My husband and I are going to adopt internationally and I was wondering if there are any other adoptive parents involved in this community? So often, adoptive parents talk about "God's Plan" and "God's Gift" and it is a largely evangelical movement which is frustrating, to say the least.
I would love to engage in conversation with atheist adoptive parents or those who are considering adoption. I would be particularly interested in hearing about trans-racial adoption from those with that experience. It's a very difficult path and I would prefer a support group that involved planning and preparation instead of praying.
I would also of course appreciate any further direction on whether there are (online) atheist adoption communities if those resources are available!
We, my wife and I, adopted almost 23 years ago, we tried foreign adoption, but ended up doing a private in State adoption.
We adopted internationally a few years ago (trans-racial) from a largely Muslim country. I think as an atheist we actually had an easier time than the Christians. We have always been accepting of different religious beliefs, and enjoy teaching customs and stories from all major religions (as well as Santa and the Easter Bunny) Though we don't push any of these things as supernatural facts, or truths, we also don't teach them as make believe... any more than other stories we might tell. As he gets older we'll encourage him to think for himself, i suppose, but he already seems to be doing that.
Our agency was not outwardly religious (they are not around anymore) but run by people who were very Christian. We were OK with that. They were OK with us. Some agencies might not be, so you have to go with whom you are comfortable with. As for the country, they didn't ask and they usually assume westerners are christian, and because of that i think nobody wanted to bring the topic up.
I'm not sure what you are looking for, but if an agency makes you uncomfortable with "God's Plan" talk, you should keep looking. You don't need to go local. Our agency was on the other coast thousands of miles away and we had no problems processing the paperwork without divine intervention.
Have you come across any more atheist friendly sites for adoption? I'm a "birth mother" and it really seems that every profile or couple I come across is religious. Any help would be appreaciated : )
This thread has some good info and links:
You could try looking for Unitarian Universalist agencies... UU would be appalled at my description but they are basically a religion where one need not believe in god (i know, but... honestly, atheist parents looking to adopt are having just as much trouble finding atheist agencies and may be forced to use religious ones. As a birth mother in the US, you can choose the parents and nothing prevents you from only considering openly atheist parents, and if any religious agency has them it would be the Unitarians)
Hello Mandy. My wife and I have two biological children and two adopted children. Our two adopted children came first. No trans-racial here, all through and through Dutch. However our oldest daughter is physically disabled (Spina- Bifida) and oldest son is profoundly deaf. Being Dutch there is no religious problem, atheism is the default. We had no problems with our daughter, though she is a challenging child now but that is because of her intelligence. Our son had a very sick birth mother, he was born deaf and endured a lot of neglect for his first 18 months. His problems were all around sensory deprivation and attachment, though we over came them. Attachment can be a problem with infants and toddlers, but it can be overcome straight forwardly enough.
My cousin Tyjardia and her wife (another lesbian couple) adopted a little Chinese girl who was four at the time and came with many medical problems - her first adoptive parents from Germany had dumped her because of them. They had a tough first two years with her but now she is at school.
For our adopted children we gathered as much information about their parents as we could and have compiled it into a book for each of them. One day when they are ready and asking we will give them all that information. They know they are adopted. When our son's birth mother died we had her brought here to our town so that any time he has a need to he can ask to visit her grave.
I do not believe there are any hard and fast rules because each child is so different. I do think that modern society does underestimate just how pregnancy and birth impacts a persons life to come so with adoption the child you get is a real throw of the dice. As a result you have to be adaptable, lessons learnt with your first adoption can turn out to be worthless with number two.
If you are adopting an infant then for goodness sake consider adoptive breastfeeding, it builds emotional bonds that go far deeper than you would imagine. I know in the english speaking world feeding any infant other than one you actually gestated yourself is seen as strange, but that attitude is more victory of formula company marketing than good human and humane common sense.
In parenting there is the golden rule that parents must always present a united front otherwise children will exploit the gap between you. If you disagree with your spouse do not disagree in front of the children, no matter how little they are. Take your disagreement out of sight and ear shot and resolve it. This rule becomes utterly essential with adopted children, you cannot afford to break it. No matter how tired you are, no matter how frustrated with children, your spouse, the in laws. Forget that you have not even had time to wash that day, or eaten a proper meal yourself, just do not break the rule - kids exploit division but adopted kids are often seriously emotionally disturbed by it and will show behavioral problems as a result, it will take you months of effort to repair it, if you ever do.
What age of child are you looking to adopt?
Judith vd R.
I have not adopted, but I am adopted. I can tell you from my experience that as long as you really really want this and love this child, or children and you are well suited financially and are stable relatively "normal" people that can provide reasonably well for the care and needs of the child/children that I am in your corner! I can also tell you that adopted children, (no matter their biological or cultural circumstances) are "different" then natural children, they just are, even if sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for it. I wish you the best of luck, I realize this is a huge thing. I am not sure if there are any online support groups for Atheist adoptive parents, your best bet for that is to "Google" it. I am sure things will work out, in most cases I think asking your religious affiliation is illegal it either that or it is like on a job application where you check weather or not you are black or white or pacific islander or whatever or you choose not to disclose it.