Sunday, March 9, 2014

Homestudy and Transracial Adoption

In February, we had all of our homestudy meetings with our counselor, Katie.  We also turned in a giant pile of paperwork...
Office Kitty is not impressed with our papers
...recorded a video of the two of us that will go online with our profile where we answered the typical questions of "What do you like about your spouse?" and "Why does openness appeal to you?"...
Oh dear god, never do an image search on "openness."  Kids, the internets are scary.

...and then we also talked a lot with Katie about some major adoption topics like transracial adoption, attachment, and exposures.  Since we have plenty of time coming up and will review some of these later, I'll keep this focused on transracial adoption.

What does transracial adoption actually mean?
It's a fancy term for when you adopt a child of a race different from your own.  For us, Andy and I are both white.  A transracial adoption for us means that we could be adopting a child that is hispanic, asian, african american, etc.  The end result is that the child may look obviously different from us.  Looking at our first child, Dominic is a white baby that easily fits into the societal mold where people can easily assume that we are his parents.

With two dads and an old brother that are white, some of these kids might look the same as us while others would look different and be confusing to people that don't know our family
Even the folks from Avenue Q tell us that our family
will be judged at least a little bit whether we're a
transracial family or if we're all white
One point that really stuck out the most to me is that our future family could all be together in one place (Andy, myself, Dominic, and a future little brother or sister), and someone walks up and talks to Dominic about his "friend".  Thinking about how we perceive families, typically a child that looks different would normally be a friend or relative rather than part of the family.  It's something that would come up over and over again: at the grocery store, at security with TSA when we fly anywhere, on the playground, at school, and many other instances.  These are situations where adoptive parents and children are outside of societal norms and need to educate those around them.  For our family, we're already a little unique and adding one more layer of depth to our family isn't really that big of a deal to us!

So looking ahead, where are we at in the process?

  • Information Meeting
  • Pre-Adoption Seminar
  • Application Submission
  • Application & Intake Interview
  • Homestudy Interview #1
  • Homestudy Interview #2
  • Homestudy Interview #3
  • Homestudy Interview #4
  • Homestudy Completion
  • Pool Entry
  • Waiting in the Pool [0 months to 2+ years]
  • Chosen by Birthfamily

  • We're moving right along!  There are still several weeks of wrapping up our homestudy and getting background checks done by the FBI.  Beyond that, we also need to write and prepare all of our materials for our online profile for the OA&FS website.  Still a fair amount of work left, but we're likely less than 3 months away from the pool and should be "swimming" with Charley the Waiting pool whale again before summer starts!


    1. I had forgotten about Charley. :) Also - props for working an Avenue Q reference into the blog. Love that show!

    2. Hah glad you liked it! I almost linked the entire video of that song, but then decided that I shouldn't since it has absolutely nothing to do with adoption :)

    3. We are thinking about going with this agency. Why are there 4 homestudy interviews?!!! Most agencies I've looked at have only 2 before placement. Also, indies this agency use just a portfolio book or do you also need to do a video profile? I'm guessing you love the agency, since you've used it twice. So it's good to know it's recommended.

    4. We definitely recommend OA&FS! I don't know the specifics behind the 4 homestudy interviews, but I believe they need to do two in-home interviews by law. The one-on-one interviews that are part of the homestudy help them ensure that both adoptive parents are on board with the concept of open adoption to forge a strong connection between the counselor and each parent.

      The photo books are required but the videos included with many of the online profiles are optional. We did one because it's so easy to do. Just two questions and our counselor let us do two separate takes. Our answers weren't pre-planned or scripted. Super easy!