After our abysmal first IVF, MO2 and I began to look at options. Actually after much discussion, I didn’t even realize we had options, the only thing that was a guarantee was international adoption. After weeks of researching agencies, we decided on a country, Kazakhstan and the “ABC” agency.
Why didn’t we choose domestic adoption? Two reasons; the competition and potential disappointment. It is very hard to adopt a Caucasian infant in the US and the competition seems intense. To be honest, I’m not sure I am ready to put myself out there and compete with other adoptive parents for a birth mom’s attention. I’ve looked at those potential birth mom packets that people make up and it just makes me sad, it feels so desperate to me. I’ve also been told (even by my home study agency) that since we are older and I work full time AND am Active Duty military, people probably won’t pick us. (Since when is serving your country and full time employment a liability)? The other thing is that I am a clinical social worker and my department covers a lot potential adoptions here at Medical Center, Ft. Livingroom, a large teaching hospital. We rarely have successful placements here because the birth moms change their minds (not that they shouldn’t be able to, but how devastating for the adoptive family). After the pain of IF, I can’t imagine having someone change their mind and have yet another loss.
So domestic adoption was off the table. After much deliberation, we choose to adopt from Kazakhstan. The orphanages are decent. Most Kazakhs (although not all) are Muslim which means there may be a lesser chance of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE). We dive into the international adoption process.
I have nothing bad to say about the ABC agency. They are professional, they get back to me right away, they are friendly, reputable, you name it. Did I mention that it is an extremely expensive process?
Kaz doesn’t let you choose your child’s gender. All you can choose is your child’s ethnicity which is a choice of Caucasian, Eurasian or Asian. You can say something like, “in a perfect world, I’d like a girl.” However, there is no guarantee you will get a girl. When I casually inquired about a girl, ABC acted all put out and let me know that there is a great demand for them and it makes your 15-20 month wait longer IF you get one.
Do people only want girls? Apparently so, as ABC has made the same claim about Russia. (I have my suspicions about why girls aren’t given up for adoption and I suspect it has something to do with the sex trade-although ABC agency denies this). There are plenty of families out there in the blogosphere who adopt girls, so I don’t know.
Another thing that gives me pause is the number of trips required. Initially, we were told that there are two traveling options; 1 very long trip 6-8 weeks OR 2) two different trips about 2-3 weeks each. The Army is very generous in that we get three free weeks of leave (non-chargeable) BUT that only takes us half way there. Then ABC informs us that Kaz now requires 3 international trips. One (2-3 weeker) for the 14 days of bonding, then one for court (also two weeks) and then one to retrieve your child once his/her papers are ready. Plus, Kaz only allows 1 child adoption at a time, no siblings or twins (they are never put up for adoption according to ABC agency). This gives me pause.
I think my greatest reluctance with adoption is that I will never get the chance to be pregnant. It has been a very difficult thing for me to stomach and it is important to me (although I wish it wasn’t). It would be so nice if I could just put away this desire to be pregnant in a box and bury it under a tree but it never goes away and I’m not beyond that grief. I’m not sure if I ever will be.