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Friday, March 09, 2007

The Adoption Option-One Couple’s Experience 2

Part 2 of our experieces of the adoption process. Part 1 is here.

The programme was interesting. A series of seminars which dealt with various aspects of adoption. We were one of about 10 couples to start. A few dropped out, but most were dead keen and carried on through.

One seminar involved two adoptees telling their stories. The young man’s story was positive. The young woman was obviously very bitter about being “stolen” from her mother. Her story upset many of the participants and I’m sure some of them seriously questioned if they were doing the right thing.

Another involved a young Maori woman telling us about her four adopted kids. She was great. Her kids were lucky to have a mum like her.

After the seminars we were interviewed extensively by a social worker and had to detail our police histories, financial status, provide character references etc.

We stuck it out and our social worker told us once we completed our profile we were to be allowed onto the register.

Our profile consisted of photos of us, our cat, our home, our families plus statements about each other and our personal values and our views on bringing up children. Tracey is a “scrapbooker” and she made a beautiful job of it. I cannot over-emphasise how important your profile is. This goes to the birth mother. It may be one of 6 or 7 she has to choose from. You’ve got to get it right. Be honest!

Now Tracey is not just a great designer, she’s also a clever marketer. We knew our chances were not high, so we would have to be enterprising.

All prospective adoptive parents in NZ must be approved by the Adoption Unit. Most adoptions are then organized by the same agency. However, once you are “approved” as a suitable parent you can organize a “private” adoption (it will still require the Adoption Units approval). You may know someone through your church, or social circle, your GP might recommend you to a prospective mum. There are many possibilities. You can be pro-active. However most people just rely on state system, wait and hope.

Tracey is pro-active. She photocopied 200 copies of our profile, plus a covering letter and mailed it off to 200 rural GPs and midwives all over the South Island and lower half of the North Island.

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