This is a clip from an episode of Life Report called “Local Experts Clarify Domestic and International Adoption.” In this episode I interviewed Stephanie Grant, Executive Director of Infant of Prague Adoption Services, and Laurel Boylan, Founder of God’s Waiting Children.
In this clip, I asked them to talk about the common resentment between families that have adopted domestically and internationally.
Click the embedded video and it will start at the right place in the interview. This particular topic ends at 19:00.
If you don’t want to watch the 4-minute video, you can read the full transcript below.
Josh Brahm: I met a guy named Kevin that I bought a crib from on Craigslist. So I drove way out there and I met this guy who’s a super-cool guy, and he had this great crib for us. He’s an international adoptive parent, and I don’t remember how many, I think they had three or four from China, and he was telling me his story, and he said something really interested that I had never heard. He said that his wife knew other people that have adopted domestically and that some families that have done domestic adoption kind of look down on them because they did international, and then he said this can happen the other way, too — some international families will look down on people that only adopted domestically. And so there’s this animosity and he was expressing some, not just frustration but, like, sadness. I think he said, “I don’t have any problem with people that adopt domestically,” so, I would like both of you to kind of speak to that. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this before, but what would you tell families that have some of these feelings that are kind of anti-the opposite kind of adoption that they did.
Stephanie Grant: I’d say that adoption is beautiful. It’s a wonderful entity, but like we said before, it’s not a one-size-fits-all and every family has to figure out what’s going to be the best fit for them, and you know from fost-adopt to domestic adoption, to international, they’re all very different. But they’re all beautiful and wonderful and to bring in a child into your home… and I know Laurel, just from personal experience you can probably speak more to that as an adoptive mom. And adopting both internationally and domestically, she’s an expert in that area just right in her home.
I would say, I kind of equate it with people that looked down on my husband I when we put our children in Christian high school, or when we homeschooled for a bit. People can be a little bit judgmental about somebody else that chooses something different than themselves, and I and I think that adoption, because there are so many misconceptions, it’s really important to educate people when we have the information and I think with more information people will be able to see beyond some of those biases and negativity.
I know there’s no judgment here for somebody who wants to go international or go fost-adopt. I worked in the foster care system. There are a lot of kids who need a permanent home in that arena. A specific type of adoption is not right for everybody. You have to figure out what’s going to be a good fit.
Laurel Boylan: I couldn’t agree more [about] being educated about every option. We have five adopted children, my husband and I. We’ve done both the domestic open adoption as well as international, and our reasoning for doing domestic first was because neither of us had had a biological child. We really wanted an infant. We kind of wanted to go through parenting the natural way. Once we experienced the infant we were okay with adopting waiting children, and in our case we were in our late thirties, approaching forty. We didn’t necessarily want to start with infants the whole way so we adopted a two-year-old and a three-year-old and then, a year later, went back and adopted a six-year-old and an almost eight-year-old. And so, our reasons were personal. They had to do with age and just what was right for our family and that’s why I tell them that there is no right or wrong. It depends on you, your desires, your openness to international travel, your openness to chaos, which can happen in any adoption but especially when you’re dealing with foreign governments. I just encourage people to get educated on everything and make the adoption plan that feels good to them.
Download Full Interview (MP3) | 00:28:00
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Special thanks to Benjamin Baxter for the transcription.