Welcome to A+A adopt a Baby!
I suppose introductions are in order. This is the blog of one white couple as we go through the process of adopting our first child. We're adopting through WACAP, see the link section, through their domestic African-American Infant adoption program. Since this is the very first post there are actually no Frequently Asked Questions, but we did just finish a homestudy process, and I'll do what I can to summarize what I feel are the most FAQ's we had to answer through that process, and so far as we've started talking about adopting with friends and family.
Who is A+A?
Our names are Alissa and Andrew, hence the A+A acronym. Without the + we end up getting confused with Alcoholics Anonymous. Alissa is the main blogger here, and since I don't intend to phrase every entry using "we" or to speak of myself in the third person it is safe to assume that I'm the one writing unless stated otherwise. I work for a major state university, and am also in training to become an Episcopal Priest. Andrew is a musician, ex-electrician, future respiratory therapist and current movie expert. We live in a multicultural urban neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest.
Why are you adopting?
Like any prospective adoptive parents, our reasons for adopting are fairly straightforward and can be boiled down to this: we want to be parents! We've always wanted adoption to be one of the ways we build our family.
Why are you adopting domestically/transracially?
There are a number of reasons we're going the route that we are. Some are practical: international adoption is out of our price range, for example. Some are ideological: we want to provide our child with an open adoption and a real connection to his or her biological heritage, we want to adopt a child who really needs us, and there are more children of color needing homes than white children. And some of our reasons are private.
What is WACAP's African American Infant Adoption Program?
I've put a link to the information web page for the program here on the blog. Basically the way this program works is that our agency (WACAP) pools together prospective adoptive parents who are hoping/willing to adopt an infant of color. They do their best to find parents of color, but the fact of the matter is that there are more white people in a position to adopt. WACAP trains these parents, helps them put together profiles, and then provides these profiles to a number of adoption agencies around the country who do not have enough prospective parents for non-white children. This way when a woman comes in to those agencies looking to make an adoption plan for her non-white baby she can have as many profiles to choose from as a mother of a white baby would.
Are you worried about raising a child who is of a different race than you?
In short, yes. Anyone who is realistic about this sort of adoption should be worried! We know that we're embarking on something unpredictable, something that will be impossible to prepare for. But - so is everyone who becomes a parent! It is our hope that through constantly educating ourselves and our child we will be able to provide a strong, good, loving, and sensitive home for our child. One of the advantages of adopting transracially, at least from my point of view here at the very beginning of the process, is that we already know what some of the huge challenges will be. Maybe people who have a biological child can harbor fantasies about a perfect family and perfect home life. Adoption by definition starts with a loss - someone loses a child, and someone loses a biological parent, and someone loses the experience of having a biological connection the child they raise. Since we know from the start that our family won't fit in to a lot of the models out there for the "perfect" family, we can work on being the family that we are, instead.
Okay - those are the FAQ's for now! Feel free to add more in the comments!