Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Levels of Frustration

This morning I realized why infertile couples choose not to adopt, or give up on adoption. DH and I had an appointment with a woman at the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Our social worker had suggested that we could get on a waiting list for international adoption while pursuing domestic adoption, so we decided to look into it.

Our goal this morning was to get basic facts and find out how to get on the waiting list for the country we are interested in, which is Vietnam as DH's good friends from childhood are Vietnamese and they are more lenient with adoptive parents' ages. Since Vietnam recently ratified the Hague Convention on international adoption the 'big' international adoption agency in town has adoptions currently on hold. The woman mentioned that we could possibly get on the call back list in 2012. We asked what the difference was between the call back list and the waiting list and she said they were the same thing. Then we asked if we could get on the call back list and she said they were not adding to the call back list until she could go through the list of names she already had, but she would keep us in mind or we could keep inquiring, or keep checking their website. DH and I were completely baffled by this response as there is no logical process to getting on the call back list as it is all left to chance.

This 'big' international adoption agency in town is going to begin processing domestic open adoptions as soon as it receives a license, which is any day now, but, we can't get more information from them until they receive the license. The woman did tell us that the agency would require a 2k non-refundable retainer when we 'register' with them, but she would not answer DH's question of whether this retainer is included in the agency's estimate of total adoption costs.

DH and I were frustrated after we left the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Especially after finding out that they require us to take a workshop with them after we just finished our PRIDE course a month ago. My other frustration with them is that the woman pushed special needs international adoptions. At this point I had to share my late sister's story and how I spent half my childhood being dragged to hospitals and doctors appointments along with my sister. But, the woman seemed to gloss over my history and said that "if we really want to parent" that these international children are available for adoption without a wait list. She then said we could specify what kind of disability we would accept for adoption. So, how does one exactly prioritize what kind of disability is acceptable? That one makes my stomach turn. I am also irked that we came in asking questions about a specific nation for international adoption, and we were side-tracked to special needs adoptions.

I cried when I got home. When will it get easier? First infertility, then fertility treatments, then recurrent pregnancy losses, then kafkaesque adoption procedures and agencies. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned how international adoptees do not automatically become Canadian citizens when adopted by Canadian citizens. We must apply for citizenship/sponsorship for the child when he/she is brought back to Canada, and therefore must obtain (and retain) a passport from his/her birth nation until the process is completed. I wonder how much more frustration I can deal with before I break.


AmyG said...

Holy smokes! I hope that person is just bad at her job; they can't all be like that! It's no wonder that people give up. I hope it wasn't too dispiriting.

If you do persist, my friend Kelli with her 2.5 y.o adopted from China is raving about about a parenting book by Patty Cogen:

She finds it a lot more satisfying than Deborah Gray's writings.

I hope spring has come to you, at least!

It Is What It Is said...

I came from the IF world to being in the throes of domestic US newborn adoption and ART has nothing on adoption. It is NOT for the faint of heart. It is invasive (on a good day) and grueling (on a bad day).

It is the right choice for us to have #2, but it has worn me out.

Abiding with you...

Nicole said...

Hugs, hugs and more hugs.

I had a hysterectomy due to micro-invasive cervical cancer, and I am always told "oh you can just adopt or have a surrogacy" as if it is just oh-so-easy.

I am sorry to hear you had a tough day and that the woman was so terrible. you are going to them for help in creating a family, you think they'd be more sensitive.

Good luck with everything. I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

Suzanne said...

I had a similiar experience with an adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services. I called the social worker before a domestic adoption seminar to see if there were any Caucasian infants available who did not have special needs. She also pushed the special needs kids and made me feel absolutely horrible for not wanting to adopt them - I was in tears for most of the morning! I've found another agency, Adoptions Together. This agency seems more willing to work with my DH and me. Maybe you could find another agency to work with? Please don't take what she said personally.