born "properly", or consider the mother or the child to be a second-class person due to the circumstances of their birth.)

And that it could be similar with adoption: whether a child is adopted or not is a verifiable fact, but for most intents and purposes should have no bearing on anything. (I still don't know what people-in-general here think, though -- whether they are open-minded and do think this way or could be brought to easily, or whether my paranoia is at least partly justified.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

Stella and I had been talking recently about a possible sibling for Amy.

She has the feeling that it's not the right time now to have another child, but has been wondering recently whether this is due, in small or large part, to the fact that it might not be the right time to physically bear another child rather than specifically due to the presence of a child in our family.

She'd been considering for a while getting a planned C-section if she did have another child at some point, to avoid getting a repeat of last time. But when she thought about the prospect a bit more seriously the other day, she had a dream about bleeding to death during the birth anyway and that made her think about whether the birth part was a problem.

So she asked me how I felt about adopting.

Several years ago, I wouldn't have liked the prospect -- I think I would have felt that an adopted child would not be "mine", or at least that I wouldn't be able to treat it the same as Amy. However, I seem to have changed attitudes on that, since I'm no longer specifically against it.

If we did adopt, I'd prefer a child as young as possible, so that it'd grow up in our family and essentially only know us as its parents. (Emotionally, that is -- I mean, it would form a bond to us in the same way as a natural-born child, rather than, say, a five-year-old who has relationships already and where it would probably be more difficult for all around to treat them the same.)

(This is still all hypothetical at this moment, BTW.)

I wonder what our chances would be. I would imagine that healthy white infants would be in most demand and, therefore, most difficult to "obtain", but Stella said she saw a web page saying that Hamburg had about one child for every three potential adoptive families, whereas other parts of Germany have ratios of one to five or one to seven, so the waiting list might not be that long here.

We also talked about foster care (? - Pflegekind), but I think I'd prefer a child that was mine. Some families do have foster children for years and years, but others only have them for a few years or even less, and I think that would be harder to integrate into a family if you know it might go away again in a few years' time. Basically, it's not what I'd be looking for.

One thing I worried about was what other people (e.g. at church or in our family) would think or how they would treat the child. I think if we did adopt a child, we wouldn't want it treated any other way, and I worry that some others might keep reminding it that it's not our "proper" child. But then, I often worry too much about things so it's hard to know when I'm being paranoid and when I'm merely being cautious.

(A friend of ours suggested that Stella not attend church for a couple of months before reappearing with an infant, essentially faking a pregnancy, so that people would treat the child like a natural child -- but I doubt that kind of deception would hold water for very long. Not to mention that I imagine you usually don't get several months' notice that there's an infant who could be placed with your family.)

Do any of you have experiences with adopting? (You were adopted; you adopted a child; your parents adopted a child before or after you were born; you know people who adopted or were adopted; etc.)


pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
Philip Newton

June 2015

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