Adoption

S/O "Birthparent" post

Married... I want to go back to your comment about my agency, I think I need to start a post because I have been struggling with many things regarding the agency we chose.

 Yes, they would not allow me to use "dear expectant parent" because in their words it put too much focus on the baby.  This should have been a huge red flag for me, but I assumed as a touted, national agency that they knew way more than I did.

We chose this agency because we thought they were focused on helping pregnant women facing the decision of placement versus parenting, and that they followed through with counseling and support.

I wish that I would have know a year ago what I know now, and I NEVER would have signed with this agency.  But, a year into our contract, with so much emotion and money we have invested, it just isn't feasible to chose another agency. 

Several things have occurred that make me so upset we are stuck with this organization.  I thought they were ethical and focused on pregnancy support, not manipulation.  I realize now that may not be the case.  We are not like their average waiting family...I will not do "anything" to convince an expecting parent to choose us.  I will not stage photographs and use buzz words in our profile.  On a daily basis I question whether we are doing the right thing in sticking it out with this agency.  Honestly, the only reason we do is because we know we are committed to an ethical and open adoption and will do everything we can to ensure the woman that chooses us is properly supported. 

Anyway, since the post below was getting so heated, I thought my dilemna deserved another post, your thoughts are welcome. 

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Re: S/O "Birthparent" post

  • oh, I forgot to include some examples that made me do this Indifferent

    We made a video that was 4 minutes long, it was an actual video not a photo montage (like everyone else did....there we go again being different) and we were told to shorten it to 1 minute (even though several others were over 5 min long Huh?) because we were dealing with "short attention spans"  O. M. G.  are you seriously saying that all potential b-moms have the attention span of a toddler, especially when making the most important decision of their lives!

    Then they put a call out to all contracted families to donate pieces of felt to create blankets for 8-wk fetus dolls so they could be handed out at clinics...I had NO idea they used manipulative pro-life tactics like this and it makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. 

     

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  • I am sorry you are frustrated Fiona....

    While it sounds like you are not open (with good reason) to starting over with a new agency, you may want to look at options.  Are some of your financial investments transferable?  While I know nothing about changing agencies, I do believe there are many reputable agencies with caring personnel who might be open to working with you.  A homestudy should be transferable. 

    If you really can't look at other agencies, stay strong.  I share your attitude.  You'll be starting a life long relationship with both mother and child, so you need to be authentic.  While the waiting for the right match may drive you crazy, know that when it comes, it'll be the right match for you.  And like previously mentioned, not all women are searching for that "all-American-stereotypical-household".  Your differences and approach will be celebrated...probably not by your agency but in the triad you complete. 

     Hang in there....

     

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
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  • Oh, SF, (((((hugs))))).  It's a rotten place to be in when you realize you can't even trust your own agency.  I've been there, though most of our issues came post-placement (long story).  It really feels like you've had the wind knocked out of you, doesn't it?  I know how betrayed you must be feeling.  I remember that feeling well. Sad

     Thank you for starting a new post.  I actually had the same thought earlier, just because that one thread has about a hundred different directions it could go in!  Your concerns are valid, and yes, you most certainly deserve your own post.  Smile

    I completely understand being in the position that you're far enough in that you financially cannot back out.  We had some red flags here and there throughout the process, but like you, were already financially invested and also kind of thought maybe we were making mountains out of molehills.  But post-placement, we really saw our agency's true colors, and I can't imagine a time when we would ever use them again.

    SB had a good idea about seeing if your HS is transferrable.  I would start by checking into other agencies and researching all the things you know about now.  (Oh, if I had a dime for every time I've said/felt the same way as you... if I knew then what I know now.)  If you find one that you feel is more ethical and more committed to honestly helping women in crisis pregnancies find the best option (which might not necessarily be adoption), then maybe ask if you can speak to the director, or someone like that higher up.  Explain your concerns with your current agency, and the position that you feel stuck in, especially financially.  Ask if they can do anything for you, such as alter or space out their fees, and if they'll accept your HS so you at least won't have that $$$ to shell out again.  Some agencies even let you work with multiple agencies at a time, so that might be a possibility.  I don't know how your fees are broken down, but for us the largest chunk was at placement.  If yours is similar, then maybe you actually wouldn't be quite as "in the hole" as you think if you just took placement through another agency.

    The other thought that I had is that if they are mishandling your fees, or in other words, using them not in the way that they said they would, you could report them to the BBB.  I've never done that before, so I don't know anything about how the process of reporting someone works, but at least you might be able to spark a little more outside inquiry.  Or at least light a fire under the agency to let them know some of their clients aren't completely happy with their practices.

    The thing about video/attention span... ?!?!?!?!  WOW!!  That really just shows what they think about their clients, huh?  We are talking about a MOTHER making the biggest decision of her life for her CHILD... not a gnat.

    The thing about the blankets, I'm not sure I understand.  Are they a CPC or an agency?  Or both maybe?  I am personally very pro-life, so I guess I can't see a problem with making sure that a woman considering abortion fully understands what it is she's about to do.  In fact, I think that's a good thing.  BUT, maybe I'm misunderstanding and they are using it in a demeaning, threatening way, which of course wouldn't be good.  Sorry, maybe I'm no help on that one!  Embarrassed

    With all of that said, let me just encourage you that, if you do end up having to stay with this agency, it is still very possible for you to have a completely good and ethical adoption.  I believe we used an agency that does not truly have women's best interests at heart, but I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we did everything we could to encourage our daughter's mom to make the right choice, INCLUDING parenting.  We were still encouraging her in the hospital post-birth that she did NOT have to place if she didn't want to, that there was a way out.  What the agency and the SWs did not do, we took upon ourselves.  I think this is even BIGGER than using a "good" agency... taking personal responsibility and not just sitting back and waiting to be handed a baby.  Ethical agencies will do these things themselves, but even then, I think it's appropriate and right for us as potential a-parents to do our part.

    Feel free to throw out any more questions or things you need to bounce off of someone.  I'm no expert, but I'm happy to share from our experience!  This is one of the wonderful things about these kinds of boards... helping each other learn and grow and be challenged.  It's fun to talk about "fluff" type things, and it's important to encourage each other, too... but the hard things are where we can grow and change for the better.

  • SF - I'm so sorry to hear about your agency experiences!  DH and I are just beginning the homestudy phase here in Northern CA, and I was wondering if you would feel comfortable sharing the agency that you are using, (privately of course), so I can be sure that we're not getting into a similar situation.  My biggest fear is being a part of an unethical situation, and while I feel really comfortable with the agency that we've chosen, hearing stories like yours scare the (insert expletive here) out of me!

    Best of luck to you and thanks in advance if you're comfortable sharing information.

    ~Denise 

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  • nisems...I sent you a PM
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  • SF-I'm so sorry to hear about your situation! How frustrating!!! I worked for an agency for awhile before I realized that some of the practices of the main office were unethical.  Until you are involved with an agency, it can be really hard to see the red flags, or to even KNOW what red flags you are looking for!!!! I agree with the PP though-you CAN have an ethical adoption, you will just have to put in some additional personal extra effort.

    Blessings to you!

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