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Old 08-04-2010, 10:32 AM   #1  
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Default Considering adopting 6 kids - advice?

My husband and I want both love children and want to have kids. His ex forced him to have a vasectomy that did not correctly reverse, so he can't have kids. I have PCOS and type 2 diabetes (very well controlled). We have considered lots of options to the path of parenthood - donor sperm, infant adoption, foreign adoption, and foster child adoption. I was just sent some information about a sibling group of 6 children. DHS is trying to place all of the kids together. The kids are 2, 4, 4, 5, 6, and 8. One of the twins is a girl, the rest are boys. They are all healthy. The kids are black and we are white, but we live in a multi-cultural neighborhood and the children's race does not matter to us. My husband is military, so the children's health care and such would be covered until they are adults or graduate college, whichever comes last. He is in the middle of doing the math to make sure that we can afford them. The one problem we have is that we only have a 3 bedroom house at the moment and so the twins and their baby brother would probably have to share a room and the older 3 boys share a room. Since we bought the house with a VA loan we are not allowed to sell it for another 2 years. We do have a very large living room and a huge backyard, so they would not be restricted to the cramped bedrooms for play. We also have a room that we are currently using as a library that I may change to a play room if we do this.

So what I'm looking for is advice, points we may not be thinking of, thoughts, opinions, whatever.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:02 AM   #2  
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Wow! Sounds like those children would be blessed should this work out. Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:09 AM   #3  
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Have the parents rights been severed yet? It can take well over a year if they haven't been, or they could even be given back to the parents after all that time. It would be such a huge blessing for those kids though!

I don't know how to say this without sounding crass, but it is a reality.....One thing to keep in mind is that many placements have a "honeymoon" period where everything is going along great, or manageable, and then months later, the behaviors come out and many adoptive or foster parents back out because they simply cannot handle it, no matter how badly they wanted to, or how much they love the kids. I would just keep that in mind before you start promising the kids permanency, and before you fully commit to it. It would be a drastic change (obviously)

Good luck again, to have those kids together would be amazing for them

Last edited by pinkflower; 08-04-2010 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:11 AM   #4  
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Wow! What an undertaking! God bless you for even wanting to help these kiddos out! The home space stuff will work out. I wouldn't worry too much about that because they are all so young. I think a careful consideration, however, is how involved their natural parents would be in their lives. I think it's important to know the specifics of contact rules (if there is to be contact), and to know what the kids were exposed to before so you can be somewhat prepared. If you can love these children, the logistic stuff will work itself out. Cramped quarters don't seem so cramped when you're with people you care about. Best of luck to you!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:12 AM   #5  
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Wow again! It would be wonderful for these children to be adopted together.
I'm thinking a lot of support needs to be available for you and hubby, it will be a huge undertaking.
I hope it all works out
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #6  
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My mother is a single mom with 5 kids.
(Newborn, 4, 9, 13, and 15) Some days
can be frustrating, but trust me, when
we have family time it's the best thing
in the world. She's also said that once
she gets married, she may even have up
to 7 kids or even an 8th. Even though she's
a single mom she loves kids and does everything
in her power to make sure we are all loved.
There's days where we can't do/have anything
because my mother just simply doesn't have
the money and we work around that- going
to the beach, going fishing, going to a friend's
pool, etc. So my advice is to just love them.
Always. You don't have to give them expensive
items nor do you always have to take them places.
Playing kickball outback is just as good.

EDIT: Something else you may want to consider
is "how will this effect my weight loss?" I'm not
saying losing weight is more important than these
kids, but I am saying it's going to change your life
and you won't get as much "you" time that you may
need to go to the gym and such. My mother has given
up losing weight right now so she can take care of
her kids. Just something to consider about what
other things you may need to give up.

Last edited by Ciao; 08-04-2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:08 PM   #7  
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I'd want to know what sort of support network the state will provide for you and the kids - not financial, because usually if you are adopting you assume all financial responsibility (although in extreme cases and 6 kids at once is kind of extreme) the state will help for a bit - kick in something for school clothes, for example.

But the support I'm thinking of is more along the lines of therapy once the "honeymoon" period pinkflower mentioned is over. Each of the kids may react to the trauma of their lives in different ways (and some not at all) and you could really have your hands full then. Make sure your health insurance covers therapy and family counseling and if it doesn't make sure the state will help out for the first few years.

Also, it's important to start out as you mean to go on. Don't treat the kids like special guests the first few weeks or even day and then expect them to start following the house rules. If bed time is 7pm for the little 'uns and 8 for the big ones then start out with that. Figure out age appropriate expectations for things like making their beds and clearing their dishes then model that behavior and require it every day. Routine, consistency, fairness, love, and structure are all really really important. I work at residential treatment center for kids with emotional and behavioral issues. We get a lot of adopted kids in to stay with us from 10 days to 2 years and we place a lot of kids who have been seperated from their families. I can't stress enough how important routine, consistency, fairness, love, and structure all are.

Oh, and you'll need a bigger car!

Last edited by Vladadog; 08-04-2010 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #8  
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I highly recommend this book to anyone considering adoption. I used to be very pro-adoption and I have two adopted cousins of different races and think that adopting was the one of the most selfless things a person could do. After reading this I have changed my mind bit on issues like international and transracial or transcultural adoption. I think it's a good read for anyone whose family has been effected by adoption.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #9  
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Wow, 6 kids is a lot but if you love kids, it may be the right thing for you. My cousin has 6 biological kids and they have definitely had some challenges such as difficulty renting places to people giving them strange looks/comments.

My uncle though adopted 3 kids, all siblings when him and his wife were in their early 40s. I was a bit skeptical for them to go from no kids to 3 but they latched on to parenthood and love it. If you think you and your husband are able to do it, then I say go for it.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:49 PM   #10  
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I think adoption is a wonderful thing a couple can do for a child(or children in this case) without a stable home. There are SOO many kids that need good homes and no one to take them in. It saddens me though to hear about all the mamas that can't properly care for their children because of health risks, or the mother was too young to be a mom. I would absolutely adopt if I found that I was not able to bioloically mother a child. Bravo for wanting to do this for those children. They sound like they would be very blessed to have a family like yours. Good luck!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #11  
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Wow! 6 is awesome!! First off, for finances, talk to your social worker. Most staes provide adoption subsidies for what they consider special needs children. Special needs generally includes children above a certain age (usually anywhere from 3-5), sibling groups (usually 2, sometimes 3 or more, 6 would be a definite I would think!), and in some states, certain minorities. See if this group is eligible. Even if you don't need the money now, make sure that a subsidy isn't totally closed off, in case it becomes necessary later (especially for things like additional tuturing, therapy, etc that your children may likely need) Also, most children adopted through foster care have access to mental health resources and will be dual insured with your insurance and medicaid until they reach 18, sometimes even older. So, look into that as well.

The biggest thing is to research research research. Demand full access to their records, including any mental health diagnoses. Speak to current and former foster parents. If they've had more than one placement, encourage the foster parents to be honest with you about why the placement was disrupted. What is their background? Do they have an behavioral issues? Have they ever acted out aggressively, or sexually? (I know that seems overkill considering their age, but, it is something to be aware of) Do any of them show any signs of attachment disorder? Remember, many AD children will seem exceptionally affectionate at first (often overly so) and so you need to speak with their case worker and foster parents to get more information.

Remember that when these children are placed with you, they will be foster children until finalization (generally close to a year later) Don't think of this as a trial period, this is it. Period. A disrupted placement can be worse for these children in the long run than no placement at all, so make sure that you are confident in your decision before you make it. Be prepared for a long haul, as an adoptive family you'll face issues a lot of parents won't. Make sure that you guys have a strong support system not only for the kids, but for you as individuals as well. Set your boundaries now, and determine how you are going to work to keep your marriage strong. Good luck!!!

To clarify- hubs and I aren't parents yet, but have chosen to adopt "older" (non infant, probably non toddler) foster children when the time comes for us to start a family. It's a big passion for us, and so, we've done lots and lots of research. Unfortunately, it's still a few years out for us.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #12  
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Thanks everyone.

Pinkflower - I am pretty sure the biological parents' rights are already severed. I am thinking that if we do this I would try to get them here as a foster home asap. That would provide a sort of transition. My husband and I are also both very stubborn and we don't give up easily, so while it may get tough, if we can adopt them there would be no sending them back. I once tried to convince the principal of a school I was working at to return a boy to my class after he had attacked me and knocked out 2 teeth and broken my ankle.

Winning - I will have to find out if there are any visitation agreements. That's especially important since the military could send us away from this area. Thank you, that had totally slipped my mind.

jema - my main reasons for weight loss were to get control of my diabetes (it is in control) and to try to get pregnant (adopting 6 kids would mean I would not be doing that right now, if ever).

Vlada - Our health coverage covers almost everything. It includes therapy and counseling. Our only expenses are 50% of dental and paying for glasses if needed (exams are covered). I had not thought about the car issue though. Yikes! I guess I would become a mini-van driver, I never thought I'd do that! My father would probably help with that if we needed him to.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:04 PM   #13  
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The biggest questions I would be asking at this point are about why the children are in care - what have they been through, how does it affect them physically and psychologically, do they have special needs? If they do have special needs, will you continue to receive a stipend from the state after finalization to help you deal with the financial realities of those special needs?You really need as clear a picture as possible of their circumstances to decide if it's something you can handle. Also, as a PP asked, what is their status? have parental rights already been terminated? If not, how likely do the social workers think it is that they will be terminated? Are there extended family members that could come forward and offer to take the children? can you handle uncertainty, should family members make the offer or the parents complete a reunification plan? Are there extended family members that are good, healthy people that can't care for the children, but want to maintain a relationship with them, and how do you feel about that? Since you're a military family - what will happen if you get new orders before finalization?

Just things I'm throwing out there. All that said, if you think you can do it, do it. There aren't many people who are willing to foster or parent sibling groups that large, and separating them could be devestating for them.

Last edited by eclipse; 08-04-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:14 PM   #14  
Strong is the new Pretty!
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SouthLake - thank you so much for your response. I have done some adoption research, but I haven't looked into the foster adoption thing much. It has only been about 2 years since we found out his surgery didn't work and while we had planned to look into adopting at least 1 foster child after we had a baby, we figured it was a ways off yet. There are quite a few things in your post I had not considered. Subsidies, for instance, I had read about that, but I forgot. Thank you, and good luck to you guys when the time comes.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:18 PM   #15  
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Eclipse - I had not thought about extended family member visitation, but we would be totally fine with that assuming they were healthy people for the children to be around and the state allowed it. As for him getting orders during the process, there is paperwork that he can do to suspend the orders until we are finished with the adoption process. We are currently at a base where people get 'stuck' and we are hoping for that.
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