IA: Sad, frustrated and haven't even started

My husband and I have our hearts set on international adoption and we had our eligibility meeting with an agency and I was so disappointed to discover that we really have no realistic options because of the ages of our kids (our youngest is 20 months) and because I take an antidepressant.  The second reason was crushing.  Our kids will get older and we'll have more options then, but it's not like I can stop taking the medication. In addition to feeling judged, I feel like I've let my husband down since I'm the reason our options are limited or possibly non-existent. 

I'm not sure if I'm venting here or looking for advice. I was so excited to start the adoption process and now we're back to figuring out what our options are. I'm contacting another agency to see if they happen to work with countries who have no restrictions on medications. We're also seriously deciding whether to pursue domestic adoption.

Thanks for listening! 

Son #1 - September '09
Son #2 - October '11
Son #3 - Hoping to adopt from China some time in 2014!

Our adoption journey: Talkin' 'Bout the Next Generation

Re: IA: Sad, frustrated and haven't even started

  • I'm so sorry.

    But this is not your fault, or even the agency's fault. They are dealing with countries who have very different views on mental health, and there's really no way around them due to cultural norms there.

    In some ways it's good you know now, so you don't pursue this even further and find that you aren't eligible after you put a lot of time, $, and effort into it. But yeah, it sucks.

    I'm hoping you find another path to adopt soon. Thinking of you.

  • That does completely suck. But different countries have different laws.

    But know that the antidepressant will NOT preclude you from domestic adoption. I know because I was taking one throughout the whole process. The prescribing doctor may be asked to write a letter to include with your homestudy stating that he/she feels that you are stable enough to parent - that was what we needed.

    Don't let this totally discourage you and do not allow yourself to feel like this is your fault. It is not! 

    Cervical Cancer Survivor since 2007 TTC Since 2008 IUI#1 = BFN IUI#2 = BFN IUI#3 = BFN IUI#4 = BFN IVF #1 = BFN FET #1 = BFN FET #2 = BFN FET #3 = BFN IVF #2 = BFN IVF #3 = BFN FET #4 = BFN FET #5 = BFP!!! 06/10/2011 Miscarriage 06/21/2011 Adoption Application Submitted 09/2011, Personal Documents Submitted 11/18/2011, Home Visit 12/16/2011, Officially Waiting!!! 01/21/2013 MATCHED!!!! 01/24/2013 Baby Boy Born! Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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  • My husband and I have experienced the same thing with antidepressants; I'm sorry, it's really hard to deal with the rejection!  It might help to take a step back and acknowledge that it is in no way a reflection on you or your parenting abilities; a lot of these countries only have mental heath services for those who are experiencing severe, crippling issues, and that the concept of a person taking medication for a mild to moderate mental health condition is just beyond what is available in many countries. Don't beat yourself up for preventing your IA; you are doing what's best for yourself and your family by addressing your needs.   

    I am not sure about the ages of kids at home (we don't have any kids yet), but depending on what kind of adoption situation you're looking for (special needs, older "waiting" children, etc.), there are IA programs open to parents taking antidepressants.  Please feel free to PM me and I'll share what I know :)  

  • So sorry.  Keep researching - hopefully you can find some countries that will work with you.  If not, then domestic adoption might be the best for your family.



  • Thank you for your words of support and encouragement.  I knew from my research of international adoption that taking antidepressants would be an issue for some countries, but I didn't realize what a roadblock it would be.  It appeared that some countries only prohibit significant mental health issues, while others will consider mental health histories on a case-by-case basis, especially if adopting a child with special needs, but that isn't turning out to be the case, and that just caught me off guard.  My husband and I are open to adopting a child with special needs, but I felt quite discouraged by the woman I talked to who felt we still wouldn't be eligible to adopt internationally. 

    The agency we want to work with estimates it'll be a couple of months before there's an opening in the DIA program, so we'll keep researching international adoption and see what our options are in a couple of months.

    Son #1 - September '09
    Son #2 - October '11
    Son #3 - Hoping to adopt from China some time in 2014!

    Our adoption journey: Talkin' 'Bout the Next Generation
  • IA can be a rough road.  Sorry you are feeling defeated.

    What I've come to believe in this journey is that you can't get caught up in all the crazy unfair rules... rather use them as your map to redirect you.  Keep looking and you'll find a path that is right for you.

    One other word of caution-- IA can change quickly... so if you do decide to wait for a while, don't attach yourself too closely to a dream of a certain country.  Many countries hope and work towards finding an internal solution rather than IA for their orphans.  As solutions are found, IA becomes more difficult.  (Look at Rwanda for ideas on how a country can change and no longer rely on huge numbers of IA.)

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
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