Mary Louise Parker Opens Up About Ash's Adoption

06/19/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Neilson Barnard/Gett

The term dinner party takes on a whole new meaning in the Parker household! Appearing on the cover of Web MD‘s May issue, Mary Louise Parker proudly declares herself a balanced parent, “from permissive to disciplinarian,” adding that she provides a sense of structure for both William Atticus, 5 ½, and Caroline ‘Ash’ Aberash, 2 ½.

While she keeps a strict bedtime and is a stickler for manners, Mary Louise is also known for her impromptu dance parties. “Sometimes we’ll get up in the middle of dinner and have a dance party just because there’s music on and everybody’s happy,” she says. The fun doesn’t stop there for her children — the 44-year-old mom nurtures their artistic talents as well!

“There’s also one wall in my living room that the kids are allowed to paint on, and sometimes we’ll empty all the food that’s gone bad out of the refrigerator, put it in a bucket, mash it around, call it witches’ brew.”

Expanding her family of two with the adoption of her daughter in 2007, Mary Louise, admits undertaking the responsibility as a single mother was intimidating to say the least! “I finally just decided, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this, and it’s going to be really hard because I’m single, and I’m going to do it anyway,” she shares. Initially concentrating on Vietnam as her country of choice, when the actress was approached about the possibility of a child from Ethiopia, she never looked back. “It had never occurred to me before, but … I wanted to go somewhere where there was a need,” she explains.

“It’s not like I only wanted to enlarge my family. I really wanted to give a child a home.”

Despite her complete devotion to bringing baby girl home, Mary Louise admits both her and Ash faced criticism following their return. “Somebody asked what her name was, and I told them Aberash,” she recalls. “They said, ‘Did you make that up or did she come with that?’ Like she was a car!” That said, the proud mama was determined to keep her little girl’s name — the only gift, she says, the child had left from her biological mother.

“I can’t give her a locket, a picture, a letter — that’s it. That’s profound to me and I don’t want to rob her of it.”

William is the actress’ only child with actor Billy Crudup.

Source: Web MD; May issue

– Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Jas on

I love her take on keeping Ash’s original name.

Anon on

I love Mary Louise Parker, I think she’s fantastic.

crimpe on

I’m curious why she felt the need to give her a first name if she was so struck by the profound gift of a name from the birth mother. I think Caroline is just fine, but why not make it her middle name? I am not trying to stir up trouble, and yes I am aware that she calls her daughter Ash, the nickname from Aberash. I also think that keeping one wall free to be painted on is fantastic. I’d love to be able to do that.

Anon on

Maybe she felt the need to give her a western name that she has the option of going by? A lot of people with funky or culturally different names can be judged harshly when it comes to college and job applications. Maybe she was trying to help the child out in that sense? Both kids have a very straight laced first named and a unique middle name.

Cath on

If I remember correctly from a previous article, Caroline is the name of Mary-Louise’s mother – so maybe she was trying to give her daughter a connection to her family, while also preserving the connection to her biological family. I personally love her choice – and I love Mary-Louise so much!

Lis on

“…sometimes we’ll empty all the food that’s gone bad out of the refrigerator, put it in a bucket, mash it around, call it witches’ brew.”

Gross. Wouldn’t that stink like crazy?

Aside from that, I really enjoyed the article.

Momof3 on

Don’t people realize there is a need right here in the United States for children to be adopted??

Adore1 on

Momof3 Says:

So why dont u open your home for the American kids that need adoption and stop ragging on other who chose otherwise

Mrs. R. on

Momof3…
of course people realize there is a need here. But everyone makes their own choices, and a child in need is a child in need – regardless of race or nationality.

Geomom on

Momof3, I don’t think choosing one country over another means that people don’t realize that other countries are needy as well (although it is arguable that there is a true “need” here in America, given that many parents here wait for years to adopt an American baby – there aren’t really many babies available). It just means that they are willing to travel far and wide to bring home the son or daughter who is meant to be with them. Mary Louise’s daughter was waiting for her in Ethiopia, so that’s where she went. I think its beautiful.

Jenny on

There are also a lot of laws and red tape in America. It is unfortunate, but it scares a lot of people off. For example (at least in CA) the birth mother can take the baby back for the entire first year. Can you imagine adopting a baby and then having it taken away?

JMO on

There is a need for kids to be adopted in every country and sometimes it is actually harder here in the US to get a baby then it is elsewhere. Many kids in the US are also locked in the court systems for years. A lot of times infants in other countries are left abandoned because the parents die therefore there is not much legality involved.

Obviously MLP followed her heart and found her child just like Angie did with hers. I am sure there are tons of people who focus on adopting in their own country first but when all else fails why not try another place.

crimpe on

Oh, Momof3, them’s fightin’ words on this site. But you are stating what many people do wonder. Many people prefer to adopt a baby, as was the case with Mary Louise, not an older child. Also, I have had many friends tell me that they are leery of the foster system (through which many children can be adopted in a more rapid timeframe) because of the fact that many of these older children come from difficult backgrounds. Private adoption in this country can be expensive. And the most common explanation I have heard is that with foreign adoption, there is the greatest guarantee that all ties with the birth parents are completely severed.

Anon on

People can adopt from wherever they feel compelled to adopt from. I plan to adopt from India and Guyana for my own personal reasons.

Jacquie on

Lis – yes, it would stink but it would be a lot of fun and a great time for imaginary play with her kids. Just like making mud pies – incredibly messy but a great learning experience and fun!

aroundtheywaygirl on

Momof3. Have you adopted any children in America? Are you registered to be a foster parent? Are you willing to adopt or will adopt in America? If not then you should not have different expectations for other people. All children without families deserve loving homes with wonderful parents. Adoption is not a country versus country contest.

Lucy on

Momof3, if you feel so strongly about adopting a child in the US then you do it. We live in what I like to believe is united world, where no nationality is more important than another. The children in the US, as much as they are “our own” are living a moderately good life compared to those waiting to be adopted in the third world. That’s if they ever are. They face hunger, sickness, death, lack of education… Little Zahara was deathly sick when adopted and thank God she was. Like millions of other children that are adopted each day.

No one should feel as though they “owe it to our country” to adopt from the US. There’s so much red tape, and for some who cannot have biological children, their desire is so great they will adopt their child(ren) wherever they can and good for them!

Sanja on

I love it that she kept Ash’s birth name, and also named her after her mother Caroline. I can’t imagine changing the baby’s name if you’ve been introduced to them by that name, especially with older children. I’m usually a big fan of Brangelina, but didn’t like it that they changed Pax’s name after adoption since he was old enough to respond and know his old name.

I couldn’t even change my dog’s name when I got her from the shelter, lol. And even though it’s not a name I’d have chosen, I can’t imagine calling her anything else now.

paula on

Momof3, just wondering which one of your 3 YOU adopted from the U.S?
When we adopted our son from Russia, we changed his first name to my father’s name (I always wanted to name my first son after my father) and kept his Russian name as his middle name. I know many adoptive families who have done something similar.

Sarah K. on

Momof3, I sincerely hope that you adopted from the U.S. But even if you did, it’s not really anyone’s place to tell someone else where they should adopt from. Adoption is way to personal a choice.

heather on

I love what she says about the name- we long ago decided that when we adopt we will do something similar, probably combine a name from our family with the name the child’s birth family bestowed. To one of the posters above, i have a feeling that she gave her another first name, though she obviously uses Ash’s birth name as her given name, because she wanted to combine family ties- but also, I wonder if it is because of prejudice, and she knew that by giving her an “america” name, people at least wouldn’t make immediate assumptions based o looking at her name ( Ihad friends that did this with the thought of future college applications in mind)

Celia on

All children are equal in my eyes. If Momof3 or anyone else feels strongly about adopting a child from the US then I suggest they do just that. Actions will also speak louder than words. Criticizing those who found their families in other parts of the world is not helping the many American children waiting for loving homes. If you really want to help an American child then please bring one into your home. Make him or her part of your family through adoption or by fostering.

Megan on

I always wonder why people judge other’s family building in one situation but not in others. If you feel strongly about adopting from within the US, why do you criticise those that adopt abroad and not those that give birth? Neither the child adopted abroad nor the birthed child were adopted from the US, why do you find one so much more offensive than the other? And for the record, more Americans adopt domestically than internationally.

I myself have one son from Ethiopia and am in the process to adopt #2 domestically, not because I feel either child is more needy or deserving but because that’s where I felt led.

As for my first adoption process, we also looked into adopting from VietNam first. How funny! And we also got disparaging remarks about my son’s Ethiopian name, Tariku, which we love and have kept (along with his Ethiopian surname) as a middle name. We had a name picked out and really wanted to name our first child, but also wanted to keep his Ethiopian name. It was a hard decision to move his first name to a middle name when we changed it, and one we thought was almost hypocritical seeing as how we said how much we loved it. It worked better for him, though, since he was adopted as a toddler and had so much trauma tied up in hearing his Ethiopian name. Every time we’d say it he’d cry. Definitely better that he had another name to call him by!

Momof3 on

People really can’t express their opinions on here, can they?? I left a simple comment and everyone jumps on it!!! I was in no way being rude or harsh or “ragging” on someone adopting from another country. A simple comment people, that’s all I made…….

Sarah K. on

Momof3, just as you are free to state your opinion, everyone else is equally free to disagree. It’s a two way street. Your comments came across as rather accusatory as if no one adopts domestically any more or even recognizes the need. As Megan said, Americans still turn to domestic adoption more than international.

crimpe on

I appreciate that she gave her daughter her mother’s name. Ash’s full name is beautiful. Personally I don’t agree with proposed arguments that children should be given “American” (Western European?) names so that their ethnic or unusual names don’t hold them back. That reminds me of the tiresome argument that one should not have a child with someone outside of your own race because it is too difficult for the child, in society’s eyes. I think of names such as Oprah, Condoleezza, Denzel, and oh my gosh, Barack Obama. Your child, your choice of name.

Erica on

I like MLP’s take on her daughter’s name situation. It’s a sad reality that people are judged in many ways depending on their names, and a prevalent example of this is how many immigrants have “Americanized” the spelling and/or pronunciation of their last name upon arrival in the U.S. I do think our society as a whole is a bit more enlightened nowadays, but not to the point where the name Aberash (which I think is perfectly fine) wouldn’t draw criticism.

someday mom on

I was having the american vs. international adoption conversation with a friend today and she said something about how celebs don’t adopt from America. We actually made a list off the top our heads of the celebrities who are American and have adopted but only counted those with kids under age 18.

International adoptions:
Brad & Angelina, Mary Louise Parker, Madonna, Meg Ryan

American adoptions:
Nia Vardolos, Sheryl Crow, Edie Falco, DeMarcus Ware, Kirk Cameron (I think all his adoptions are from America), Sharon Stone, Calista Flockhart, Rosie O’Donnell, Diane Keaton, Kirstie Alley, Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg

Obviously I’ve missed a few on both lists but it doesn’t look like American kids are getting the short end of the stick to me. Adoption is a good thing no matter where the child comes from and I hope to adopt someday too.

P.S.
My friend no longer thinks that celebs only adopt from America.LOL

Megan on

“sometimes we’ll empty all the food that’s gone bad out of the refrigerator, put it in a bucket, mash it around, call it witches’ brew”

If she’s got that much food going bad (more than once, apparently), she needs to buy / prepare less food or change what type of food is bought to begin with : /

Amber on

I think it’s wonderful that she kept Ash’s birth name. I am adopted, and my parents chose to keep my birth name. 26 years later I reunited with my birth parents, and my birth mother couldn’t believe that I went by the name she had chosen. She was so happy and touched. It’s a great link between parent and child, even when they have separated.

sdfsd on

“Don’t people realize there is a need right here in the United States for children to be adopted??”

Don’t people realize that not everyone is ABLE to adopt in the US? Seriously, do your homework before bashing someone.

sdfsd on

“I left a simple comment and everyone jumps on it!!! I was in no way being rude or harsh or “ragging” on someone adopting from another country.”

Then what exactly were you doing? Your comment was full of snark and ignorance.

Gigohead on

I never knew she adopted a little girl. Good for her. It’s great for her little boy to have a sibling.

jessie on

i love that she kept a part of her daughter’s culture in her name. if i ever adopt internationally i’d also keep the child’s name or use it as a middlename, since that would be their only connection to their birthland, unless they decide to learn the language in school.as far as momof3, i don’t think she meant any harm by her comment,no need to bite anyone’s head off.

JMO on

I know someone that adopted 3 girls from China and all the girls have their given names as their middle names but all got new first names. So they still have that tie to their homeland. But most of the girls in China are given names by the orphanages not really by their parents bc sadly most are left abandoned on the steps of the orphanages. I remember when she got her first they didn’t evne know her real birthdate they had to make a guess and use that on her birth certificate.

Anon on

Do you know how much flack, Condoleezza got for her name growing up? Its simply practicality, people especially people of color are judged by their names. As anyone named Tyriq, Shaquanna, Loan Fawn, Leek Isaiah, Kadeem Al Shariq..(these being people i know, who talk about the difficulties of having non western names in the US). I know its just your opinion and I understand it, but I think the reality of the world is more important than how it *should* be.

Jane Rudolph on

How come celebrities don’t realize there is a huge need for adoption right here in our country? We may be the United States but we have children starving, without an education and without any hope. Why doesn’t anyone feel the need to help them? I did, I adopted from the U.S.

cassie on

Sanja, according to a Vietnamese person on Pittwatch.com ,the name Pax had at the orphanage was equivalent to John Doe. When babies are abandoned they give them like Mary Doe, Mike Doe etc and there is a stigma attached to the name. So often if and when they are adopted the name is changed. Maybe some who has an Vietnamese child can weigh in on this issue (name change)

Sanja on

cassie -I know that many children in orphanages are named by officials (I volunteer at one and they try to give each child a different name so there is no confusion when they call them), but they are still called by that name and identify with it, so I can’t imagine getting used to being called by another name after years of being ‘John’ (+ learning a new language in Pax’s case).

And what’s wrong with being a Mike or a Jane? The child’s last name would definitely change in any case, so it wouldn’t be ‘John Doe’, it’d be ‘John Jolie-Pitt’. (all the names are just in theory)

Kari on

We are adopting 3 siblings (10, 7, 5) from Ethiopia for these reasons (which apply to other African third-world countries, Haiti, parts of Asia, etc.):

There are 6 million orphans in Ethiopia.
-Take all of the kids under 18 from NY, MA and DC and you would have the amount of orphans that a country roughly the size of Oregon houses. (There are 500,000 kids in foster care in the ENTIRE US- they are housed, clothed, fed and go to school.)

There is no free education in Ethiopia and most families can never afford to send their children to school.

1 in 6 kids will die before their first birthday. 2 in 6 by their fifth birthday.

Most children have one outfit and they wear it until they outgrow it. Then a younger sibling wears it.

Kids are orphans for these reasons: AIDS, civil war in the 90s, lack of clean water, malaria and starvation.

We have already adopted from Haiti. You want to see a sad country?? Go to Haiti. Don’t forget the UN escort that is usually required. Seriously. It’s in the WESTERN HEMISPHERE, a mere 4 hour plane trip- right by all the fancy islands rich westerners frequent. And yet kids die in the streets like dogs. There are baby rooms at the hospital where abandoned infants are taken and dumped. They are left without care, without supervision, without food and water. When (IF) an orphanage has a room, they will come by and take the babies that aren’t dead yet. You think I am joking? Google it.

The reality is, people, is that you need to get the fancy car seat covers, $800 strollers, $300 diaper bags out of your head and realize that there are over 150 million orphans in the world who will never know the luxury of a family, a home, a decent meal or a long life. Most people in the developing world live on $2 a day. Think of how far a little of your money would go next time you are buying yet another outfit for your kids.

Go Mary Louise!!!!!!!

lafokinmoda on

Kari, So sad and so true. I think most people would rather not accept that harsh reality and choose not to think about it.

Sarah K. on

Jane Rudolph, there have been plenty of celebrities who adopted domestically as someday mom already pointed out. Her list on the domestic side was a lot longer than the international side. I guess people only see what they want to see.

gaia's mommadukes on

Right on kari!

DJE on

Right on indeed!! We have adopted 5 times and are in the process of our 6th thre the foster care system, not an easy life for any of our kids. They are all doing well now, but for some it has been very hard, thanks to reactive attachment issues from being in the system for years!! Our oldest son was given a new name for various reasons, one being that he wasn’t given a name, just initials, he is 16 now (adopted at age 7) and he thanked us the other day for taking the time to name him!! Hesaid it made him feel great knowing that his “real” mom and dad got to name him, first and last name, love my boy!! Adoption issuch a wonderful way to show your love, anyway one does it is wonderful.

Illinoisan on

The truth is, some of these celebrities want exotic looking children. There was an actress named Josephine Baker who adopted kids from all around the world to have a cultural rainbow family and she collected children of every color. Her adoption was based on race, as are some. I think adoption is a great thing, though, it doesn’t matter where you adopt from, it shows that you are willing to help a child that has no parent or has a parent that does not care or is unable to care for them, whether you base the adoption on race or not. I think that babies that are not exotic need just as much love as the ones that are exotic.

Sarah K. on

Where is the criticism of people who don’t adopt at all? I find it ridiculous that people who adopt internationally are accused of following a trend or wanting an “exotic baby.” They are giving a home to a child who would otherwise not have one.

When she had a biological child, did anyone accuse Mary Louise of selfishly bringing another child into this world when there are so many homeless kids out there? Of course not, because that would be ridiculous. But when she does choose to bring a parentless child into her home, people jump on her for not picking the right country? I love how choosing NOT to help a child is a better alternative to helping one from a different country.

And quite frankly, the facts peak for themselves. More Americans choose domestic adoptions. Plenty of celebrities also choose domestic adoption (see Megan’s list). Only a handful of celebrities have actually chosen international adoption. Not exactly, a “trend”

Kari on

lafokinmoda, gaia’s mommadukes, DJE- Thanks for the support! :)Sarah K- I totally agree with you! When my husband and I started our adoption journey, we always got the most annoying comments.

“Why are you adopting?? Why Haiti? Why Ethiopia? Why won’t you have ‘regular’ kids?” UGH!! We never got: “Good for you! What a wonderful thing to do. I am so glad you are making your family through adoption. ETC ETC.” Nope… We never heard those remarks!!

People don’t think anything of having 6 kids through in vitro- that doesn’t faze alot of people now. But us adopting interracially instead of getting pregnant caused us a lot of grief and we even lost friends over it. It’s a sad thing when people become so narrow-minded that they don’t realize anything beyond the scope of themselves and what they think is “normal”. We didn’t set out to adopt to be different or have “exotic” looking kids. We didn’t do it for religious reasons, infertility reasons or to attract attention to ourselves. We adopted to mother and father parentless children. We adopted to free up a few more spots at the orphanage so that they could take more children in. We adopted to give children a chance at life- medical care, education, love, and parents who try and renew their faith in a world that didn’t treat them so kindly.

If I wanted to follow a “trend”, I would buy an iphone. That’s a heck of a lot less expensive and less emotionally undemanding than adopting, my friends.

P.S. Good luck on your newest adoption, DJE! Your kids are wonderfully lucky to have you!

Also, I agree when MLP said that the only gift her daughter had from her mother is her name. I totally get that and we also used their birth names as their middle names. However, they like having a name we also chose for them too. We used family names (the names of our deceased dads- we both lost ours young) and it means a lot to them having names that mean so much to us.

Marsha on

For those of you who say adopt in the U.S., it is not that simple. For instance, my sister and her husband are 20 years apart in age. They have 2 biological sons and wanted to add a daughter to their family. Well, they were told that my brother-in-law was out of the age range to be an adoptive father. So, they looked into international adoptions. Unfortunately, this proved to be incredibly expensive. So, they decided to become foster parents which can sometimes lead to adoption. They received a one-month old infant girl born to a crack-addict mother. My sister and her family fell in love with this little girl and got her happy and healthy. They had all intentions of adopting this child. Then when the child was 18 months old, the birth mother regained custody after doing time in rehab. Well, as you can imagine, my sister and her family were heartbroken. About 6 months later, the birth mother’s boyfriend was put in jail for raping this little girl. So, after this happened, my sister and her family lost faith in the foster care system and gave up being foster parents and their dream to become adoptive parents through fostering just died. So, I can totally understand why people choose to go outside the U.S. to adopt a child. So before saying a remark, ” Adopt in the U.S.” think about why some people don’t want to take the risk.

crimpe on

Marsha, your sister’s story demonstrates how important foster care is in this country. I have many friends who have adopted children through foster, and their experiences have varied, but they have all had very positive results. I have friends who have continued to foster, with no intention to adopt. Another friend adopted a newborn domestically through private adoption, she now fosters newborns with the goal being to provide the best care before the baby is reunited with the birth parent/s or adopted out.

Wynn on

Crimpe- Maybe your friend can simply foster a child and not get emotionally attached to them, not start seeing the child as part of the family and is able to give the child up freely. However, if you are fostering with the intent to adopt, it is a vicious cycle that can more often than not leave one heartbroken and terribly angry at such a broken system that ultimately fails the children themselves. Seriously- there are only 500,000 (out of a country of 280 million) children in the foster care system (it’s on their national website) and they receive medical care, housing, schooling and nutrition. No, it is not always the best situation and some people are not adequate foster parents but they are so much better off than other kids in the world. The problem is, because most of them are not true orphans like the other 150 million kids in the world needing homes, the birth parents can come back and claim them like Marsha said. And, for some of the above comments, most adoptive parents don’t adopt from other countries to not have birth parent contact. In fact, when you go to pick up your child, the really good agencies try and bring a living relative for you to meet and often families correspond with the relatives, sending them pictures of the child and updates in the following years. Most children are put up for adoption because they are true orphans- AIDS, famine, disease taking away their parents and their relatives simply can’t afford another mouth to feed.

I always think it’s ridiculous that with the staggering number of orphans abroad (true orphans, living in appalling conditions), that people would even bring up the relatively small number of children available for adoption in this country. So many of them are broken by years of parental neglect and problems that the best thing for them is a structured group home and counseling, not a young, inexperienced family wanting to take them in. Orphans from other parts of the world tend to be well-loved and cared for by their nurses in the orphanage and although they don’t have much at all and life is harsh for them, they still grow up with a better disposition that makes them more readily adoptable than kids here, since they usually stay with relatives as long as possible and have that familial bond.

It’s hard to explain for those that want to close their minds, but I am a social worker and have seen first hand the differences. I think it’s lovely whenever a child gets a home. People who take in troubled or special needs children and who can manage them are saints in my book. Unfortunately, many times the enormity of their problems aren’t fully understood by people and we all know the state doesn’t offer adequate training and preparation, so it is a hard and tough cycle.

Marsha- I am so sorry about your sister and her family. Many African countries have very relaxed age requirements (unlike China, Russia, etc) because they have such a vast amount of orphans. You may want to tell you sister (if their hearts are still in it at all) to check into new programs such as Ghana, Liberia (which is temporarily on hold for some slight restructuring but will be back soon), Rwanda and even older programs such as Ethiopia. They are much more cost efficient (oftentimes half the price, but each agency determines their own fees so shop around) as opposed to Guatemala, China, Russia, etc. and only one trip is required, not two. There are many children there needing forever families. Check out rainbowkids.com for a small sampling of waiting children, adoption agency info, country requirements, etc. The website was founded by an adoptive mom for the sole purpose of helping others- I am in no way affliated with it but I think it’s a great resource. Also, there are many adoption grants and specialized loans available to help as well. Adoption is not as unreachable as people think! Hope this helped and good luck to your sister!

Tom on

Wynn,

Good advice, as is Kari’s. As an adoptive dad, I am always happy when other people are so well-informed and don’t have the common misnomers that others do.

Also, people that adopt babies in this country wait. And wait. And wait. You are essentially waiting for the perfect (usually white) baby to fall in your lap because some teenager became pregnant. Is that wrong? No. But what has always bothered me is the incredible number of children already in this world who need a home. Babies that sleep 5 to a crib. Babies whose moms died and they have no one. NO ONE. Older kids who grow up their whole lives with no parents and who are turned out of the orphanage at 16 simply to repeat the tragic cycle of their ill-fated parents. I just think it’s a shame that so many people don’t look beyond the elusive perfect white baby and see the true children in need.

Tom (dad to 4: 2 from our bodies and 2 from our hearts)

CrystalDex on

Mary Louise is such a doll. Those children will be blessed with such a great momma.

I myself have no problem with people adopting overseas, as long as they try to adopt in the United States first. People are always griping about “buying American made” well how about something, someone, who is American made, does that clause not apply to our living and breathing future of this country?

Our children in this country should come first to us. IMO, too many people want babies and are scared off by the foster home “tainted” children, that have already had a dose of how cruel life can truly be.
I am not saying that adopting babies is wrong, but not wanting a child of any age is.

So I read here that 500,000 out of 280 mil are in the foster care system in the US… that is a big problem not a minute one.

crimpe on

Wynn – please don’t minimize those who provide foster care. My friend who fosters newborns does so because she feels strongly about giving back. She has a child she adopted as a newborn, before fostering. She does not intend to adopt these newborns. Of course she feels emotions for them. My friend who continues to foster children after having adopted through the system provides a good home for the children who need it. I am not suggesting that adopting through foster is “better” than international adoption. Kids are kids. Adoption is a wonderful thing. I will point out that claiming that children up for adoption in other countries “have a better disposition” is a bizarre statement. And for what it’s worth, I’ve known three different people who have adopted from Russia and Eastern Europe who have endured years of therapies due to attachment issues as well as serious heath problems that were not disclosed. The children are very fortunate to have been adopted. But let’s stop being so sanctimonious about the choices we make.

Alesha on

Yeah MLP, congrats to you & your family. Good for you!!!!

Wynn on

Crimpe- yes, as was already stated, many families choose to adopt from Africa because unlike many Eastern European kids, they tend to be much more well-adjusted and not have so many attachment disorders. Most agencies will tell you this and you can google it if you feel the need to. I apologize if I didn’t state the country the first time, but that is what I was referring to. There is a need for fostering, but fostering babies like your friend does with no adoption or attachment in mind is MUCH different than fostering a family of teenagers who have been abused, neglected, etc. and the foster parents don’t have the right training or the right expectations of what they are getting into so ultimately many times the children are failed yet again. I say this as a social worker and as the wife of a D.A. as we live this every day. Until you spend years trying to fight the system, you really have no place to comment as you have never even fostered yourself. For a first time parent who wants a child through adoption, most social workers will recommend a non-foster system adoption unless all ties have been severed with the previous family and the child will be in no danger of a vicious tug-of-war for years. That is not healthy for the child to become attached and bounce around, nor is it healthy for the prospective parent. The situation can be life-shattering for both. My comments never suggested anything otherwise.

crimpe on

Wynn, you are not the only person who works in the system. You seem rather presumptuous, as you know nothing about me. I suppose it is necessary to add that 4 of the couples who have adopted through foster and from Russia were gay and had fewer adoption options open to them. Foster families do indeed receive training and resources. Until you can single-handedly cure the foster system in this country I think it irresponsible and rather antisocial to dissuade people from fostering.

Wynn on

I wasn’t dissuading. Simply put- if you are prepared, emotionally ready and go into it knowing an adoption many not be possible, then you will probably do a very good job. It is the first time parents, the ones who are wanting a baby so badly and are so excited thinking it is a sure thing, who get heartbroken when it all falls apart and the baby gets wrenched away from them to return to the broken home it came from simply because a judge thinks the child should be with it’s “mother”, and I use that term loosely. Sorry you are so offended when you aren’t living this every day. I won’t respond anymore because some people you just can’t win with.

crimpe on

Wynn, look up “presumptuous.” Also, there is no winning or losing here.

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