Jillian Michaels: Adoption ‘An Incredibly Long Process’

05/11/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Jason Kempin/WireImage

When her final season with The Biggest Loser ends this month, tough trainer Jillian Michaels isn’t planning taking it easy. She’s heading straight overseas to visit the troops before joining the casts of The Doctors and Dr. Phil.

But despite all the activity, she says her main focus is going forward with her adoption plans.

“I’m in the midst of the adoption process at the moment,” Michaels, 37, told PEOPLE at the American Society of Magazine Editors awards on Monday. “It is an incredibly long process.”

Michaels confirms that she’s applied to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo in a new pilot program. “I’m terrified that [the country] will close, so I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best and give it to God.”

After recently turning in a dossier with all her paperwork, Michaels is now waiting for final approval and the next steps. “It’s a waiting game,” she said.

Michaels is keeping busy while she waits by traveling to the Middle East with the USO and working on an initiative to help soldiers’ families.

“I want to go over, thank them, show them my appreciation and support,” she explains. “And, simultaneously work on a campaign where we can literally support them with goods and supplies that they need to get by.”

Not one to sit tight, Michaels is tackling impending motherhood with the same intensity that she brings to training and says she’s not nervous about becoming a parent.

“I’m just ready. There’s this line in When Harry Met Sally that I love more than anything: ‘When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start right now.’ And so, now that I know that I want to be a mother, I’m ready to be a mother right now. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m scared but I’m eager and ready for it when it comes.”

– Asher Fogle

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 187 comments

Hannahsmom on

Good for her; hope it all works out soon. That is bound to be one fit kid!

terri on

Why the Congo or any place other than USA. We have many children who need moms and homes right here in the States.

Anonymous on

Why Congo or anywhere outside of the US? Because you are pretty much guaranteed a child. Not all foster children are available for adoption. Two couples in my neighborhood have been attempting to adopt via social services for over five years now and have not been placed with a child yet and we have a booming foster system.

In addition, when trying to adopt an older child, the child often has a say and my cousin was heartbroken when the ten-year-old who had lived with her and her husband almost a year decided she did not want to be adopted.

Domestic adoption is neither as easy or as straightforward as it appears. Why do people have to judge based on where a child is coming from? A child, any child will receive a good home. So let’s just be happy for that, shall we?

Erika on

So happy for her! She is one of the most wonderful people out there, and you can tell, just by the way she cares about the contestants on the biggest loser! It takes an exceptional person to be able to do what she does every day. I am sure she will be a fabulous mother, and I can’t wait to see her with a child. I hope it happens quickly for her!

Nancy on

Terri, before you make an ignorant comment like that, research domestic adoption. I HATE it when people say that when they do not know what they are talking about.

Almost all kids in foster care (and available for adoption)in the US are in sibling groups or have experienced abuse of some kind. Do you know in this country how hard it is for the state to relinquish birthmothers rights?

Domestic open adoption is very lengthy and the birthmother not only gets to pick the parents out, but they can have contact with the child throughout their lives. Some adoptive parents do not want that.

In other countries, there is more poverty so more kids are available for adoption. They all come with some challenges but you are able to get children healthy and young in some cases.

I adopted internationally and it was the best child our family could have hoped for. ALL children deserve loving families!!

Congrats Jillian and I will be interested to hear about your wonderful experience in the Congo.

Toya L. on

Good luck to her, I hope all goes well.

kris on

Not only that, but its hard to adopt small children here. Everyone would rather get an abortion then give their kids up for adoption. Takes the average couple 7 years to adopt a child in the U.S. It doesn’t take nearly that long overseas.

Erika on

I agree with Anonymous and Nancy. I would also like to add that the treatment of unadopted children in other countries is so much worse than it is here. Here, pregnant girls who wish to put the baby up for adoption will often select a family before the birth. Others are put into foster care, with a family environment. This is not the case in countries in Africa, China and Eastern Europe.

However, orphanages in other parts of the world are AWFUL. Look up pictures of baby houses in Eastern Europe, or orphanages in China and Africa, even parts of South America. It isn’t pretty. There is no room in many of these orphanages and they are often very crowded, sometimes with more than one baby per crib. In the poorest ones, they are barely fed because there are not enough nurses or enough money to feed them. Kids with special needs are put into institutions around their 5th birthday (particularly in Eastern Europe) and they don’t really get an education.

All that being said, I can see why someone would want to adopt a child from another country, where they have less of a chance.

JM on

well why not the congo? does where a child is born make them more or less worthy of adoption? surely everyone who adopts needs to decide for themselves where they want to adopt from. what’s it to you? i mean seriously, why do you care?

anyway, i hope everything goes well for her and the little one.

mominFL on

I wish Jillian much luck. She ‘seems’ like such a good and genuine person. Yes, you’ll see the bad*ss side of her on Biggest Loser, but if you really look, she has such empathy for the contestants. I think she is ready for this next step in her life. I’m glad she will join The Doctors – hopefully ON camera and not behind.

Darla on

“Everyone would rather get an abortion then give their kids up for adoption”

You say that like its a bad thing, Kris. Carrying a child for 9 months and then giving it up for adoption is not a physically or emotionally easy task.

Darla on

I’m happy for her. I got adopted from Romania by an American family when I was 18 months old, so of course I think international adoption is great. Unfortunately, though, my adoptive mother died of pancreatic cancer when I was 10 years old and I loved her so much. I still am not over her death and it’s been 16 years. :(

Julianna on

I’ve done foster care for years and have had a least 15 of my foster children placed with adoptive families. Not only that, but they were all infants, the oldest being 13 months old, the youngest about 6 weeks old, but that mother had relinquished custody at birth. Some of those parents were just finishing up their process, so they hadn’t even waited a year from when they first applied. I’m sure it depends on your own area, but it is not an impossibility!

Appreciate on

Well said Anonymous. Darla, I’m sorry for your loss, I wish you all the best. xo

Tee on

MominFL, I went to high school with the winner from The Biggest Loser, season 10, and he really likes Jillian. Said exactly what you just said, that she is a compassionate person.

mamaof2 on

My husband and I are in the process of adopting from overseas. We made the decision when my bio son was 5 months old, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. We’ve been in the process for just under 2 years, and have been given the information about an adorable little girl, and we were thrilled. We were told she would come home in april, but were told in March that the country was shutting down adoption, but that we would be OK. The adoption has been delayed and delayed, and is still up in the air. It’s very scary what will happen to her if she can’t come to us, but we’ve been praying daily and have faith. I wish Jillian all the luck as well, and can totally relate to the scariness and uncertainty of the whole thing.

Andrea on

Whether you choose to adopt domestically or internationally, God bless you for doing it. Every child needs and deserves a loving home. Mamaof2, all the best in your adoption process. Hang in there!!

Dedra on

I adopted my son domestically through private adoption and it only took 3 months to get him from the day we signed up. Adopting in the USA doesn’t only happen through foster care, that is just the free way of doing it.

Katie on

Drives me nuts when people who know nothing about adoption make ignorant comments.

Congrats to Jillian for creating HER family the way SHE chooses. Quite simply, it is no one’s business why she chose the path she did.

And it took us less than a year to adopt a newborn domestically. Not sure where the 7 years for the average couple comment comes from.

Sat on

I am moved by these stories!

Miss Ann on

@ Kris — it depends on your area. It also depends what a family requests for their child to be like. Many people can successfully parent a child whose bio parents’ have seirous mental health and drug problem issues. Many families cannot or is not willing. Many families want 1 small child, which is not impossible, but sibling groups are a big part of the foster care system. So it is not impossible to adopt 1 small child, it is just they are more likely part of a sibling group more times than not. Many families may not feel like they can handle a sibling group; and guess what that is okay. It is best to be honest with your self as to what you can handle versus knowing you cannot handle multiple children and not able to meet all of the kidos needs. I am pretty sure that is why many of those folks have been waiting 7+ years. Now I consider a small child 5 years and younger. Also, many folks do not know, you can also be considered to adopt outside your state.

Also about the abortion comment, keep that too yourself. It was not necessary. If you are wanting to adopt here in the ole U S of A, you are going to need to chill out. Even if you are not wanting to adopt, please still chill out.

Holiday on

I love hearing stories of people who have adopted! I think its such a beautiful thing to do.

dsfg on

What’s wrong with the comment about abortion? There was nothing crass or judgemental in it. She was just stating the truth – more women in the US choose to undergo an abortion than to give their child for adoption. I see no reason to “keep that too yourself.” It was not rude or insulting, just a simple fact.

MommieAllison on

This makes me so mad! There are so many unwanted children around the world, why do they make it so difficult for people who really want them?

Maria on

Well done Jillian, I think she will make a great mum. I have her to thank for my abs even after 3 kids!

annoyed on

We have been going thru domestic adoption since October 2009……..still no baby. I applaud her for going elsewhere. It is not as easy as it may seem and is the most frustrating, expensive and disheartening process in the whole world. It is no wonder our country is failing when it comes to children!

Karen on

Just so that people here don’t think adopting locally is impossible (though I agree that it doens’t matter WHERE you get your child…they all need homes!), we adopted an infant from foster care.

He was 7 1/2 months old and was not born with any problems due to drugs or alcohol (his birth mother had mental health and stability issues).

That being said, he is also bi-racial and I know that some people prefer to have a child that looks like them…not an issue for us at all but to each their own.

Please know that you CAN adopt through social service, infants ARE available and we have more medical and background knowledge on our son than most international adoptions will give you.

Our adoption was finalized 6 months after our placement. We were very lucky and very blessed.

Karen on

Oh..and another plus – adopting through social services is usually FREE, so people who think you can not afford to adopt a child – yes, you can!

J9 on

My cousin and her husband just adopted overseas after 4 years of trying to adopt a little girl here in the U.S. While fostering the same child on and off for 4 years, they had to endure her getting returned to her mother twice, only to be brought back to them after the mother was sent to rehab AGAIN. Even with all of that, at their final custody hearing, the judge ruled in favor of the birth mother, even though she has not been able to provide a stable home for over 4 years.

So, while domestic adoption sounds like a great option, it truly is very difficult with the legal precedents in this country.

Michelle on

Congratulations to Jillian. As a single mom who adopted, I get what she’s feeling. And it doesn’t matter where she adopts from. Adoptive parents decide to adopt a particular place and a particular way because that’s where their child is. You investigate all sorts of ways and something draws you to a particular place.

I adopted from foster care in the state of Florida and adopted a beautiful 9 month old baby boy. He is now 9 years old. Its amazing thing.

debbie on

you go girl

Wendy on

Don’t these celebrities realize how many children are in the USA looking for forever homes? It’s great they want to adopt, but look closer to home, please. I adopted twice and have never regretted it.

Amy on

I think it’s great that Jillian is pursuing adoption, and do not feel that it’s appropriate for anyone to judge which program (domestic v. international) she pursues.

Also, it’s very sad but I heard yesterday (and the info is linked here: http://bit.ly/mNweCX ) how 1100 women are raped every day in the Congo – it’s a country that is suffering greatly right now. So the circumstances of comparing the the Congo to the US are not even close – yes, children in the US need homes, but hearts know no national boundaries. Let people make this decision for themselves.

Fiona on

So happy for Jillian. She is at a very vulnerable stage in the process that most folks keep quiet and never talk about. Especially celebrities. I applaud her strength in sharing the entire process and increasing the awareness of adoption and the process.

I have spoken with many other families who have adopted, both US and international – the wait times are all over the place, ranging from one month to 4 years. Adoption is a long hard process but at the end of it all, you’ll see that it’s worth every tear.

@annoyed – Hang in there. A quote that held us over…”Your baby will find you.” Have faith and just keep repeating that to yourself. It’ll happen. And no matter what shape, size, age or color that child is, it will be your child and you’ll love him/her more than you can imagine.

LittleMo on

If somcone doesn’t adopt from the US because they don’t want the older child, the child with potential problems like the ones that come from drug-addicted parents, neglect, broken and abusive homes, etc. maybe they shouldn’t be adopting at all.

Life makes no promises to be problem-free to anybody and no one should be expecting anything like that. Nobody has a crystal ball so no one knows what life may bring you and that child as he or she grows up. What appears to be a perfectly healthy, perfectly fine boy or girl of any age could end up being a very different story a year or two down the road. As for the time involved in some cases, remember “Good things come to those who wait”?

BabyBoysMom on

We also adopted domestically and were matched with our son 6 weeks after all of our paperwork was done and approved. He was born about 6 weeks after we were matched.

It wasn’t a hard process at all, and statistics actually show that a majority of domestic adoptions are done within 1 year. If you haven’t adopted or seriously looked into adopting, you probably have no idea what you’re talking about.

Good for Jillian! It has been the best experience of my life and one that we hope to do again.

Mary on

Wow, this woman made the top of my list of people to hate when she said she would never get pregnant because she wouldn’t do that to her body. No one that self centered or narcissistic should ever be allowed to have a child.

Noodles on

I agree that it’s very sad that they make adoption such a lengthy process when they are wasting valuable time where a child’s personality is being developed, and could be doing so in a loving home. Not to be preachy, but ‘whatsoever you do to the least of My people, that you do unto Me.’ Not necessarily your own people (American) but ‘My’ people. I think it’s a beautiful thing she’s doing and I hope it goes well for her and the child’s sake!

anonymous on

Love Jillian. Love her books, love her lifestyle. She’ll be a wonderful mother. And I understand the quote from When Harry Met Sally, waiting for love is a hard thing. Especially when she knows she will love her child she’s adopting.

Can’t wait to see what other wonderful things she does in the next few years. Will miss her terribly on the Biggest Loser.

tvwshubby on

I find that people who question why someone would adopt from a foreign country instead of domestically has never adopted before, nor have they been fosterparents. My wife and I have done both, foreign and domestic. Everyone should become foster parents and open their homes to a child who needs some love. It does not cost and if you adopt through fostercare the expense is usually picked up by the county, but that might be different depending on where you live.

steve on

nothing against the Congo. But what’s wrong with adopting a child from America? We have so many who need a forever home.

Jessica on

WHo the hell would give her a kid? Shes mean and rude and disrespectful

Rachel on

Nancy as a proud Mother of 2, both adopted here in the US and NOT related, you can’t speak about all the children out there in the US that need adopted.Yes there are some out there that fit what you say but NEITHER of my boys came from anything like that. I also have a friend that adopted her son here in the US and he didn’t come from anything like that. I can go on and on as I know many that have adopted here but I think you get my point.

There are TONS of children right here in the US that need homes so what about taking that chance and making them part of your family. We have dealt with a failed adoption, a closed and a open adoption so I think I know a little bit about what I am talking about. As for contact with the child each case is different. We don’t have contact with either of our birthmothers it is what you chose to do. Yes domestically can be a long wait but it can also be a short one. Again it depends on the each case.

Our 1st child was 3 months waiting and our second one we had to wait 1 month. Now is that normal probably not but it does happen. So please don’t discourage adopting right here in the US where there are again thousands of children waiting for their “forever families”.

MS on

Nancy,

Why is Terri’s comment “ignorant?” Because she didn’t agree with you?

That is why this is America; people have an opinion and can state it. Doesn’t mean they are right and doesn’t mean you are wrong. I happen to agree with her; that doesn’t make me ignorant, it means I have an opinion. Get off your high horse!

Keri on

It is really sad when a person judges another on adopting outside of the country. Just because a person decides to adopt from the Congo does not mean they dislike their own country. There are people who see a child in need from any part of the world as a child. Not a representative of their home country.

There are many factors that can play a role in the adoption path one takes. Maybe a person’s grandma was from Russia so they decide to adopt from Russia. Maybe the person wants to have a multi-racial family. Maybe the person wants a child that has a handicap like themselves. It does NOT matter if they adopt from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, China, Ethiopia, the Congo, etc. A child in need, no matter what country they come from, is still a child in need. Believe it or not, there are mature adults who do not care if their adopted child has a cleft palate, club foot, hearing loss, a history of abuse or is from a different country. They see the child as THEIR child no matter where they came from.

Every country has their own requirements for adoption so, depending on their situation, they may only be able to adopt from a certain country.

Unless you have been through the adoption process, you have no clue as to what a person/couple goes through just to get a child to call their own. To some, having a biological child is a very easy process. There are people out there that can’t have a biological child but want to be a parent and will jump through hoops to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are people out there that can have a biological child but choose to adopt via the foster care system, in-country open adoption, international adoption, etc.

To me, it does not matter the color of the skin, the gender, physical handicaps, mental handicaps or history. A child is a child. I would do almost anything to have a child but can’t. Unless you are perfect, don’t judge others. I could see if what she was doing is endangering others but it isn’t. More power to her for going through the adoption process. I hope she gets the child that she deserves.

NM on

“Everyone would rather get an abortion then give their kids up for adoption”

You say that like its a bad thing, Kris. Carrying a child for 9 months and then giving it up for adoption is not a physically or emotionally easy task.

– Darla on May 11th, 2011

Darla-carrying a child for 9 months and giving it up for adoption is not an easy task. You are correct there. But killing an innocent life, verses giving that baby up for adoption is a not a bad thing either? I beg to differ. That unborn child has JUST as much right to live as any other human being on the earth. You make it sound like having an abortion is an easy decision to make. I have 5 children, and abortion NEVER entered my mind. I would much rather deal with the emotions of having to give up a child for adoption, than to kill that child, because it wasn’t wanted. That’s not right.

Alison on

Why people get so hung up on adoption at all is a mystery to me. There are children out there that need someone to care for them in FOSTER care just as much if not even moreso than children up for adoption. These kids are in limbo, and in my opinion need love in a more intense way than those up for adoption…. JMHO

Colleen on

A child is a child. No matter where they happened to be born. ALL children are worthy of a family. I have a beautiful son who just happened to be born in Korea. He was meant to be my son before I was even created!

Why do people feel it’s their job to tell other people how they should go about forming their family. Lets just be supportive of adoption and those going through it and not judging others on how they become a family. The point is, a child will no longer be an orphan. And if certain people feel so strongly about only adopting from the US than I encourage you to do that. But, let others do what they are called to do without the judgement. It’s about the child here, not where they happened to be born.

Congratulations to Jillian!

Suzy on

You know what happens when you adopt domestically? Most of them are semi-open adoptions meaning you dont know who the person is completely, you know their first names but not their last, you know what state they live in but not the city…

Shes a celebrity. She would HAVE to have a completely open adoption with the birth parents, a very trying and hard task for both parties. Most celebrities adopt overseas for that very reason.

perkyswimmer on

Why does it matter from where the child is adopted? A child needs a loving home, so geography is pretty unimportant. All things are challenging, but judging a person because they are opening their arms to someone that needs a home is ridiculous.

Robyn on

I am the mother of two adopted children. I adopted my oldest son from the Foster care system when I was a single mother. He was almost three and has NO memories of life before he came to live with me. His mother and father were both on drugs, but my son is very healthy, very happy and does well in school. He was premature and delayed, but with lots of love and consistent parenting, he is an A/B student that excels in sports and is just like any other 11 year old boy.

It took me less than a year to adopt him – and that includes the parenting classes, background checks and home study. I was willing to adopt a boy of any race as long as he was under 3 – sadly, there were way too many children matching this criteria.

My second child was adopted through Lifetime Adoptions in 2009. We began applying in August 2008, we were selected by a birth mother in January 2009 and we were present in the hospital when our son arrived at the end of March. The birth mother did not want further contact after the adoption but we would have gladly provided pictures and updates if she did.

Both my children are amazing blessings! I am very happy for Jillian because adoption is a wonderful thing for the child as well as the adoptive parent – no matter where the baby was born. It is a tragedy that there is even a single child on this planet without a parent to provide love, attention and a home. If you want to adopt, I encourage you to pursue every avenue available domestically or internationally because millions of children world wide need homes!

Tia on

As I have told many people regarding my own expierence with domestic and international, “I want a child, not the whole family.”

I was a foster mom for 3 years to a beautiful boy and then his great-grandmother decided she wanted him and he left my stable home for hers. The DHS worker said ‘You are not blood, she is.’ And even if his adoption went through, I would be required to keep in contact with his dysfunctional family.

In Russia, China, and I assume Congo, these countries cannot provide for their orphans and are thankful someone is willing to provide them a better place. That is why we chose the international route.

hilaurious on

If you have not adopted a child or were not adopted yourself, keep your ignorant opinions to yourself.

This thread is hard to read as an adoptive mother. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Victoria on

We have adopted domestically thru Foster Care and have friends that have adopted both privately in the US and internationally from Russia, Guatemala and China. All of these kids needed a home and have completed our families.

I don’t fault anyone who adopts from anywhere. All children do need love and homes no matter where they start out. It is always tough to figure out who is more blessed-the child or the adoptive parents! Way to go Jillian on your decision to adopt! :D

Daria on

Keep focused on the goal and it will be here before you know it, Jillian! We are in the adoption process also and have submitted all paperwork and are waiting for THE CALL. Looking forward to reading about you being a Mom one day soon! Best wishes!

Nicole on

Also keep in mind that JM is a single woman. It is incredibly difficult for single parents to adopt both domestically and abroad. My step mother adopted from ethiopia 3 years ago and one of the reasons she chose to adopt from there is that there were only 3 countries that would even consider single parents at the time.

Domestically children are often considered better to be in a two parent foster home than a single parent “forever” home. which i think is very sad.

Me on

Very well said Keri, my thoughts exactly.

Bridge on

I think it is great that she is adopting from the Congo. Those children need homes just like any other. Maybe even more so. We at least have regulations on how children are supposed to be treated in foster care. Maybe if they didn’t make it so expensive and complicated to adopt from the US, more people would do it. Everyone tries to make a buck off of everything. Any crackhead child abuser can give birth and take a baby home, but people that want children, the ones that plan on having them, and are ready, have to have thousands of dollars and jump through hoops. It’s asinine.

Jackie on

@ Mary, I have to agree with you. I remember when Jillian said that she would never get pregnant because of what it would do to her body. You are right, anyone that self-centered should not be having kids, if the only reason is because of your body. Hell, she is a trainer, she should not have any problems losing the baby weight afterwards, unless she is just a sham and using means other than exercise to keep that body!

Michele on

Foster care isn’t the route to go if you want a healthy newborn to adopt. You do it because you love kids and want to help them. If you do get to adopt, that is just a bonus.

We fostered a baby girl who was born to a drug addicted mother. Her first five weeks she was in the hospital detoxing. We took her home from the hospital and had her 6 months. When you foster if you don’t have the child at least 12 months and a relative of the birth parent comes foward, they have first rights to that child in most cases. They have to be “cleared” of course.

In our case, the cousin did not know of the baby until several months had passed since the birth mom was estranged from the family. So, she had a valid right to the baby.

The good news is that one year later a beautiful healthy 16 month old boy was placed with us. His birth parents brought him into foster care at 1 month old. Amazingly, he is healthy. Fifteen months later, their rights were terminated and he was freed for adoption. The foster mom loves him so but at 50 feels she is too old to start over. We transitioned him to our family and are waiting for the adoption to finalize. We have 3 biological children so this would not have been the route we would have taken if we wanted to be “guaranteed” a child. Fost/adopt is a process but if you can do it, miracles can happen!

Ali on

We adopted domestically last year, and picked up our son when he was 5 days old. So it IS possible. We don’t have any contact with the birth mother.

queenbee on

No one has mentioned this yet because I guess in America the needs of people to want to parent exceeds other thoughts but what about any international child’s historic and ethnic identity. There is documented evidence that many children adopted outside of their race suffer psychological damage due to lack of identity and also due to many people’s subconscious need to racial compare (and often disparage) not understanding their adopted child DOES know what race/color they are and will internalize what is said.

Case in point is Obama. Though his mother was white and his grandmother raised him and he loved her–he remembers the horrible things she said and thought about black men and he also recognized that her thoughts might be mirrored by other whites and that HE also was a black man and for those who did not know him–he would be thought of in the same way and treated in the same way as other blacks since he did not have a way to show he was a “different black” due to a white mother.

The fact is, people think babies are babies and love is enough–it is not–there are a lot of factors that slow down adoptions including sexual orientation, racial make up of the adoptive parents and the adoptee and the potential for pedophiles to adopt and abuse children.

To be on the safe side, what must always be considered is what will the child’s life be like–I have two very good friends both who were adopted outside of their race–both talk about the horrible things said in their families about their race–one internalized it and thinks in the way she was raised (and consequently hates or self criticizes herself too) the other came to resent her adoptive family and as a grown up refuses to associate with them.

When I see a person seeking children from other countries–I wonder if it is for novelty, or ease or the fact that the family of the child cannot easily get to the states to establish contact with the child. In countries like the Congo, all babies in orphanages are not freely given up–there are cases of child abduction or lying to the parents, who think someone is offering to care for their babies but do NOT realize that they give up all rights to their child and will probably never see them again.

I think this process should take as long as it needs to –in order to ensure the adoptive parent has the right intentions and that the adoptive parent also recognizes and RESPECTS the necessity of racial identity and has made plans to address these issues. Because no matter how people wish to believe color or race is not an issue in this country it is–and all cute babies grow up to be just like everyone else and deal with everyone else–and unlike perhaps the nurturing environment in their adoptive homes, many will face very ugly situations as others try to demarcate or establish racial superiority–and it ALWAYS HAPPENS.

As a member of a family with several race/ethnicities I can assure you that outside of this family–there are many negative racial issues directed at us–and not all are from one group or race either.

Molly on

Jackie and Mary, everyone knows except people who get their ‘facts’ from places such as Perez Hilton, like you both probably do, that she was misquoted, apologized for the misunderstanding even though she shouldn’t have to. Going by your comments, you don’t believe in forgiveness or admitting that you are wrong.

Women who think every woman should want to be pregnant are strange. I didn’t know it was a rule that women should want to get pregnant or couldn’t make decisions about their own bodies.

Saralee on

Bridge, I worked in foster care for 5 years. Foster care is, by and large, damaging to children (NOT all, but many). Just because there are “regulations” does not mean the regulations are properly enforced. States are completely bogged down with cash shortages, staff shortages, and they cannot, and do not, properly monitor all their homes. Children are abused in foster care FREQUENTLY.

That being said, it IS important for people to keep in mind that there are many children in this country who need homes. Yes, it’s bureaucratic, and yes, not as easy to adopt a healthy infant who is your same color (someone did post that many people want children who look like them, again NOT ALL people are like this). We don’t know everything there is to know about international adoption; that process is full of corruption and dishonesty too, and is often a money-making enterprise.

You are right, Bridge, that it’s ridiculous that adoption (except through foster care) essentially requires people to spend thousands of dollars. And who is left behind by the fact that both domestic private AND international agencies have made adoption into a money-making enterprise? The older, special needs, “difficult to place” children in the US foster care system. They ARE being left behind, whether or not people here think “any child is a child in need and anyone who adopts should be praised.”

I don’t care one bit that Jillian is adopting from the Congo. But she, like Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Madonna, are doing that because they have money and can. Making adoption a profitable enterprise, domestic and international, only hurts the kids who aren’t perfect, and they didn’t ask for that.

Molly on

btw, Mary and Jackie don’t bother responding. I can’t stand sexist people like you both.

queenbee on

I never knew Jillian did not want to have children because it would mess up her physique. Pretty sad. On the other hand, kids do need good parents so if she would be a great parent then….

Then again, we are reducing children to a product we can buy and sell like dogs or livestock and people are looking elsewhere to get the “best deal” or easiest transaction. These are babies not animals but there is something a bit questionable about people making a habit of buying from another country as a baby is an exotic or if they buy an African or black baby from another country it will be viewed differently than the local black kids (Yes, I have heard it said many times–that the African people/babies are different than American blacks).

As for the remark about not wanting to buy an older child due to problems and abuse histories–to the person that was annoyed–the answer is simple–when people BUY an item, they do not want it damaged–when humans are transacted and treated like goods–you will find those with money to purchase them will want good teeth, good histories, etc. That is human nature.

I find it ironic that those who are for this kind of adoption are probably people who think slavery was horrible–but understand that when buying slaves, most slave owners really thought they were ‘rescuing those savages” and that by providing food and shelter in exchange for work they were giving them a better life.

then again, the other side of this are babies with no one to love them in a ‘forever home’ it really is a dilemma.

I hope Jillian wants to parent for all the right reasons. Madonna and Angelina are not the first to have human/baby menageries–Josephine Baker did it also and Joan Crawford had her adopted babies and the kids from both homes spoke of the horrors they went through when the curtains fell, the ideal wore off and each parent was faced with still being in charge of these kids from everywhere.

I pray she is doing this for the right reasons and not to join the ranks of Madonna and others, who are collecting children like some people collect china or dolls.

Linda on

How sad that so many people feel they are experts on adoption because they have heard horror stories of the waiting times or that they will only consider couples. Married, single, gay, straight, whatever, the process is the same. If you want a newborn that looks like you, the wait will be VERY long. If you are willing to take a child with unknown parentage, possible problems, any age, you can have a child in as little as 6 months. Most children available for adoption have already had parental rights terminated so there is no contact with the mother unless you want it. If you really want to adopt, contact your county family services office and start the process.

When I lived in Maryland, I was told they were not taking applications 14 years ago. I called a private agency and they had no trouble doing my home study and helping me find a child. At that point, the paperwork was submitted and the county reimbursed me for the home study and legal costs. They matched me to my second child in Montana so they did the Interstate Compact paperwork also at no cost to me. The entire process took 8 months. My daughter had one contact with her birth mother at age 18 out of curiosity. I have sent photos each year to the grandmother but that was my option.

In California, they couldn’t wait for me to come to the orientation and I started the 6 week class the same month. During that time, I filled out the paperwork, had my physical, scheduled the home study, etc and started looking at the photos of available children of ALL ages. the entire process took 4 months from start to taking home my 3rd adopted child as a single parent – last year. My first child was adopted 37 years ago, so I’m an ‘older’ single parent with 2 grandchildren. Family Services in Orange Co doesn’t have an age limitation so that didn’t matter either.

MARY on

As someone who has gone to the DRC, I am glad to hear that Jillian Michaels is adopting a child from the Congo. There are so many children who are abandoned by their parents. You see children raising children. There is no social services or foster care in these countries. It is a blessing what she is doing.

molly on

Well, I love reading all these comments regarding adoption. I am sure everyone has varying experiences with adoption if they have personally gone through with it- But many of the comments being made are way off base from what I am currently experiencing with my second time to attempt adoption (first time I haulted due to becoming pregnant by surprise!).

Please remember, each person has their own personal reasons for adopting and may be going through adoption through various agencies (domestic, intern., private, state agency etc) and all raods are not the same to adopt. Personally I am doing a domestic infant adoption through a state certified agency but the bottom line is…adoptive parents just want a healthy and happy child, no matter where they come from.

Good luck to Jillian and all other hopeful adoptive parents!

Saralee on

Oh, PS though – those who have commented here that they did adopt from foster care and on the challenges of going through that – I know you’re right. It’s shameful how difficult the courts make it, and how after YEARS, biological relatives can come in and take a child away from people who have raised them. I was a part of that many times, and it broke my heart many times.

It IS difficult to adopt from foster care in the US, so really I don’t judge people who choose not to. I don’t know if I would. BUT, we all just need to keep those children in our thoughts and prayers, and not get so caught up in how saintly or charitable people are when they adopt internationally. Most of the time that’s about filling the parents’ needs, not the kids.

lswan on

It is a very long and extremely expensive process to adopt domestically. And, there is a HUGE waiting list.

molly on

Kris, where are you getting this information that it takes the average couple 7 years to adopt a child in the U.S.?

Currently I am working towards a newborn domestic child (no gender/race preference) and my husband and I are working with an agency that places children on an average of 6-12mo. and you often times are at the hospital for the birth. I personally know 3 couples who used this particular agency and all of these things were true for them.

I just really wonder when some haven’t gone through the system how they are finding these stats out? Do homework, people.

Jeri on

Nancy,

I have adopted domestically, and most of your information is incorrect in my situation. I personally don’t have an opinion where people SHOULD adopt from, only that they are able to fill their dreams of a family.

My entire process of an open adoption from start to finish was 18 months. The birth mother contacts me twice a year. Christmas and his birthday, and only wants pictures! Also, he did not come as part of a sibling group. He came into our home when he was 2 days, and the mother’s rights were relinquished quickly.

I just feel like each family should make their own decision. Domestic was perfect for us. Internationally worked for you. My point is, I won’t sour the international process, so please don’t sour domestic. It isn’t nearly as you have stated.

queenbee on

Making adoption a profitable enterprise, domestic and international, only hurts the kids who aren’t perfect, and they didn’t ask for that.

– Saralee on May 12th, 2011

this is very well said. I think that maybe NO MONEY should be permitted to be introduced into adoption save for paperwork processing and that should be internationally regulated and monitored.

When something becomes a money making enterprise it is subject to immense corruption, human trafficking, etc. I can understand the need of many women to be a mom ( I have 5 kids myself) but I can also empathize with a parent in a different country who wants a better life for my baby BUT does not want to never see their child again–and being fed LIES about the true adoption arrangement. (Many do not realize that their children will be adopted forever and that they are cutting all blood ties.

In Africa–blood line is EVERYTHING. People are disowned who marry or have kids outside of their tribe–much less outside their race.

Often, women take their children to an orphanage with every intention of getting the child back if times get better. They do this because they believe that at least in the orphanage their child will be fed and perhaps given health care–it is sort of a drop off day care–what they have no inkling of is a process that not only takes their children BUT does NOT allow them to ever get them back. Witness the dilemma of both Madonna and many who try to adopt from Haiti.

With so many Americans crossing the race barrier and adopting little African babies, there IS a market in child trafficking and babies ARE stolen to be handed over to waiting American arms. Now. We might want to justify that by saying we can give a baby a better life–but monetary or social benefits are only two aspects of life. There is the need for history–and community AND continuity that blood gives a child.

Many people in Africa would NEVER give their child away but would place their child in an extended family situation. Sometimes mothers are told this is what they are doing and they should consider the American adopting their child as a “god mother or god father” who will take care of their child and one day that child will return to them.

Of course this is a lie. Americans may not care about this–but in African culture–to disrupt blood lines can be a taboo. The point is this: The time it takes may also be to ensure the adoption is legit, that the parent knows the child will be going to another country and will probably never know them personally or come back to them. If this is known–there would be a lot less babies offered up legitimately–due to the tribal customs. (Africans and many other people in 3rd world countries often “loan” out children to relatives who are childless but still expect a connection sometime over the years)

Then again, some governments may engage in extending the times just to ensure they make even more money. I do hope they are trying to make sure the adoption process is on the up and up and that the families who give up these babies KNOW that they are giving up forever. Because though a “forever home” sounds wonderful to an American who wants a baby to love and care for–it can be a horrible outcome to a family who thought they “loaned” the child out for a few years but expect that at some point to get the child back.

molly on

Jeri,
Everything you stated is what I am finding out seems to be true as well and what is generally the case (according to my social worker I am with through my agency). I really wish adoption and how the process can go could become more accurate for some out there looking to do so. There are many options as to how to go about adoption but I am also finding some outlandish stats being thrown out there that I think may not be coming from personal experiences. Perhaps not, but it seems like that.

Amanda on

I was adopted from Colombia as a baby and my parents had been trying to adopt both domestically & internationally for 5 years, with 1 heart breaking let down (the birth mother changed her mind), before they finally got me.

International adoption CHANGED the course of my life and offered me opportunities that I might never have had and I will forever be grateful. I may have been born in another country but I was born to be their child. They just had to travel a little farther to get me.

Now that I am a college graduate with a thriving career and a wonderful supportive husband, I plan to adopt at least one child at some point. Adoption is a wonderful gift of love for both the parents and the children no matter where they are from.

cee no evil on

for crying out loud, children are NOT cars or wine, it shouldn’t matter whether they are “imported” or “domestic”. The fact that they are wanted and loved is enough.

mind your own bees wax people and just be happy that someone has made a choice to become a mother…that’s the beauty here!

Nil on

ok I have to clear up something I keep readihg about Jillian, the words about her not wanting to have babies herself because it will mess up her body… If you read the article she was interviewed again and she explains how her words with misquoted. She said that about not putting her body through fertility treatments because it is almost impossible for her to get pregnant herself. The link below is a interview to explain the words that were taken out of content.

http://alphamom.com/pregnancy/exclusive-jillian-michaels-explains-her-comments-on-pregnancy-adoption/

Christina on

I wish Jillian all the best! Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever love. It’s an incredible experience that will impact the rest of your life. I will never forget holding my child and looking into his eyes for the first time. It’s priceless! Also, I’m very sorry for your loss Darla. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

Jennifer on

The laws in most states always side with birth parents. Even birth parents who willingly give their child up for adoption have changed their mind and were able to get their child back. The people who have been through foster care and private adoptions have both been through the heartbreak of raising a child only to have that child taken away from them. That is the reason most of the adoptive parents I know have decided to adopt internationally instead.

Nancy on

TO MS: Terri’s comment is ignorant because she backs her comment up with no experience. You have NO idea how adoptive parents hate to hear negative comments from the likes of her or you all the time. I don’t mind hearing from Rachel and some of the others who have actually adopted or researched adoption.

We looked into domestic adoption first but decided on foreign adoption after many hours of thought and prayer. To each his own. Some people find that their hearts are for adopting a child of a different country or here in the states. I was explaining to Terri why we were not comfortable with domestic adoption.

People who make ignorant comments about why one decided to adopt from another country is like me telling a pregnant woman how to deliver her baby or a person who has never been a parent telling others how to parent their kids.

Nancy on

Oh and I agree that more people should qualify for adoption. I think single people, gay people and older parents should be allowed to adopt more and more. A woman can deliver a child while being addicted to drugs, why can’t more people adopt who would be loving parents!!!

An agency here in America told me that very few 40+ years old are able to adopt babies in the U.S.

Julie on

A kid is a kid is a kid. I want them all to have good homes so adopting from any country is a wonderful thing. The only benefit I see of doing it here, is that less kids in our foster system would use less of our tax $ and thats a horrible reason to choose one kid over another. I wish we could help all kids in all countries.

Shelby on

Not only did Jillian later explain that her comments about “doing that to her body” were related to her PCOS and need for medical intervention (hormones, etc. which she is against) and not weight gain, but she mentioned yesterday on twitter that she is looking to adopt 2 children (one international and one domestic). Her social worker suggested that she begin the international process first. Just sayin’

JRos on

Why not adopt internationally? There are kids all over the world who need homes. Not to mention as a single parent it is extremely difficult to get approval for adoption in the US. I think it is terrific that she is adopting, no matter from where, and not getting herself knocked up by some nameless sperm donor just to become a mom.

JRos on

Adding – Jillian is not how she “appears” on the Biggest Loser. Her aggressiveness on the show is her Boot Camp training act and IRL she is very kind if you know anything about her. I think you will see a whole new side of her on The Doctors and Dr. Phil that you seldom see on TBL.

Nikkie on

Deidra,

I hope that you read this b/c your comment of “the free way to do it” (referring to foster/state adoption) is absolutely disgusting and uninformed! My family is a foster family and we are in the process of adopting. We CAN afford to adopt in the US or Internationally. However, my husband serves his country and, therefore, is not always available to travel and/or make meetings with private agencies and/or meet the demands placed on families who adopt internationally.

We have two children of our own who are teenagers. We got our current placement at 5 weeks old and she’s almost 2 years old. And, she has two older siblings who cannot be adopted by the family they’re placed with and my parents (yes, in their 60’s) are going to adopt them to give them a better life. They were not ABUSED as someonse stated all foster children were, they were just neglected and were thankfully removed at an early age.

I can guarantee you that my family spends 10x a month on this child and her necessities than what we get in a “board” payment. These children did not ask to be placed in this situation and did nothing to assist in their removal from their family/what they know as “normal.” Please refrain from speaking to something you obviously know NOTHING about.

Proud pre-adoptive parent of a wonderful girl who was placed in FOSTER CARE.

LM on

Mary and Jackie – just because Jillian cares about the state of her body (it’s how she’s made her living) doesn’t mean she won’t be a good mom. In all honesty, I hate my body since my son was born. The shape shifted, I gain weight in weird spots now, I have stretch marks, etc. Does this mean I don’t love my son? No way! But honestly, pregnancy does effect a woman’s body and if she can adopt and love that baby just as much as her own blood, then who cares?

Nikkie on

Saralee…

Although you worked “in the system” for 5 years, you should only speak to your County and/or State. In the County where we currently reside (I work for the County, but not DSS in any way), there has been one case of abuse of a child in foster care in 25 years.

We have FEW Foster Care SW’s and only 2 licensing workers and their time is limited. However, their Director and the State has mandated the time that they will spend with the child(ren) in their caseload (that term just sounds so awful) each and every month. And, although not all cases/children are granted Guardian ad Litem’s by the Court here, our child has one (the same as her siblings who are placed seperately due to lack of foster homes) sees the girls regularly.

I often tell those in my area who ask about fostering and fostering to adopt that they’d better be prepared to welcome the agency as part of their family because they know more of your “business” than your famliy and close friends and are in your home more often than your family/friends on a regular basis.

Fostering is NOT easy, regardless of the circumstances under which the child(ren) placed with you come from. And, if you foster to adopt, unless there is a relinquishment, it can take forever as the biological parent(s) can appeal almost every decision set down by the court and in most cases the taxpayers pay their legal fees. The Foster workers in OUR DSS are wonderful and caring individuals and I can honestly say that I could not do their job…ever.

Adopting internationally is not a bad thing and we looked into it when our children were young. However, unless you are independently wealthy, have a certain BMI (now in China) and a host of other obstacles to overcome…it’s almost impossible. And, you don’t necessarily know what you’re getting, there can be language barriers, food differences, etc. with the child and how do you really know the family medical history?

At least with fostering, when the parents are alive and known, DSS and the GAL’s office and gain legal access to their medical, psychological, etc. records in order to pass on that information to the adoptive parents.

hilaurious on

“be a citizen of the world, not just of your state or country”

MS on

Nancy,
The point I was trying to make is she is entitled to her opinion. This is a public forum and people calling each other ignorant because they give their opinion is WRONG no matter how you look at it. If that is what Jillian wants to do that is HER choice; That is not the choice I would make, but I don’t think I or anyone else should be called ignorant because we make a comment YOU don’t agree with.

Kerri on

A child isn’t worth more than another child based on the country they were born in. Who cares where she adopts from — the end result is a child with a permanent home, and that’s all that matters.

Nikkie on

Saralee,

I just re-read your comments. I assume that it has been some time since you actually worked in the system.

Several years ago the FEDERAL LAW changed and children (under a state mandated age) have to have permanency within 1 year. The adoption may not be finalized; however, the rights of the parent(s) will have either been worked out so the child(ren) can return home; and if reunification is not possible; termination of parental rights has to be in the works.

And, once an adoption is finalized in the US (as long as the birth parents were terminated, whether through in-person attendance or legal publication), they cannot, nor can another “biological” family member come back and take them from their adoptive family.

The COURT looks at the best interest of the chil(ren) and adheres to it strictly. You may hear of a case here and there where an adoption was stalled and/or terminated prior to being finalized; however, not once it was final. And, those cases are few and far between. All you have to do is search your state’s public records for cases titled “In re:________” (usually initials) or “In the interest of: _____” (again, usually initials).

I’m done, all of this misinformation is stressing me out! God bless all Foster and Adoptive families, no matter where you choose to foster and/or adopt from.

AuroraSara Drysdale on

I am happy she wants to adopt but the United States have millions of children that could use a good home.Also if her preference is for an African American child is better to say you adopted from the Congo’s instead of the streets of Los Angeles.

dsfg on

AuroraSara Drysdale, then why don’t you adopt one of them?

dsfg on

“and how do you really know the family medical history?”

Children still need a home regardless of their family medical history . . .

RWB on

I am excited that Jillian wants to adopt…but I agree with many of the other who state that the US is suffering and there are so many children in this country that also deserve a chance to have a family.

Stephanie on

The adoption system is nothing less than legalized baby selling. I don’t care if it is domestic or international…because someone is poor or young or lacking family support is NOT a reason to take that person’s child! Those people, communities, countries…they need help. They need systems set up to hold families together. Separating a child from its mother is the most inhumane, most traumatic thing you can do to either of them. And if you are infertile or simply don’t want to get stretch marks or waited till past your child bearing years or gay…I don’t care what reason you cannot have your own biological child IT DOES NOT MAKE YOU ENTITLED TO SOMEONE ELSES CHILD.

The fact that so many want to forego the frustrations of fostering/trying to adopt older foster child (who often really are orphans in need of homes) so that they can acquire an infant to “pretend” that child is really biologically there’s tells me you have no interest in actually being a parent (which involves love, commitment, compassion for this other human being NOT YOUR NEEDS).

You could use your time and money volunteering, becoming a foster parent…even (gasp) helping a young woman in a crisis situation who desperately wants to keep her child get the resources she needs in order to do it. That would be truly commendable. Perhaps “god” or whatever had other plans for you…plans that helped the greater good and actually PROTECTS children?

Most newborns and infants are “available” due to coercion of vulnerable young women who NEVER wanted to lose their precious babies. No woman wants to carry a child for 9 months just to hand it over to strangers. If you have never had a child then you may not understand the depth of this very primal fact.

Also, adoption agencies work so fast for you because you are keeping them in business and they will do anything to get that infant for you.

Please do some research. Please educate yourselves? I sincerely beg you! I don’t blame you for your ignorance. The adoption industry spends millions every years to keep the truth hidden and paint this happy picture of mothers joyfully handing over their children and these completely happy adoptees, etc…It is all big business. This is ahuman rights issue. It is a moral responsibility to all the children and their true families.

I’ll help you get started:

Books–Primal Wound, Adoption Healing, Birthmother Trauma, The Girls that Went Away

Websites: http://www.exiledmothers.com, http://www.origins-usa.org, https://www.adoptionhealing.com/

dsfg on

Mary and Jackie, what’s wrong with not wanting to be pregnant because of what if physically does to your body? Pregnancy DOES take a physical toll on your body and I don’t think it’s selfish to not want to go through with that.

molly on

Stephanie,

Some of your points you make are valid ones, others not so much. You are extremely one-sided on the topic of adoption and I just wonder why? For one, I myself am Caucasion and will be adopting an African American child- I highly doubt I will try to go through life “pretending” that child is biologically mine, although I will certainly love it the same.

Another thing, I myself am adopted and am glad there are options such as adoption in the world for some mothers and their children. Life isn’t always cut and dry- ie: that life with the “natural” mother is best. In a perfect world, yes- but one that involves some mothers who DIE (as mine did), or others who are unfit and abusive or using drugs/alchohol…thank goodness for some parents to be able to or want to step in to raise that child in a healtheir and more opportunistic situation and family life. So you see, I have seen it from both ends as an adoptee and adopted child…and THIS is my view.

Patricia Hall on

I know what Jillian means about adoption, it is a long process. We have been in the process for almost a year and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. The only difference is we have our child since he was 2 weeks old, he’s 11 months today. And we don’t even know yet if we will get to keep him. It’s wonderful to have him in our lives, but will be devastating if we don’t get to keep him.

Stephanie on

Molly–“You are extremely one-sided” do the research, educate yourself and you will see that I am in no way being one-sided. I am simply trying to REVEAL the other side, the biggest side (which you will see for yourself if you both to self educate). It’s ironic really and a bit of a yawn since it happens so often, but you told me I was being one-sided then went on to defend your statement by giving your view/experience and yours alone. What you have said has no basis in the reality of the majority…it is one person’s experience and one person’s experience does not truth make.

“I will certainly love it the same.” IT? Seriously? Nuff said.

“I myself am adopted and am glad there are options such as adoption in the world for some mothers and their children” I believe I covered this in my itial post…the part concerning TRUE ORPHANS. I believe it is your responsibility to make sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the child you adopt was an orphan with no other family members able to care for him/her or that the child was indeed removed from his/her parents/family due to neglect/abuse that could not be helped with social services/rehab/unbiased counseling programs, etc.

Anyone else who wishes to post ignorant responses to my comment (which is backed up by decades of research, education, etc…) save your breath. I will not do the work for you. Dig deeper and learn on your own. Whether you bother to do this or not and do it with an open, unselfish and compassionate heart & mind will prove my point.

Deirdre on

1. Africa is a continent, not a single country; and I’m sure the situations are different in each state.

2. I would rather abort an unwanted foetus than leave it in a care home indefinitely, not knowing what would happen.

queenbee on

Stephanie,

Some of your points you make are valid ones, others not so much. You are extremely one-sided on the topic of adoption and I just wonder why? For one, I myself am Caucasion and will be adopting an African American child- I highly doubt I will try to go through life “pretending” that child is biologically mine, although I will certainly love it the same. ”

I want to touch on this topic because we are currently involved (or are aware of two situations where African children have been adopted by white people. One of them is the result of the caucasian mom marrying the dad and not being able to have kids of her own. She has adopted 3 girls that have an African mother. The tribe all the girls, the dad and the birth mom are in is Ashanti.

The mom is dead, so there was a great opportunity for the girls to be raised from the time they were very little to grown by a wonderful woman who is also a nurse. I met one of the daughters who is good friends with my daughter. This girl has some terrible issues and appeared to be either depressed or angry. (She is sort of quiet but for no reason, she often lashed out at her friends and even herself saying very denigrating things and engaging in self destructive behavior.

I had no opinion one way or the other about her or her family. A few years ago, I accompanied my daughter to this girl’s home to meet her mom. Keep in mind that this African child had been raised by this woman since she was 5 and now the girl was 15.

As soon as I arrived (the child was to spend a few days with me so I wanted to meet the mom to assure her of who I was and where her child would be staying) the mom immediately confided in me that she hoped the girl would not be an inconvenience then stated that she was an “odd child” who no doubt got it from her black mother. For the next 20 minutes or so, this woman who I had never met began to denigrate the African mother (who she had never met) then proceeded to denigrate black women in general.

Her point was that she had “rescued ” this child and her sisters and that they should not only be grateful forever for ‘all that she had done” but that they were better off with her as a white female and how whites were superior to any other type of female and that she was a great role model.

I pointed out to her that this child would grow up to be a black female and that any negatives shared with her now either to foster allegiance or to rant–were bound to cause conflict as the child tried to reconcile the opinions of her adoptive mom with her own reality. This went unheeded.

My point is this–a kid is not a kid is not a kid. They are human beings–and while people of different races are certainly capable of adopting and raising healthy children–I cannot help but wonder how many of these African or other ethnic children raised in other racial households will be subjected day in and day out to this type of stuff.

The little girl I was discussing is beaten down. She hates herself and she hates blacks and guess what? She really, really hates whites. She has been taught that as a person, she should be grateful for being rescued and as a woman (a black woman) she can never measure up. This is a very sad thing to imbue in any person.

I have met the adoptive mother and spoke to her several times. She is neither a mean person or a racist per se–but she is a person who is angry and scared. She wanted and still wants unconditional love from her adopted kids, but she sought it by trying to put down a race of people collectively who her girls will ALWAYS be a part of. You can not separate the apple from the apple tree and even though all are fruits–if you claim and express a hatred for the apple tree (the source) then all apples by extension are also not acceptable to you. This is the reason Obama chose his black side–it is the side he cannot get away from and that by US law he is legally bound to–but it also is the side his grandmother continually denigrated.

In the end, he chose the side that was more accepting of him–not that his family did not accept him–but they made him the EXCEPTION not the accepted one and that is not possible because in the real world, he would still just be another black male to most white people.

For the other child–same thing–listened all of her life to negative comments about blacks (though she was told that it did not apply to her or her brother because she had adoptive white parents. Well, this girl is 21 now and since she was 18, she has had nothing to do with her white adoptive family. They do not understand (after all that they have done for her) She seeks to find her African roots (I believe she is Nigerian) and says that she hates white people because of what was done to her.

People do not realize that children are not toys and that race is not something that is just skin deep–our society does not teach it that way–in pursuing something that fulfills a need in a human–and we like to believe also fulfills a need in a child–we do not consider that the hard work is not the adoption or the idyll of the “forever family” the hard work for an ethnically diverse household is how to not only respect and honor the child, but the culture and race that child will ALWAYS Be a part of–no matter what the race is of the person who raises them.

I hope Jillian is in this for the right reasons–and I also hope that those who seek this route understand that it is important to show respect and tolerance for all races–because down the road, your adopted African child will remember and internalize what they hear and what was said–REMEMBER THIS–no matter how noble–you cannot take comments back–even if you try, the hatefulness lingers and they also shape a person. No matter what–that child will always be black and WILL endure the daily things blacks endure here in this country–and if you think that minorities here do not endure a lot of racism and mistreatment yearly if not monthly or weekly–then you do not need to adopt an African child or any other minority child.

molly on

Stephanie,
You clearly don’t want to help educate others and shed some helpful information. It apprears that you prefer to “get off” on berading others and their choices by using “scare” tactics and in a very in-your-face approach. A total turnoff if you ever hope to shed some “truth”, as you say, to the situation. Perhaps earn trust from your audience first and we might listen.

I do apologize on the “it” wording, I don’t know the gender yet and I referred to my belly as “it” as well when I was pregnant. I am done with you, we agree to disagree and I can’t waste more time on this.

queenbee on

I think that Stephanie tried to be very upfront and truthful- She did say things from point of view that did not support your side, but that does not mean her comments are not valid. I think that instead of justifying adopting internationally or the industry (and it is a multibillion dollar a year industry) of selling babies–we need to be honest: NOT ALL BABIES offered in other countries have been abandoned by their parents and relatives. Many children have been stolen to sell to just such people as the American buyer. this is not fair to the families who may want the child and who have a greater tie, socially, culturally and racially to that child than a new parent ever will. (this is just a fact–unless an African in America adopts the child) There are issues too great to really argue why it is so difficult in America to adopt children and by now a lot of us know many horror stories from former foster care kids and what we read in the papers. Abuse both physically and sexual is rampant within the foster care program and how hard it is to adopt really depends on a lot of factors–the info about the potential parent, the status of the child, who your case worker is–what county…

As for international adoptions–governments are being regaled with stories of babies being stolen or of people recanting. One of the lures of adopting from Africa is not that the babies are unwanted or the parents do not want them back–but that the parents lack the clout and resources to get them back. Since it is a money making business–there are babies being stolen–and somehow it smacks really close to that other buying of human venture Americans justified over a century ago.

Then again, some babies are not wanted, particularly ones inflicted on young girls due to rape or had by people in other tribes–given the African emphasis on tribe purity–those children who are not fully of that tribe –might indeed be best being adopted as most tribes have no respect and consider outsider blood to taint their tribal lines. Given the wars in the Congo and the Sudan and the deliberate impregnation of females as a war tactic–there may indeed be quite a few babies legitimately up for sale–the real deal is that any responsible government BETTER make certain of the circumstances of that baby in the orphanage before removing that child from the country–taking a woman’s baby when she really did not want to give it up is rape of another sort and no amount of American amenities or what we want in this country can justify taking any child from their mom if she did not want to give her child up.

yikes on

stephanie,

most adoptions are not forced on the biological mother (some are, and these should be dealt with as kidnapping cases which is what they are). the vast majority of birthmothers simply are not able or willing to parent just now. BTW, i don’t know what research you are referring to. there is no such research that I know of – and I am actually a psychologist who is deeply immersed in issues surrounding adoption. it’s also interesting that you appear to have some empathy for the birthmothers but have none for the adoptive mothers, which is quite interesting psychologically… (not good, just interesting)

One final point, humans capacity to adopt is somethig we share with most mammals. parenting is a very basic instinct (fundamental to the species) and you don’t have to take care of a child for long for it to kick in. so no need to pretend the child is yours – they are in your heart, just like nature intended.

Molly, you are very reasonable in your opinions, so please put her post out of your mind!

z on

I am so sick of some of the snide remarks left here. To the womanwho mentioned how foster care is free & we should do private adoption, some people dont have 30,000.00 dollars ! For people who do great, but we are a loving family who have lost 8 babys through miscarriage, and I wish i had 30 grand. So I say congrats Jillian ! Any woman who has a mothers heart with no children is blessed when they get that child, regardless of where and how !

LucyMarie on

I am a military Mom and wife–what are Jillian’s plans for us? I just hate it when celebrities use us as the a way of getting publicity and then nothing. If IF Jillian follows through (yeah, I see about the USO–a great start, but she also mentions military families) then maybe I will change my tune.

I am a military wife unable to have more children. I want to adopt, but I am too ‘old’ at 40 I have been told here in the US (social services) and since I am a military wife :) I cannot afford private adoption.

There has to be a solution out there for the homeless children and families who want them.

Blessings,
LucyMarie

Nancy on

Molly–right on!

MS–She is entitled to her opinion but free speech does not equal sensitivity.

Adoptive parents have questions posed to them often like: Do you have any children of your own? How come you didn’t adopt from the US (this after our child was home) Aren’t you a baby smuggler? Are you going to do it again? Did you do everything you could to get pregnant?
My gosh–I have been asked all of these questions and so have MANY others I know.

Think about what you say to people and be sensitive to their feelings–I don’t consider my children adopted, I consider them my children.
Honestly, I don’t ask pregnant woman when they are going to lose their baby weight, why don’t they go through labor without an epidural, how many times did they have sex to conceive…etc… But people have no problem asking adoptive parents they dont even know these personal questions…….

Linda on

Why dont we have “licenses” to be parents like we need to have to drive a motor vehicle? Just because you have a vagina and a penis doesnt mean you should be allowed to have children. I think in this day and age, you should not be able to have children without permission from the government and then you must be restricted to only 2 children. Then all these sluts and whores out there who get messed up on drugs and alcohol, or these mexicans who have litters of kids and we hard working americans have to pay for their sexual mistakes, or these poor children who get abandoned to homes … its just not right. Our world is so messed up, its so very sad.

kristi on

I adopted my son domestically through private adoption and it only took 3 months to get him from the day we signed up. Adopting in the USA doesn’t only happen through foster care, that is just the free way of doing it.

– Dedra on May 11th, 2011

Dedra- You are the exception that you got a baby so fast. We used a private agency an it took us 29 months. We had several birthmothers change their minds during the process. In the end we were blessed with our daughter but it was a VERY long 29 months!

phil on

Or, she could adopt a kid thats here in this country?

Jenn on

Jillian you are amazing, to go over and support our troops, is awesome. I am a military wife, who’s husband is currently deployed and it’s ppl like u, that I have so much respect for. You care so much about the troops. Good luck on your adoption. You will be an amazing Mom. P.S. you should come to Ft. Bragg and visit sometime, I know us spouses would love it.

queenbee on

I think it is odd how we all can come to so many conclusions about this potential adoption. Those who adopt want to assume that all adoptions are legal, wanted and that this is a great thing. This is an activity. the proof of a great adoption is in a viable, and healthy adult later on–NOT in the wealth of the adoptive parent, the gender, the race or any other factor.

We also assume that the children chosen are unwanted when it has been in the news several times that children are being kidnapped or parents are being lied to about the true nature of the ‘adoption”. It is important to understand that many people in Africa and India “adopt” out their kids to relatives all of the time. They give children over to be raised by childless relatives BUT the children still usually have a relationship with their real parents, know of them and talk to them.

Parents are able to look their kids up and even intervene if they do not think they are treated well–the birth parents become (aunties and uncles to their natural child but they usually stay in that child’s life) The version of adoption as we know it (strangers often of a different race come over and take a child away forever never to hear from again) is alien to many Africans.

Further complicating this are the many wars and civil unrest that results in displaced children and people and with people showing up at orphanages with children to “sell” that may or may not be theirs–there is no DNA testing done for this.

To be honest–when people want a child, they do not really have an interest in the circumstance of the mother short of –can she take the kid back or did she have health problems–after that–most believe her loss is their gain. But as I posted repeatedly –the hard work is just beginning given that adoptive parents are now recipients of a child from another country, culture and often, race and they will have to help navigate this child through life–it is so easy to misstep or misspeak when it comes to race or to brush stuff off since many do not experience the hurt or hatefulness of racial comments personally–but all of these things are in the factor of raising a child.

Adoptive parents cannot just take children from other races and think they can just imbue their values and ideas on a baby –the truth is that the reality of the genetics is more than skin deep-there will be affectations or personality traits that are inherited–perspectives or ways of looking at things that are inherited, there may even be aspects of culture which by now are inherited–and through all of that, the adoptive parent must navigate and celebrate not only their choice in that child, but that child’s heritage, because in the real world, no one is going to give brownie points to the African child with white adoptive parents–in fact most won’t know that the African child is not just another black American–so the child must also be prepared for some of the things that they may probably face as a minority–and it does not have to be done with apologies or recrimination–it is just the reality–their color and features will be the first thing noticed, responded to and judged and babies eventually become just ordinary people–and are treated like we treat all other ordinary people (most of us ooooh and ahhhh over babies) when that happens–how prepared both parents and kids are to the real world and what parents have been filling that child’s mind up with–will tell–if it is disparaging comments about blacks or others–the child will pick that up and the day will come when they will question their place in the scheme of things because no matter how they are told that they are an exception–the world will hammer into them that they are NOT an exception–and many of us are not as nice to others–once they are no longer babies esp since most kids do not wear the race of their parents (and therefore get an exemption) on their foreheads..

Lisa on

I adopted an older child from the US and would NEVER do it again or recommend anyone do it. The government is more interested in getting available kids out of the system that they neglect to tell potential adoptive parents everything.

We were never told about my child’s mental health issues, that she was on psychotic medication (medicine that wasn’t even approved by the FDA for kids!!) that was stopped when we were in the process of meeting with her (so we wouldn’t know she was on anything). We were lied to and mislead from start to finish. It’s sad to say but I would never, ever recommend domestic adoption. Unfortunately, I hear of more sad endings from domestic adoption than I hear of happy endings.

Molly on

Linda, congratulations. Your comment is not only sexist, uneducated but also racist. You must be proud. Not too many women on this blog are able to offend women all across America with just one comment.

queenbee on

Linda,
Yep–I am just imagining what would happen if YOU adopted a minority child and shared just this sentiment with them–keeping in mind that out of 130 million minority Hispanic and blacks only a handful (comparatively speaking)are having litters of kids or engaging in whoring and/or drugs–but your words denigrates an entire race–and if you adopt a minority child that INCLUDES your adoptive child too–maybe not in YOUR eyes but certainly in the eyes of any other racist who has similar views to your own and does not know you bought your pick of the “litter”.

As I said about African children being adopted outside of their race and tribes and culture–I present Linda as ‘exhibit A” and now—think about a child growing up hearing stuff like that for 18 years or so….. What would be the outcome? Especially to their own psyche?

mary on

Why not adopt in USA.. Every famous couple or person seems to adopt out of the USA with very few exceptions. And on top of that you have someone who has already admitted she would never have kids because she would want to lose her figure but yet she wants to adopt.. WTF? Any kid that is ever in her custody will have self esteem issues because she clearly thinks being even slightly overweight is the worst thing that could happen to a child. Yes the fatter a person is the more at risk they are but Good lord. I am fat but I also like who I am and I would never want my daughter to think that if she didn’t maintain a certain weight she wasn’t good enough. GOD MADE ALL OF US DIFFERENT FOR A REASON AND IF YOU DONT LIKE SOMEONE BEING FAT THEN DONT LOOK AT THEM… its really that simple

Nanci on

Actually, Jillian has answered the question “why the Congo” several times…her plans are to adopt TWO children this year, one from Africa and one from the US. After consulting the experts, she was advised to adopt from Africa first and follow that with adoption in the US. If I understand correctly what she was told it has to do with the cultural aspect of bringing a minority child into a white home..being first, being the oldest is seen as respect and acceptance. At least that’s what I took from her explanation. Knowing Jill, she’s probably talked with every expert on earth about the order of her children in the sense of boy/girl, non-white/white, age, etc., etc. You’ve no idea how detailed she is in EVERYTHING she does and this is the most IMPORTANT thing she’s ever done. I’m excited for her and hope people will get off her case.

corey on

Jillian said not too long ago that she planned on adopting two children- one from overseas and one from the U.S. She was advised by the adoption case worker (or someone from the agency) that it was best to adopt the overseas child first so that they would feel a better sense of placement in the family before the American child came.

Ellie on

“Everyone would rather get an abortion then give their kids up for adoption”

“You say that like its a bad thing, Kris. Carrying a child for 9 months and then giving it up for adoption is not a physically or emotionally easy task.”

@ Darla- Beacause killing your unborn child IS an easy task? Good Lord, what has this world become?!

Stephanie on

I’ve already posted here some books and websites to start your research. But here are some more to help you understand what I am saying. It takes work to probe and learn about those things that you are not wanted to know.

http://www.origins-usa.org/Adoption_Industry

http://www.musingsofthelame.com/2007/11/national-council-for-adoption.html#links

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/tgr/07/3/gr070310.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20221300

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15244227

http://adoptioncritic.com/2008/08/21/open-adoption-they-knew-it-would-work/

http://www.nancyverrier.com/

And here is a link to my blog http://demeterslament.blogspot.com/, which will be a snore-fest to read, I’m sure, but there are a lot of links to information and research, etc. for anyone with the interest.

I, in no way, meant to come off as attacking anyone personally. I do, however, feel extremely passionate about this & very sad & frustrated by people’s attitudes toward fellow human beings. It truly breaks my heart that so many mothers and children are being separated for no good reason. It keeps me awake at night that so many lives have been destroyed and continue to be destroyed. For clarification, I have alerts set up so that any news story/article/video/blog…that has anything to do with adoption doesn’t get past me. They are all opportunities to further spread the truth.

Actually, 97% of all women who surrendered newborns or infants were coerced. Also, there are very few (3 that I know of) mental health workers in the United States who have been trained at all with the problems of adoption or adoption trauma. I have no doubt you had some kind of training that covered adoption but seriously doubt it was in any way true to the facts and real research. That’s not your fault, just how it has been up till now.

I do sympathize with people who want to adopt and also am thankful there are good homes for children who desperately need those homes. What I cannot sympathize with is the need for an infant which most often means that adoptive parent played a part in the kidnapping you mentioned. I can sympathize with the devastation infertility or even being born gay due to the loss of that experience to be pregnant, to have that biological bond, to have a child that is genetically you & your partners. I get it. However, far too often these adoptive parents haven’t had the counseling they need to deal with and accept that plight before they’ve adopted an infant in an attempt (however unconscious) to create the illusion of that biological experience. There’s more, but I think you get the picture.

That said, I absolutely, without question, have much more sympathy and empathy for any woman (and her child) who lost a child to adoption unnecessarily. As I’m sure you know; it is not comparable to the inability to conceive. There was a pregnancy, there is a little person who is biologically that mother’s offspring. A bond has formed in-utero, the mother has carried her child 9 months, she’s felt its movement, heard the heartbeat, talked to her baby, took her vitamins & ate the right foods, made plans & daydreamed about all the beautiful moments she’s share with her child. These are two people biologically & spiritually connected who are going through the most devastating loss a person can endure. Though I am not as enlightened as I’d like to be I do try to hold compassion for all people. I just happen to have a lot more compassion for people being treated so cruelly and a little less for those perpetuating the problem.

I am aware that “adoption” in the animal world is a fairly common and natural occurance. I, however, do not see the correlation between an animal (who takes in others’ young only when it is absolutely necessary, by the way) and a human being. There are differences in intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional development and awareness.

Also, parenting is a basic instinct that comes with the birth process. Even fathers have to learn to bond and parent, whereas biological mothers do it naturally. Granted, women are more naturally prone to nurture. There is a difference between that and parenting being a basic instinct. An adoptive mother can learn as fathers do (& may need counseling to understand her conflicted feelings), but must also be counseled about the issues adopted children have, even those who were adopted as an infant and do not consciously “know” they are adopted. It is negligent to do or say anything that is not wholly and completely the truth. People’s lives & happiness, including adoptive parents, are at stake.

Well, you ladies have been just about the most reasonable I’ve dealt with in such a forum yet. Phew! Thank you…wishing nothing but the best for you all.

Manal from Jordan on

Stephine : just one question, don’t you think Caylee Marie whould have been better off if she was adopted by a loving family who really wanted her?!… Adoption is a beautiful thing! stop being naive there are children who are unwanted, there are children who have no one! there are orphans and all of these children deserve to have a family.

Nancy on

Stephanie–I am an adoptive child and parent. When I look at my cousins who were born to the parents who raised them, several of them have extreme mental issues that I did not have. I am not perfect but I have worked through being adopted. I think it is a wonderful thing.

I definitely would suggest to anyone wanting to adopt to really research and find a reputable agency who has worked in the adoption field for a long time whether it is domestic or international.

There is nothing worse than finding the wrong agency and losing all of the money you saved for agency fees, medical fees or orphanage fees.

As far as bonding, a good agency will talk at length about it in the homestudy as well as prepare prospective parents in group meetings.

It really depends on the person. We all know bio moms who are terrible parents and adoptive parents who are excellent parents and vice versa…

A mother is the one who cares for the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of a child throughout their life, not just who conceived and delivered them.

Stephanie on

“linda” I originally wrote this for someone else at another “discussion” and it seemed fitting to share it with you here…I won’t waste my time on you actually typing up something.
And with this…I’m done here…
_____________________________________
Have you ever had sex? Ever been in love? Ever gotten pregnant? Have you ever had sex with no protection but got “lucky” in not getting pregnant? Have you ever been separated from your parents, your family, your history, your roots? Have you ever had your baby taken from your arms while you cry and beg to keep him/her? While your heart shatters in the despair that you didn’t have the support or help to be the mother you longed to be? Have you ever had to go through your whole life not knowing who you are and having those basic human rights (and primal human needs) marginalized and dismissed? Have you ever had to spend 20, 30, 50 years aching for your child, worrying about your child, suffering depression day in and day out for the LOSS of that child? Your comments are pathetically sad. And I mean that sincerely, it is terribly sad! Please, I beg you, educate yourself.

These are human beings we are talking about. Adoptees have every right to their OBC. It is THEIRS. The very few mothers who don’t want to be found can opt OUT. That would make much more sense and more easily managed. If someone is found who doesn’t want to be found then they say so and that’s that. To my knowledge it is still a crime to stalk or harrass a person who wants nothing to do with you. If it is some big secret then that is their problem for not facing the reality of this HUMAN BEING they created. Frankly, that is the entire problem with adoption. There are far too many lies, deciet and secrets. And it is all surrounded by big business. The PAPs haven’t dealt with their infertility so they want to live in denial of it. They want to live in rainbow-farting unicorn land where this adoptee is actually born to them. If the adoption agency can’t promise them they are 100% legally the parents (including altering the OBC which personally i think should NEVER be done to start with) and the mother won’t find them and the kid can’t find out then those PAPs won’t pay upwards of $30,000 for their pretend offspring. Sealing these records does not now and NEVER HAS had anything to do with promising mothers confidentiality of any kind. The idea that natural parents have ever and I mean EVER been promised confidentiality is a FALSEHOOD. It’s just another smokescreen to get the ignorant masses into a political frenzy about something they know nothing about though it is high time people start paying attention because you are all perpetuating the abuse of power, human rights violations out the wazoo, and a blight on our country as huge as slavery and I dare say, even genocide.

OBCs are altered and then the original kept from its rightful owner (the adoptee!) to protect THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS’ FANTASY and therefore THE BABY BROKERS BOTTOM LINE. Again, do your research and get your facts straight. And as for the biological fathers…it’s far past due time that they grow up, get a backbone and take responsibility for the person they have created.

A few other points I’d like to make:
1) a man’s name cannot be listed on a birth certificate as the father unless he is married to the mother or he is there in person to sign, agreeing to his name being listed and
2) no one wants to have a child just to hand it over to someone else. it is devastating. any woman who has given birth knows this…unless you have rocks in your chest. i chose to not abort my child BECAUSE I WANTED HER. i didn’t give birth to her so that she could be taken by strangers. adoption and abortion have absolutely ZERO connection.
3) another issue with all this baby selling secrecy is the need to know if you are about to marry and procreate with your sibling! (it happens!) can we please return to some level of common sense and human decency?

Jesus Christ, you people make it difficult to remain calm and patient. I am astounded by the level of ignorance in the SHEEPLE of my country. It’s as if everyone is too lazy to stop and think, let alone do a little self-education.

Nicole on

Stephanie,

As an adoptee, I don’t want your sympathy. I feel very blessed to have the parents I do. There is no way an unmarried high school student could’ve given me what they did. Biology does not equate the necessary maturity and resources to be a good parent. I was able to be raised in a stable and loving home. My parents were able to bring up a child. And my bio mom was able to go and achieve things she never would have as a teen parent. It was a gift all around.

You are clearly blinded by your bad experiences. Adoption isn’t comparable to what it was forty years ago.

dsfg on

Stephanie, did it occur to you that YOUR post sounds ignorant to many people? The fact is, everyone has different experiences. Some have had good experiences with adoption or abortion and some people have had bad experiences with them. Just because you or someone you know may have had a bad experience with adoption doesn’t mean adoption is always a bad thing.

queenbee on

Stephanie–you make some very good points and a lot of what you say is true, Genetics will out—people want to believe that raising a child and how that is done is 90% of how that child will turn out but they are finding that nurture vs nature is actually about 65% genetics and only 35% nurture though that nurturing can make a big difference in the final outcome of that child. I agree with a lot of what you say especially when it comes to African babies. The African societies are not set up nor is it fully understood by many that they are giving up their children for life–BUT I also know for a fact that not all women want their children. Some people are forced to carry children that they do not want and in the end, they are relieved to give the child up because they cannot bear to have it in their lives (esp children of rapists or incestuous couplings) it is not true that all women attach immediately to their children.

IN fact, it is actually very dangerous to force a mom to keep a child she has expressly admitted to not loving or wanting. In cases like this, the child is unattached to the mother and the mother may be prone to abuse or neglect due to feeling she is forced to bear then keep the child.

There is a role for adoptive parents to play in cases of abandoned or unwanted children–the real problem is for adoptive parents to consider that the child is best if it remains with those relatives who want the child and are capable of raising the child. Sometimes when people want a thing bad enough they justify what they want and believe anything goes.

It does no good to speak to infertile people about a child being torn away from a mother because they will continue to believe the child is better off in an adoptive home and even if the child is kidnapped they will focus on all they have to offer (in love and monetary things) but not on links and genetics and a sense of self and truly belonging) This is because there is an emotional need which perpetuates itself by ignoring that especially on continents like Africa –all children for sale are not legitimate orphans–it is easier for the adoptive parent to believe this or to feign surprise if it turns out the child is adopted.

Finally, though I agree with a lot of what you say and blood is usually a better choice–it is not always–in cases of rape or incest, the child is considered a badge of shame to the mother and often the entire tribe disowns the woman and the child–also in cases of rape (which there are many in the Congo right now) women do not attach to what was forced on them–instead, they may not be able to kill the child but they will leave it at the orphanage to get away from the memory especially preteen girls who are gang raped. They want NO reminders.

Now in those cases (and there are many of those cases right now) should the child do without parents or do you think it wise to force the family or the mom to take the child–because if so, you are not aware of the trauma that can ensue including death of that child due to neglect or anger.

Moms do have a special place for their babies–IF they are in agreement with the idea of the pregnancy in the first place. When a woman is forced to have a child that she does not want she does not magically come to “love that child as it is growing in her” she instead may see it as a parasite and a chain forever marring her life and forcing her to face whatever happened to create the child in the first place. sometimes a new start is best for everyone–My position is, that an investigation is made to ensure the children up for adoption go to good homes and that they are truly unwanted children and the placement for adoption is truly voluntary.

jodee on

I think adoption is absolutely amazing! I am the Mother of a 13 year biological son and 2 adopted miracles….age 2 and age 8 months…Full siblings. I also thought that adoption takes years but if you can find a good agency…ours took about 5 months from the first phone call. We adopted here in the states. Everyone has a different experience but my belief is your baby(s) will find you! Best of luck to all awaiting parents :)

Traci on

I have not adopted nor was I adopted but as a mother I believe every child regardless of where they came from needs a good loving home. I was blessed to be able to have my children biologically and never had to endure the heartache of not being able to concieve and then have my decision to adopt be ripped apart by strangers. God Bless every person who decides to be a parent to a child in need of one!

Christina on

While I don’t judge people who adopt overseas as opposed to American children like Sandra Bullock did, I do however question why people mostly chose Africa?? Hello- there are many many countries in Europe who need good adoptive families. My parents and grandparents are originally from Western Europe and if adoption was an option that I needed to consider and an American child was not available, I would seek to adopt in my family’s native country simply because I have dual citizenship, speak the language and understand the culture. Personally, adopting a child from Africa or Asia would be difficult because I would not know what to teach them about their culture and moer importantly having society always look different towards our family. There are many kids who need good homes besides third world countries! Spain, Italy, France,England can all be good options. Also Jillian needs to come clean with her homosexuality, she keeps trying to deter from talking about it.. newsflash no one cares who is gay or straight anymore, Ellen, Ricky Martin, Lance Bass were not shockers to the public either! best of luck raising your baby!

minenotmine on

My 2 kids are both adopted; one from Asia, the other from the US. Both processes are fraught with tensions. The end results are still terrific.

There’s tons of great adoption research on http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/index.php which might help clarify some of the misconceptions here.

And I think Jillian rules. She’s in for a shock once her baby arrives! But she’ll manage, as people do!

Noodles on

To whomever called her selfish, I remember reading an article about her where she clarified her statement, ‘I would never do that to my body’… she has a condition that made it difficult, or impossible to carry a child.

I am not her biggest fan, although I find her workout tapes a refreshing much needed swift kick to my butt, but I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to pass judgement? Sometimes people don’t divulge all the details of their personal life because, well, they don’t need to! I know I don’t feel any obligation to anyone to tell them my life story, but that doesn’t mean I deserve to be called selfish.

Kim on

Yes adoption is a very long process and I admire Jillian Michaels for not using her celebrity status to get a baby- we all know its been done (Rosie O’Donnell shamelessly bought her babies as did Sheryl Crow). I am single, have not met Mr Right and I have already looked into international adoption with two agencies-I was quoted a total of about $30K will be spent and being a government employee, I don’t have that kind of money. And there are alot of issues with certain countries and constant delays depending on who you talk to. Domestic adoption is also very difficult as the birth mother can always change her mind and it does happen. Also, single parents are rarely chosen by the birth mother, and we are still frowned upon by society. There are lots of married couples who have no business having children. Foster care is a thankless and heartbreaking job and I am looking into it, but again, I have challenges being single and gainfully employed. If your boss or work does not support you fostering, things can and will be difficult. You will miss work, have to leave early, and once you bond with the kids, they can leave at the drop of a hat. I may choose to get pregnant over adoption only because it’s cheaper and quicker, it won’t be about genetic vanity. Nobody has any business knocking Jillian for what she’s doing. Adoption is tough-you cannot start this journey without guts. I think someone who can love and mother a child that is not even bioligically theirs is certainly someone with God-given soul. Jillian has the money to use a surrogate but she has chosen not to-do not knock her for that.Good luck Jillian!

yikes on

Stephanie,

97% of adoptions are not a result of coercion – that is simply not true. I have worked with both adoptive and birthmothers, and so have first hand experience with the decision-making process of many birthmothers. They were not coerced – they do often feel heartbroken at the loss of the chance to parent this child, but love their child so much, they are willing to live with that heartbreak. They also want to go to college or care for the other children they have – i.e., live their lives. I think you are confusing these things.

as for the ability of adoptive parents to parent – the proof is int he pudding so to speak. Most adopted children turn out just fine. Also, there is an entire literature of animal work (which is now being extended to humans; fyi, the biological systems that drive our parental response are nearly identical to those in other species, particularly primates) indicating that the hormones and neurological pathways that are linked to becoming a mother are turned on for adoptive mothers too (it just takes a bit longer).

I find it hard to believe that there is anyone who can be against adoption as a general rule. you have people who want children, and children you need parents, and birthmothers who cannot parent. it’s literally the best solution possible for a late-term unwanted pregnancy. i am sorry for whatever loss you have lived through, but pelase remember that your experiences are yours alone. it is frankly jsut not ok to either diminish the bond between adoptive parents and their children, or to diminish the choice of birthmothers. they love their child so much, they have made the ultimate sacrifice to better his or her life. taking away their “choice” diminishes that experience, and does not serve anyone’s interest. please reconsider – you are not helping yourself or society with this (I didn’t look at your websites, but it is clear that this have discussed this in many forums). you are being cruel here – i am sure you don’t want to be, but you are.

Sharon on

This woman needs to educate herself before she becomes an adoptive mother. You do not “rescue” a child by adoption – if you want to rescue something (her word, not mine) get a puppy not a child. If you want to rescue an orphan, sponsor one don’t adopt one. Her previous comments show her to be very ignorant and I hope for her child’s ske she gets herself some education. As the mother of an internationally adopted child, I can say that going into this without education is just dangerous for the child. They have enough issues to contend with without feeling “rescued”.

stacy on

i wanted to read all the posts, but no time. i did see someone mention “novelty”. Is it fashionable to adopt a baby from another destitute country. Is it because young unadulterated babies are harder to find in the states. is adopting like shopping at nordstroms. Oh I want a baby that looks just like me with curly hair and bright white skin?. I am fully behind a woman’s right to choose either abortion or adoption or even trying to be a mom on shaking grounds. I know plenty of women who were unsure of there decision to keep a child and ended up being great parents. does a 15 year old even have an inkling of how to have a healthy pregnancy, is it possible that it could kill them to have this baby. Everyone has a right to choose how they handle their own bodies.I personally think that every female should be given birth control when they start their periods. How about the boys get some too. How many woman have had to have a child from their rapists. Don’t crap on anyone who has had to make a life or death decision. Jillian is leading an alternative lifestyle. I honestly do not know the rules on single lesbian moms adopting in the us. I also do not understand the two married men(with money) who get to adopt a child over a conventional man woman parent model. I know love is love and everyone deserves it.it’s just too much about money and who you know. i do think it’s rude for a rich celebrity woman to overlook the us children who need homes. but they are too affected to waste time or money on a child that may have string. Sorry to say but Jillians not wanting to ravage her body is a very telling sign of what kind of mom she will be.she’s just like the selfish housewives who schedule there c sections before the stretch marks kick in. Vanity is so disgusting and it’s all the more apparent with these celebs. I just think all of our government systems are corrupt. How do so many children get put into fosters that beat them and use them for the pay check. don’t start defending them. i know the fosters here are very protective of their lot. but lets face it. those kids are a paycheck just like the welfare mothers. everyone has a right to their opinion so if you don’t like mine. stuff it.;)

stacy on

p.s. someone mentioned coercion to give up for adoption. my mother was coerced at the age of 17 to give up her baby by her parents. the baby was adopted and we have know way of knowing where my brother is or who he went too. how sad for my mom who wanted to keep him. how sad for me that he is not in my life.

Lily on

@ Linda
Your comment is extremely offensive. You sound bitter and hateful and the language you use in which you called people sluts and whores was not needed. Surely you could have sounded more tactful.

I’m extremely happy for Jillian. I am not a parent yet, but I know the feeling as I helped my mother raise my three younger siblings. I plan on doing both adopting and having biological children. My aunt and uncle adopted from both Guatamala and China and my uncle I believe is the happiest he has ever been. His two children light up his life.

Kathy on

The decision to adopt any child from any country is a decision to make a change in that child’s future and in yours. Saving a child from living a life without the love and permanence of a “forever family” is a life-changing and self-less experience. Adopting a child does not know limits across culture or race or age or gender; adoption, while it is a choice, is also a calling. It’s not about you – it’s about the child.

There are over 100,000 children available in the US foster care system who wait for a permanant and forever family. My husband and I adopted both of our daughters at age 8 – they are now 10 and 14. They are both from the US foster care system. You must be purposeful in your desire and be willing to put in an enormous effort and perserverance; it is time consuming and there are many obstacles to overcome.

The process is not for the faint of heart whether you pursue US domestic or international adoption. The outcome is the same; provide a life of unconditional love and permanence that defines a “forever family”.

Me on

Good for her. Adoption is a wonderful thing, no matter where it is from. She is doing a wonderful thing for a child.

KJ on

queebee – no need to keep bringing up that clown currently residing in the white house. nobody cares about that foreign born fraud and his charlatan ways. get over it.

stephanie – your rants are borderline pyschotic and rambling incorrhently. check your facts, get a life, and up your meds. you do not know anything about this topic. Children need love. And adoptive parents are there for them. Please go troll another blog.

Tracy on

With all this gal does to help other people achieve their full potential she certainly deserves the gift of motherhood. Who cares where the child comes from love has no borders. My very best wishes.

KJ on

queenbee – your ignorance is stunning. keep your lame comparisons about that White House joke out of this serious thread. nobody cares about that sob

Marky on

Look, our family was a foster family for many years, and we attempted to adopt a child we had for 6 years. It was a disaster and he nearly destroyed our children, as well as the situation breaking our hearts when it didn’t work out. He had so many problems we were not told about, and even with many hours of training each year by the best professionals, we were not able to change his issues and help heal real mental issues he had. In all the years we did foster care, I knew of one FP who abused a child and it was their bio child. Not okay, but still, not the widespread abuse of foster children being discussed by some.

We do have adopted children, domestic and international, and I must say to Queenbee (who fancies herself to be a real authority on interracial adoption) that my interracial child is the child who is most like me in a dozen ways. It is a family joke, to be honest. It isn’t as hard as people think, to help your child learn about their heritage, foods, and any other details about their country of origin. Not everyone is racially insensitive, and many are very good at making friends with people from their child’s country of origin, and learn to cook foods from the same.

It is utter nonsense to think your child cannot adapt, either. Everyone has to adapt to different situations throughout their life, and lest you think I don’t know what i’m talking about because my children are not old enough–I have grandchildren by these children, who are now successful adults. They love us and the whole family, and we love them, too, just as we love our biological children.

We chose international adoption because we did not want anyone to take our child from us after months of us loving the child and our child loving his sibling. How was that supposed to be constructive? We know people who have had their child for 6 months and a drug-addicted parent, or elderly grandparents show up and decide they are ready to parent. They may go through this more than once. After having this happen several times, why would anyone want to keep dealing with that? I’ve known of people going through agencies and it took several years and still no child.

I realize no one really has a right to assume they will have children or be able to adopt, but when you desperately want a child, it just makes sense to go with the way that works best for your family and the way you think will work for yourself and the child. Adoptive parents don’t just care about themselves, and frankly, adoption is difficult at best, so it requires thought, and often takes all the money you have, so the adoptive couple doesn’t take it lightly.

Brooke on

Who gives a rat’s ass where the kid was born? Love the child!! That is all that matters!! We adopted domestically and it took us all of 3 months to get my baby sister. Her mother was a drug addict and my sis was born premature but healthy. She graduated from high school at 16 and is gradating from college this summer. We got her as a foster child at age 7 and at first she was a brat but by age 10 she asked to be adopted. Dont give up hope or forget that older kids can be as much as a blessing as little ones!!

hocus on

If you look at Jillian’s facebook page, she has said numerous times that she is physically incapable of having children.

She also plans on adpotng two kids, one from this country and one from Africa. The logistics of adopting overseas make it practical to adpot that child first.

k on

I would like to adopt, but would probably go outside the country as well. While I do feel aweful for all the children in the US who need homes, the fact is that adoptive parents here don’t have rights when the birth parents change their minds. My best friends adopted a beautiful baby girl, the love of their lives, only to have her ripped from their arms five years later when her crack head mother decided to get clean and be a parent. It destroyed them. A baby from outside the country can’t be taken away…

showbizmom on

@ Queenbee you are a master at race relations and interracial adoptions.

END SARCASM.

God bless anyone who adopts. Kids, young and old are blessings and there should never be a debate about that.

Jillian on

Just because you say it…..doesn’t make it true. There is a lot of that going on here. I got exhausted reading all the comments where people just make stuff up or write what they believe.

dsfg on

“I personally think that every female should be given birth control when they start their periods.”

Birth control is a medication and it has many side effects. Every female should be able to make the CHOICE of whether or not she wants to take birth control. It should not be something automatically given to every menstruating female.

“Sorry to say but Jillians not wanting to ravage her body is a very telling sign of what kind of mom she will be.”

So youu’re saying it’s okay for a woman to have an abortion because she doesn’t want her body to go through pregnancy, but it’s not okay for a woman to take birth control to try and prevent that unwanted pregnancy from ever happening?

Sorry, Stacy, but your comment is full of contradictions. No offense; I realize you are probably very young, most likely still a child.

If you had actually read the article, you would see that Jillian is unable to get pregnant naturally because of a medical condition.

dsfg on

“I was blessed to be able to have my children biologically and never had to endure the heartache of not being able to concieve and then have my decision to adopt be ripped apart by strangers.”

Traci, not everyone who adopts is infertile. In fact, about 90% of the people I know who have adopted are not infertile. For many people, adoption is a choice, not a last resort.

prism on

Poverty is often a root cause of child abandonment. Sometimes, Political conditions also contribute to child abandonment.

“The Dying Rooms” is a documentary that nobody can ever forget or not find to be deeply touching. China’s one-child policy has created a race where most families desire boys, and therefore parents are forced to abandon their babies. Their unfortunate and tragic lives are left at the mercy of these orphanages where their sad fate is ultimately decided by the staff and ignored by the government.

To Watch this documentary online visit cultureunplugged

queenbee on

queenbee – your ignorance is stunning. keep your lame comparisons about that White House joke out of this serious thread. nobody cares about that sob

– KJ on May 13th, 2011

Is that YOU, Linda? LOL. I brought up Obama simply because many people do not understand why he sees himself as black and not as half black and half white (the US laws on the books for miscegenation have never been repealed–they state that if over 16% black a person must be considered black) You have a problem and it extends beyond this forum. I did not bring up the President as anything more than a model to discuss the points of racism and being raised incorrectly in a diverse or multinational household. No politics here–but if your response is anything to go by–I hope you do not adopt outside of your race or we will have yet another casualty infected by cruel, hateful racism/politicism. And I can say that as an Independent who has no great love for Obama–but do recognize the damage from negativity about his own race being spoken repeatedly to him by someone he loved.

Amy on

“You say that like its a bad thing, Kris. Carrying a child for 9 months and then giving it up for adoption is not a physically or emotionally easy task.”

And abortion is supposed to be an easy task?! I think not. It’s traumatizing and you have to live with the decision forever. So, kill a child or give it life?

queenbee on

- Marky on May 13th, 2011 –I agree with your statements. I live in a multiracial household and have children that are mixed with African, European, Pakistani, American Indian and Asian blood–I also am part of a larger community of immigrants who network and communicate with those within our neighborhoods and have done so for over 30 years. My knowledge base is anecdotal as well as personal and I think you may have done well with your adopted child due to your own sensitivity and perserverance in these issues. BUT as a stated, the proof is in the adult not in the child–as these kids grow up, they often have had very positive reinforcement or very negative–when it is positive, and loving it is great–when it is negative, they often take it outside their adoptive families to share their anger, resentment and pain.

I have not implied that no one can or should adopt a child from another culture, but I have pointed out time and time again for the need to be sensitive to the issues of race and to not rely on the belief that “love or want conquers all” it does not and the truth is–those of a different nationality or race often suffer in communities where there is no diversity –NOT from their adoptive families per se–but often from others who are not as tolerant. This is a fact–if you care to research it.

queenbee on

Poverty is often a root cause of child abandonment. Sometimes, Political conditions also contribute to child abandonment.

“The Dying Rooms” is a documentary that nobody can ever forget or not find to be deeply touching. China’s one-child policy has created a race where most families desire boys, and therefore parents are forced to abandon their babies. Their unfortunate and tragic lives are left at the mercy of these orphanages where their sad fate is ultimately decided by the staff and ignored by the government.

To Watch this documentary online visit cultureunplugged

– prism on May 13th, 2011

the interesting thing about China is that due to the policy of one child adoption they are now suffering a shortage of females with 1 female being available to every 4 males. It is estimated that most Chinese men will NOT be able to find wives within the next 2 generations due to the policy and the tolerance to people either aborting female fetuses or giving them up for adoption. The Chinese are now trying to change their policies towards females but years of valuing males over females (and having only one shot at a gender) has made this an uphill battle for them.

queenbee on

@ Queenbee you are a master at race relations and interracial adoptions.

END SARCASM.

God bless anyone who adopts. Kids, young and old are blessings and there should never be a debate about that.

– showbizmom on May 13th, 2011

Not an expert, but as a minority AND a mother and person growing up in a very diverse multinational household and as a networker with the Sierra Leone , French Guyanese, Madagascan, Ethiopian and Somalese and Kenyan immigrants in this country as well as having a multinational household myself and working with mother and children of domestic violence–I probably have much more credit and experience in this area than you and many others who can only see as far as your own wants and desires and your justifications for it.

I believe in adoptions and see a place for international adoptions but as I repeatedly write–it does not begin and end with the adoption and when adopting children of another race–it behooves people to be sensitive and respectful of the race their child is from even as they fulfill their own dreams of having that “forever” family.

That’s all.

queenbee on

I think it is very important as people move forward with adoptions–either here or outside the country to remember that there is a life there that they can shape BUT only so much. There is not much you can do about perceptions outside of your home or experiences or feelings your adoptive child may have towards what they see and hear–esp when it applies to people from Africa.

There are some extremely negative viewpoints towards other races in this country and though a lot of times things are said in jest–they are hurtful and can have bad consequences for children just the same. Above all else, a child needs love–but they also need CONSIDERATION. Too often people do not think about what they say in front of children and how the child processes that–nor is the child likely to relay their feelings towards these types of encounters.

When these children get older or are adults, they often share these stories within the communities where they think such experiences are common–then there is a lot of “when I was young, my grandmother said…” or “my adoptive mother always said….”

WHAT I am saying is that Jillian or anyone else –it does not matter–many children DO need good, loving homes–but when you cross cultural lines–kids can and do adapt–when it is racial–there are some things NO ONE can adapt to–never forget–you may have a child for yourself–but a child is raised to live within a society–and unfortunately, in our society–a different skin color or facial features often set children (and adults) up for a lifetime of negative and stereotypical comments–I am hoping that WHEN it happens (not IF) that there will be less grown adoptees telling us it happened to them in the homes they were adopted in.

gen on

http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com

Please read this wonderful blog. Every child deserves someone, no matter where they were born.

Shannon on

I am so happy for her, she will make a great mom! It doesn’t matter where your child comes from, what’s important is that they are in a happy, loving family.

We adopted our daughter through our county foster care program- she came to us at 3 weeks old and within months termination of parental rights had occured, our particular situation was actually quicker then most domestic or international adoptions.

There are so many ideas and stories floating around out there, I have one thing to say to people who have no experience with adoption- please stop talking- unless you have been through the process you don’t know what you are talking about.

There are laws and practices in place so that kids are not adopted and then magically “taken back” from the adoptive parents. Due diligence is done once termination of parental rights occurs there is no going back, those rights have been terminated. The courts do not take terminating rights of parents lightly, however it’s a done deal once it’s signed by the judge.

Adopting through foster care can be a long and difficult journey and seems to vary from county to county- but it’s very possible. I love how people always talk about “some distant friend or someone down the street” that had a terrible experince with adoption, it’s sad that is how people get thier information and that’s what shapes their ideas about adoption.

Good for Jillian, I wish her nothng but happiness!

SheilaS on

interracial siblings seemed to work great on the show, Different Strokes. of course all 3 kids (off-the-set) ended up tragically; so maybe they should have lived with Mr. Drummond full time ;)

queenbee – Yawn. you seem to assume the worst in adoptive parents’ motives and you couldn’t be more off base. Holding on to past hang ups and preconceived notions and seeking to paint everyone with a broad brush…. forcing your way down everyone’s throat. You do exactly what you preach against. whatever. equally disturbing, you apparently love to hear yourself talk and opine as the resident know-it-all. ummm reality check is in order. oprah-syndrome perhaps.

I trust you are not suggesting that a child should remain in a poverty-stricken Africa or with a crack head mom in the US inner city w/no babydaddy around, bleak future, and crime everywhere… just in the name of being sensitive to them and benefiting from their familiar “culture”. Why not give adoptive parents the benefit of the doubt. They are the ones going to great lengths emotionally, financially, and physically to expand their families and provide a loving environment for a child. Let it go queenbee.

queenbee on

queenbee – Yawn. you seem to assume the worst in adoptive parents’ motives and you couldn’t be more off base. Holding on to past hang ups and preconceived notions and seeking to paint everyone with a broad brush…. forcing your way down everyone’s throat.
et it go queenbee.

– SheilaS on May 13th, 2011

Said in 2009:

(as told by a young adopted woman from Kenya)–her adopted mom was angry because she did not keep her bedroom clean–“as a kid my mom always told me that my ‘lazy ways’ obviously came from my African side and that I better get with the program”

April 2010–a woman came into a hair salon with her young adopted daughter–she wanted to know how to care for her hair–these were her words “Can you help me with my daughter’s hair? I adopted her from Africa and I have never been able to do anything with her hair…(then laughs) I swear that it’s just like carpet–can you maybe straighten it like that girls?”

The girl with the straight hair was my daughter–her hair is naturally straight. The little girl whose hair was described as being “like carpet was about 5 or 6 and was standing right there.

WHAT DO YOU THINK REMARKS LIKE THAT DO TO THAT CHILD’S ESTEEM OR DOES IT COUNT?

2 months ago, I was with a friend who has a biracial child (her own) . I had not seen her for years and the child had really grown up a lot (from a baby to an 11 year old) I remarked on how much the child had changed over those years. Mom smiled and rolled her eyes and said “I know..right? When she was born she used to be sooo pretty with really light skin and silky hair, now look at her–she is soooo dark and her hair is all frizzed up–I don’t know what happened” The child was now the color of Obama.

WHAT SHOULD HER OWN CHILD TAKE FROM THAT? tHINK THAT GIRL WILL NOT HAVE SELF ESTEEM ISSUES?

My point is NOT to slam adoptions but to approach adoptions with more than the same myopic view that Americans approach marriage.

In this country everyone thinks that “true love” is the barometer for marriage and have high hopes but the REALITY is that within 5 years over 40% of those marriages will FAIL and within 15 years that number climbs to almost 60%.

This idea that interracial child making or raising is colorblind and does not matter is a sham and MUST be addressed. I give talks on this issue and for the most part, those with adopted children are as receptive to it as those with biologic interracial children. They are THANKFUL to have the issue discussed because they NEVER KNEW the emotional damage that their own words–said in jest or conversationally can inflict on their child.

In making my comments about addressing this issue–I am assuming that most people want a child for more than self gratification and intend to raise a healthy, happy human being–that means they CARE about what could adversely affect their child. If they are engaging in behaviors (Unknowingly that could give trauma–they want to know NOT slam anyone who dares to bring it up)
I always say the best time to understand and practice racial sensitivity is BEFORE you adopt or have that baby not after–people are so caught up in the ideal of “a human being to help and love” that they seldom think beyond the first years to that child growing up.

IS THIS YOU? OR ANYONE ELSE WITH AN INTERNATIONAL CHILD?

1. Do you speculate or discuss/criticize what you see as the problems within that child’s ethnicity, race or country with them? (You may mean it to apply to everyone EXCEPT them but they know to outsiders–THEY will be perceived as the “everyone” so it gives them a skewed view in how they are seen.

2. Do you make comments about blacks or other races, or make jokes about them and feel that they should just “lighten up” this will place your child in the position of never being open about any slight or hurt you give them even if unintentional –but they will not lighten up or ‘get over it” they will bring it to that mom or discussion group or to their friends when they are older and they will be full of stories about how insensitive their adoptive parents are.

3. Do you compare black and white people? Your child will know that if you do it, so do others–and while you might forgive them or exempt them–they will suspect others of condemning them–after all, if you are like that–why would those who do not know you be different?

No–you are right–I would never object to anyone adopting a child in need of any race or creed, but I will ALWAYS stand up and point out that it takes due diligence and sensitivity to raise a healthy, happy child. We all come to the table full of life experiences, angst and recriminations and parents are often guilty of trying to “correct or manage their children” so that they prevent what they think are mishaps–BUT>>>

When it comes to children from other minorities or cultures–there are things about how they are or how they process information that you will never know if you have never been where they are.

I wish all children who are adopted were not only in loving, safe homes, but also in nonjudgmental homes–but that is not the case–I could name time after time including this year, when people have said racially insensitive things to children and grown ups.

One mother stated that she was getting worried about her daughter, because she was not racist or anything, but you would have to admit that black girls are more promiscuous and out there than white girls.

Nice Mom. When I read some of the attitudes here–I see a lot of denial. IN the rush to make this a happy/happy joy joy–I see a lot of potential adoptive parents who may inadvertently emotionally destroy their kids. Why? Because for some reason, people think blacks and others should just “get over racism and mistreatment and slurs, etc –but to get over something it has to stop and there has to be a respite.

Minorities cannot “get over racism because it never stops. It will not stop when you adopt a black child either–but everyone needs a place to feel safe and accepted unconditionally. In black families or other minorities, that safe place is home–but as numerous kids and adults share their experiences with us about life in their multinational households–they often had NO PLACE where they were not made fun of (for having chinky eyes, or kinky hair or whatever) and the saddest thing is that for the most part–their adoptive families never have a clue of the damage they wrought or of how that kid felt.

Then again, if someone is providing food, shelter and love for you–it is not likely you are going to tell them that they are hurting you in that way–ESPECIALLY–IF THE TYPICAL RESPONSE IS DEFENSIVE AND THEY ARE JUST TOLD TO DEAL WITH IT OR GET OVER IT–Instead of the racism ceasing within the household.

Finally, from my own culture, I wa

molly on

Queenbee-

I haven’t read all your posts-only some or portions. But I do agree with you that with interracial adoptions being made, and more and more, everyone involved needs to be aware of the extra issues that will/may need to be faced to make sure the child being adopted is loved and cared for with the utmost sensitivity to their natural-born heritage.

While I don’t think turning a blind eye is good (I am certain a child of another race who is adopted will realize at some point they are different from their parent) I also think that dwelling on it all the time isn’t good either- like most things we must find a balance that works for the family and what seems the child needs to thrive. Some children may really need to know where they come from and learn about their heritage and others may not care, as was the case with my sister-in-law who is adopted and has Native American lineage from her biological mother’s side.

Our system of adoption and foster care is certainly not a perfect system by any means, as most systems- they are broken to a degree. But I do feel that there is a place and people who need them and serve them well.

Regarding the topic of inter-race adoption-this subject I do not take lightly; quite honestly it scares me- not that I won’t love a child that isn’t my blood but that the child won’t feel all the connections they need to from both their adopted family (me and my husband) and their biological background’s heritage. I, as an adopted child went through some identity issues (not from insensitive people raising me but because of natural curiosities of adolesents) and I was raised by parent’s of the same race as I- so I can only imagine what it might be like for a child of another race, as I will be adopting. But I have whole-heartedly committed to loving and giving a secure and nurturing home to a child I will receive and intend on doing everything I can to make sure they feel loved, honored, respected and secure as my child but also will know that they can certainly explore all of who they are with my support, guidance and love.

I believe and hope that most adoptive parents feel this same sentiment that I and my husband do. Adoption can be complicated but it can be positive, too, if done carefully and with good intentions. And so, I have made this long, too and I apologize for that but I just kept reading some posts and wanted to add more…

queenbee on

To Jillian and any other prospective adoptive parents: I think it is a wonderful thing to be able to bring another person into your life and help to nurture and love them and have NOTHING against international or domestic adoptions. I apologize if my posts indicate that I am against adoptions–I’m not.

What I am a passionate advocate of are, in the case of interracial adoptions that people do a lot of soul searching about what they do and why and how they relate to other races.

As you may have read, the reasons are because I deal with a lot of people who later share their angst or emotional trauma they suffered due to either having a child adopted that the family did not agree to or know was happening or what they went through as an adopted or biracial child. My own history is one of multiracial and immigrant status so it is natural that I am privy to a lot of stories like this.

What I have noticed is that though people really mean well and have the best of intentions, the damage wrought by insensitivity stays with the people who endured it for the rest of their lives. It is especially hurtful when neither they or their parents meant for things to have happened or be said (or they do not know how it felt or feels to a person of another race)

The one thing I know for certain is that the type of soul searching when adopting a child has to be even more vigilant when approaching a child of another race–if a person is in the habit of comparing or disparaging other races–an interracial child stands to possibly be damaged by any relationship–and the more intimate–the more damage

A person is often left with anger that they do not know what to do with when a caregiver who has given so much also is the person who has damaged them so much–sort of a love/hate thing.

Anyway–if you really read my posts you will see that I NEVER say that international or domestic adoptions are good or bad or should be done or not done–what I do is CONTINUALLY WARN about the need for racial sensitivity. I do not accuse any specific person in being insensitive, but I have relayed some of the pitfalls and stories I am privy to–these are not old stories from the past–I get stories any time I open my home to my friends or their children and even from the adoptive (or natural parents) they talk to me because I have so many children of a multiracial background and am also multiracial that they think I will understand.

I do understand to a point and the most important thing I understand is that people idealize parent hood and raising a child and fail to think –really think about what they are doing or that when raising a biracial or international child–they may have to modify their views or behavior–it just does not occur to many people–There is damage when there is not consideration–I find it odd that no one has at any point stated that they do not engage in negative conversations about races–instead when addressing my comments–they try to act like I am against adoptions..

Show me where I state that. I do not. The real deal is–what kind of home are people really going to provide for babies? Especially those of another race–and when they provide that atmosphere–whose needs and feelings will be paramount? Their own? Or their new child’s?

queenbee on

Molly: YOU appear to be exactly the type of mindset that will make a WONDERFUL parent. I don’t think race needs to be dwelt on at all, either, nor do I think you have to pursue connections to your child’s genetic culture.

What I do think is that in a household where the parents have given this some serious thought–that they will be cognizant of championing the wonderful diversity of their household and have zero tolerance of negative behavior which denigrates others. In that kind of environment, you hear wonderful stories about how people grew up.

Unfortunately, it is always the negative stories that get the most attention. I felt so sorry when the story was told about Obama’s grandmother–NOT because she said anything wrong or that she did not have legitimate fears about black males–but that I could also imagine that to a young black male, she had just repudiated him. She probably never knew–but we (meaning myself and my friends) speculated that the reason he was susceptible to that racist church and yes–Reverend Wright speaks like a racist) is because he was seeking validation and a balance and found it in having what was repudiated, bolstered and railed against.

We all seek personal power–and we all want to love and protect those we care about–I have heard many things about Jillian but honestly–wish her only the best–when I comment about immigrant adoptions–my view is often myopic also–I get a LOT of stories–non really horrific but often they do resound.

You sound like you will be or are a wonderful parent–I am very much PRO-adoption and actually try to encourage others to help those in another country (the best way to help is to adopt–because then you know exactly how your attention and care is processed.

I think I have beat this dead horse enough–If Jillian reads these posts–I hope she realizes that most people wish her the best and as for those who criticize domestic or foreign adoptions –they are not her. I Love the idea of people of any race being accepting of children But I also know it can often go awry.

I have not been able to stop my own kids from experiencing racism or having remarks made–I even get some myself–but my home is a zero tolerance area–though we can discuss a problem any of my kids have with a person–we will discuss the problem–not the race. I want my kids to know that if you have a problem with any person–that is not indicative of a race, it is the person.

Even for this forum, we discussed as a family the way people approach racism–(denial, anger, defensiveness) I think the most important thing is to NOT pretend like it does not matter or exist–then move on–it cannot shape a life–but here’s a dirty little secret among minorities–in too many cases–it really DOES shape their lives. (Meaning they interpret and respond to actions and see race in it–even when it is not–because for too many times–it is)

I really did not mean to rain on Jillian or dampen new mom’s or their prospective families–just to underline the need to practice discretion and restraint–especially if your new little one is from a dissimilar background

dsfg on

queenbee, I read your examples of ignorant comments by parents of different-race children. I was raised by my biological parents, both of whom are the same race as me, and they constantly made ignorant comments to me or about me. I think everyone is going to have to deal with stuff like that, regardless of whether or not they are adopted and regardless of whether or not they are the same race as their parents. It’s unfortunate.

dsfg on

“I love how people always talk about “some distant friend or someone down the street” that had a terrible experince with adoption . . . ”

Shannon, I agree. Do you know how many people I know who have had horrible experiences with their biological parents or biological children?

dsfg on

k, did your friends actually adopt the child or were they just foster parents?

dsfg on

Brooke, I’m confused. You adopted your own sister? Or did your parents adopt her?

queenbee on

queenbee, I read your examples of ignorant comments by parents of different-race children. I was raised by my biological parents, both of whom are the same race as me, and they constantly made ignorant comments to me or about me. I think everyone is going to have to deal with stuff like that, regardless of whether or not they are adopted and regardless of whether or not they are the same race as their parents. It’s unfortunate.

– dsfg on May 13th, 2011

Hello: “Ignorant” means unknowing–and the comments which I witnessed are true and happen to be well known., the others were relayed to me by persons who were in a position to know because they happened to them.

When your biological parent says something denigrating–it is usually taken in stride because you know that if they speak about you that way–since you came from them they are also speaking poorly of themselves.

When those same kinds of comments are said by a person who is different from you–people are left feeling both rage and impotency–in children this often leads to resentment AND Prejudice against the very people who said those things (e3ven if their adoptive parent).

I wrote earlier of a woman (a nurse) who is raised 3 girls from a very young age from Africa. Though they are still in contact with their father–they have nothing to do with the woman who raised them and have claimed to “hate her” Why? Because she continually put down black women in general and their deceased mother in particular.

I also happened to have met this woman–she is really a nice person, but felt driven to establish her place in the girls’ affections to the point that she denigrated others. The net result is that since 2008, at least one of them has had nothing to do with her and worse yet–tries to believe that “all white women are hateful and meanspirited like her”

The lady was not mean spirited, she was trying to show them that she mattered and that they should care about her not a group of people who were doing nothing for them and did not adopt them. It has failed. This is one of many stories.

Go ahead and think it is a myth–you may be very surprised at what your interracial child thinks of you and what you say in the future–if you denigrate their race or culture.

It is just like getting in trouble–there are things your parents can say or do that maybe your aunt or a teacher better not say or do–more leniency and forgiveness when all are the same. More hurt and alienation –if there are already obvious differences–because if you can be comfortable making those remarks–then no matter what–you see race and color and your kids (and the culture/race that spawned them) would be judged by you already.

People can only take so much–and just like other races –minorities are more forgiving of home (their natural families) than they are of others who seek to disparage them. If you cannot learn that or this sounds ignorant to you–may all your choices be of like origin–for the child’s sake as well as your own.

queenbee on

queenbee, I read your examples of ignorant comments by parents of different-race children. I was raised by my biological parents, both of whom are the same race as me, and they constantly made ignorant comments to me or about me. I think everyone is going to have to deal with stuff like that, regardless of whether or not they are adopted and regardless of whether or not they are the same race as their parents. It’s unfortunate.

– dsfg on May 13th, 2011

dsfg–I think I owe you an apology–I believe I read your post incorrectly and responded in a way that implies you are insensitive to racial issues and how they affect others. I can tell you that as a person who was “different” in my own household, I had to endure comments of being darker than my ‘siblings” and the incessant questions about wondering who or “what” I was . (Standard answer–“an American or human)

In the end, most comments about me came from one sister who hated my long hair and looks and felt a need to equalize the playing field by talking about my skin color. It would have been more helpful if my mom had found it in her to indicate that such talk was ugly and not destructive–instead she was just as bad, and she made jokes about that. I loved my mom dearly-p-but I never forgot that and yes –It did color how I viewed her and my sisters.

When my children were small, my family dissected every thing about them (whites are not the only ones with racist issues) these are all my biological children but my genetics tell out and some look Asian with others looking like Native American or even Polynesian–again–really ugly things were said (like they all must have different fathers and I must be cheating on my husband–or that the babies in the hospital must have been switched, because no way should any of my kids be that light.

Needless to say, I have spend a lot of time NOT allowing my children to remain in that company. I made it clear that conversations about race will be respectful or we would not be around them–this includes anything said about my husband who is of another race.

This –is a bit of my own history and makes me an even stronger advocate for the damage done to kids. When it comes from your own family–I agree–you just deal–but when you are the protector and benefactor to new members in the family–that is a good time to set the boundaries–because if you don’t do it for the well being of those you love–then when?

I can say that from 2000 onward, whatever negative comments are made are not made in the presence of me and my nuclear family. I did not tell my family to curb their prejudices and racism–just modify it–because I wanted no part in it.

Carolina on

Linda, you are a miserable human being. You know nothing, really, about love and feelings. I have one ‘natural’ child and three adopted children. At first I fostered them. They were aged 4, 2 and 3 months when they came to me. Their mother was murdered…in front of them. She was a prostitute and all 3 children had different fathers. Two of them have some Black blood. When they were offered to me for adoption (after six months of fostering them) I jumped at the chance. My bio daughter was very happy about it as well. We have NEVER belittled them for having Black blood, in fact I have several Black friends who visit often. Obviously I don’t denigrate anybody because of their race. (I have friends of ALL races. When I was young I dated guys of all ethnicities, as has my daughter. I love my adopted children as much as I do my bio child…and that’s a LOT! Love is wonderful…the more you give, the more you have. It’s a self-renewing resource.

Now, as for all women being ‘forced’ to give up their children, I know that’s not true as well. One of my best friends was the victim of rape. She ended up pregnant. She came to the conclusion, ON HER OWN that she didn’t want to abort an innocent child, but she also didn’t want to raise the reminder of her traumatic experience. Therefore, she had the child and gave it for adoption. There WAS some sadness, but in the end she was satisfied with her decision and has NO ‘mental’ problems because of that choice. I’ve known quite a few women who have also given up their children, and not ONE was forced to do so. Yes, maybe some young teens ARE ‘forced’ by parents to relinquish the child, but when they are more mature they realize the decision was the right one. But, in our society at least, NO 13 o4 14 year old girls are going to make good parents. They can’t support the children for one thing. No parent should be forced to raise their grandchildren. Yes, some DO, but again that was a decision they made for themselves. I don’t believe that the majority of children up for adoption were literally ripped from their mother’s arms and ‘sold’. In fact, I know of no women who were offered money in exchange for their infants. Yes, some adoptive parents DO pay the medical expenses of the bio mother, but this is NOT ‘buying’ a child. Oh, and adopting my children cost me very little. A few administrative costs and the costs of the classes that were mandatory before either fostering or adopting. I ALSO know, that at least in WA, (except in cases of rape) the bio father also has to sign the papers allowing their child to be adopted. I don’t know where you got your info, and I’m not going to follow your links. Anyone can say anything on the internets. It doesn’t mean it’s true. But, you are a very cruel person. My children are happy and well-adjusted. If I hadn’t adopted them there would have been a big chance that they would have had to be split up and adopted by 2 or 3 different sets of parents. THAT would have been traumatic for them all.
They are well adjusted now, and happy and most importantly, they KNOW they are wanted and loved.

John Fry on

Quit propagating.

molly on

Queenbee-
That is awful that you had to endure that kind of talk and negative self-imaging from your own family. Very good that you are able to break that cycle of thinking for your own children. If you can’t change minds, sadly, you must cut them off in order to eliminate more damage.

I don’t think about race too often because I wasn’t brought up that way. I come from a family where people married through inter-mixing races (Caucasion/Puerto Rican, Asian, Guatemaluan, Ecuador,Black, Muslim etc.) so for me it has always been a positive experience that has been seen as something as not to judge someone by. Because of this it is easy for me to forget that others have not had these same experiences and that racism is certainly alive and well. I think that will be one of the hardest things for me as I enter the world of having an interracial nuclear family myself with the adoption of an African American child. While I will certainly do my part to keep positive influences for both my children, white and black, I must remember others might try to break this and protect them from the unkind words, looks etc. It is too bad we still have to defend our differences so much. I always said, while it is great that we are able to have a black president and move forward in that way with the likes of Obama, the real test of time will be when a black president is not a novelty and we can just be excited about the person and not the history being made from it (not a knock to Obama, just an observation of our society).

Barbie on

Linda, this world is indeed very sad. It’s full of people like YOU who contribute nothing but worthless venom out of their mouth! You should truly be ashamed! I pray you never adopt a child and raise them with your disgusting mentality.

Jillian Michaels, congratulations! Whether’s its Congo, Alaska, or wherever, you will be saving a child! I can’t wait to see pictures.

dsfg on

Barbie, just because you adopt a child doesn’t neccesarily mean you “save” it! Adopting a child does NOT make you a martyr. There are way more people trying to adopt from Alaska than there are babies available in Alaska, so it’s more like the baby is helping out the adoptive parent by giving them a child! Adopting is a wonderful way to expand your family, but it is no more heroic than any other way of becoming a parent.

Fran on

to Darla I carried a baby boy for nine months & gave him up for adoption.It was the best for him & me.To me abortion is murder.

Parent Match on

Domestic adoption is often a long and difficult journey. It doesn’t have to be! Parent Match connects agencies from all over the country, you could be matched very quickly. Make sure your agency is connected!

J on

@ terri If you read other news or actually listen to her interviews you would know why she desided there and that she said that after this adoption she is going to adopt a USA child in a couple of years

helen dove on

I am very happy for her,and pray that she gets a baby,
but the biggest loser will
be the same.i love the she cares about people.we love you jillian.

thank you so much
Helen Dove.
po box.14083
Anderson S.C 29624

Michelle on

Good for you, Jillian! As a single adoptive mom to 2 beautiful girls, it is so totally worth it! I adopted through the foster care system in California, initially looking to adopt 1 little girl. Her little sister was born around the time my older daughter came to live with me, (she was 2 years old), and eventually, her little sis joined us at 11 months of age. It took over 2 years to finalize both adoptions, and it was an emotional roller coaster ride, but it all worked out! I’m so blessed to be their Mom!

It doesn’t matter where a child comes from – they all deserve good homes! Yes, there are challenges to both foreign and domestic adoptions, but in the end, a family is created. That’s what is most important! Good luck, Jillian! I can’t wait to see your beautiful little one!

mary on

Jillian Michaels, I think you are an awesome person. I know you already know it matter not what people. Its your life do what makes you happy. You are a person that love and you want to share that love.God bless you with the best that life has to offer you. I wish one day I can meet you.Not because im overweight. Im not a big person. My wish is before I leave this earth I can meet you. Im believing in my heart that it will one day happen. My dream will come true and that is just one day with jillian. again god bless

georgiebrown74 on

Please do not give this woman a child. I mean seriously can you picture her being nuturing or a good parent to a child who is less than perfect. Can you say publicity stunt? And when did White couples become so delighted to adopt Black children? There was a time when people adopted children because they wanted to be parents and it did not matter the race, now celebrities are breaking their necks to go to African to get a baby!! This is not the Blindside.

Ella on

I don’t know if this has been covered but Jillian never said having kids ruins your body. She said it would be a bad decision for HER health. She has endometriosis and PCOS, so that’s why she has to adopt. I don’t know if she is literally infertile or it would just be dangerous for her health. But that’s why she said that, she meant for her personally it’s a bad idea healthwise.

You have to be careful what you read in the media sometimes. Consider the source.

I also have those same conditions and she’s very inspiring. =) She proves you can have PCOS and not be overweight. I plan to adopt some day too if I can ever afford it.

JoJo on

How dare she wish that a country not close adoptions. If a country is considering this, it’s because there has been non-ethical, dirty adoptions taking place with a rich country taking advantage of smaller, more impoverished country. She should never wish these matters away as they are important to us adoptees. As someone who wants to be an adoptive mother to an adoptee, she needs to familiarize herself with these issues first.

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