Adoption Resource Book

Adoption Resource Book

by Lois Gilman


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062730435
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/28/1992
Edition description: ENL
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Lois Gilman is the author of The New York Parents book and a freelance journalist writing on adoption, parenting, and other topics. She is the adoptive mother of Seth, who was born in Chile, and Eve, who was born in South Korea. She and her family live in Mount Kisco, New York.

Read an Excerpt

Learning About Adoption

Once upon a time there lived a man and woman named James and Martha Brown. They had been married for a long time and were very happy together. Only one thing was missing in their lives. They had no babies of their own, and they had always wanted children to share their home.
So begins The Chosen Baby, Valentina P. Wasson's adoption classic for parents to read with their young children. James and Martha, so the story goes, meet with Mrs. White at the adoption agency. She asks them many questions and then visits their home to see where the child would sleep and play. A little baby named Peter is eventually placed in their home. When Mrs. White introduces them to Peter, she says: "Now go into the next room and see the baby. If you find that he is not just the right baby for you, tell me, and we will try to find another." But Peter is. An adoptive family is created.
The Chosen Baby, first published in 1939 and reissued over the years in updated versions, has been read by three generations of parents to their adopted children. Had Wasson written her story today, however, it might tell quite a different tale:
(c)James and Martha Brown contact Mrs. White at the adoption agency. She informs them that her agency places infants, but that it is the birth mother who selects the future parents of her child. Helen Doe looks at the autobiography that the Browns have prepared at Mrs. White's suggestion and Helen chooses them as Peter's adoptive parents. When Helen goes into labor, she calls to ask them to join her in the delivery room and witness their baby's birth. Afterwards, the Browns care for Peter at the hospital.
(c)James and Martha Brown have threechildren: two boys (ages ten and eight) and a girl (age fourteen). They have always wanted many children to share their home. They contact Mrs. White at the adoption agency to tell her that they would like to adopt two teenagers. They see a description and pictures of siblings John and Suzanne, twelve and eleven, in a photograph book distributed by their state that focuses on children needing permanent homes.
(c)James and Martha Brown have no babies of their own and they want children to share their home. So they place a classified advertisement in a newspaper in their state: "Adoption: Happily married couple wish to adopt newborn." Helen Doe calls them up about the baby she is expecting.
(c)James and Martha Brown contact Mrs. White at the adoption agency. Her agency places children from Russian orphanages. After she studies their home, she sends their application to Russia. A year later the Browns travel to Russia to pick up their nine-month-old son, Petr.
(c)James and Martha Brown have been nine-year-old Peter's foster parents for the past three years. They contact Mrs. White at the adoption agency to ask whether they might adopt him.
(c)Martha Brown has always wanted children. But she's forty and single. She contacts Mrs. White about the possibility of adoption. She learns that there are many infant girls living in orphanages in China and about the agency's adoption programs there. Martha travels to China to adopt eight-month-old Miao Miao.
(c)James Brown has always wanted children. But he's forty-five and single. He contacts Mrs. White about the possibility of adoption. He adopts eight-year-old Peter.
(c)James and Martha Brown contact Mrs. White at the adoption agency. She tells them that her agency will not take any applications but she will put their names on a waiting list. Five years later James and Martha Brown are still waiting.

The story of adoptive families has changed. Childless couples are still adopting, but so are couples with birth children, and so are singles. Agencies are still involved with the adoption of babies, but they are also placing older children, sibling groups, and children with physical and mental disabilities. Families still come to agencies for help in becoming parents, but they also pursue adoption on their own. They are also forming families by adopting children born abroad. And birth parents, once the unseen participants in the adoption story, are playing an active role in the formation of the adoptive family. The portrait of adoption today is a complex one, a composite of many different practices.
In fact the very definition of adoption is no longer as straightforward or as simple as it was once understood to be. Adoption traditionally was seen as an event that culminated when the new parents went to court and vowed, before a judge, to take a child, whose bonds with the birth parents have been legally terminated, as their new son or daughter. The child's past history--the documents that record how the child moved from his or her relationship with the birth family into the relationship with the adoptive parents--was sealed away. The adoptive parents then raised the child as their own, following the model of the family created by birth. To take a child as one's own often meant to cut him off from his genetic past. The Adoption Resource Book. Copyright © by Lois Gilman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Chapter 1: Learning about Adoption
Approaching Adoptive Parenthood
Coming to Terms with Your Infertility
Getting Information about Adoption
The Children Needing Placement in the U.S.
Making Your Adoption Plan
Chapter 2: Exploring Adoption through an Agency
Contacting an Agency about a U.S. Adoption
Getting Oriented
Inquiring about an Agency's Reputation
Identified or Designated Adoption
Legal Risk Adoption
Foster Parent Adoption
Contacting U.S. Agencies about Intercountry Adoption
Taking Your Bearings
Chapter 3: Searching for a Baby Independently
The Legality of Independent Adoption
Deciding for Independent Adoption
Getting Prepared
The Risks of Independent Adoption
Seeking Legal Advice
Spreading the Word
The Costs of an Independent Adoption
Getting Background and Medical Information
Taking Your Bearings
Chapter 4: Understanding Open Adoption
The Advantages and Drawbacks of Open Adoption
Open Adoption: Your Fears and the Facts
Is Open Adoption for You?
Creating an Open Adoption
The Children of Open Adoption
What Will Be
Chapter 5: Searching for a Waiting Child in the United States
Is Special-Needs Adoption for You?
Beginning the Special-Needs Adoption Process
State Adoption Exchanges
Regional Exchanges
National Adoption Exchanges
Some Specialized Referral Programs
The Frustrations of Working with Exchanges and Photolistings
Some Tips on Searching for That Waiting Child
Chapter 6: Pursuing an Intercountry Adoption
How Intercountry Adoption Works
Waiting Children Abroad
The Costs of an Intercountry Adoption
General Adoption Expenses
Additional Adoption Expenses When You Travel to a Country
The Risks of Intercountry Adoption
Minimizing the Risks of Intercountry Adoption
Getting Information about Your Child
Where to Turn for Information about Intercountry Adoption
Working with a U.S. Agency Program
Traveling Abroad
Follow Up Contact Abroad
Chapter 7: The Home Study
Who Conducts the Home Study?
The Home-Study Process
What's Explored during the Home Study
Getting References
The Home Study as Your Passport
Common Problems and Solutions
Chapter 8: Paperwork
Documents You Can Expect to Obtain for an Adoption
Obtaining Birth and Marriage Records
The Interstate Compact
Finalizing an Adoption
Getting Legal Help
The Sealed Record
Obtaining a New Birth Certificate
The Special Paperwork of an Intercountry Adoption
Processing through the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Conferring U.S. Citizenship on Your Child
Keeping Track
Chapter 9: Preparing for Your Child
Leaves of Absence and Adoption Benefits
Health Insurance
Life Insurance
Adoption Insurance
Getting Medical Advice and Arranging for Medical Care
Getting Background Information about Your Child
Preparing for an Infant
Preparing for a Child from Abroad
Preparing for an Older Child
Naming Your Child
Preparing Family and Friends
Chapter 10: Adjustments
Coming Together
Postadoption Stress
Children Talk about Their Feelings
The Experience of Infants
Adjustments and the Foreign-Born Adoptee
The Adjustment of the Older Child
Dealing with the Child Who's Experienced Sexual Abuse
Postadoption Support
Chapter 11: Raising the Adopted Child
Sharing Information
Children's Understanding of Adoption
Talking about Adoption
Preserving Your Family Story
Updating Information
Sharing Information Beyond the Nuclear Family
Handling Troublesome School Assignments
Adoption Prejudice
Racial Prejudice
Helping Children Build Their Special Identities
Search and Reunion
Appendix A: Getting Advice 391(6)
Appendix B: Adoption Directory: A State-by-State Guide 397(124)
Appendix C: For Further Reference 521(26)
Adoption: Information and Issues
For Children and Adolescents
Intercountry Adoption
Open Adoption
Personal Accounts/Family Profiles
Special-Needs Adoption
Special Parenting Issues
Notes 547(14)
Index 561

What People are Saying About This

Jill Smolowe

While it is impossible to predict where anyone's adoption journey will end, it is easy to suggest where that quest should begin: right here, with this book.

Lois Melina

Lois Gilman has concisely compiled a wealth of essential information for prospective parents in a book that is not only readable but a valuable reference.

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