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It Started As A Selfish Decision

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It Started As A Selfish Decision

"My parents let me pick a sibling out of a black and white magazine the social worker gave us (I was 6). They vetoed my first choice as I had picked out a big brother that had abuse issues my parents didn't feel they were equipped to deal with, and they thought it might be a risk for me. In the end, I picked a little girl who I thought looked dorky and dumb because I was a little troublemaker who enjoyed being the cute, smart only child. Joke's on me because she turned into an awesome, funny, gorgeous kid who I'd do anything for."

Adopting A Big Family Takes Dedication
Adopting A Big Family Takes Dedication

"My brother has adopted 6 kids.

The first two are brothers and the state wanted to keep them together. The third and fourth are the sisters. As in, the birth mom kept cranking out children and due to her circumstances had to immediately surrender the baby to the state (same father too!). They could have said no, but the state, in the interest of keeping the siblings together, gave my brother the first opportunity to adopt.

At this point, I should mention that all of the kids are black, and we are white. The fifth and sixth kids came along because it can be difficult for the state agency to find homes for black kids because there are a lot of black kids in the foster system and not enough black foster families (at least in their area). Since my brother has no problem with an interracial family, my brother was asked if they were interested when those kids came along, and they were. They are now at their 'maximum' and can't adopt anymore, but I am amazed at how big their hearts are. The kids are great and I love them to death."

Sometimes, It's Very Hard For The Child
Sometimes, It's Very Hard For The Child

"My uncle and my aunt adopted in the early '60s. Qu├ębec City was very Catholic at that time and Nuns were taking care of the orphanages. They went to the nursery chose a little boy that looked a little like them and that was it. It wasn't a happy ending as my cousin had a drinking and substance abuse problem. He found his biological mom and she didn't want to be part of his life. He had a lot of troubles with the law and tragically killed himself...

My other aunt had a child out of wedlock and was forced to put her into adoption. After a couple of days, her brother decided to get the child back. The Nuns told him that she had already been adopted.
My aunt found out later on that they the Nuns lied. The little girl got adopted months later by a nice couple, but the mother died very soon after so the little girl never had a mom."

Only Needed To 'Look' At One Choice
Only Needed To 'Look' At One Choice

"My parents waited four years in Canada to adopt me (I was 3 at the time), a pretty long time given they had no age/gender/requests and were willing to take children with moderate mental/physical disabilities. A social worker called them and said there was a little girl they could look at. They came to meet me in an office, where my dad says I was like a puppy in a pet store window. 'Look, I can draw a flower! Look, I can build legos!' After the visit was over, the social worker asked my parents what they thought of me, and they thought I was pretty cool and asked when they could meet me again. The social worker said they could pick me up in three days. They picked me up (it was an unusual situation, apparently I had been adopted to a new family who wanted to return me, so I was adopted straight from that home). First and only call my parents received in four years, child three days later."

Scouring The Globe
Scouring The Globe

"My brother was adopted. My parents decided to adopt, looked at their options, basically they were told 'You can adopt a white American kid or a baby, but you'll be on waiting lists forever if you want a white American baby.' They really wanted a baby so they started looking internationally. My mom spoke some Spanish and so she wanted to look at South/Central America, and my dad does business with people from East Asia so he wanted to look there -- basically, they wanted to explore adopting from somewhere they had at least some connection to.

When my mom went to a session on adoption for a South American country, she felt really uncomfortable and said it felt like she was being sold a baby, like they were pets or toys. So they ended up looking at East Asia, and eventually Korea.

I know that they didn't get to see a photo of my brother until they had full information on his medical condition (he was born with a heart defect and would need open heart surgery) and stated that they were prepared to handle that. Basically, it was seen as manipulative to show people photos of babies and then be like 'Oh, by the way, he needs surgery.'

So my parents agreed, were shown a photo of him, my mom burst into tears she was so happy, and some weeks/months later he arrived in America with a foster mom and my parents got to bring him home. It's a pretty cute story."

Not One, But Three At A Time

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Not One, But Three At A Time

"My Mimi and Pop Pop (grandparents) were unable to conceive children, so naturally, they went to the orphanage. My mother was 2 at the time and had just gotten new shoes (which is a big deal for an orphan).

My mother went up to my Mimi and said 'look at my new shoes!' And started dancing. My Mimi is spoiled rotten by my Pop Pop, and the story goes she turned to him and said 'I want this one.'

The nun then told her that her older brother and sister were also at the orphanage and they were trying to adopt them to the same home. To which she replied, 'Well then we'll be taking all three.' Pop Pop couldn't argue, so they brought the three of them home. Everyone thought they were nuts.

So basically, people pick the cute ones that dance for them."

After a Court Battle, Adoptive Parents Come Out On Top

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After a Court Battle, Adoptive Parents Come Out On Top

"Here is my parent's story.

They got married in 1976, and a few years later, decided they wanted a kid. It didn't happen. There were no pregnancies whatsoever. My parents are also big on giving back to the community, so my dad got his bus driving license and started driving the bus for the local daycare/preschool for foster and low-income kids. He met this little four-year-old in foster care who was pretty sweet. A few months later, he realized that he loved this kid and wanted to adopt him. mom was not so sure, so dad told the state (who had custody) that they were interested and needed mom to meet him (without getting his hopes up). My dad's a photographer, so they told the kid that the nice bus driver needed examples of child portraits.

After that, they were ready. There was a year of court battles between my parents and the foster parents (who suddenly decided that they wanted the kid, though they'd shown no interest for the 2 years prior they had him). When the judge asked the kid what he wanted, he said a home he would always be able to come home to.

My parents formally adopted him in the early '80s, and promptly made sure that they could not have a biological kid (at that time) so that he could get their undivided attention. Seven years later, I got conceived purely by accident."

A Plan That Works For Everyone

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A Plan That Works For Everyone

"I'm adopted but not legally. My birth mother had 3 kids including myself. We lived in a small two bedroom apartment. My parents and my birth mother knew each other since they were in high school. My birth mother gave my parents the 'godparent' label but we always called them our aunt and uncle.

When I was about 13 we were going through a rough patch financially and with me personally emotionally. I was going down a bad path probably filed with substance abuse and pregnancy. My parents decided to hire me as a live-in babysitter for their biological child who I now call my brother.

I was supposed to stay only for the summer, but in that summer all of my behavioral issues had gone out the window, my acne, anxiety, mood swings, everything was a lot better. I smiled more and was doing really well. My parents sat me down at one point before school was starting and said, 'We don't want you to leave. You're more than welcome to live here if you'd like.' I was beyond thrilled. We told my birth mother and she was generally happy with the idea too because it meant less stress financially for her and more time for my other siblings.

In the end, it worked out fairly well. I learned a lot more about my biological family and about a lot of lies that had been fed to me. I've started to dislike my birth mother because of the amount and the type of lies I had been fed that my parents told me that and when I confronted my birth mother she confessed to.

But to end on a happy note, I was adopted at the start of teendom. I now look more like my parents than I do my birth parents. I got good grades in school, I have a job, and am happily still living with my parents at 19."

No Choice Here
No Choice Here

"We never chose a kid. The birth mom chose us.

We had to go through extensive background checks, have social workers come and look around our house, write essays, take classes, make videos, get reference letters, and pay a ton of money. That took about a year. Then we waited. We were told that someone chose us and the due date was almost 2 months away. The child was actually born one month later.

We were given 24 hours notice to travel thousands of miles. Meaning, I got a phone call at 1 pm one day and we had to be many states away by 10 am the following day.

It's funny. People say she looks like my husband."

Sometimes It Works Out Perfectly
Sometimes It Works Out Perfectly

"It's not always the case that adoptive parents choose the child they adopt. My wife and I have two girls adopted from China (we're Americans). The first was a non-special needs adoption - a child with no significant medical issues. For those adoptions, parents have no say in the child they adopt. Instead, we submitted a massive dossier with information about our financial history, medical history, social worker reports, etc. Then the officials who handle adoptions -- my understanding is that this is a large bureaucracy within the government -- matches families with children. Nobody really knows how this is done or what role, if any, the dossier plays. But through some algorithm, we were matched with our daughter, and somehow the Chinese got it right because she's perfect for our family.

Our other daughter was a special needs child, born with a cleft lip and palate, and special needs kids are handled differently. The Chinese want to expedite their adoptions because the adopting family handles the cost and responsibility of treating the special need, so time is of the essence. So when we were adopting her, we were given a portfolio of children who were available and eventually chose her. We selected her because of her age (almost exactly two years younger than her older sister, which was the age difference we were wanting) and her special need was something we felt like we personally could handle and wouldn't overwhelm us.

And honestly, it was a gut feeling. When the portfolio came in to read through, I knew that my daughter was going to be the one we adopted before I opened the file. I can't explain it. And we got it right because she's been perfect for us.

One girl from the group that included our second child was born without a right arm. Her family picked her because the dad had lost his left arm in an industrial accident, so not only would she feel accepted, the dad and daughter could walk side by side and hold hands."

From Foster Brother To Brother

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From Foster Brother To Brother

"My family decided to host foster kids when I was about 10 years old. It was always a family decision, so my siblings and I would never blame our parents if things got too crazy. That ended up being a great decision. Anyway, after doing foster care for several years we ended up hosting a really sweet kid with a few minor problems but nothing we couldn't help him through. It eventually became apparent that he wasn't going to end up back with his parents, and so our family started talking privately about considering giving him the option to be a permanent member of the family. I was initially resistant to the idea, having put up with a lot of crap from lots of different foster kids, and not knowing what it would be like to have a little brother forever. And then one day he referred to my parents as 'mom' and 'dad' instead of by their names. And that's how I knew that it was all going to work and that he was already a member of the family."

Rescue A Boy From The Worst

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Rescue A Boy From The Worst

"My oldest son is from my wife's first marriage. I adopted him when he was 10, roughly two years after he asked me to. So that was an easy find.

His genetic father, my wife's ex-husband, was adopted by his parents in the early '70s. According to my wife, he was found when he was less than two years old in a playpen full of ants with at least two days worth of feces in his diaper and only a bottle of curdled milk. He was taken by Family Services. My wife said that 'They picked him out of a room full of kids. Like you would a puppy - 'We'll take that one.''

I have often thought about his situation, what that might of done to him. It makes me want to go back 40+ years and rescue him."

In A Much Better Situation
In A Much Better Situation

" I'm an adopted child who comes from a family of seven adopted children. My parents (adopted parents) couldn't have children of their own so they decided to adopt. It soon became a grand total of 7 kids with the age range of 3yrs old - 26yrs old. I couldn't be more thankful for what they've done because looking at what I have and how I grew up, they put me in a life that I can succeed in.

I met my birth mother last year and realized if I wasn't put up for adoption, I would not have been as educated and healthy as I am now. My parents actually chose me and my two older brothers by looking through a book of children who needed to be adopted. All my other siblings were chosen from a hospital that the parents just left them behind. My entire family has many different ethnicities, my parents didn't care about color, age or gender. They chose us based on who needed help and when they saw us they said they just knew we were meant to be their children."

Last Minute Approval

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Last Minute Approval

"I was adopted as a newborn in the 1970s. My new parents had signed up with a lawyer who handled private adoptions. One day he called them and told them one of his clients had just delivered a baby and they could pick me up from the hospital in a couple of days if they wanted me. They didn't really have any choice at all other than: take it or leave it. They had to scramble to come up with a crib, baby supplies, a name, etc.

On that day, the lawyer picked up the birth mother from the hospital, drove her to the courthouse to sign me away, dropped her off at her home, and then met my new parents at the hospital to hand me over. My birth certificate was altered to show my new parents and we were not given ANY information about where I came from: no medical history, no family history, no ethnic origins, etc. Very different from the open adoptions that occur now."

Rejecting Laws That Reject Girls
Rejecting Laws That Reject Girls

"I'm adopted from China. My parents (from America) did not get a choice. They applied through an agency, filled out extensive paperwork and waited. They were sent a tiny picture of me, which my mom promptly enlarged and duplicated everywhere (this was in the '90s). I believe they waited about 10 months. Then, they traveled to China to fill out more paperwork and got to travel around and learn more about the culture. They did get to choose the country they wanted to adopt from, and they said they chose China because they detested the one-child law and felt bad that so many little girls were being rejected because of their gender."

Getting Involved Early In The Process
Getting Involved Early In The Process

"We knew the birth mother and her family and committed to adopting the baby during the pregnancy. It was a private adoption that only involved an adoption attorney instead of an agency. We did everything as normal as possible. We went to many of her doctor appointments and went the gender ultrasound with her to find out the gender. We had our own baby shower (2 actually) and was at the hospital during the birth. We brought the baby home once she was discharged from the hospital 2 days later. And it's an open adoption. We have a good relationship with the birth mother, so she follows our social media accounts for pics and visits every so often. Baby is only a few months old now so we'll see how this changes as she gets older."

Two Parents Are Dedicated To Sick Children

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Two Parents Are Dedicated To Sick Children

"My parents adopted 10 kids. The way my mom tells it, Catholic Social Services called her when the had a match. I have two sisters with spinal bifida and the rest of us had one thing or another that was somehow unhealthy. I was misdiagnosed with cystic fibrosus, brother had a hole in his heart, etc. My parents just kept saying yes."

It Didn't Matter What He Looked Like

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It Didn't Matter What He Looked Like

"My brother is adopted from Russia, my parents picked the fact that they were going to adopt a Russian child, but aside from that they adopted the first child they were shown. We were sent a picture and asked if he was alright; it didn't matter what he looked like, of course he was going to be alright. My sister and parents and I went to Russia, he was only 2 months old. He doesn't remember but we've never kept it secret and there isn't any taboo in mentioning the fact that he's adopted. We treat him just the same, he's my brother. We would've adopted the first kid they showed us regardless, but it just so happens that he has blonde hair and blue eyes like the rest of us kids"

Just Like Buying A Car
Just Like Buying A Car

"Back in the day when my husband's grandparents were young, they got to the stage where they would literally pick a baby. The nurses brought one out, his grandma took it in her arms and held it for a moment.

The nurse said: 'Let me bring out another one for you to look at.'

And his grandma goes: 'No, we're not picking one out like that. You gave us this one, so this is the one we want. It's who we were meant to have.'

And that's how they adopted my husband's uncle."

There Isn't A Lot Of Information Before It Happens

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There Isn't A Lot Of Information Before It Happens

"We adopted a 'special needs' child from China in 2011. They called it the 'Child of Promise' program then. Basically, you stated which specific kinds of problems you were willing to take on (clubfoot, heart problems, cancers, etc) and they will try to match you with a child. You could only specify a preference for boys or girls if you had another child that was the opposite.

The entire adoption process took about 2 years, but the first 14 months was spent completing requirements to enter the program. Once we entered the program it was only about 2 months before we were matched. We were only provided a single dossier which we could accept or refuse. If we refused, we would get one more to choose, and if we refused that we would go back 'in line,' whatever that meant. The dossier was a single piece of paper with a grainy B/W photo, brief description, and medical history overview. We accepted the first one we got cleft palate and lip and ended up with an amazing little boy when the adoption was finalized about 8 months later.

If we had chosen the 'non-special needs' adoption, the waiting term at that time was 5 years; I believe it's up to 6 or 7 now. I'm not sure if that program allows much more choice than the one we used, but the wait is certainly longer."

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