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How to find a child placed for adoption
How Can I Find an Adopted Child?
Thankfully, adoption has come long and far and above and beyond what it was decades ago. When families want to find an adopted child, there are more resources than ever before. Nowadays, birth families can make the choice between open or closed adoption. And thankfully, for everyone involved, open adoption is a more common choice to make these searches possible and feasible. Those open adoptions can determine how much contact people involved want to have. Decades ago, that wasn’t such the case. Many adoptions were kept under wraps. Adoptees were less likely to know about their adoptions, and ties to the birth family were severely cut. It’s no secret that adoption is a beautiful yet complicated way of creating a family.
Fortunately, the process of a birth parent finding the child placed is much easier, rather than the adoptee finding a birth family. Birth parents have the information that the child may not. Birth parents also have more memory or potentially the records of the date of birth, where it took place, and maybe even the agency or attorney who facilitated the adoption, and or the name of the adoptive parents. This information is a great springboard to jump-start the searching process.
But before we start, let’s look at the how much, why, what, and who of the search process.
Depending on what route you take to finding the child you placed, the expense amount will vary. Between requesting information from local agencies, or hiring a private investigator, or using a website to help you in your research, the cost will vary. Make sure you are ready financially to take on this search.
Why now? What is your reason for wanting to find the child you placed? Maybe enough time has passed that you are ready to meet that child. Maybe you weren’t in a place in life that you were able to have a present and consistent relationship with your child and you are now in a place where you can. Maybe you felt pressured into placing your child. There are an infinite amount of reasons birth parents choose to place a child. Regardless of the reason, ask yourself why you are now wanting to reconnect.
Next, ask yourself, what outcome do you want? What are your goals for this reunification? Do you want to hold a relationship with your child, or is it to just check in and have peace of mind about everything? But most importantly, are you okay if your adult child doesn’t want the same outcome as you do? If not, you should reconsider this search.
Do you have support from your family and/or loved ones in your life? Are the people around you, ready and willing to go along this journey with you? If not, ask yourself why. There is quite a bit of psychological preparedness you must have before embarking on this journey. It’s important to have some sort of support system before you start this, whether that be a friend, family member, therapist, or adoption counselor. There are even forums and groups on Facebook that connect birth parents with other birth parents who are also searching.
Another thing to consider is who you will reach out to first. Make a plan of who you contact first once you find the information you need to make contact. Will you reach out to the adult child, or will you contact the adoptive parents? Are you willing to involve everyone or are you just wanting to talk to your child? You must think about these things because this will inevitably change not only your relationship with your child and the relationship you have with the adoptive parents, it will change the relationship between your child and the adoptive parents.
Once you decide the answers to the questions mentioned above, you will want to start your search. Below will be a list of websites, companies, agencies, and places you can research to find the child you placed for adoption.
Adoption Agencies/Lawyers/Social Workers
If you used an adoption agency, a lawyer, or social worker to place your child, reach out to those agencies and ask for the records of your placement. This could include the names of the adoptive parents, an old address, telephone number, etc. It could also be a great place to kick start your search. The agency may have recent phone numbers or addresses for you to send a message to. Sometimes, social workers are even willing to be the mediator for your meet up and reunification. This can be great for everyone involved since emotions and feelings will most likely be high. It will be good to have a third party there to help fill in the awkward moments and subsequent conversations.
You will have to check your state regulation, but a county clerk can help you find the records that the agency might not have. However, some states seal the records to protect the privacy of everyone involved. You can petition the court to release some information to you but you will still have to start with the county clerk to get the information you need.
Hiring a Private Investigator is another way to find the child you placed. Private investigators are able to take just a little bit of information and expand, oftentimes, with great results. However, you must make sure you hire an ethical and legit private investigator. Do your research on this, since private investigators are typically expensive. You want to make sure you’re not paying someone who is making false promises.
In the article, “The Financial Costs of Search And Reunions,” Jennifer Mellon states that “the time and costs associated with any search and reunion can vary by each individual case. A highly qualified and well trained private investigator or adoption detective can utilize very little information to get successful results. No private investigator can guarantee results, but be wary of any who make such promises. Ethical private investigators will charge you accordingly for their expertise and time, and that can fluctuate from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars based on their agency or organization. Do your research and ask the right questions framed above to begin the process of getting the information or reunion you desire.” Make sure you are investing your money in the right investigator, you don’t want your money to be wasted and it all be for nothing.
Your state may have an online adoption registry. If the state doesn’t there are other websites that do, such as Adoption.com. You can register online and once your child registers, you will be matched. It doesn’t work until both parties are registered, but it is always good to look into every option possible. Parties may already be registered. You never know which one will be the link to reunification so you want to make sure all of your bases are covered. These resources are free so it’s a win on that aspect.
Online Public Record Websites
Websites like PublicRecord.com, Radaris, Spokeo, and PrivateEye.com are places to start if you have the names, phone numbers, or old addresses of the adoptive parents. You can put in the information and it can lead to other personal information on the family and where you can get in contact. This will be good information to launch your search or to give your private investigator if you choose that route.
With the popularity of DNA registries, such as Ancestry.com, 23andme.com, and FamilySearch.org on a rapid rise these days, many families are being reunited and connections to culture, history, and heritage are being found. Sometimes even sparking a reconnection or reunification between adoptees and birth families. Once you send in your DNA, you will be registered in the respective databases and it can connect you with matches in the system. If your child has also submitted DNA, it will provide and match and a means to connect through the website.
Personal Finder Adoption Websites
Places like Adoption.ORG are wonderful for you if you feel like you don’t know where to start, or if you are nervous about the results you will get. Maybe making the first initial contact is too overwhelming for you. Whatever it may be, these websites are the places you should look at. Adoption.ORG is a website that focuses on stories and resources for finding accurate information with people who have personal experience or expertise with all kinds of aspects of the adoption process. The authors and team all have some sort of connection to the adoption world, whether that be a connection to birth parents’ situations, adoptive parents, or adoptees. These individuals understand the ins and outs of the adoption world and the feeling associated with finding these connections.
These websites, such as Adoption.com, Adoption.ORG, and Adopting.org are excellent beginning resources for finding accurate, positive, and encouraging information. In addition, these websites provide sources of state-specific information, such as California, as an example, for birth parents who are seeking reunification. The sites provide information on international adoption groups and open adoptions as well. Adoption.com and other sites included are also gateways for finding advocates for legislation on both state and federal levels if you should run into the problem of accessing information about your adoption if you were a part of the abandoned baby or assisted reproduction programs. These adoption attornies have a lot of history navigating the ins and outs about accessing the information on these fronts. Along with all of this knowledge, these sites also provide a plethora of things you might need to begin your search also.
No matter the outcome of your search, it will be an emotional one for everyone involved. Your adult adopted child is the focus of this search. Take into account your child’s feelings and emotions. Those emotions are valid, even if it’s not what you want or expected. Keep the lines of communication open and flowing. Respect wishes. In an article from Adoption.ORG, the author says it best, stating that “there cannot be an expectation that everyone will be comfortable right away. Even though you are a family, it is going to take some time to get to know one another. As with any relationship, there may be things that you disagree on or feelings that you do not share. It is important to take things slowly in a reunion situation and understand that the relationship may ebb and flow.”
We can’t deny that this process will be lengthy, hard emotionally, mentally, and maybe financially. We hope that these resources to reconnect with the child that you placed are helpful in your search. Like I mentioned before, this process will be psychologically hard, so make sure you are a part of some type of support group with people who can relate to what you are feeling and experiencing. You shouldn’t do this alone.
Here are a few tips from fellow birth parents who have open adoptions with adult adoptees or who have closed adoptions and since been reunified.
Resist the urge to introduce the adoptee to everyone you know. Whether that be distant family or friends. Take it slow when you first reintroduce yourself.
Don’t insist that the adoptee calls you by your desired designation; mother/father, mom/dad, labels shouldn’t be an issue or case to draw tension or uncomfortable feelings.
Let the child set the pace. This is new and probably unexpected. Make sure all lines of communication are open. Watch body language, read between the lines, and ask questions.
Please respect any boundaries that are set. Whether it be the adoptee or the adoptive parents, respect the lines and rules and those individuals have.
Don’t compare your reunion to others. It’s very likely that there are some far worse and maybe even better or easier than yours. Own your story. It’s one of a kind.
Best of luck on your journey in finding your adopted child. Comment below or on our social media for more information and if we can help you.
Khrystian Hembree is a proud military wife, a momma to an adventure-seeking and spunky little girl, and a freelance copywriter. She enjoys hosting playgroup, reading books, leading worship at her church, and anything that includes donuts and coffee.
Adoption Information Registry - New York State Department of Health
If you are adopted, or if you placed a child for adoption, or if you are the biological sibling of an adopted person, you may wish to learn more about your birth family. The New York State Health Department's Adoption Registry can help and even facilitate a reunion.
The New York State Department of Health Adoption Information Registry is the only official registry for people born or adopted in New York State. We are the only registry authorized to access sealed information. We advise you not to share your confidential information and documents with outside entities.
Learn about one Adoption Information Registry Success Story
What kinds of information are available?
Three kinds of information are available: non-identifying, identifying and medical.
Non-identifying Information: If you are adopted you can get non-identifying information about your birth parents even if they do not register with the Adoption Registry or consent to sharing. This includes their general appearance, religion, ethnicity, race, education, occupation,
etc; and the name of the agency that arranged the adoption, and the facts and circumstances relating to the nature and cause of the adoption.
Please be advised that an adoptee's birth location and birth date are never changed on an amended birth certificate.
Identifying Information: If all are registered and all have given their final consents, adoptees and their birth parents, or adoptees and their biological siblings can share their current names and addresses. If only one parent signed the surrender agreement or consented to the adoption, then the registration of the other parent is not needed for the exchange of identifying information between the adoptee and the registered birth parent.
Medical Information: Birth parents can give medical and psychological information to the Registry any time after the adoption. If the adoptee is already registered, the information will be shared with him or her. If the adoptee is not registered, the information will be kept until the adoptee registers. The information is important to adoptees because it can indicate if they have a higher risk of some diseases. Medical information updates must be certified by a licensed health care provider.
The Adoption Information Registry cannot:
search for missing registrants;
release copies of original birth certificates or adoption records;
release non-identifying information or medical information to birth parents;
respond to medical emergencies.
Who can register?
The Registry can only accept a registration from an adoptee who was born or adopted in New York State; and is at least 18 years old. However, an adoptee who is under 18 years old can register to receive medical information updates if an adoptive parent signs the application.
A birth parent may not register unless the adoptee is eligible to register and the birth parent's consent to the adoption or signature on an instrument of surrender was required at the time of the adoption.
The Adoption Registry may not accept a biological sibling's application unless the adoptee was born or adopted in New York State and is at least 18 years old.
How long will it take?
Any medical information already submitted by birth parents will be given shortly after an adoptee registers. It will take at least six months to obtain general non-identifying information. It may take years to receive identifying information or it may never be available. This is because it cannot be released until all necessary parties have registered and consented to the release of the information.
What are the fees?
There is no fee to register with the Adoption Registry. However, some adoption agencies charge up to $50 to provide non-identifying information to the Adoption Registry. The adoptee must pay any agency fee.
What if the adoption was handled by an adoption agency?
Some adoption agencies will provide non-identifying information directly to an adoptee. They can provide information more quickly than the Adoption Registry. An adoptee can contact the adoption agency to ask what services they provide and what fees they charge for providing those services. Adoption agencies are entitled to a registration fee not exceeding $20. The adoption agency is also entitled to a non-identifying information report processing fee not to exceed $50. Most adoption agencies do not charge a fee.
How do I register?
If you want to register, you must submit a signed and notarized application. If you are registering as the Adoptee or as a Biological Sibling of an Adoptee, you must include a photocopy of your current birth certificate including parents' names.
Applications received from an adoptee or biological sibling without a copy of the applicant's birth certificate will be returned without processing.
Adoptees born in New York City who do not have a copy of their amended birth certificate should order one directly from New York City. Please see the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene web site for more information.
Change of address: If you have already registered and wish to update your address with the Adoption Information Registry, do not submit a new application; simply notify us in writing of your new address. Include your Registry Number or your name and date of birth so that we can update your application. Send to: Adoption Information Registry, New York State Department of Health, P.O. Box 2602, Albany, NY 12220-2602
You can download your application as a PDF document from the choices listed below:
Adoptee Registration Form
(pdf, 651 kb, 2 pp.)
Birth Parent Registration Form
(pdf, 18 kb, 2 pp.)
Biological Sibling Registration Form
(pdf, 19 kb, 2 pp. )
Use the "Print" button in the Adobe® Reader® menu bar to print the application.
Do not attempt to print the application using the print command in your browser.
If you prefer, you can request an application by writing to:
Adoption Information Registry
New York State Department of Health
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602
**Please be certain to include your name, mailing address and the type of application you need (i.e., adoptee, birth parent or biological sibling).
Birth Parent Consent Program
The services of the Adoption Information Registry have been expanded so that birth parents can register whether they give consent or do not give consent for the release of their contact information (name and address) to the adoptee. If the parents have registered their consent, the contact information will be released to the adoptee only after he or she reaches at least eighteen years of age and registers with the Adoption Information Registry.
The new service is referred to as the Birth Parent Consent Program and began on November 3, 2008.
The Birth Parent Consent Program requires birth parents to complete the Birth Parent Registration Form (DOH-4455) at the time of surrender. The form will be filed by the attorney or the adoption agency handling the adoption with the court. The court will forward the form to the Adoption Information Registry when the adoption is finalized.
The Birth Parent Consent Program does not replace the traditional Adoption Information Registry and differs from the traditional Adoption Information Registry in two important ways.
First, birth parents who are currently placing a child for adoption are required to complete
the Form DOH-4455 at the time of surrender.
Second, a birth parent who gives permission for the release of his or her contact information via Form
DOH-4455 will not be asked for final consent nor will they be notified of the
release of their contact information to the adoptee when the adoptee registers.
Birth parents whose children have already been adopted may also participate in the Birth Parent Consent Program by completing and submitting Form DOH-4455 directly to the Adoption Information Registry. Please note that the adoptee must still be born or adopted in New York State to participate in the Birth Parent Consent Program.
For more information, please consult the attorney or adoption agency handing your child's adoption or the back
of Form DOH-4455.
You can download DOH-4455 as a PDF document below:
Adoption Information Registry Birth Parent Registration Form
(pdf, 121 kb, 2 pp.)
Use the "Print" button in the Adobe® Reader® menu bar or the "Print Form" button that appears in the form.
Do not attempt to print the application using the print command in your browser.
Finding and choosing your child
Having come to the idea of adopting a child, potential parents begin to think about what their new family member should be like: will it be a boy or a girl, what age, what appearance, etc. As a rule, this stage of the adoption procedure (establishment of guardianship) is one of the most difficult for adoptive parents and takes a lot of time.
Practice shows that the vast majority of adoptive parents want to adopt a little girl, with an angelic appearance and as healthy as possible. Few of the adoptive parents consciously seek to adopt a disabled child, with defects in appearance or serious illnesses. However, this “ideal” idea of a foster child often has to be abandoned when confronted with reality. Firstly, in order to adopt a healthy little girl, many adoptive parents have to spend a lot of time looking for her, or rely on chance and luck. Secondly, according to pediatricians, there are practically no completely healthy children among those abandoned by their parents. There are many reasons for this, and we will consider them separately.
Summarizing all of the above, we do not recommend setting strict criteria - sex, age and health of the child during adoption. There are many examples when candidates for adoptive parents, having visited a children's institution and seeing the eyes of children waiting for their parents, having heard them address strangers with the word "mother", abandon their original intention and instead of a one-year-old girl decide to adopt a six-year-old boy . Also very often there are cases when, having chosen one child for adoption, and having learned that he also has a brother (sister), adoptive parents decide to accept both children into the family.
Quite often the decision to take a child into a family is made under the influence of external circumstances - you learned about a neighbor's child who ended up in an orphanage; saw an orphan in the hospital; a friend who works in an orphanage spoke about a particular baby; or you are somehow connected with the children's institution in which such a child ended up. But if everything happened differently for you, and you came to adoption on your own, and the image of the desired child is still very abstract, made up of stories, memories, personal experience and other trifles, how then will you approach the search for a child and what lies ahead on this path?
First of all, prospective adoptive parents should put aside myths about the process of searching for a child. Do not rely on chance: today state authorities are ready to help you in choosing a child. In our country, there is a recently developed system for searching for children for adoption, called “Hope”, which includes the State Data Bank on children left without parental care and who need to be placed in a family for adoption, guardianship, foster family, patronage. All provisions of work with this data bank are regulated by the Federal Law, certain provisions and forms of documents are introduced by Orders of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation.
Formation of the Data Bank starts from the district level. The guardianship authority, having received information about the appearance of a child who has lost parental care in a children's institution (children's home, orphanage, orphanage, hospital, etc.) located in the territory under its jurisdiction, fills out a special questionnaire for the child, in which all data are indicated in detail the child, his parents and other relatives, a photograph is attached. During the first month from the moment a child left without parental care is identified, the local guardianship body is obliged to make efforts to place him in a family and keep the child's file only with himself.
If within a month the child has not been placed in a family, his/her questionnaire is transferred to the next instance, which is subordinate to the regional authorities. At this level, data about the child is entered into the Regional Data Bank, which is most often under the jurisdiction of the district committee (department) of education, or is subordinate to the social protection authorities under the Administration of the region. Manages the information contained in this data bank, the Regional operator of the data bank on children left without parental care.
Having received information about the child, the Operator, in turn, attempts to place him in a family of citizens living in this area. For this purpose, the following actions can be taken:
publication of shortened, so-called derivative information about the child in newspapers, magazines, specially published bulletins;
a story about a child in TV programs, on the radio;
posting information about the child on bulletin boards, electronic websites, etc.
If within a month it was not possible to find a family for the child, then his profile is transferred further, to the highest level - the Federal Data Bank Operator under the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation.
As you can see from the reporting system below, the most complete and up-to-date records of children are held by local child care authorities and it is best to contact them directly. However, given the realities of our lives, you may encounter a lack of childcare facilities in the area with children of the desired age or information about children; you may not be satisfied with the attitude of the guardian; or perhaps you want to take a child from another area in order to avoid meeting with his parents. Then, having received the primary documents (conclusion on the possibility of being an adoptive parent / guardian /, becoming a foster parent) and capturing the necessary certificates and passport, you have the right to apply to any regional or federal operator.
Then you will need to write a statement of your desire to adopt a child for upbringing in a family with a request to acquaint you with the information about children in the state data bank that meets your wishes, as well as fill out a special questionnaire of a citizen who wants to take a child for upbringing in his family , to enter information about you in the data bank. After receiving such an application, the Data Bank Operator is obliged to provide you with the required information - profiles of children that meet your wishes.
Since the data bank is automated, the required information is issued to the applicant almost instantly. If, for some reason, it is impossible to quickly obtain information about children, the Operator is obliged to provide this information to the candidate for adoptive parents no later than 10 days from the date of acceptance of the application from him.
If a child matching your requirements cannot be found, you must leave a request to find such a child, and the guardianship authorities must notify the candidate for adoption of the appearance of a child that meets his request. In any case, the Operator is obliged every month to inform the candidate for adoptive parents about the presence / absence of information about the required child in the data bank, as well as to acquaint the candidate with the newly received questionnaires of children.
After the candidate for adoptive parents chooses a specific child, the regional operator issues him a referral to visit the child in the institution where he is. In an institution, a candidate for adoptive parents is required to provide complete information about the child, to acquaint him with the history of his life (show a personal file), to talk about his state of health, to acquaint him with a medical record, to talk about the features of development at the moment.
If the child is not suitable for you, you return to the Operator again, fill out a special application on the results of meeting the child, and the specialist (operator) issues you a new referral to visit another child. Legislative acts do not limit the number of referrals issued to visit children. A candidate for adoptive parents has the right to choose a child for an arbitrarily long time until the child is found by joint efforts.
In addition to the above, there is another option for finding a child. A candidate for adoptive parents can apply to any guardianship and guardianship authority in our country, to a regional operator or to the Ministry of Education with a request to select a child. The law provides for the possibility of selecting a child from a regional or federal data bank not by the candidate for adoptive parents, but by the guardianship authorities. The need for this may arise if the candidate for adoptive parents does not have time to visit various authorities (or other reasons). To do this, you must fill out a request form with a request for assistance in the selection of a child, which will be sent by guardianship to a regional (federal) operator. After receiving a response from the operator and selected questionnaires, guardianship will invite the candidate for adoptive parents to familiarize themselves with them and issue a referral to visit the child. However, you should remember that this method of searching for a child can take quite a long time, despite the fact that the conclusion on the possibility of being an adoptive parent is valid only for a year, and the medical certificate is only 3 months.
When contacting a regional operator, keep in mind that data for children under one year old is updated once a year, and for older children even less often: once every three years. In addition, new information about children enters the database very late and very irregularly. Therefore, the information offered to you may be very outdated: the child may be cured of these diseases, or (unfortunately) acquire new ones, and may even find a family.
According to the idea of the drafters of the law, the Data Bank was created not to establish a state monopoly on information about orphans, but to expand the possibilities of finding children and providing a chance to find a family for any orphaned child. Thus, the local guardianship authority does not have the right to archive the child's case after the transfer of his questionnaire to the regional data bank, he is obliged to continue to make every effort to find a family for him. Thus, by transferring the child's questionnaire to higher levels of the Data Bank, the circle of searching for his family is expanding.
There are other ways to find a child. So, candidates for adoptive parents can independently apply to children's institutions, bypassing the Data Bank. However, this method very much depends on the good will of the leaders of children's institutions, as well as the perseverance and willingness to spend the time and effort of future parents.
Children from 0 to 3-4 years old from maternity wards, hospitals, abandoned, taken away from unfortunate parents, get to children's institutions for younger children (children's homes). They stay in orphanages until they are 4 years old, but sometimes they are detained up to 5 years (mainly for medical reasons). Children's homes are medical facilities and are of a general type or specialized, for example, for children born to infected mothers, or for children with congenital pathologies.
Older children are transferred to pre-school or so-called “family-type” orphanages, where siblings aged 4 to 18 are brought up together. From preschool orphanages, children who have reached school age are transferred to an orphanage (or boarding school), where they live until they reach adulthood. Children living in orphanages attend the nearest district school; children who ended up in a boarding school study in a special school attached to the boarding school. Ordinary orphanages and boarding schools are under the jurisdiction of educational authorities, while special and correctional ones may belong to various organizations related to social protection, health care, the Red Cross, or other non-governmental organizations. However, the vast majority of orphanages for children over 3 years of age are run by educational authorities.
Children's medical institutions - hospitals and children's homes - are more closed to strangers than children's homes and boarding schools. This is due to the peculiarities of the regimen in children's medical institutions, the age of children, the large number of children, their weakness, fears of introducing an infection and provoking a local epidemic. In this regard, visits to such establishments by outsiders are limited. In addition, employees of such institutions do not have the right to disclose information about children to outsiders, and a direct request to show children suitable for adoption is most often met with a justified refusal. However, the head of the children's institution has the right to inform the person who has come where he should apply if he decides to adopt a child.
Another thing is that in a number of children's institutions (especially in the outback), work in which is often the only source of income for employees, and the transfer of children to families carries the threat of unemployment, the management of children's institutions does not seek to transfer children to families. In order to reduce the number of children placed for adoption, employees of such institutions may refer to various non-existent instructions or intimidate potential adoptive parents with the “problems” of adopted children. Some employees sincerely believe that it is better for a child to be in a state institution, since there is better care, timely food and treatment are provided, and it is impossible to control the living conditions of the child in the family. Others, having in their experience unsuccessful examples of the transfer of children to families, fear that the child may not be well in the family, and the adoptive parents will return him back.
Another way to find your child is to go to work for a while in a childcare facility. This method is very reliable, but very difficult morally.
If there is already a candidate for a child, perhaps you met him while visiting your child in the hospital, assisting a children's institution, or this is the child of neighbors, acquaintances, then you do not need to receive referrals for him, because you already know him. Therefore, sometimes the demand of the district guardianship authority is to go and get a referral for this child from the Regional Operator, allegedly due to the fact that they have already transferred his data there, illegally, they keep the file on the child, and in order to remove data about this child from Bank of the data, it is enough for them to notify the Regional Operator - they can do this using a standard notification - more details about this are described in the Answer of the Head of the Department for Social and Pedagogical Support and Rehabilitation of Children of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation No. 20 / 26-12 dated January 13, 2003.
First of all, we would like to draw your attention to the specifics of diagnosing the state of physical and mental health of children in children's institutions. Unfortunately, very often it is not objective and complete enough, which leads either to the failure to detect diseases in children, or to overdiagnosis, when non-existent or already compensated diseases are recorded in a child. Quite often, overdiagnosis occurs in specialized institutions, when a child is diagnosed with "mental retardation in the degree of debility" or "delayed psychoverbal (psychomotor) development" in order to justify his stay in this institution before the governing bodies. As surveys of pupils conducted by independent psychiatrists and psychologists show, sometimes up to 25-30% of children in specialized institutions have incorrect diagnoses. This is due to the fact that employees working with such children have additional payments of about 20% to the basic salary.
Therefore, we advise you not to be afraid of "terrible" diagnoses in orphans, especially those recorded in the anamnesis (for example, "perinatal encephalopathy", "organic damage to the central nervous system", "hydrocephalic-hypertensive syndrome" and others). Remember that many malformations compensate with age. For example, such a defect in the heart as an “open oval window”, which is often found in premature babies, disappears. We advise you to choose a child based not on papers, but to meet him personally, look at him, get to know him, and only after that make a final decision.
The choice of a child can be quite strongly influenced by the information about him/her that you hear from the specialists of the children's institution. In turn, the reliability of the information given to you will be affected by the impression you yourself make on the employees who receive you. Here the saying “they will meet by their clothes” is appropriate. If the chief doctor or director liked you, then at first they will tell you about what this child is good for, how handsome, capable, obedient he is, and they will say about shortcomings or diseases in passing, without focusing on this. If, for some subjective reason, the employees of the children's institution do not want the child to become a member of your family, then in the first place in the description of the child will be his illnesses and shortcomings, and the merits will be mentioned in passing.
Besides the age and health of the child, you should definitely pay attention to the history of his life, find out where and how long he was before adoption. Remember that the presence (or absence) of maternal care has a huge impact on the development of the baby. A three-year-old kid who grew up even in a bad family is very different from a peer who was brought up from birth in a good children's institution. Children who have been in an institution for a long time differ in development from their "home" peers and may not psychologically correspond to their biological age, which makes them seem younger than their peers.
Due to poor nutrition of the mother during pregnancy, unfavorable lifestyle, complicated childbirth, many children are often born prematurely and get sick more often, which is expressed in malnutrition and stunting. Outwardly, they also seem younger than the children who ended up in the institution after some time of living in the family. Poor and malnutrition leads to stunting and underweight, rickets, and in older children removed from the family. The lag of older children can be easily seen by the teeth, which are either translucent, with horizontal relief stripes just above the cutting edge, or small and damaged.
However, quite often the choice of a child is influenced not by the history of development and state of health, but by his appearance. This is how one of the adoptive parents describes her feelings and the choice she made.
“They gave us a referral to choose a child, and we rushed to one of the orphanages. If only you knew what a shame and torment it is to choose, examine and die from embarrassment in front of these kids from the fact that you won’t take them!!! We stayed there for a long time, I fiddled a lot with those with whom it was possible, they are nice, small, but I didn’t feel about any of them that this was my son. The husband almost cried in general, clenched his jaw, so his jaws went. Terribly hard and ashamed, ashamed, ashamed! They felt like pigs.
The next day, without any call or prior arrangements, we were already at the door of another orphanage. They accepted us and, having heard that we needed a boy under eight months old, they immediately declared - there is just one for you! And they called such a telling surname that it became clear that this baby needed to be pulled out of here, and everything should be quickly changed for him. While we were being led along the corridor to his group, we had already decided that there would be no repetition of yesterday's elections - we would take this child, whatever he was. To be honest, I was very afraid that I would not feel anything again. But I also firmly knew that I could not refuse any more. The husband said the day before that he hopes for my intuition and is not capable of choosing in such matters at all! We were asked to wait as the kids were running out of breakfast. Those who had already eaten ran up to the door on their walkers and greeted us kindly. They were extremely pretty, very lively, but not one of them was written - He. Yesterday was repeated, with the only difference that I knew that today I would not refuse. So we squatted in front of them and mentally asked the kids who they were. And then the nanny finished feeding the last one and they told us - this one! He roared, got angry, tried to return the bottle, but both of us simply felt relieved from the heart - tearful, angry, but Ours. It is inexplicable, but there is such a Feeling! Then we were little worried about the data read from his card (although during the neonatal period the baby underwent a very serious operation) - we thought about how to take him home as soon as possible.
Someone adopts a child after seeing a photo in a newspaper or on the Internet, watching a story about an orphanage on TV, or hearing from a doctor friend about an orphan who has been admitted to a hospital for treatment.
As you can see, there are many ways to choose a child, and which one you choose depends on many, sometimes random, circumstances.
Having decided on this step, carefully consider your possibilities (physical and material). If you want to take a child under one year old, determine if you can quit your job and take care of raising a child at home until at least three years old. It is worth inquiring about the prices of clothes for babies and other accessories he needs.
If you are planning to take an older child, think about who will take him to kindergarten and pick him up, who will see him off and pick him up from school.
It is also worth thinking about what traits of the child's character will suit you (and vice versa, will annoy you): slowness, slowness or, on the contrary, restlessness, talkativeness. Best of all, if he is not your opposite, since overactive children are difficult to withstand for a long time people with a calm character, and calm children annoy impulsive adults with their slowness.
In order to understand whether you have made the right choice, it is best to look at how children of your chosen age and gender behave, using the example of children you know (relatives, neighbors' children). If you do not have relatives with children, or you are deprived of the opportunity to communicate with children, we strongly advise you to find time and watch the children of your neighbors, communicate with the children in the institution: this will help you better evaluate your decision.
Part 4: How do I find “my” child for adoption or custody?
Adoption and guardianship in the Ulyanovsk region
We are completing the publication of materials on the topic of adoption. Their author, a mother of many children, Tatyana Ermolaeva, has personal experience in guardianship and adoption, who has accompanied host parents in the regional association of foster parents for many years, is the chairman of the ANO Family and Childhood Support Center "Native People". She not only clearly describes the legal details of the placement of children in a family, but also supplements the materials with her own experience, a story about the problems that she and other parents have to face, and ways to resolve them.
In the last article, Tatyana talks about how to find a child to place in her family.
The previous material was devoted to drawing up a conclusion on the right to accept a child into a family. The conclusion received is valid for two years. During this time, you will definitely be able to find "your" child, and perhaps you will come to a different solution that will be better for your family. You have a lot of time to make an informed decision.
The very receipt of a certificate of the possibility to adopt a child is a holiday for future parents! Now you can take a break from going through the authorities. And focus on finding a child that you will love, protect, to whom you can give all the best . .. But where is he, this child?
Children who can be adopted into a family live in orphanages and children's homes both in our region and in other regions of Russia. At the end of 2019year, their official number is 44,646. Information about those who can be adopted into the family is concentrated in the federal data bank (hereinafter - FBD). It is available to everyone.
If you have received an opinion on the possibility of becoming an adoptive parent, you can only consider the data of children with the status of "adoption". If you have a conclusion on the possibility of becoming a foster parent or guardian, then you can also consider children with both the status of "adoption" and "guardianship".
It is useful to understand that there are open and closed data on children who can be adopted into a family. Open Data is a federal data bank on orphans (FBD). It contains data only on children with full or incomplete status. Any citizen who has the appropriate opinion can watch the FBI, can call the operator in the region where a particular child is located (these contacts are also on the FBI website) and ask to get to know him. If a referral was not previously issued for this child or consent was signed for his transfer to the family, then such a candidate MUST be given a referral to get to know the child. Oral statements by blood relatives that they plan to take the child to live with them, according to the law, cannot be the basis for refusing potential adoptive parents or guardians. As we said earlier, kinship custody (preliminary) is issued within five days. If the relatives were willing and able to take the child, they would do it. If not, by law, potential adoptive parents and guardians can take a referral to get to know the child. Because in the interests of the child, life is not in an orphanage, but in a normal family. This is his right, it is protected by law. And this should be reminded if there is a clear or hidden tendency to detain a child in a state institution.
If the child has already been referred to other candidates, do not be embarrassed. This direction is valid for 10 days. But usually a few days are enough to make a decision. Call and clarify the situation again. As a rule, more than one referral is issued for each child. Something may not meet the expectations of other parents, and now, the child is already "free" again. Call and find out.
In addition to the federal data bank, there is also a regional data bank on orphans. It is also available online in some regions. In the Ulyanovsk region, it is closed. At the regional stage of the family structure, there are children whose parents are deprived or limited in their rights, and this happened relatively recently. In the first months, the guardianship authorities should try to find substitute parents for such a child in their region. They call the candidates who have lined up for a particular municipality. To join this queue in the Ulyanovsk region, you need to contact the regional operator. It is located at the address: Ulyanovsk, st. Federation, 60.
Call for an appointment: +7 (8422) 44-58-10. It is useful to apply for a queue in all municipalities of the region where orphanages and shelters are located. You will be called, invited and told about new children who can be adopted into the family, according to the data that you indicated in the application. Whether or not to meet a particular child is your right.
If the placement of a child in a family at the regional stage did not occur, his data enters the federal open data bank, they become available to all applicants throughout the country.
It is important to understand that there are no "statusless" children in FBD. Earlier, we have already said that, in addition to the “state”, there are also “parental” children who are temporarily placed in social institutions upon application, or those whose parents are in the process of depriving or restricting their rights to children. These are tens of thousands of "invisible" children in the FBI. If you want to support these guys, give them a family, even if they have the rights of temporary guardianship, then write a corresponding application to the guardianship department. It is useful to duplicate it directly to the administration in the shelters of the region. To do this, you need to have the appropriate right, that is, a conclusion on the possibility of preliminary guardianship or a conclusion of a higher level (for adoption, foster family, guardianship).
So there are two ways to find "your" child. The first is the waiting mode for proposals from the guardianship authorities, the regional operator. The second is an active search (including queuing in other regions), calls for children found on their own in the FBI. Great help to future parents is provided not only by questionnaires in the FBI, where there is only a photo and minimal information about the child. It is possible to watch videos about such children. Thousands of questionnaires with videos are in the public domain, for example, on the website of the Change One Life Foundation. Those who wish will find dozens of charitable organizations on the Internet that publish questionnaires with videos on their websites and social networks. Questionnaires of children in the Ulyanovsk region are taken by volunteers of the regional Association of Foster Families and ANO "Native People", they can be found, in addition to the FBI, on the website deti vsenashi.rf.
But very often, potential adoptive parents and guardians complain that they are told "we have no children." So they can answer in the guardianship authorities and at the reception at the regional operator. How to understand it? It's not that someone is hiding the children. It's just that often potential adoptive parents have very high expectations regarding the psychophysical well-being of children. If you want to adopt a healthy baby (especially a girl) of Slavic appearance up to three years old, without brothers and sisters, then most likely you will find just such an answer. Such children appear in the system extremely rarely. And who is there? Most are children over seven years old, boys, with health and behavioral problems. There are many "engines" of several brothers or sisters. Many children of non-Slavic nationality. Many have already experienced more than one orphanhood when they were returned from foster families. Many have learned during their still small childhood such things that they will not present themselves even in terrible dreams. This is reality. But do not rush to refuse acquaintance with such children. Grow like a parent, ask for help from experienced psychologists. And go to the children, communicate. Invite whoever is allowed to visit. It often happens that a particular child turns the view of the family. Preparing for a baby, and becoming the parents of three brothers or a couple of teenagers - this is not uncommon.
Children do not end up in orphanages because of a good life. Health problems may be the result of their parents' not-too-healthy lifestyle. Mental problems can become a cumulative result of the very deprivation, developmental delay that most children in orphanages suffer from. Often a child is admitted to an orphanage, for example, with a third health group. And after a couple of years, this is the fifth group, disability. Unfortunately, the orphanage system itself, regardless of the efforts of employees, has a devastating effect on the psyche and health of children. And when they get into a family, many children, with proper care, can significantly compensate for their developmental lag, but this is a lot of mutual work.
A particular problem is the motivation of children over 10 years of age. If younger children do not have a say in this matter, then children 10 years old and older can already say their “yes” or “no” in response to the offer to become members of a new family. Unfortunately, this is often used by adults, on whom it depends whether the child remains in the orphanage. Often there is a desire of the administration to maintain the number of pupils of the institution. I have heard from the first persons of orphanages that children are better off there than in foster families. In addition, pupils are jobs, per capita financing of the institution. I have heard how former pupils told their adoptive parents that in the orphanage they were dissuaded from leaving for a family. But it is important to remember that a potential adoptive parent or guardian has the right to invite a school-age child to visit for the weekend, for holidays. If you can build sincere contact with a teenager, everything will work out. At the decisive moment, he will say "yes", they will not be able to dissuade him if being a guest has earned him confidence in the host family.
But remember that the moment you find "your" child will only be the beginning of a long journey. To build happiness in a family that accepts a child is a lot of parental work. Such a family has a special experience. This is not always an easy adaptation of the child, possible difficulties with his blood relatives, the need to heal the emotional wounds of a child with a difficult childhood, anxieties, justified and not very.
And at the same time, believe me, an adopted child can become a family! In Russia, hundreds of thousands of children grow up in families of adoptive parents and guardians. Most of these families known to us are worthy examples of children's well-being, parental responsibility and love. Perhaps you are also ready to start the path to accepting a child left without parental care into your family, into your heart?
If you want to get the experience of "smart" assistance to children from orphanages, to better understand the reality of foster parenthood, fill out the online questionnaire for volunteers of ANO "Native People".