Forty-seven years ago, Mary Rose, a single mother of two children, was lying down in a hospital bed preparing for the arrival of her third child. With the father not in the picture, she gave birth to my mother Gina Sroufe. The first two children, being born into an abusive and unfit environment, was not the fault of the mother’s, but rather a product of circumstance. My biological grandmother found comfort in finding that she had an option, to save one child from the hands of disparity.
My adoptive grandmother, Lela Sroufe, was diagnosed with uterine cancer twice and as such was not able to bear children. She adopted her first child, Teresa Sroufe, out of a loving home as her birth was just a case of the wrong place and wrong time. My mother was her second and last adopted child.
“Gaining Gina was one of the best things,” Lela said, “I have never once thought of her as adopted, and love both of them to the fullest I can.”
So why are we having this discussion of foreign and domestic adoptions? To present the facts, show the negatives, positives and share my experiences through going through the adoption process. I want to start out saying, I am here to present the facts and give my family’s personal experiences, not to condone one option or the other.
There are many options to discuss when talking about adoptions, and many factors that can effect that decision. Remember that every case, parent and child is different. These factors can play a huge part in the cost, legal issues, wait time and parental requirements.
According to Enlightenme.com benefits of an international adoption include, but aren’t limited to, the availability of children and helping an orphaned child.
Many adoptions require that the child’s status be orphaned, so that the birth mother can’t change her mind, which becomes an issue in domestic and private adoptions.
According to Enlightenme.com, adoptions benefit many children that have bleak futures, specifically pointing out impoverished countries such as Haiti. Taking them out of that environment, however, is stressful and should be planned for carefully.
“One of the things we are finding out is you need to bring everything with you to China that you are going to need to take care of your son,” TLC’s “The Little Couple” star Bill Klein said during an episode that focused on his adopted child.
The benefits of a domestic adoption also need to factor into a family’s decision. Globalpost.com said parents are more likely to get a younger child or even an infant with domestic adoption, due to the fact that adopting parents can be placed with the birth mothers before the child is born.
Another benefit Globalpost.com stated was that the adoptive parents typically get complete and medical records, since the U.S. keeps thorough records.
Even with all of these benefits, there can be many complications that occur with both domestic and international adoptions.
According to Globalpost.com there are two major complications that can arise in an international adoption. One of which is the level of care that the child received prior to their adoption. Some countries are not responsive to children with special needs, and developmental delays can occur for children who have been institutionalized for long amounts of times.
Also, the cost of an international adoption can cause a huge factor in the decision of international to domestic adoption. Major expenses usually include traveling to and from the country where the child is to help them adjust to this life change. Some adoption agencies only require a few days of visiting, while the majority require at least two weeks.
Money can also factor into a domestic adoption. Globalpost.com reported that fees included can range from birth parent medical costs, living expenses and monthly allowances. Another issue that may arise is the possibility that the birth parents had change of heart and decided to keep the child.
I would personally decide to go with the domestic adoptions. My feeling comes from being personally affected by the domestic adoption of my mother. If that didn’t happen, she would be in Kingsport, Tennessee with the rest of my biological family and I would not be here, writing this article.
“My personal adoption has turned out to be a very good one,” Gina said, “I reached out to my biological mother and in-turn got (another) whole family.”
Mason Swenson is a sophomore in mass communications.