Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Woman to Woman: Adoption Angst
Every year, thousands of parents turn to adoption after having trouble conceiving. But, unfortunately, the process can be long and complicated. In tonight's Woman To Woman report, we're introducing you to one couple who not only want to be husband and wife, they want to be mom and dad.
Wrong, say Chris and Brenda Courter.
The couple has tried to have children of their own, but, after trying unsuccessfully for two years, they decided to adopt a child.
Chris says,"It brings the most joy to us to see that we can create a family versus just have things, or just a car, a house, we want something to fill this house."
But, Brenda says, the more time they spend searching for a child, the more discouraged they become with the system.
"Sometimes you think they'd make it a little easier for us to be able to have them in our home and adopt them and give them loving homes," she says.
The Courters, who are searching for a child under the age of 5, have found that their options are limited -- and extremely expensive. Adopting a baby can cost anywhere from 15 to 40 thousand dollars -- even more depending on what country the child is from.
"It should be that if you want a child, and you want to welcome them in your home, there should be avenues that you can take that are not a matter of how much money you have in your pocket."
Adoption specialists say most couples hoping to adopt a child would like to have a baby... an infant they can bond with almost from birth.
But there are hundreds of children, of all ages, in South Florida in need of a home... of loving parents.
Lita Fowler, DCF Human Services Program Specialist, says, "Here, in Dade and Monroe, we have over 450 children that are fit for adoption needing families."
"We have a lot of inquiries of people wanting infants, but we have a lot of children that are not infants," Fowler adds.
Which is why the Department of Children and Families says prospective parents should seriously consider adopting an older child -- the process will be quicker and can be less expensive.
And-- if possible-- consider taking in more than one child -- siblings like 9-year-olds Keondra and Inez, 11-year-old Sametrice and 12-year-old Sammie.
They need parents and don't want to be separated.
DCF Family Services Counselor Supervisor Yanila Hacker says, "If you are really committed, and you know that what you want is to make a difference in someone else's life, then we want to hear from you."
"I just want babies," says Brenda. "I have a wonderful husband, I have room in my home. I'm ready. That would just complete me as a woman and a wife, to be able to be a mother."
You can also become a foster parent.
The Department of Children and Families has a foster and a ten-week training program for prospective parents ready to adopt.
We also found an organization called Gift Of Adoption, which gives parents grants to help pay for adoption costs.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Florida Department of Children and Families Adoption Information
Gift of Adoption
101 East Pier Street
Port Washington, WI 53074
World Association for Children and Parents
Charlotte Danciu/Adoption Attorney
370 W. Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 210
Boca Raton, FL