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Choosing guardians – take two…

18 Sep

By TAO

I originally wrote the post below titled Choosing guardians back in  2011 – just a random thought I had about how adoption has prospective parents create these elaborate glossy selling themselves brochures with a “Dear Birthmother Letter”.  How little there is to really tell the expectant mother considering adoption – who the prospective adoptive parents really are – and things I would consider before choosing a guardian if I had a child.

A while back, I read a thread about an adoptive parent who had not told the “Birthmother” that they didn’t celebrate Halloween or do a Santa themed Christmas.  She was getting stressed that the “Birthmother” would be expecting pictures of the child in their Halloween costume.  The replies were primarily don’t worry about it – if she was concerned about what Holidays her child would take part in she would have asked, with a dissenter saying they should have covered that.

Anyway, that to me was facepalm worthy simply because – you have a very stressed out expectant mother who is about to do the unthinkable, and, you think she would have even stopped to think about whether or not the couple celebrated Halloween?  I have never met someone who didn’t Trick or Treat as a child…that wouldn’t even cross my mind if I was considering adoption…but I would expect that to be disclosed.

So mothers who are considering adoption…you need to demand more than the glossy brochures painting the prospective adoptive parents in the best possible light.  You need to demand a calendar year outlining how your child will be raised – including what holidays they will be allowed to participate in…

In addition you need to be making choices the same way you would choose a guardian, and not rely on someone else telling you they checked them out.

Choosing guardians…

03May 2011

Okay – I recognise and understand that adoption is different from guardianship, but has anyone ever considered how little actual information is in the parent profiles an expectant mother sees? 

Sure lots of fun pictures, big houses, vacations, religion or not, description by each spouse about the other, but is it enough?  Take a minute and google parent profiles and then pick a family to be guardians for your baby, child, or children. 

Would those profiles contain enough information to make an educated decision on something so important?  Would you trust the word of someone you never met before, when they said the couple you chose passed the homestudy, instead of needing to do your own research?

I doubt I would.  I would need to see the criminal back-ground check, the in-depth physical and psychological profile from their doctor they have gone to for quite some time, the credit report going back at least 10 years, their debt vs assets ratio including credit card debt, their home, their employment history…just about everything about them, before I would consider trusting my child to them.  Then they would have to be interviewed, short listed, re-interviewed by myself and other trusted family or friends. 

What would you require?

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11 Comments

Posted by on September 18, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics

 

Tags: , , , , ,

11 responses to “Choosing guardians – take two…

  1. Dannie

    September 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Without wanting to sound pompous or critical of people that had limited choices. I wouldn’t be able to!!!!!! Shoot husband and I are in the middle of will making and guardians in case something happened to both of us and its not fun, it’s stressful. Much less a mama that is stressing over losing her child to others. I don’t know how anything would make it better.

    But to play along, I’d be picky on religion/ church and would ask my bulk of questions in that area. If you believe in the betterment of your kids even if it makes you broke or with less money. Not pretentious like ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ but if your child needed braces and your insurance didn’t cover it would you opt not to do it just to be debt free like Dave Ramsey or would you find a way such as payment plans, opening an emergency credit card so your child can feel good about their smile and not have body image issues. Yes some people have great/excellent credit but is it at a good expense or a bad expense (my example IMO). So obviously I wouldn’t completely go on credit score. But how do you know what their philosophy is on getting children’s needs met or making sure they are happy and healthy while parents go without? You don’t know that. Aaaaah. I just don’t like to think about it. I’m pregnant and it makes me cry. My daughters parents rights had to be taken away from the courts system. I just don’t think I could do a domestic infant adoption. I’d be like ‘no keep your child, I’ll supply diapers for you if that helps’. I can’t.even.imagine!!!!!!

    If any first moms read this I hope the comment doesn’t make you sad….not my intention and I wish everyone could just go home with their child.

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    • TAO

      September 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Awe Dannie – you must be having so many conflicting thoughts right now – hugs. I just feel they do mothers a grave dis-service in how they package up the prospective adoptive parents. They are young terrified women and if they were counselled properly and if they chose to proceed then they should go through a whole lot more than just picking from profiles. I found myself flabbergasted that these AP’s did not reveal that they practiced a Christian faith that was against it. Perhaps the world of Christianity has changed but my goodness – trick or treating – it’s a fun night…

      You guys will figure out who the primary will be and the secondary – you are right it is how they would parent and the willingness to address needs that is so very important. You look amazingly fit and small for how far you are…good for you…have you laid out strategies so little one deals well through the normal jealous of new baby taking all you time up? Grandma is still close right?

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      • Dannie

        September 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        My comment got erased but yeah grandma still close and luckily for me hubby’s mom treats little miss very well. So getting little miss ready for the change when baby brother comes

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  2. eagoodlife

    September 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Same, I would ask all that and more, but then I’d never be in that situation.Lucky me you might say, but adoption is not something I could ever have contemplated at any time.I’d want a proper assessment by a real professional, conducted over many months of meetings.Adopters need to be super parents for the super tough parenting job they will need to be doing, not just for the first years but as long as parenting lasts.

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    • TAO

      September 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      No, I would never be in that position and if by chance I was as a teen – I think mom and dad would just worked with what was going to happen…

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  3. Valentine Logar

    September 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Knowing what I know today, there are many things that I might care more and less about. Credit scores can be manipulated, sometimes for good or bad. This doesn’t tell the whole story ever. Job stability is hit or miss, especially in the world we live in, this is never a good indicator of ability to provide. So here is my list of what I would want to know;

    1 – family relationships, how many generations live nearby and how close. Are there grandparents, aunts and uncles? How extended is the family? Talking about this one, has there ever been any investigations into members of this family for abuse of any children in their care? How often does the family vacation together? How often do they eat together, hold reunions? Is the family close?

    2 – community relationships, are the perspective parents active in the community (church included). What sort of community relationships do the have? What sort of reputation do they have in the community? What do others say about them?

    3 – charity, do the give? To what charities do they give. Their patterns of giving today will say a great deal about them.

    I want to know criminal background, credit background, other financials, religious background there are some faith doctrines I would simply refuse to allow my child to be reared within, marriage background, personal opinions on current events (yes, this is important to me).

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    • TAO

      September 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Really GREAT points Valentine – especially 3 and their personal views…I might try and compile a list of all the thoughts and do a take three…

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  4. dmdezigns

    September 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    The hard part of picking a guardian is you’re limited in your choices (much like the mom thinking of placing her child is limited in who she has to choose from). Obviously, we would only pick someone we already know, that we have a long term relationship with, preferably a family member, hopefully we would know their parenting style, how they do at making decisions – do they consider consequences first or are they completely spontaneous on everything, hopefully they’re actively involved in our life so that our child already knows them and is comfortable and they know what decisions we’re likely to make. We have the luxury when picking a guardian of knowing these things. And you’re right, most of that isn’t covered in the profile that we create as APs. Those profiles are pure marketing. They’re designed to get you picked. And the emoms looking at them are usually limited in who is even shown to them. In our case, once she expressed interest in us, she didn’t make the finaly decision until after we had talked on the phone so she could ask us some of her other questions. But little one’s bmom is a very strong woman who is able to speak up for herself when needed. I don’t know that most women in crisis are as dominant as she is able to be.

    And you’re right about the halloween/christmas celebration. If you have any beliefs that are not standard mainstream, they should be disclosed. I did mention in ours that we were looking forward to easter egg hunts, etc. But if we weren’t going to celebrate the major holidays that the majority of Americans celebrate, we should have mentioned it. If we were Jewish for example, we should share that. Any religious affiliation that will affect how the child is raised should be shared up front.

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    • TAO

      September 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Completely agree that it would have to be known long-term friends or family. It just breaks my heart thinking about women having to pick literally strangers to trust. Can’t get it off my mind. You are right though that it is the more vulnerable in complete crisis that are at the greatest risk.

      The Halloween thing just got under my skin – just seemed so dishonest…to someone who is giving you their baby…

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      • dmdezigns

        September 19, 2013 at 11:02 pm

        It’s absolutely dishonest. The only reason not to share that is because you’re afraid you won’t be picked. But those types of beliefs and parenting choices should absolutely be shared up front. The emom has a right to consider it in her choice. It pisses me off when APs are misleading or dishonest in their profiles just to get picked.

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  5. wackyadorablefamily

    September 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    A read on another blog a long time ago (can’t remember which) about a first mother choosing only a family that had already adopted, and requiring the other first mother as a reference. There’s no way to be sure about someone.

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