Saturday, May 8, 2010

Adopting Kids in Need

The Baby Fold in Normal is no longer coordinating domestic adoptions. V.P. of development Julie Payne says there are more families wanting healthy newborns than there are babies up for adoption. She says the real need right now is kids who are in foster care or those in orphanages in other countries. The Baby Fold will still be overseeing those adoptions and focusing on helping those families cope after the adoption is finalized.

Payne said, "What is really growing and the need is there for people who will adopt children who have emotional/behavioral disorders/children in residential programs/foster care. There is not necessarily a waiting list for them. The Baby Fold has always focused on the most vulnerable. It was a tough choice, but we are basically aligning with our mission-helping the most vulnerable children. "

The Baby Fold has provided permanent homes for children since 1902. When the agency was formed, it focused on abandoned infants and children. The percentage of women who give their baby up for adoption has decreased dramatically both locally and nationally. Payne said the agency is only overseeing about 9 typical domestic adoptions this year. She believes more women are choosing to keep their babies even if they are young, unmarried and are not working.

Payne said, "I don't know that too many people take the cost of a child into account. When we are talking to people who decide to care for a child, it's expensive-doctor visits, clothes, housing, childcare, insurance. They just don't know how much it costs." I wonder too if the high rate of infertility is bringing in more couples who seek to adopt. Payne said she isn't sure about that. She just knows a lot more women who are in situations where they would normally adopt out are keeping their babies. The Baby Fold is helping those women adjust too.

The Baby Fold is encouraging couples who can adopt children with behavior/emotional issues to consider doing so. She said the families continue to get support even after the adoption. "When you adopt a child who has some emotional/behavioral issues due to whatever their circumstances, those don't stop after adoptions. That is why we have one of our programs "keeping the promise." Payne said kids who feel unloved or who have lived in an orphanage will have a hard time adjusting to the adoption, but with counseling they can have success.

The Health Care Reform Bill included an extension on the Adoption Tax Credit.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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