Torn. Need help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-1998
Torn. Need help...
Wed, 03-20-2013 - 11:48pm


I started a homestudy about 4 months ago to pursue international adoption as a single. I was previously married but were never successful in having kids and now that I am 40 I am looking at other options. 

Anyhow, I started this homestudy with the intention of adoption from Brazil because I have lived in Brazil and my ex-husband is Brazilian and of course I have a real love for that country. Unfortunately, after doing a lot of research, I discovered that the youngest child that I can adopt is 8 years old. I just felt in my heart that as a first-time Mom, I did not feel comfortable with that and as a result had to give up my dream of adopting from Brazil. Unfortunately, singles have very few options now adays in terms of international travel. I was finally able to find an agency that works with singles to adopt for Ethiopia. I thought long and hard about it and decided why not. My heart is in it so let's proceed. However... in the midst of gathering all of my paperwork for this adoption, I started to have feelings of doubt and also a lot of stress because I do not have $30k to just pull out of my pocket and my intention was to pay for the adoption through fundraising. Nonetheless, I am starting to get annoyed with this whole process. I am mainly frustrating and irked by the amount of money that people are making out of this and I think it is totally wrong and not just. This is akin to legal child traficking and the more I think I about it the more I just want to drop the whole thing. In addition, I have recently read stories where a lot of these children in Ethiopia were taken from their families and told that these kids would return when they are 18 and the families would be financially supported by the families who adopted them. This probably is not the case for all of these kids but it does exist. 

I decided to go ahead and finish my home study since I had already paid for most of it with the hopes that I could possibly find someone in my town that was thinking of giving their kid up for adoption and as a result started to post up flyers at Planned Parenthood and other places. I just did this recently. 

Also, I started paperwork to become a foster parent in hopes that maybe I could adopt that way. I like the idea of not having to fork out $30K and the fact that you can live with a child before adopting them if you so chose to.

I guess the point that I am trying to make here is that I find myself really vacillating often about whether to proceed with the international adoption or just simply drop it. I keep thinking that if I have to dip into my savings to buy this child then what am I going to have for this child when I bring him/her home? I really am just so angry about having to pay this but my desire to be a Mom is very palpable and strong. 

It's like I want some quick answer about which option is better, international, domestic or foster-to-adopt. I get so flustered some times and so sad at my lack of control over all of this that sometimes I just want to give up and let go of the dream. 

Has anyone else experience this before and if so do you have any advice for me? I need to make a decision soon as to my course of action and as of now am scared to commit to a $30k investment that may not even be an orphaned child. I do not have any other options for international adoption unless I want to adopt a much older child or a child with special needs. None of which I feel capable of doing. 

Thanks so much for your time!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2007
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 3:44pm

Your concern regarding the ethical practices of foreign agencies is the one big reason that international adoption has become such a trying process. When we initially started looking into the adoption world, MANY agencies were more than thrilled to talk about their international adoption - now if you go into an agency, they will basically try and sway you from it. A dear friend of ours has gone through "you know what and back" waiting, getting a referral and waiting again.

It is true, there was a recruitment in MANY countries including Eithopia where "missionaries" were going through improvished nations looking for children "to rescue." Some agencies felt that it was their duty to allow children a better life in America without explaining the real scenerio - parents giving up their children. Some were forced, others not educated. It is one of the MANY reasons that nations would rather have Unifcef or other organizations come into their country and assist with the problem rather than allowing for international adoptions (which is what happened in Gautamela which is now closed). On top of this, is the perception of Americans. We aren't so esteemed anymore :)

Each of the routes you have mentioned are DRASTICALLY different. Rather than look at the money, look at the process. International requires ALOT more than domestic ALOT more than foster to adopt. Domestic is ALOT different that foster to adopt. The blueprint for the home study is basically the same - you need one - but how to obtain one is different with each step. Before you think about money. Think about the time you have to invest. Do you have the availability to travel to a foreign country 2x in one year for weeks at a time? If no, then you likely couldn't adopt from Eithopia to begin with as this is a requirement (escorts are now longer allowed). Your financial concerns are defintely founded but before basing your decision on money, look at the logistics of each process.

If I were single, I would likely do a foster to adopt. There are MANY more choices and opportunities than with domestic or international. Your comment regarding buying a child will likely be very hurtful to adoptive parents everywhere. I did not buy a child. I paid an agency their administrative fees, birth mother counseling fees to ensure she was making the right decision once she selected my husband and I to adopt and the court fees to finalize the adoption. Please do not refer to buying a child - THAT is trafficking. Not adoption.

Good luck to you. I hope that as you research your options, your heart becomes more settled with the opportunities you find. We were disheartened too along the way - adoption is not for the faint of heart. An adoption advocate once told us that 20% of all home study applicants drop out or "give up" so it isn't an easily solution. All I can say is that if there is a child out there that God has chosen to be yours, then he/she will make his/her way to you. Just keep your heart open and your mind on task....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2005
Tue, 03-26-2013 - 2:27pm

I am sorry for what you have gone through.  My husband and myself have gone through something similar except we decided to do a domestic adoption.  We were working through an agency to adopt an infant - age 5 from the US we became homestudy ready and than we sat and waited for close to three years and were never matched.  each year we shelled out 3000 dollars just to be put on the waiting list to be possibly matched with a child.  I think we were never matched because we have 3 bio children and we wanted one more and I dont think we were on their priorty list. 

Anyhow we have always thought about fostering but wanted to wait til our yougest was at least 4 before we tried to take the classes.  So this week will be our first meeting and I am hoping it will be the path to a forever child someday and if not than maybe being a foster family is what we were always meant to be.  I wish you the best of luck either way.  It has not been an easy decision for us to give up on the adoption route and chose Fostering because I know its not for the faint of heart, but I know if we can do it we will be giving the children we foster a better chance and I will be teaching my bio children an invaluable lesson in life. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Thu, 03-21-2013 - 9:58am

Welcome!  I'm sorry about the adoption situation with Brazil.  Have you researched foster to adopt in your state?  I know it's an emotionally tough process, but those I know who have gone through it have found it well worth it.  Most states want you to take some classes before becoming a foster parent, and the first thing you'll learn is to not think of this as a road to adoption.  Most of the time, the goal in fostering is to reunite the family if it's at all possible.  With fostering, you'll see children come and go.  You will maintain communication and visitation between the child and the parent (with the help of "the system").  If you get to the point where adoption is a possibility, the parents rights will first need to be terminated, which can be a long process if they want to fight it.

Have you looked at local agencies?  Many will work with single women, and I think that would probably be the route I would choose.

Do you know if your home study, should you choose to proceed, will be accepted by other agencies or by the foster system?