All my best,Danni
Hi, Danni, I came to visit and saw this post.
Co cl of the Dog Training and Behavior Board
Thanks for the info Vickie.
Luckily our state has passed some really strict legislation aimed at stopping exactly what you mentioned parents coming back and claiming parental rights.
I just saw your post and wanted to let you know that my husband and I adopted a beautiful 1 year old little girl and her newborn baby brother. At the time, we lived in New Jersey where they have a program called fost-adopt. We had to do a home study and take 30 hours worth of classes, and do alot of paperwork. We were fingerprinted, had background checks, and needed doctors notes along with letters of recommendation from friends, family and neighbors.
The children in the program are considered "at risk" which means that for the most part, right now they are in "foster care" with a very high chance of being placed for adoption. There are risks in that not all the children they place with you will definately be placed with you permanently for adoption, however our 2 children were placed with us the day after we were llicensed, and we adopted them officially about a year and a half later. We did know we would be adopting them for certain about 6 months after they came home to us.
It didnt cost us a penny, in fact the whole time they were in foster care, they sent us a subsidy every month to help pay for things like clothes and toys and other necessities. And because our children are considered "special needs" (a sibling group and/ or certain medical conditions, and/or other factors depending on your state etc) the subsidy will continue until they are 18. They also have full medical benefits until they are 18. The adoption itself was completely free, and believe it or not, we were able to even take advantage of the adoption credit on our taxes ($20,000-which can be used for up to 4 years or until we use it up whichever comes first).
It wasn't always wine and roses however. My children were born drug addicted (my son was 2 months premature), and the mother drank alcohol throughout her pregnancy. My son was shaking for the first 2 weeks I had him home, which was very scary, and my son and daughter both started walking very late. My daughter didnt start talking until she was almost 2. Both of their motor skills weren't what they should have been. We got them help through the early intervention service in NJ (I believe all the states have it) and physical therapists came to my home to assist 3 days a week, about 1 hour each day. They have both caught up in all areas, and are showing no ill effects from the trauma they went through.
My children are now 2 and 3 and they are amazing. They are beautiful, well adjusted, healthy and VERY happy. I had the wonderful experience of picking my son up at the hospital, and my son and daughter are together forever. They have the same biological mother and the same forever mom and dad, and we all couldn't be happier.
I wish you all the luck in the world whatever way you choose/if you choose to adopt. It is the most rewarding thing we have ever done, our children are our whole lives.
I edited this to add that we have never met the birth mother. She hasn't seen the children since she gave birth to them, and that was her choice. Many children in the fost-adopt program do have regular visits with their birth mother that is mandatory until you adopt the child(ren). Then it would be to your discretion. In our situation, we had a closed adoption which means that the birth mother (and father, if anyone knew who he was) have no way of contacting us.HTH,~Dawn