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Old 05-20-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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I wonder if some adoptive parents have psychological issues that would lead them to do something like adopt 8 older children. Do people not realize how much it is to take on one child, let alone 8, older adopted ones? Part of me wonders if some parents are just not aware of the emotional undertaking and their own emotional limitations.

I think orphanages and adoption agencies should play a bigger role in screening the parents not just for overall psychological health, but informing them of the reality of adoption--not sugarcoated, not exaggerated, but just the facts.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
I wonder if some adoptive parents have psychological issues that would lead them to do something like adopt 8 older children. Do people not realize how much it is to take on one child, let alone 8, older adopted ones? Part of me wonders if some parents are just not aware of the emotional undertaking and their own emotional limitations.

I think orphanages and adoption agencies should play a bigger role in screening the parents not just for overall psychological health, but informing them of the reality of adoption--not sugarcoated, not exaggerated, but just the facts.
Yes, I actually think they do have a kind of addiction to adoption or maybe they just can't stand the thought that so many children live in terrible circumstances...and then they go about it all wrong.

As an aside I would be careful to assume that if you adopt from a country outside of EE that your children will not have any issues. This was a story that I heard several times from adoptive parents with children born in Guatemala or China. The truth is that older children from anywhere have attachment problems, how could they not? A small percentage of those are able overcome those problems completely, but not many.

And yes fetal alcohol effects are rampant in the EE. But I also know kids from China and Guatemala with FAE. The worst case of FAS I've ever seen was in a Columbian adoptee. My cousin is a domestic adoptee and has some FAE caused learning disabilities.

I'm lucky. My kids are healthy and smart (my son does have ADHD but in the grand scheme of things not a big deal) but they were adopted as infants (6mths old) which makes a huge difference. If I could get on my soapbox about anything in international adoption right now it would be the move to making the process longer and longer while kids linger in orphanages.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hml1976 View Post
Yes, I actually think they do have a kind of addiction to adoption or maybe they just can't stand the thought that so many children live in terrible circumstances...and then they go about it all wrong.

As an aside I would be careful to assume that if you adopt from a country outside of EE that your children will not have any issues. This was a story that I heard several times from adoptive parents with children born in Guatemala or China. The truth is that older children from anywhere have attachment problems, how could they not? A small percentage of those are able overcome those problems completely, but not many.

And yes fetal alcohol effects are rampant in the EE. But I also know kids from China and Guatemala with FAE. The worst case of FAS I've ever seen was in a Columbian adoptee. My cousin is a domestic adoptee and has some FAE caused learning disabilities.

I'm lucky. My kids are healthy and smart (my son does have ADHD but in the grand scheme of things not a big deal) but they were adopted as infants (6mths old) which makes a huge difference. If I could get on my soapbox about anything in international adoption right now it would be the move to making the process longer and longer while kids linger in orphanages.
My dad's good friend adopted a Russian girl one month before my dad adopted me. She has a severe case of FAS. That said, the adoption agency I volunteered for brought kids from Columbia, Kazakhstan, and other countries in addition to Russia. I worked with all the Russian- and Spanish-speaking countries, and I saw the same kind of emotional and medical problems across all countries. My ex, whom I left because she abused me severely, grew up in the American Foster Care system. So you are absolutely right that these issues are not just restricted to Eastern European countries, and not even just international adoptees. All children need love early in life to develop in a healthy way.
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Old 05-20-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Somewhere in CD in years past we (people who adopt internationally) were faulted for not adopting "all the thousands of children lingering in our foster care system". "Guess they are not good enough for you" I remember one post. Something to remember is that just because a kid is in foster care does not mean it is available for adoption. I think one reason why people prefer to adopt internationally is that usually the wait is shorter and most families want children as young as possible.


Regarding being addicted to adoption: The woman who owned our adoption agency and her husband had 3 bio boys and wanted a girl so they started looking into adoption. It did not take long for them to adopt over 20 children. Yes 20. They took in kids from failed adoptions so her agency would not lose face. She traveled all over the world with this angelic face of good christian woman who loved all the dear children of the world and the whole thing was a joke. She loved the attention she got from the media and adoption community and just basked in her public image of being such a holy woman. Her husband was just along for the ride.
She readily admitted the older ones took care of the younger ones and she was so busy traveling all over the world I doubt she even knew all their names. Eventually her house of cards collapsed, she lost her license in Florida and Georgia, was written up in many newspapers for the fraud she perpetuated on hopeful adoptive parents, was sued and she and her husband left countless heartbroken families all over USA. I was stuck in Vietnam for our 3rd adoption when her facilitator who had lower scruples than she did was deported and I was on my own to get me and my child home.

She eventually found a rich man, left her husband of over 24 years with still some sick kids at home( he worked for her and consequently had no job after her fraud was exposed). This woman had some real issues and of course her children are the ones who suffered.

Addictions come in all forms.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:21 PM
 
Location: North America
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Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
It's easy to criticize those parents as awful and use them as an example for unsuccessful adoption, but I know a lot of biological parents that did not and do not accept their deaf children. I go to a deaf school and really the only parents who know sign language are the parents who are themselves deaf (which is about 5-10% of the time, from genetic deafness). The rest of my deaf friends' parents didn't even bother to learn a language so they could communicate with their child on the most basic level. Even one of my friend's parents, who is a gifted polyglot and a professor of linguistics, didn't bother to learn sign language for his own deaf son. So I can see why the same pattern would evolve with an adopted child, and when adoption enters the equation, so does the option of returning the child (at least in their minds). The theme of parents rejecting their disabled children is incredibly heart-breaking, but it's certainly not restricted to adoptive families.
I knew a girl whos parents did not learn sign language even though she was deaf.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Somewhere in CD in years past we (people who adopt internationally) were faulted for not adopting "all the thousands of children lingering in our foster care system". "Guess they are not good enough for you" I remember one post. Something to remember is that just because a kid is in foster care does not mean it is available for adoption. I think one reason why people prefer to adopt internationally is that usually the wait is shorter and most families want children as young as possible.


Regarding being addicted to adoption: The woman who owned our adoption agency and her husband had 3 bio boys and wanted a girl so they started looking into adoption. It did not take long for them to adopt over 20 children. Yes 20. They took in kids from failed adoptions so her agency would not lose face. She traveled all over the world with this angelic face of good christian woman who loved all the dear children of the world and the whole thing was a joke. She loved the attention she got from the media and adoption community and just basked in her public image of being such a holy woman. Her husband was just along for the ride.
She readily admitted the older ones took care of the younger ones and she was so busy traveling all over the world I doubt she even knew all their names. Eventually her house of cards collapsed, she lost her license in Florida and Georgia, was written up in many newspapers for the fraud she perpetuated on hopeful adoptive parents, was sued and she and her husband left countless heartbroken families all over USA. I was stuck in Vietnam for our 3rd adoption when her facilitator who had lower scruples than she did was deported and I was on my own to get me and my child home.

She eventually found a rich man, left her husband of over 24 years with still some sick kids at home( he worked for her and consequently had no job after her fraud was exposed). This woman had some real issues and of course her children are the ones who suffered.

Addictions come in all forms.
Are you serious? The lady that worked with my agency did the same thing! She would adopt kids who didn't get adopted so the agency would look good. I almost thought we might have used the same agency till I read Georgia and Florida. But then that just means it might be a wider pattern than even we realize?
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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There are also families who have adopted a number of special needs children simply because they care and do it well, very well. There is a very good documentary, that I can't remember the name of, about a family who had adopted 11 kids with different kinds of disabilities. This family managed beautifully and all the kids were very well cared for. Then there was that couple in Florida that were murdered a few years ago who had adopted a number of kids with Downs Syndrome. They were of course very well off and I'm sure they had help but either way there definitely are people who adopt several special needs kids for the right reasons, that are not addicted to adoption and do have what it takes to care for the kids. Some people are overwhelmed caring for just a couple of "normal" kids while others manage just fine with 20 of them. Different people have different abilities.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
There are also families who have adopted a number of special needs children simply because they care and do it well, very well. There is a very good documentary, that I can't remember the name of, about a family who had adopted 11 kids with different kinds of disabilities. This family managed beautifully and all the kids were very well cared for. Then there was that couple in Florida that were murdered a few years ago who had adopted a number of kids with Downs Syndrome. They were of course very well off and I'm sure they had help but either way there definitely are people who adopt several special needs kids for the right reasons, that are not addicted to adoption and do have what it takes to care for the kids. Some people are overwhelmed caring for just a couple of "normal" kids while others manage just fine with 20 of them. Different people have different abilities.
Of course there are families who do adopt a bunch of kids and do well and who adopt older kids who do well. It's the wack jobs who make the news isn't it. I did not mean to imply that there are not wonderful success stories but I do know many people simply are not realistic about what they are getting into. I think anybody looking into adopting , especially internationally and older kids need to exercise extreme due diligence before they make such a commitment.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
There are also families who have adopted a number of special needs children simply because they care and do it well, very well. There is a very good documentary, that I can't remember the name of, about a family who had adopted 11 kids with different kinds of disabilities. This family managed beautifully and all the kids were very well cared for. Then there was that couple in Florida that were murdered a few years ago who had adopted a number of kids with Downs Syndrome. They were of course very well off and I'm sure they had help but either way there definitely are people who adopt several special needs kids for the right reasons, that are not addicted to adoption and do have what it takes to care for the kids. Some people are overwhelmed caring for just a couple of "normal" kids while others manage just fine with 20 of them. Different people have different abilities.
This is great and there is an upside, but also keep in mind the documentary is a documentary. I remember when some TV program wanted to make a show about my family and they made it sound like my parents cook for me every night (love my parents and they do a great job, but this is just not true), and even made it sound like we bond over tennis and filmed some footage of me running around with a tennis racket. In real life, I have a phobia of balls because I was hit in the face so many times growing up and often shattered my glasses (since I was legally blind and couldn't see the ball coming). Talk about making up things out of thin air.

You have to remember that the media often skews things towards whatever agenda it wants to push, and often times they will even go to the lengths of completely making stuff up to present a different picture. That isn't to say the documentary you saw is completely false and made up, and that there aren't loving supportive parents out there that can give enough to take in 12 disabled older children. I think a lot of parents do go into adoption with sincere intentions, and really truly do love their adopted children. But sometimes when those parents realize they can't meet their child's emotional needs, things can get really complicated.

You should really be wary when you see these documentaries, and it is much more reliable to talk with people in real life, than rely some show or documentary you saw. Of course the media can also twist it to be negative and make it sound like every Russian adopted child is going to grow up to be a psycho killer, which obviously isn't true either. Real life has upsides and downsides, and is complex, and doesn't fit into the neat little "happy story" and "tragic story" boxes that the media creates.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Thank you, but I'm not an idiot and I wasn't born yesterday. I simply used the family in the documentary as an example, among many others. The documentary also does a pretty good job at showing the downside of this type of family, like the fact that the kids with less problems didn't feel like they got enough attention, among other things, so I view it as pretty credible. Even though you have to view everything with a critical eye I do believe that there is a big difference between a well made documentary and a TV show meant to draw viewers only.

There are many other examples of people who are capable of caring for several kids with problems. One is a foster family I lived with for a while. There were eight kids in the home. Three biological and five foster kids, including me. It was chaotic at times and the housekeeping was lacking a bit but these two parents did a great job at taking care of all the kids including a very angry 12-year old and a 6-year old with frequent tantrums. None of the kids were handicapped but the foster kids all had various emotional issues. But these two were the kind of people that could handle it. They are definitely not the only ones. It's not fair to claim that those who take on a number of kids with issues are naive, stupid, have psychological problems or are addicted to adoption/having kids.

My sister has two normal, healthy bio kids, 4 and 7, but despite the fact that they have no special needs she is at her limit of what she can handle. To her caring for two little kids, especially when the youngest was younger, is a lot of work and there is no way she could handle another one. But then you have people like the Duggars who, regardless of what you think of them, do a great job at raising 19 kids without chaos or burnout. Most people couldn't do it but clearly these people have the skills to parent well with a lot of kids. Just like some can only handle one special needs kid while others can handle more.

It's true that having many children, adopted or not and special needs or not, will prevent you from giving your all to each child. You may not be able to satisfy all their emotional needs which you probably would if you just had a couple of kids. But fact is that for foster kids or kids in orphanages there often aren't many options and being adopted into a large family is definitely a heck of a lot better than the alternative. Telling someone that they should not adopt several kids because they can't provide everything for all the kids when the alternative is foster care or an orphanage where they would get nothing is, in my opinion, misguided at best.
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