21 February 2006

I shoulda just stayed home and banged my head against the wall a few thousand times

Last week, I was reading a paper I rarely read, and it just so happened there was an ad for an adoption information seminar that just so happened to be taking place the next weekend (which would make it this past weekend). I figured it was bashert (meant to be). Hubby and I discussed it and decided, well, how often do they have these things, and maybe it would be helpful to see what we’re really up against if we ever do need/want/decide to adopt.

So we went.

Okay, a lot of it was what we figured: if we can’t afford another cycle, we certainly can’t afford to adopt. Adoption costs range from $12,000 to well over $30,000. The low end is for domestic adoption, which means quite possibly waiting a very long time for a baby. And a baby is our preference. One of the reasons we want children is to pass on our religious beliefs and culture to our child(ren), and with an older child, we would be too sensitive to that child’s birth parents, birth culture, existing beliefs, etc., etc. There’s a conversion issue, as well, which I won’t get into right now.


As if it wasn’t depressing enough having our suspicions confirmed, there were adoptive parents present speaking about their experiences with the adoption process, and they thoughtfully brought all – ALL – of their children with them. And their children went running in and out of the room, eating all the snacks, throughout the whole seminar. Now, I like kids; that’s why I want ‘em. But when I’m at an adoption seminar because I can’t have kids, it doesn’t help me to have examples of what I can’t have running around being all cute and whatnot. I know not everyone who adopts does so because they’re infertile, but I can’t believe we were the only infertiles in the room.

After the break, a woman from the agency that sponsored the seminar, who had been standing out of my view for the first half of the program, stepped up to the front of the room to speak for the remaining time about the agency’s services. When she stepped to the front of the room, it became obvious that she was very definitely pregnant. And she rested her hands on her pregnant belly the whole time she was speaking. I have no idea what she said because I was so busy staring at those hands resting on that belly.

So let’s recap:
  • two hours of a beautiful Sunday afternoon spent indoors
  • we confirmed there ain’t no way, no how we can afford to adopt
  • I had to watch someone else’s beautiful adopted children be terribly cute
  • I had to stare a pregnant belly while listening to above children drown out the speaker’s voice telling me something about costs that are out of my reach.

Gee, can we do this again next week?


At 21/2/06 3:50 a.m., Blogger Just another Jenny said...

That is AWFUL!. Why can't people be more sensitive. I have found the same regarding adoption through some research. That is why it's low on the list of options. If we are out of IVF money, how can we afford adoption?

At 21/2/06 4:49 a.m., Blogger EJW said...

That is just horribly insensitive. Why would they think it was appropriate to have a pregnant woman lead the adoption seminar? It's like they're offically endorsing the myth of "Just adopt [like it's easy!], then you'll get pregnant!"

On the front of adoption costs: there are a lot of tax breaks for adopting parents. Obviously, not all of it, and cost isn't the only barrier, but the government has tried to help out a little bit.

At 21/2/06 11:38 a.m., Anonymous wessel said...

How upsetting. Are you going to notify the organizer of the event and give her this feedback? I think it would be a good idea, because I'll bet that almost everyone there felt the same way you did.

I'm so sorry.

At 21/2/06 11:44 a.m., Blogger persephone said...

Gah. That is just too much. How can they be so clueless? And how do you manage to be so funny when you must want to cry?

I'm with Wessel, you'd do many others a favor to let them know.

At 21/2/06 3:48 p.m., Anonymous Erin said...

I agree with Wessel, let them know for the next time they hold this. You'll be saving other people heartache as well.

For me, this is just one of the several reasons I don't want to try IVF. If I'm going to spend that kind of money, I want a guaranteed kid at the end of it. And we certainly don't have the money to do both--just doing one will require some creative financing on our part.

At 22/2/06 1:33 a.m., Blogger projgen said...

Thanks for the love, everybody! And the suggestions to contact the organizers and give some feedback. Believe it or not, it actually didn't occur to me. duh.

At 22/2/06 4:30 a.m., Blogger deanna said...

Oh, now, that's just rude to have the children there......And, besides, what are they---exhibits for display?

I know how you feel about the cash numbers......that weeded us out of the adoption pool, too.

At 23/2/06 9:10 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to butt in, but there are Federal tax credits for adoptions, plus some employers offer assistance, and other organizations offer grants and low interest loans. Also, an adoption can stretch out over 1-2 years, which in continuous IVF cycles can add up to another bundle. From experience, I know IVF clinics are mostly cash-only operations, so I would look closely at the affordability of an adoption.

At 24/2/06 3:24 a.m., Blogger projgen said...

anonymous, butting in is always welcome! I appreciate all advice given in good spirit. I'm in Canada, so the tax laws are different. I haven't yet investigated if Canada offers any tax breaks (doubtful; Canada doesn't understand "tax break" yet ;) ) or if any organizations here offer grants, etc. Nothing was mentioned at the seminar, and from what the speakers said, I got the impression that while domestic adoption can take a long time, the various payments are expected "when they are expected." You can't pay medical fees and expenses for a birth mother and paperwork in increments. I'm sure it's much more flexible than "pay it all now, at once" IVF clinics, but it still doesn't put adoption in our reach, unfortunately. Yet.

Thank you for your suggestions!


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