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 Child adoption 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2008, 3:11 pm
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Adoption rules vary in dependence of Countries but in general you cannot choose the child; you will accept the one chosen by the institution where the application was tabled, according to certain rules (unknown to me).
I am a bit perplex about the merit of this method for the following reasons:

Adopting a child is an act of love; love is irrational and based on sentiments and feeling in the same way as if you chose a partner.
Getting a 'mystery present' may be traumatic and sometimes might even lead to rejection by the new parents or indifference at best, causing further trauma to the kid.
The argument against this view is that less fortunate children would never be adopted.
There is no easy answer to this moral dilemma but in my opinion the wise consideration should be the child's maximization of happiness.
True, a number of children could everlastingly reside in a social structure but:
a - it happens anyway;
b - a tin-pot is still better than a life of indifference or outright hostility in a parenthood situation.

Your opinion?

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August 5th, 2010, 9:45 pm
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Not sure what you mean by 'cannot choose a child'. My experience of adoption (in UK) goes through the process of 'fostering' first and that allows for all sides to see if it is going to work before going permanent. I guess the child may not chose you after that.


August 6th, 2010, 6:35 am
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Jaywhat, in Italy at least, it work as I said. Children are kept in priests/nuns-managed convents and the prospective adopter is only shown the one (or a few?) that he can take. A probation time is set (3 months?) for the child to confirm that he/she is happy within the family.
I wouldn't be surprised, however, if a "big-hearted donation to god" would leave the convent's door wide-open.
I find this procedure unfair and dangerous for the child's psycho. equilibrium.
I would be interested to know about the British rules.

P.S.: I've heard that to overcome the Italian strict rules, single women close deals with fake husbands; they both fly to the US (where a single can adopt), as the three land back in Italy the 'couple' declares that to be their new-born baby. Ethically acceptable??

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August 6th, 2010, 8:52 pm
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Yes - I guess every country is different. My experience has been in the UK and via Social Services - not any religious group of course.


August 7th, 2010, 6:25 am
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Adopting a child is the process of finding suitable parent(s) for a particular child. It's about matching a child to prospective parents.
The child's needs are paramount.
Maybe that's what they mean by not being allowed to "choose"?

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August 10th, 2010, 9:57 pm
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getreal wrote:
Adopting a child is the process of finding suitable parent(s) for a particular child. It's about matching a child to prospective parents.
The child's needs are paramount.
Maybe that's what they mean by not being allowed to "choose"?

IMO the process should work differently:
- Prospective parents should be enabled to choose in the first instance;
then
- convent tutors should inform prospectives about the pros/cons of that particular child
it is only at this stage that
- prospective parents can responsibly take their decision.

In my view it is just like two people falling in love; there is a lot of sentiment involved. When relationship becomes serious the two ponder about the feasibility of setting up a family.

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August 11th, 2010, 9:33 pm
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I completely disagree, peneasy. The child's needs are paramount and we expect the professionals involved to know the child well enough to be able to find the "best match" parents. You said earlier that love is irrational, I would say that there is no place in adoption for irrationality. Most children being adopted have complex histories and may have emotional, psychological and developmental problems- the type of person best placed to care for them are (here, anyway) identified and "matched" to them. It's not a perfect system, but it seems to work fairly well. Prospective adoptive parents just wouldn't have the skills necessary to decide which child they could best provide a loving and stable home for.

Here (in scotland) adoption is handled (exclusivly, I think) by local authorities, through their social work departments, which all have adoption and fostering teams.

I've no real specialist knowledge in this field, though.

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August 11th, 2010, 10:12 pm
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peneasy wrote:
- Prospective parents should be enabled to choose in the first instance;

They can. As long as the last name begins with a "J" and ends in an "e" and you're married to Brad Pitt. Or if you have lots of money. I have yet to see any of the above, chose a child with "issues" but maybe there is an exception somewhere.
There is also a choice of sorts for general prospective parents; they will only be exposed to the best of the best prospective adoptees that the overseers decide upon. It behooves the adoption overseers to choose wisely.

peneasy wrote:
then
- convent tutors should inform prospectives about the pros/cons of that particular child

Ah but aren't pros and cons in the eye of the beholder? We can look at any child's behaviour and label it negatively or positively. ie. stubborness vs. perserverence and how we label it affects how we look at it and how we deal with it.
Then we get into personal biases. What bothers you about a child may not bother me. Who's to decide and under what criteria?

peneasy wrote:
it is only at this stage that
- prospective parents can responsibly take their decision.

I can appreciate your view that the prospective parents potentially have more information but here's the thing, when we have children biologically, we take the risk that all will be well (or not). We don't get to choose which personality the child will have; we take what we get. And some people do give their children 'back' as it were through adoption or abandonment. The prospective parents can also do the same thing. It's like shopping for children. If they don't fit, trade them for a better one.
Over here, the parents are not kept in the dark about major health issues but I have no idea what happens to 'normal' adoptees in non-North American countries. I suspect that the most serious cases are not even considered but are left to fend for themselves as it were.


peneasy wrote:
In my view it is just like two people falling in love; there is a lot of sentiment involved. When relationship becomes serious the two ponder about the feasibility of setting up a family.
If they haven't gotten pregnant first. I don't know about where you are but here the divorce rate is about 50/50, last time I checked. So even if feasibility is considered, clearly half the time, it isn't working. I feel like you're saying the adoption process should be akin to choosing a car out of the showroom? ;)

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August 12th, 2010, 2:58 pm
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Adopting a child is not shopping. AFAIK here, in Scotland, if you want to be considered or adoption you go through a very thourough process which takes many months (at least). At this stage you can express any preferences you may have (such as age and "issues" you feel you would be able to cope with). At this stage if you were to express a wish for, say, a blonde child or a boy, rather than a girl, your motives for adopting would be suspect and you would have to give an extremely valid reason why you would want this feature- your suitability for being a parent of a adoptee would be questioned.

When a suitable child is "matched" a long, slow process is begun, starting with short visits, progressing to weekend stays and progressing to fostering. I'm not sure how long the child would be with you as a foster-child, before the adoption would be made "legal". I know it can take a very long time.

At all these stages you are supervised and montored by a social worker (a specialist from the adoption and fosrtering team).

The process is long slow and (usually) pretty painful, but the sucessful results are a joy to see!!

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August 12th, 2010, 4:25 pm
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Marian wrote:
peneasy wrote:
If they haven't gotten pregnant first. I don't know about where you are but here the divorce rate is about 50/50, last time I checked. So even if feasibility is considered, clearly half the time, it isn't working. I feel like you're saying the adoption process should be akin to choosing a car out of the showroom? ;)

Marian and Getreal,
I am based in Como, just on the border with Switzerland. I have risen the adoption issue out of curiosity and insecurity about what is right or wrong. Well, also because I remember - decades ago- to have heard of families adopting 'female' children to make them 'house maid' as they grew in their teens! Recently (as mentioned at beginning of this thread), a lady in her 60ies, adopted a baby from the US; her words:"to have someone to look after me as I grow older".
I consider those facts selfish at best, if not bordering with deception.
I do appreciate the points made by you both; let me insist, nevertheless, that parental sentiment/love should be also given due consideration.

Re.:divorce rate: here too we are nearing the 50/50 rate, but this is quite a different story. Couples nowadays make love first, then they ask each-other names and they get married if she becomes pregnant. I wonder if those offspring should become adoptable too? Sarcasm, of course!

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August 12th, 2010, 8:12 pm
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peneasy wrote:
Well, also because I remember - decades ago- to have heard of families adopting 'female' children to make them 'house maid' as they grew in their teens! Recently (as mentioned at beginning of this thread), a lady in her 60ies, adopted a baby from the US; her words:"to have someone to look after me as I grow older".
I consider those facts selfish at best, if not bordering with deception.

I have no doubt that some of these adoptions are for exactly the purposes you describe above. I doubt things have changed all that much even in decades. Ooh, that cynacism is escaping out the edges again. :)
OTOH, if getreal's scenario of the parents being vetted were to be put into practice across the board, we'd probably have an improvement on our hands. As it stands, I don't think private adoption agencies on the whole put much stock in long drawn-out 'cases'. Children are often seen as the property of their parents so it's not surprising that someone would want a child to look after them. Don't a lot of parents hope that happens but maybe don't say it out loud?


peneasy wrote:
I wonder if those offspring should become adoptable too? Sarcasm, of course!
lol

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August 13th, 2010, 11:06 pm
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I have a friend who adopted a child. Her son was living with her for six years before the adoption was finalised when he was already nine years old. She told me that this time frame was typical. This was in the UK just a couple of years ago.


August 14th, 2010, 12:01 am
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My American brother and his wife were accepted as prospective adoptive parents by an interesting agency. Their approach was different in that the agency helped the couples make a short film about themselves, and then showed the films to (mostly) teenage Mums who would be putting their babies up for adoption. So I suppose at least the birth Mum had some sort of choice.

They were trying more than one avenue and did tell me they became a little disheartened at becoming second on many occasions.
Now they share their lives with a lovely Ethiopian boy, who they adopted at 9 months old and is now nearly 6. He was left as a newborn in a convent doorway. If he ever wants to go to Ethiopia I've told my brother I'd like to go too. What an interesting journey that could be...


August 14th, 2010, 1:35 pm
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What an interesting journey that could be...
:pointlaugh: Indeed!

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August 14th, 2010, 9:28 pm
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Fia wrote:
They were trying more than one avenue and did tell me they became a little disheartened at becoming second on many occasions.

The agency told them they were second? This seems kind of heartless, imo. Wouldn't it be better to just say the prospective parents didn't get chosen rather than say you were second pick? Isn't that kind of like telling someone they weren't quite good enough? Ouch.
I really like the idea of the videos though. That is a different approach. I'm so glad your brother and his wife have a lovely son.

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August 16th, 2010, 1:07 pm
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:offtopic:

...but I can't resist sharing this nugget..

I applied and was interviewed for a post with a very large scottish voluntary agency and was telephoned a couple of days later and offered the job. I accepted - very gladly. On my first day I was to report to head office for a meeting with the area manager (the one who offered me the job) to do all the boring bits (bank details, etc). Durning my conversation with her she told me that she thought I better know that I was not first choice for the post!! It had been offered to another candidate who had turned it down. I was in fact the second choice.

Some people have such wonderful people skills, don't you think?

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August 16th, 2010, 5:37 pm
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:pointlaugh:
I think they should tell the whole phrase:
you scored second among 123 interviewed for this post.
But as you rightly said "their wit is not full..."

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August 16th, 2010, 8:51 pm
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Great nugget, but oh {{getreal}}
It takes wisdom to know when to speak the truth and when the truth is better not mentioned. Still work in progress for me and many of us I guess...

Marian wrote:
The agency told them they were second? This seems kind of heartless, imo.

From what I gather the agency told couples if their video had been used in a shortlist by a pregnant woman. I remember some excited and hopeful transatlantic phone calls from my brother. My feeling is they did that to re-inforce the rather novel idea was working. Perhaps they told everyone on the shortlist they were second? A little less heartless possibly...

Marian wrote:
I'm so glad your brother and his wife have a lovely son.
So am I, Marian. He's a wee dynamo :D They are ideally suited, but no adoption agency could plan for that. He has boundless what my sister-in-law calls "boy energy". The family run, kayak, do sport and this wee kid has kept up with them all. I saw a fabulous picture of him today with his sprightly American grandmother, 82, after they'd both been swimming in the St Lawrence river. Although alive on the planet at the same time, our Mum died before he came into our lives. But she would have been so proud of her son's family. I look forward to talking with my nephew about her. And I fervently hope I can go to Ethiopia with him. Our lives would be far less rich without him.


August 16th, 2010, 9:45 pm
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getreal wrote:
Durning my conversation with her she told me that she thought I better know that I was not first choice for the post!! It had been offered to another candidate who had turned it down. I was in fact the second choice.

Ouch! Big hugs for you!
That was completely thoughtless of her :cross:
This is what I would have wanted to do:
:finger:


Fia,
I hope you do get to visit Ethiopia. I hear it's lovely there. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have your nephew be a guide of sorts?
What a heart warming story...I think that layer of ice on mine is finally cracking :wink:

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August 18th, 2010, 5:06 am
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I have been in the situation of having hundreds of applicants for a job and having to decide between a short leet of outstanding candidates, all of whom are well qualified, have the right experience and would be great in the job. It comes down to finding a way of distinguishing between them and it's not easy. If you take it seriously you go home feeling uneasy about it.

There's nothing wrong with being in second place on the day, though it may feel like a put down. Celebrate! You got the job! ... or in this case the child.

I always found it really daunting, and felt I was playing a god in people's lives, because either the job or the adoption is a life changer all round.

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August 18th, 2010, 8:19 am
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