Can I share our adoption story? It’s really very exciting, finally.
My husband and I have been trying to adopt our little girl for over two years. It’s been complicated. When her bio parents lost custody of her she was our foster child for nearly a year, along with 2 of her siblings. When time came for permanent placement of the children, she and her baby brother were placed with a bio aunt and uncle for adoption.
Aunt and Uncle wanted little brother – not so much big sister. She visited with us frequently and for long periods of time. Finally, we decided to ask for legal guardianship/adoption of her ourselves. Since Aunt and Uncle didn’t want her, we thought it would be easy. The state refused to separate the children.
We backed off, they had full custody and proceeded with their adoption of her and little brother. The day her adoption was final, she came to live with us under a “Caregiver’s Authorization Affadavit”. That was in January 2005 and she was almost 8 years old.
We waited a few months, then hired a paralegal to file an adoption petition. We paid all the adoption fees and had her “parents” waive their parental rights. We went before a judge -- he refused to terminate their rights. He said that if he terminated their rights it would reverse their adoption of her and place her back in the custody of her bio parents. He suggested we pursue legal guardianship and a legal name change. We did.
Again, we went before the judge. He said that in order to acquire legal guardianship of a child, we needed consent of all living relatives - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. Well, by virtue of her prior adoption, her bio MOM is now her AUNT and refused to give consent.
Two failed attempts to make her ours. And LOTS of money.
Now, we are working with California Social Services out of Oakland. We hired a “Placement Provider” to meet with her parents and have them sign a “placement agreement” giving her to us. We signed the same paper accepting her from them. And we gave everyone a LOT more money. I talked to our social worker today. She guarantees us a court date before July 17th.
And to our excitement, the ministers and elders of our church came to visit us on Monday night. They brought us a check from an endowment at our church which will cover about 1/3 of our adoption expenses.
We are feeling very blessed.