So we went to the adoption information meeting last Tuesday. Not surprisingly, most of the people there were interested in domestic infant adoption.
I have to say that I did not learn too much more than I didn't already know, but I DID find out the following:
- There is a waiting list to start the domestic infant adoption (DIA) program. This is due to two reasons. First, there is a Profile Book that birth mothers look at for selecting potential adoptive families. Only 60 families are allowed in the book at a time. This makes sense so birth mothers are not overwhelmed at the number of families. Also, this increases the chance of families being selected and reduces that wait times of families already in the book. Second, one of the larger adoption agencies here in MN discontinued their DIA program last year, so families already in the process were scrambling to find another agency to go with to complete their adoptions. Many families moved their profiles to this agency, and they are also on the waiting list. So, if we were interested in the DIA program, it would be another few months, at the very least, before we would be invited to start our application with the program.
- However, if we were to pursue DIA doing our own outreach, meaning we don't go into the Profile Book (which by the way costs $5,000), we would be able to start on the DIA program. Doing our own outreach means we would have to be creative and do our own "marketing". Some examples the presenter gave us were webpages, advertisements, Face.book pages, sending letters to friends and families, business cards, etc. One couple even had t-shirts printed with information about their desire to adopt and wore those to the State Fair. The cool thing is this agency actually provides outreach training.
- I also found out that we are allowed to go dual track - meaning we could be on the international and domestic infant adoption programs as the same time. Up to a certain point, I'm sure.
After the information meeting, Babe and I went to a late dinner and discussed what we had learned. What the heck, if we can be on dual tracks, let do it! We are already on the Marshall Island program waiting list, so let's get ourselves on the DIA program as well. I also asked Babe, what about embryo adoption, would he be open to that? He said, oh well.... might as well. So we may also be doing embryo donation!!
The next day, I emailed the adoption agency requesting to be put on the DIA with our own outreach as well. I also contacted the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville, TN. NEDC does embryo adoption which requires a homestudy, just like a regular adoption. Their website mentioned going through Bethany Christian Services for the homestudy. One of my reluctance about doing embryo adoption was having to go through another adoption agency for the homestudy. It would be great if we could do everything at one place. So, I left a message with NEDC asking if we are required to go through Bethany for the homestudy, of if any homestudy would suffice. I received a voicemail from the patient coordinator the next day stating that any homestudy would suffice, and does not need to be from Bethany. I'm excited! We could do one homestudy and could possibly go through domestic, international or embryo adoption!
Our next step if we were to pursue embryo adoption is to register online, but would need to pay a $300 non-refundable fee. I'm not sure if I want to spend the $300 right now. I emailed the patient coordinator at NEDC again asking if NEDC had Asian/Caucasian embryos available to adopt, since we are a bi-racial couple. The answer is yes, there are, but it is a smaller pool as they are not donated as often. But NEDC reserves those embryos for that ethnic group. So, that is a relief.
So the point is, no matter which adoption route we take - Marshall Island, domestic, or embryo (unless we miraculously get pregnant), we need our homestudy done. Now we really need to get in gear and work on those adoption application materials. There is so much paper work! I'll write about those in another post.