S/O on Efficient Adoptions — The Bump
Adoption

S/O on Efficient Adoptions

In the one-year ago post below, Emmie said she wondered what people could do to help change the adoption process become more efficient.  I've been thinking about this, and thought it might be good to see what ideas everyone has on the topic.

I know that Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR http://www.pear-now.org/) is very active in trying to ensure that all adoptions happen ethically, and "in the interest of the adults and children they serve."  What I don't know is if they consider efficacy as one of their goals.  Regardless, I do believe that their mission is pure, and I have seen cases where they stepped in to fight for families in tough situations, so I highly support the organization.

Other than working through PEAR, I just don't know how to work towards smoother adoptions.  It seems that since agencies are non-profits, some of the incentives to excel beyond their competition is eliminated.  Add to that the number agencies that engage in unethical practices, and I think most parents would rather choose a slower process with an ethical agency than a quick process with a sketchy one.  But why do we have to choose?  The two can co-exist, but seem rare.  Is that because the well-reputed agencies are really that over-taxed?

I do think that because the stakes are so high in adoption, clients don't demand the same level of service they do in other endeavors.  I think adopters are just happy to bring home their children, and will put up with anything thrown at them while in pursuit of that goal.  Is this why agencies get away with shoddy service?

When it comes to other countries, I think we're out of luck.  There are just so many things that come into play including foreign bureaucracies, lack of resources, and cultural differences.

So let's focus on American adoption professionals.  What can be done to help improve the efficacy and responsiveness of the process?


Re: S/O on Efficient Adoptions

  • I'm not deep enough into it to feel I can comment with any intelligence, but I just want you to know that I love your "deep thought" questions!
  • imageCaptainSerious:

    I do think that because the stakes are so high in adoption, clients don't demand the same level of service they do in other endeavors.  I think adopters are just happy to bring home their children, and will put up with anything thrown at them while in pursuit of that goal.  Is this why agencies get away with shoddy service?

    I think this is an interesting point. Because...and I am prepared to take some heat for this: Adoption is a business. They take money for a service--and the client does get a child out of that service.

    So one question is, what exactly are you paying for? The ability to parent a child? The paperwork filing? SW visits?  Services and fees?

    I have read posts where the poster is surprised at the fees and it is common to see questions about how to deal with those fees..and I am relatively confident in posting that one answer that I have seen is: "Well, the cost is actually pretty close to a car and you would make that work." Well, if you were buying a car...and the dealership was giving you these run arounds...what would you say?

    I'd say, "I'm paying you THOUSANDS of dollars for a service! I expect good service!" Then I'd ask for managers until I got what I wanted.

    It is kind of amazing to me that as you said Captain...the stakes are SO much higher than a car! And yet for whatever reason, AP's are...cowed in the process where as in any other situation they would stand up for themselves...Maybe the question really is...what makes AP's willing to take the crap and not stand up for themselves?  

  • Loading the player...
  • Well, in IA, there is always fear of being dismissed from the program.  I imagine in DA, the concern would be not being approved or shown.

  • I can see how people would be afraid of that..they want to put their "best foot forward,"  and not be seen as a boat rocker in any way shape or form...but isn't there a fine line--or the ability to still stand up for yourself and be diplomatic about it?

    Oh..and I'm not sure how one does that in this particular situation. ::taps mat in a sign of end of knowledge :) :::::

  • The biggest inefficiencies I've experienced with both my adoptions has been at the governmental level.

    With my 1st adoption, it took 3 MONTHS for my husband's fingerprints to clear the state. Mine took 72 hours. Ironically, as an attorney, my husband has been fingerprinted several times, and I never had.

    With our second adoption, CIS now had to read every single homestudy before granting I-171h (which had to be done before we could apply to the Korea program). THAT took 3 months from the submission of our homestudy.

    Not to mention that the Chicago office of CIS is glacial, and only accepts phone calls one morning a week. You can't even leave a message during other times (although they now do accept e-mail).

    THEN there's all the bureaucratic slow stuff when you get home--8 months to get a birth certificate (which means no social security number or passport), when a newborn takes 6 weeks.

    With the economy the way it is and bugdets getting cut, I fear it will only get worse. But if you can find a way to encourage governmental efficiency, let me know!

  • imageCaptainSerious:

    I know that Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform (PEAR http://www.pear-now.org/) is very active in trying to ensure that all adoptions happen ethically, and "in the interest of the adults and children they serve."  What I don't know is if they consider efficacy as one of their goals.  Regardless, I do believe that their mission is pure, and I have seen cases where they stepped in to fight for families in tough situations, so I highly support the organization.

     

    Another similar organization for  IA is the Joint Council on International Children's Services: http://www.jcics.org/ They are working to improve the efficiency and transparency/integrity of the process in Haiti as well as other countries.

    imageCaptainSerious:

    I do think that because the stakes are so high in adoption, clients don't demand the same level of service they do in other endeavors.  I think adopters are just happy to bring home their children, and will put up with anything thrown at them while in pursuit of that goal.  Is this why agencies get away with shoddy service?

     

    So much truth in this. We are afraid sometimes of pushing too hard or offending anyone in the haitian government or with our O for fear they will retaliate by delaying our adoption even more. We don't have any reason to believe this would happen, but it's still a fear.  This applies to our O and the government. It doesn't really apply to our agency though. I don't really fear too much from them b/c to me they are mostly intermediaries.

    imageCaptainSerious:

    When it comes to other countries, I think we're out of luck.  There are just so many things that come into play including foreign bureaucracies, lack of resources, and cultural differences.

     

    Alas, this is the worst part. There's no calling your congressman, no nothing.

    imageCaptainSerious:
     

    So let's focus on American adoption professionals.  What can be done to help improve the efficacy and responsiveness of the process?

    I've been satisfied for the most part with our agency, SWs, etc. I do believe there needs to be more advocacy for adoption among Congress, and the DHS. Entities like UNICEF can have a strong influence over foreign embassies re: their anti-adoption campaign. We have seen it hurt adoptive families in Haiti.

  • imagenoonecarewhoiam:

    Not to mention that the Chicago office of CIS is glacial, and only accepts phone calls one morning a week. You can't even leave a message during other times (although they now do accept e-mail).

    If only I had a buck for every complaint I've heard about the Chicago USCIS office.

    With Haitian adoptions, parents are strongly encouraged to file their paper work at the USCIS office in Haiti and not state-side. Stateside the USCIS is unfamiliar with US adoption law as it applies to Haiti. Many parents who filed state-side have received NOIDs and then have to go through the the time and expense of appealing the process (all appeals have turned out favorably that I've heard of).

  • 1. I'm the one who compared it to a car (I might not be the only one, but it was an argument I used with husband: "we were in the same financial situation when we bought my car and we made that work. This is So Much More important so we're going to work even harder to make this happen." It worked, it got him to genuinely look at our finances and come up with a plan we're both comfortable with so we can be as debt-free from here on out. His counter-point was, good, though: you don't have to feed, cloth, medicate, educate, and entertain a car. You just feed it every week or so.

    A child is an investment and people have visions of their perfect family (a little girl with curly red hair, mom's green eyes, dad's nose...) and their situation when it happens. Add to that the fact that we're told "The Expectant mom's choose YOU..." and suddenly it's like college entrance, job interview, campaigning for public office, and trying to make the home coming court at the same time. And that's not even counting the emotion before hand. 

    So I agree that parents are scared. Rejection is a huge motivator. What I think would be most effective is to get parents who have ALREADY adopted to continue to be vigiliant and aware and vocal/active about how to improve things. They can pull from their own experience to help get policies changed.

     

    2. I didn't realize UNICEF had anti-adoption practices?

    <img width=300 src="http://i51.tinypic.com/k18nf6.jpg">
    <a href="http://embrita.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">My Life Blog</a> <a href="http://coolkidsreading.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">My Book Review Blog</a> <BR><BR> Be wary of people who say they don't have a toilet...because where are they putting their s**t?
    <BR>[URL=http://alterna-tickers.com][IMG]http://alterna-tickers.com/tickers/generated_tickers/r/roqb84xu6.png[/IMG][/URL]<BR>
    [URL=http://alterna-tickers.com][IMG]http://alterna-tickers.com/tickers/generated_tickers/6/6eznuk8cm.png[/IMG][/URL]
  • imageEmmieB:

    2. I didn't realize UNICEF had anti-adoption practices?

    UNICEF is very outspoken about being anti-international adoption. Their position is the kids are better off in their own culture in their own country. I agree on principle, but in practice it seeks to condemn that small percentage of the world's orphans who are adopted internationally to a life w/o loving parents (not to mention poverty, etc.).

    UNICEF does some good work for the world's children, but b/c of their anti-adoption stand, my donation dollars go elsewhere. 

  • I agree with you. That's actually very unfortunate.

     

    Unrelated - your daughter's photo makes me giggle. She's darling.

    <img width=300 src="http://i51.tinypic.com/k18nf6.jpg">
    <a href="http://embrita.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">My Life Blog</a> <a href="http://coolkidsreading.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">My Book Review Blog</a> <BR><BR> Be wary of people who say they don't have a toilet...because where are they putting their s**t?
    <BR>[URL=http://alterna-tickers.com][IMG]http://alterna-tickers.com/tickers/generated_tickers/r/roqb84xu6.png[/IMG][/URL]<BR>
    [URL=http://alterna-tickers.com][IMG]http://alterna-tickers.com/tickers/generated_tickers/6/6eznuk8cm.png[/IMG][/URL]
  • See, while I know the Peruvian part of the process is slow, they've been trying to speed things up (and supposedly have done remarkably well with turning around approvals).  I've basically written off the delays I will encounter there as simply something we can do nothing about.

    It's the delays I've had stateside--with my agency (CIS was actually really quick for us)--that I lament.  There are only 8 US agencies that are able to facilitate adoptions from Peru; mine is always reputably among the top 2 or 3.  We were the most comfortable with their practices and personnel, BUT, they are constantly the source of delays.  They work abbreviated work weeks, which are even shorter during the summer, and as a result, we've found that the emergencies get dealt with, and everything else...they get to when they get to.  This includes simple updates and dissemination of information.  I often find things out on the web before they get to us.

    We had a hiccup with CIS, and while they took care of it, they never called to inform me.  I found out when CIS sent us a letter about it.  I was furious, and told them that anytime they discuss our case with someone outside the agency, I expected to be notified.

    One family was referred a child on Thursday and didn't find out until Monday!  Inexcusable!  As a result, I've made a point of finding as many alternate sources of information as possible, and told them I expect contingency plans in the event of major information updates.

    How can you rectify this kind of lackluster service, when they know that they are one of a select few?


This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards