Adopting a baby. We want to. Who should we work with?
September 24, 2012 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Adopting a baby. We want to. Who should we work with?

My better half and I want to have a baby, or multiple babies. We are two dudes and cannot procreate. We've read The Kid by Dan Savage and have looked at promotional materials and online content from some different adoption agencies. We've also explored surrogacy (we have friends who would be willing to help), but man, is that expensive--out of our reach.

We know that it can take quite some time to get all the paperwork done and that it can take a very long time before you get matched with a baby. We're sure this is what we want to do, and figure we should get started. We're both 29, gainfully employed (though not wealthy), and have a stable home life. (We have been together for almost 4 years and are not currently married but are planning to do so in a state in which it is legal before the end of this year.)

Here's where you come in. Can you recommend an adoption agency? Or even just a neutral source which compares agencies? We want one that works with gay couples and has a record of placing children with them. We are considering the Independent Adoption Center, which has offices in Texas, where we live.

Other considerations:
We wish to adopt an infant, not an older child.
We are middle-income, not rich folks, but we'll have the support of our families. We know it'll be expensive and are OK with that.
We live in a one-bedroom apartment right now, and we know we'll need to move to a bigger place before the home study -- but is there anything else we need to know about that?

Any and all help is appreciated. We know other gay couples are successfully doing this, but we want to try to avoid any big pitfalls.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang to Human Relations (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Are there law offices that specialize in LGBT adoptions and/or other kinds of family law issues in your area? Apologies if you've already gone this route, but just making sure: you might want to sit down with them and check into all of the OTHER legal stuff, like powers of attorney, wills, etc. that can help solidify your family unit in every situation. From being able to pick up a kid at school to worst-case scenarios, every bit helps, even if it isn't 100% binding in some (horrible, awful, backwards) places.

Which you almost certainly know already. But I wish you all good things :)
posted by Madamina at 2:48 PM on September 24, 2012

Oh, you live in Texas? You should look at Gladney, which has been around for 125 years. We (hetero older couple) used them for both our adoptions.

Adoption can be a delicate subject for some; just search on the blue for details (or simply look at my own posts in various threads). But I'm sure you've already done that.

And one of the most comprehensive adoption sites on the web is, which is no more and no less than the sum of its parts: a lot of anxious parents-to-be, posting various stories and rumors. Still, it can be helpful.

Since adoption laws change almost every year, most adoption books are good only for a broad overview on the legal process, but adoption books can be very good in preparing you for the sudden and dramatic change you're about to experience.

Hope this helps. Oh, and good luck and congratulations! Parenthood is a wonderful thing, and I wish you the best in your journey. (I'm somewhat religious, so I hope you don't mind if I say a prayer for your family-to-be.)
posted by math at 5:19 PM on September 24, 2012

Look into fostercare in your area, it might be faster and open to lgbt couples and often infants are available.

You need to discuss with your partner what age (under 1? Under 2? Under three months?), gender and race, and any possible challenges you could handle (developmentally delayed, deaf etc) in-depth *before* you meet an agency. The more prep work you put in now, the easier it will be to handle the stressful process. If you're considering transracial adoption, you'll have even more prep work involved.

For agencies, a different starting place would be Pound Pup Legacy's Texas page which includes a long list of agencies and facilitators. If an agency has no comments on it, it doesn't necessarily mean they're fine, but they at least don't have red flags. It's crowd-sourced info, and in the areas I've looked into where I have personal knowledge, it's been pretty accurate.

PPL is *not* a happy place to start, but if you look at the adoption agency websites, all you'll get are cute pictures of babies and glowing letters of recommendation. There is no real clearinghouse because the markets served - birth families and adoptive families and adoptees - are often in direct conflict of interests, and the adoptive families have the money.

Oh! Be super-organised about paper from the start. You will have a mountain of paperwork to handle, so designate one of you to keep all the records filed. I still have flashbacks to binder clips and frantic photocopying.

Definitely reach out now to your local lgbt parents' group for advice and support. It's a long process however you do it, and once your little one arrives home, you'll want people who understand your particular type of family too, not necessarily only lgbt, but adoptive families.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:19 PM on September 24, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. @ math, Gladney doesn't work with gay couples. The majority of adoption agencies don't.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 9:22 AM on September 25, 2012

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