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Old 10-15-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Catlover - in response to your questions to Susan Kate...

She provided the link to the adoption act in Australia.

Quote:
60 When is consent to be given?
Consent to the adoption of a child cannot be given unless it is given:
(a) at least 30 days after the child is born, and
(b) at least 14 days after the person giving the consent is given a copy of the instrument of consent and the mandatory written information (if required).
http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/fu...0+N?#ch.4-pt.4

In regards to your question

Quote:
I read that Australia processes all adoptions through the government. Is that right? Is that what you are proposing? If so, giiven the significant philosophical differences between Australia (a socialist country) and the US (a capitalist country) and the economic differences (ie, US's precarious economic conditions such as persistent deficits and substantial national debt), do you think that the US public would support nationalizing adoption?
All adoptions in the US are processed through the government as well - you have to go to court - just like any other country - the government writes the laws regarding adoption just like any other country. Australia has Catholic Charities that has an adoption program just like the US...what they have done in Australia is take the profit out of adoption and focused on it as a child welfare issue which it should be.

Also note that some US states have a 30 day window and what happens is the child goes home with the prospective parents as legal risk - if they don't want to take that child home - then the child either goes home with the mother or to cradle care.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Catlover9 View Post
I was not a member of this forum during all of your prior posts. Is my recollection correct that you proposed a system like Australia?
I read that Australia processes all adoptions through the government. Is that right? Is that what you are proposing? If so, giiven the significant philosophical differences between Australia (a socialist country) and the US (a capitalist country) and the economic differences (ie, US's precarious economic conditions such as persistent deficits and substantial national debt), do you think that the US public would support nationalizing adoption?
If you look above, you will see that, in fact, 2 of the organisations that process adoptions are Christian organisations, i.e. the charity arms of our Anglican Church and the Catholic Church. Presumably they follow strict guidelines re counselling but they are not government organisations. I doubt that the US will follow that path but I am pointing out that when adoptions are done through Community Service type agencies, then they are probably likely to be more ethical. You do have organisations like that in the US who perform adoptions - I know an AP who performed her one adoption through one - she knows that she can be sure that her child's bmom received decent counselling.
 
Quote:
I also read that Australia requires new moms to wait at least six months before relinquishing their babies. If the new mom declines to bring her infant home, the baby is sent to cradle care until the six months has lapsed. Is that right? Is that what you propose for the US? If so, do you think that these multiple transitions during the first year of life is good for the baby? Do you think that a six month requirement imposes an unfair restriction on a new mom's choice? As my previous post attests, there some some talk of an Oregon law purporting to require new moms to wait at least eight days (no where close to six months) and birthmoms decried the restriction on their choice.
It isn't in NSW. It is 30 days and she can visit her baby at any time during that 30 days. This is also when the mother spends the time looking through profiles and choosing the adoptive parents.

You must wait at least 30 days after your child is born before you give your consent to adoption. This allows you time to consider the alternatives available to you. You must receive a copy of this Mandatory written information on adoption booklet and an adoption consent document at least 14 days before giving consent.

Here is the mandatory form they must read:

http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/docs...rthparents.pdf


(Update to say that I just saw Artful Dodger's post )

Don'f forget also that the organisations out here don't *counsel* their pregnant clients in *quite* the way you do over there. I've done the online NCFA counsellling and I'm not surprised that the bmoms in the US dislike the restriction because they've been made to feel that adoption is the selfless option, a win/win/win situation where we adoptees are champing at the bit to be adopted as soon as we exit the womb. The 8 days was suggested by older bmoms who have had the scales fall from their eyes a bit more (and I'm not talking about the 60s bmoms).

Talking about consent, I have yet to come across a single bmom who likes irrevocable consents, eg like Florida, where there is a 24 hour irrevocable consent. Thus, I believe that all states in the US should have revocation periods.

Now, I know you said somewhere that the TPR period is a minimum period and the mother can sign anytime after that and that is true. However, there are many cases of bmoms whom have been pressured into signing at the 24/48 hours - the agency has told them that they must sign at that time and the bmom has not realised that in fact it is a minimum time. I've read quite a few cases of where bmoms have been pressured. I've also read of prospective adoptive parents who have deliberately chosen those states so they can get the bmoms signed off as quickly as possible.

So I do think that there sholuld be no such thing as an irrevocable periods. Even if the minimum signing time is 24-48 hours, there should always be at least a week where the bmom can change her mind. Too many women are being pressured in irrevocable states and told that they must sign by the 24-48 hours rather than being told that it is a minimum period.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post

Also note that some US states have a 30 day window and what happens is the child goes home with the prospective parents as legal risk - if they don't want to take that child home - then the child either goes home with the mother or to cradle care.
I would like to speak to this as because of the last minute nature of our adoption, our daughter's parents had 30 days to sign the relinquishment papers. (This is not normally the case in my homestate of CA.) We were what is known by agencies as an "at risk placement." Agencies have only started doing these to avoid placing a child in foster care while the parents still have technical legal rights to the child, but have decided to do adoption, so they are not taking the baby home with them.

Our daughter's parents took 24 of their 30 days. They were incredibly difficult days for us, fraught with uncertainty. However, we knew that going in. We also knew that we could never, ever begin to imagine the enormity of such a decision, and I can honestly say that we felt, based on our experience seeing our daughter's parents leave her with us at the hospital, that they truly needed that time to be sure of their decision.

My husband and I waver on buying a house or a car or where to go on vacation. The decision that first parents make is the gravest decision they will likely ever make. They absolutely deserve more than hours or a few days to be sure they are making the best choice for themselves and their child. Anyone who has given birth knows that there is a big difference between how you think you are going to feel about your baby before they are born and how you actually feel afterwards. I wanted them to be sure of their decision- I cannot imagine ever wanting less for my daughter.

We met our daughter's parents the night before she was born. I remember they said a few things, and I smiled and told them they would probably change their minds after the baby was born and that was perfectly ok. For instance, her mom said she'd be fine having me in the room with her while she gave birth. In my mind, I was thinking, there is absolutely no way she's going to want me in there with her at such a private moment. I simply smiled and told her something along the lines of, "Why don't we wait and see how you feel in the moment? You may change your mind, and I don't want you feeling pressure because of something you said in passing tonight." Of course, as I absolutely knew would happen, she didn't invite me in, and I of course never asked.

She changed her mind once reality set in. And that was her right to do so. Had she and our daughter's father changed their mind about the adoption once reality set in, it would have broken our hearts to say goodbye to the child we loved. But if I really loved her, then I would want what was absolutely very best for her. I would want the decision to give her to us be made with a clear mind and the gravity that it deserved.

We did not deserve my daughter or earn her. We were blessed to be given the chance to be her second parents because her first parents made that decision based on factors that I won't divulge. But to say that adoptive parents have a right to a child immediately, and the first parents should be made to immediately sign paperwork because it would hurt the adoptive parents if the child was taken back after 30 days... again, that is going against what is in the best interests of the child and putting the feelings and emotions of the adoptive parents as the primary concern.

Of course it's going to hurt if it happens that the first parents change their minds during that 30 days. But you don't think that it hurts first parents to realize 10 days out that they made the biggest mistake of their lives? Once reality sets in, and there's a mom missing her baby, and realizing the gravity of her choice for the first time? Doesn't her pain deserve consideration? And what of the baby, the child the adoptive parents claim to love so much? Doesn't that child deserve her first parents if they are able? I believe family preservation, first and foremost, is best for the child (obviously, we are not talking cases of neglect or abuse).

In all honesty, my husband and I were not completely certain they would not change their minds. And in spite of that, we offered visits, pictures, email updates, phone calls- whatever contact they wanted. They chose to have no contact for that time period, but our last text to them after they left their daughter with us was: "You let us know what you want and need. Just say the word, and you can visit. We can send a picture or you can call us. Anything." We wanted nothing less than certainty for this little baby who never asked for any of this.

So, I truly believe I'm in a position to say that giving first parents 30 days to make that final decision is absolutely the ethical thing to do. And I speak as someone who has been there as an adoptive parent.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
Also note that some US states have a 30 day window and what happens is the child goes home with the prospective parents as legal risk - if they don't want to take that child home - then the child either goes home with the mother or to cradle care.
This is nothing new. My adoptive parents could have taken me right from the hospital. But there was a chance that they would have to "give me back" as I wasn't really in their official possession until the paperwork was processed through the courts in the state of my birth and adoption. This took eight weeks. During that time, I was apparently in some sort of foster home. When I inquired about who took care of me for those first two months, the social worker from Catholic Charities informed me that "We had so many people watching babies then. We can't possibly know where YOU were." Nice. Wonder if she was trained to say that by her employer?

Needless to say, my natural mother was not made aware of the fact that my adoption was not final until the paperwork was processed through the court. Both of my natural parents were lead to believe that I would go right from the hospital to my adoptive parents.

This was back in 1971. And the laws/rules have not changed much since then. Mark, this is why I asked about your personal experience with the Catholic Charities adoption program, which you feel to be one of the "most ethical." My personal experience with the branch of Catholic Charities that handled my adoption has involved several occurrences of what I consider to be unethical behavior--the social worker's response and treatment of me as indicated above being one of many. That occurrence happened in 2000.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm7189 View Post
This is a difficult discussion to engage in with you Mark because you believe that the adoption industry should serve the needs of infertile people who want a child. As such, I would imagine that what you consider to be ethical regarding an adoption agency is most likely different from what those us who do not feel that the adoption industry should serve the needs of infertile people consider to be ethical.

What has lead you to consider Catholic Charities, for example, to be an ethical agency? I'm interested in considering how your take on an ethical agency might differ from mine. Especially if you have had direct experience with the Catholic Charities adoption program.
It should be up to the birth mother - if she chooses a Catholic Charities adoption program for her birth child, no one should automatically assume she didn't wisely decide on that program. Obviously most birth mothers would know they have options when it comes to adoption agencies.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post

After all, according to these people half of the "purpose" of adoption is to give children to infertile couples. Again, THEIR WORDS not mine.
I don't see what would be so wrong with that. Some couples might be trying to adopt simply because the woman doesn't want to ruin her figure or have to endure 9 months of pregnancy and so doesn't want to have biological children. Why shouldn't adoption be in part for the purpose of giving children to those who want them?

In my family there is a strong possibility that on of my now deceased aunts had an unwed birth mother who may not have been in a position to raise her or didn't want to raise her. She believes she was "given" in an unofficial adoption to relatives with a large family to raise her. She believes she was adopted because she felt her parents loved her less, treated her differently than the other kids and she said back in those days that was the solution -- dump a child with relatives whether they wanted another child or not and there were some irregularities in her birth certificate. My grandmother was in a similar situation, sent to live with an older aunt whose main interest was raising birds not her, probably because her mother wasn't in a position to raise her for whatever reason.

Why not instead have a system that works not only to get a child a good home but to get the parents who most want a child a child?

As long as the birth mother knows of the options she has, let her decide. The government shouldn't override the birth mother in how long before the baby goes home to it's parents. And the birth mother should also be capable of deciding what kind of couple she would like to have raise her child. If she prefers an infertile couple over the couple that could have a child but doesn't want to have a child -- then let her preference rule.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I don't see what would be so wrong with that. Some couples might be trying to adopt simply because the woman doesn't want to ruin her figure or have to endure 9 months of pregnancy and so doesn't want to have biological children. Why shouldn't adoption be in part for the purpose of giving children to those who want them?
People who believe that adoption should not be for the purpose of giving children to people who want them, may do so because the result is, you then get an industry that is being incentivised by $$$$ coming from people who want babies. You get an industry that is driven by demand for babies. And if babies are in short availability? Does that $$$$ inspire some to get/supply more babies somehow? This is ethically dangerous.

That people who want babies get them as a result of babies needing homes is a nice bonus, but it should not be the motivation for an industry to exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
As long as the birth mother knows of the options she has, let her decide. The government shouldn't override the birth mother in how long before the baby goes home to it's parents. And the birth mother should also be capable of deciding what kind of couple she would like to have raise her child. If she prefers an infertile couple over the couple that could have a child but doesn't want to have a child -- then let her preference rule.
The birth mother should be informed of the adoption laws in her state as part of knowing all her options. She must comply with laws - she is not outside it. But she definitely needs to be informed..

As far as stating her preference, this is all good and her wishes should be considered among other factors. But truly, professionals should be carefully deciding what the best placement is for a child.

While writing this though I found myself wondering if this piece of Open Adoption is not a sort of carrot - giving a birth mother[couple] a false sense of power in letting her think she has some control over her child's future. Adoption is a serious legal decision where you give up all rights concerning your child, open or closed. It can work out great with all enriched by it - but up front, does this piece of the whole mask the reality of the finality of the decision to relinquish your child? Does a false sense of power in picking from all these people in picture books make that decision easier to make? easier to "sell"? I'm really not sure how I feel about it. I don't think it was conceived with that in mind, though.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nj185 View Post
People who believe that adoption should not be for the purpose of giving children to people who want them, may do so because the result is, you then get an industry that is being incentivised by $$$$ coming from people who want babies. You get an industry that is driven by demand for babies. And if babies are in short availability? Does that $$$$ inspire some to get/supply more babies somehow? This is ethically dangerous.

That people who want babies get them as a result of babies needing homes is a nice bonus, but it should not be the motivation for an industry to exist.



The birth mother should be informed of the adoption laws in her state as part of knowing all her options. She must comply with laws - she is not outside it. But she definitely needs to be informed..

As far as stating her preference, this is all good and her wishes should be considered among other factors. But truly, professionals should be carefully deciding what the best placement is for a child.

While writing this though I found myself wondering if this piece of Open Adoption is not a sort of carrot - giving a birth mother[couple] a false sense of power in letting her think she has some control over her child's future. Adoption is a serious legal decision where you give up all rights concerning your child, open or closed. It can work out great with all enriched by it - but up front, does this piece of the whole mask the reality of the finality of the decision to relinquish your child? Does a false sense of power in picking from all these people in picture books make that decision easier to make? easier to "sell"? I'm really not sure how I feel about it. I don't think it was conceived with that in mind, though.
Yes I can see the risks with open adoption -- to both the birth mother and to the adoptive couple. People can have many various expectations and fantasies of how this will be and just like getting married, things often don't work out according to plan.

I read once of a case where the birth mother who had no real family or support system of her own seemed to want to be an adoptee herself of the couple but they wanted more of the arms-length relationship. Maybe another adoptive couple would have been more receptive to having her be more a part of their family.

Also people often have "issues" and don't live up to their end of a bargain for whatever reason. I suppose having better types of agreements in the first place would help -- but I see it a lot like marriage where legal issues are quite spelled out but people still end up bitter and in long drawn out divorces because that's just how relationships don't work out.

It would be no different with open adoptions -- like the wedding day, everything may seem nice and rosy and positive -- but as time goes on, people change, their expectations change or their expectations aren't realized.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Yes I can see the risks with open adoption -- to both the birth mother and to the adoptive couple. People can have many various expectations and fantasies of how this will be and just like getting married, things often don't work out according to plan.

I read once of a case where the birth mother who had no real family or support system of her own seemed to want to be an adoptee herself of the couple but they wanted more of the arms-length relationship. Maybe another adoptive couple would have been more receptive to having her be more a part of their family.

Also people often have "issues" and don't live up to their end of a bargain for whatever reason. I suppose having better types of agreements in the first place would help -- but I see it a lot like marriage where legal issues are quite spelled out but people still end up bitter and in long drawn out divorces because that's just how relationships don't work out.

It would be no different with open adoptions -- like the wedding day, everything may seem nice and rosy and positive -- but as time goes on, people change, their expectations change or their expectations aren't realized.
Except that in an open adoption, if the APs decide to change their mind and make it a closed adoption the birth parents have no rights or recourse.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Except that in an open adoption, if the APs decide to change their mind and make it a closed adoption the birth parents have no rights or recourse.
Even in the few states (6?) that have legally enforceable open adoption agreements, actually enforcing these agreements is very difficult for birth parents.

My state of CA has legal agreements that are filed with the adoption paperwork. I have seen this occur with adoption agencies; they state that open adoptions are possible. They say they benefit the child and encourage them. The PAPs say they want this. The birthparents believe this will happen. But once the adoption is finalized and the contact after adoption papers are filed, the APs may choose to close the adoption. The birthparents would then have to take the APs to court, and it is rare that a judge finds in their favor. Also, this type of relationship is not conducive to openness when you have to take someone to court to enforce something they promised to you. And if the APs don't comply, it is again a court issue. That's a lot of money. And if the birthparents are in a different state, it's even more money.
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