Friday, June 3, 2011

First roadblock

First of many roadblocks, I am sure. ;)

The good news is that I have suddenly jumped full steam ahead into adoption research. I like researching things, and I do feel a renewed hope for what the Lord would have for us through adoption.

The roadblock is that I have discovered that the county I live in has very few (if any) domestic adoption agencies licensed to process adoptions here (All I can find are foster agencies and a few international agencies). I have talked to a couple big name agencies licensed in CA (including Be.thany) who say that they simply do not work with families in my county. Another one told me they tried for 3 years to get a license here but finally had to give up. What the heck?! Of course, I grew up in Lo.s A.ngeles county where there about a billion options...grr.

Anyway, I'm still a little bit confused about it all because there are also many national agencies who say they are NOT licensed in CA, but you can still use them and get a separate home study from somebody licensed in your county. Soo....if I could find somebody to do my home study, why can't I pretty much use any agency (especially one who is licensed in neighboring counties!)? It doesn't really make sense to me, but the agencies I just spoke with said "No" to that idea. I didn't push it because I didn't know what else to ask.

I asked these agencies if they have any recommendations for people in my county, and one just said they don't know and the other gave me the name of a lawyer. *sigh*

Of the people I know personally who adopted who live in my county, one did use Bet.hany. I emailed her, and she said maybe things have changed since they started the adoption process 9 years ago, and she did have a vague memory that their social worker was "surprised" that they "got in" and that they must have "fallen through the cracks." I don't really know what that means. However, they adopted a 2nd child, again through Be.thany, only 2 years ago...?! She said it must have been ok because they were returning customers, or that the laws have changed since then. Very, very confusing. The other people I know here who adopted through infant domestic adoption (the most recent being 5 years ago) used lawyers (although, again, they still had to get a home study).

Obviously, this is still very early research and I could find a loophole, but I can't believe I am already having to find a loophole and facing a roadblock. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, though, since it sounds like the adoption journey is one where you are continuously having to jump through hoops. Despite shedding a few tears this morning, I am not feeling too daunted. There has to be a way to do it.

Thank you for all of your recommendations! I have compiled them onto a spreadsheet, and if I find a way to use any of them I will certainly look into them more.

13 comments:

Jen said...

I am so excited to follow your adoption journey and will be praying for you all along the way, just as I'm sure many others are!

Leah said...

When I started the adoption process, I found a great little agency in my city in Minnesota. I was already set on Ethiopia, and I THOUGHT they said they work with Ethiopia. So, I go to the first meeting, and NOPE. They didn't do adoptions in Ethiopia. Okay. . . this all got confusing! But, they did do homestudies and everything like that. So, I had two agencies. I had my local agency in MN who did all the background stuff, my homestudy, and such, and then I had a large agency in Oregon (of people I've never met but talked on the phone to often) that did all the placement stuff.

I wonder if you will have to do something similar for your situation. Find a local agency right in CA to do your homestudy, but then find a larger national adoption agency for the child placement?

Oh, the adoption stuff can seem so overwhelming, but it's OH SO WORTH IT!!! I am beyond in love with my little boy, and I know God has the perfect child waiting for you. :)

Britney said...

I'm so glad you are researching. Something else you may want to look into are adoption facilitators. A lot of states don't have them, but they are legal in California. We live in oregon, but it's not allowed here. Start looking into adoption facilitators and see where that leads you...

Rach said...

You might try American Adoptions. Here is what it says on their page.

"Los Angeles, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco or San Diego: It doesn’t matter what part of California you are from, and whether you are a prospective birth mother or adoptive family – American Adoptions is the agency to help complete your adoption plan or complete your family through adoption."

Anonymous said...

I live in a very isolated part of Montana and adopted a daughter from China - neither my home study agency or my adoption agency was in my county. My adoption agency was in Texas! I hope you can find an agency to work with soon. I've been following your story for a long time and am so excited that you are beginning the adoption process.

Kelli said...

Hey girl! I've been a little out of the blog-loop lately and just spent a few minutes catching up on your posts! I am SO excited for your and your renewed excitement in this journey. Roadblocks will definitely pop up along the way (heck, I had to clear my husband of a criminal record that wasn't his!) but it is ALL worth it in the end.

Hoping the process is quick and relatively roadblock free!! XOXO

Kathryn said...

If you haven't linked up yet with Betty Smith at Little Bit of Heaven Adoption Referral, I recommend chatting with her. She's way knowledgeable about the types of issues you are encountering. My 2nd child, my daughter, was matched through her.

Kathy

Missy said...

I am in a different state, but what I would do given what you described is talk to a lawyer and figure out what is and is not legal in CA and how that varies by county. You may have to pay the lawyer for the consultation, but getting clarity on the laws in your area will be worth it.

Rachel DeBell said...

Here's the deal, an agency has to apply for licensure in each state they choose to service. And each state has very different adoption laws (most having to do with the revocation period of the birthparents). So if an agency is licensed in California, I would think they would be licensed to place children anywhere in California. HOWEVER, many agencies only work in certain counties, because that is where they have the staff. Agencies are required by the state to do home visits and post placement reports for at least 6 months after placement here in Texas. These reports are required by the state. I would assume California has similar requirements. So if "said agency" doesn't have enough staff to drive out to each and every surrounding county (which most don't), then they probably only work in certain counties.

There were many instances in which my agency placed a child outside of the state, or in an area that we didn't service. In those instances, the family chose a social worker (that our agency approved) to do their homestudy and post placement visits, but often they would still travel to our agency to attend orientations, training, information meetings, etc.

Hang in there, I am still checking with my resources to see if I can find some info for you!

andreajennine said...

My goodness, that sounds complicated! Sorry you've already hit a roadblock, but glad to hear it hasn't discouraged you much.

One Who Understands said...

I don't know anything about adoption, but this just seems so unfair! If IF prepares us for anything it is roadblocks. I am really sorry that is side of your journey is not smooth like I had hoped it would be. I pray you find a loophole or something that can bring you closer to baby.

RMCarter said...

You are inspiring! Keep fighting. :) God will find a way.

tanyaslifejourney said...

If you really want to pursue B.ethany, I would call again and ask to have a supervisor check into it. When I called a couple of months ago I was told they did not serve our area despite the fact that there is an office 45 minutes away...in the same county. I asked them to check on it and I got a phone call a couple of days later apologizing because they do serve our area. I would even mention that your friend was able to complete an adoption through them... Very strange that they can't work with you...