Growing your family is an exciting prospect and adoption is an excellent way to accomplish your goals. So, it’s no wonder that so many young, hopeful parents ask the same question. At what age can you adopt in Maryland? Is there a minimum age requirement?
I am Dean Kirschner. Why "Libby's Corner?" This blog, actually, all of Adoption Makes Family, is a tribute to my mother who brought adoption to our family in 1956 when my older sister was adopted.
When my mother died in 1967, she left a legacy of love for children that transcended any biological connection. Having been only 8 years old at the time of her death, I do not recall hearing specific words about adoption from my mother. However, through the years, having many conversations with her friends and our family, I have learned so much about my mother's feelings toward children, toward adoption.
Personally, the experience of adoption has been in my life since my own birth. I'm the little brother of an older sister who was adopted at birth. Adoption was never a big deal in our family. We were all treated the same. Biologically conceived by our parents or adopted, there was never a sense for me that we were loved any differently.
I remember at my first home study meeting in preparation to adopt my first son. The social worker asked if I had any personal experience with adoption. My first reaction was a sense of connection. I lived with adoption all my life. I embrace adoption. Now, I am the father of two boys, both adopted.
Every day I realize how much I love my sons. I laugh with my sons. I play with my sons. I parent my sons. Some days there are frustrations. More days, there are fun and joyful times with my sons. Some days, I have had to be a disciplinarian. More days, I am the supporter, the advocate, the fixer, the helper, the confidant, the teacher, the guide, the safety net, the protector. To sum it up, I'm Dad.
My sons are adopted, yet we don't hold that term as a distinction of difference. We celebrate adoption as a means by which I became Dad and they became my children. When I introduce my sons, I introduce them as my sons. Introduce my sister as my sister. The stories of how we became a family are amazingly wonderful. We share our adoption stories proudly. The adoption stories speak to the excitement of becoming a sister, a brother, a son, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew.
I have spoken with my sister and my sons about their feelings about their birth parents and the adoption. No one has forgotten that they were adopted, because adoption is an open conversation in our family. However, there is no angst about adoption. We answer questions honestly and allow complete and open discussions about birth parents and their adoption story. There are no mysteries or secrets. There are stories of love, excitement and family.
As for how we get along as siblings, my sister and I have our disagreements. More often, we have our agreements. We have fought, loved, laughed, played. We are just normal siblings. I don't feel adoption plays into our relationship. We have had wonderful discussions about adoption and birth parents. However, when it comes down to just being brother and sister, we are just that. Brother and sister. My sister has actively reached out and chatted with birth mothers who have created an adoption plan with Adoption Makes Family.
My sons have the same type of relationship. They love like brothers. They fight like brothers. They protect each other and look out for each other. They are not biologically related. They are related through adoption. But, above all, they are brothers.
And so, I turn back to my mother, Libby. I learned from my mother the unconditional love for children. Starting in her own little corner of our family, she shaped me, my sister, my sons and our world. Hopefully, this blog, Libby's Corner, can do the same for you.
How Long Does Adoption Take?
One of the most common questions we hear from prospective adoptive families is “How long does adoption take?” Unfortunately, “I have no idea,” admits Dean Kirschner, Ph.D., LCSW-C. Adoption can be a lengthy process and it’s truly different for every family.
How Do I Prepare for a Home Study?
Many hopeful adoptive parents wonder, “How do I prepare for a home study?” Well, we’re here to tell you. So, grab a pen and some paper and get ready to take notes. Here comes your crash course in the home study process.
How to Talk to Your Child About Adoption
One of the topics we’re often approached about is how to talk to your child about adoption. You see, there comes a time in every adopted child’s life when they want to know more about where they came from – who their birth parents are. It’s a delicate subject and one that must be treated with the utmost love and kindness.
Can I Adopt if I Have Debt?
It’s no secret that raising a child isn’t cheap. And the cost to adopt can be significant. According to a survey conducted by Adoptive Families magazine, domestic (United States) newborn adoptions cost an average of $37,000 and international adoptions averaged about $42,000. Here in Maryland, the average cost of adoption ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 and varies depending upon the circumstances of the adoption. This is why financial stability is one of the criteria looked at during the adoption home study. So, it should come as no surprise that many hopefully adoptive parents wonder, “Can I adopt if I have debt?” Well, it all depends on your specific circumstances.
Can You Adopt a Child Alone?
It’s important to remember that families come in all shapes and sizes. There is no right way to start a family. Still, one of the questions we hear often is, “Can you adopt a child alone?” And the answer is YES. There are no rules preventing a single parent from adopting a child. The only thing that truly matters is that a hopeful parent meets the adoption criteria and passes the home study.
Can You Fail a Home Study?
The adoption home study is one of the first steps any hopeful family takes in the adoption process. So, it’s normal to be nervous. Even the most prepared families wonder, “Can you fail a home study?” And the answer is yes, but it’s not common.
Post-Adoption Counseling Can Help Grieving Mothers
“With every adoption and every union, there is also loss, a biological parent being separated from their child,” explains Felicia Curcuru, Huffington Post. It is common for birth mothers to feel a wide range of emotions post-adoption, which is why post-adoption counseling is so important.
Can You Cancel an Adoption?
It’s understandable for a birth mother to have a million questions running through her mind. Is adoption the right choice? What if I change my mind? Can I change my mind? Can you cancel an adoption?
Can I Get Money for Adoption in Maryland?
A new baby can be a big financial strain, so it should come as no surprise that money is one of the first things on a birth mother’s mind when she learns she is pregnant. And a lack of financial… Read More