Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Adoption on the Today Show

Well, Mardie's first segment was on the Today Show this morning. I was still sleeping, so I DVRd it so I could watch it later.

The main question Meredith Vieira asked was "is adoption right for you" And the segment was titled "all about adoption"

You can view the video here.

They showed a couple of folks who have adopted, both domestically and internationally. It was a nice little intro, showing lots of different families (and what makes up different families) and a variety of international and domestic adoptions.

Then, Meredith introduced Mardie Caldwell as the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center in California and also author of Adoption: Your Step-By-Step Guide.

They first discussed that you need to get as much information as possible when deciding to adopt. Including, international or domestic, age, race, and to use the internet, the library, talk to folks who have adopted, etc. Basically, do your research to determine if adoption is right for you.

They talked about the difference between domestic and international. Domestic, you have more information about the birthmother, no travel, possibly a newborn. More control over your adoption, and get history. Pluses for international- usually its a sure thing, you can adopt more than one at a time, some travel, opportunity to specify sex. She did caution that if you are single or over 40, sometimes you will face difficulties, especially in international adoption. But that international adoption is always changing.

Meredith then asked about the cost, and the wait. Those are typically the first couple questions that a potential adoptive parent is going to ask. Mardie said good news and bad news- domestic is typically $14,000/$15,000 to $30,000 and internationally it's $10,000 to $40,000. And she stressed that there is a tax credit (up to $10,000), and more and more now companies are offering adoption benefits (though I know it's not always the case- many companies still do not offer adoption benefits). As for the wait, Mardie said generally it is 9 months to two years for either domestic or international. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some are quicker than others, while some take longer (my friends who are adopting from China can attest to that).

They talked next about medical fears for those adopting internationally. There are doctors who specialize in international adoptions, and can tell if there are any medical issues with a child. They will translate records, help you to learn what to expect etc.

Then, they talked about the red flags to watch out for when looking into adoption. They are: be careful of anyone who doesn't have a contract when working with them (international or domestic), if anything sounds to good to be true, check it out, check out references, check with the BBB, attorney general offices, be cautious of anyone asking for money up front.

All in all, it was a very good primer for those who are interested in looking into adoption.

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