October 12, 2009

We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 3



To read Part 1 and/or Part 2 of this post, click on: We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 1 & We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 2

Before I accepted my job as home-study caseworker for adoptive families while I myself was in the adoption process, I stipulated two things to my boss, Naomi.

First, I gave my notice. Unlike giving biological birth, adoptive parents have no set date for delivery of a baby. It could be tomorrow. It could be nine months. It could be years. I simply said that the day a baby was placed in our home, I would leave this job. Naomi was satisfied with this arrangement, happy to have someone who could help the agency catch up on a back log of home-studies.

Second, I stated unequivocally that I would do the home-studies, but I would not participate in the decision on whether a couple would be acceptable or unacceptable as an adoptive parent.

Some rules are made to be broken. Twice I told my boss that if she placed a baby in the prospective adoptive home, that I washed my hands of the results.

In the first situation, the couple met most of the criteria for adoption: good home and jobs; solid appearing marriage, family ties, church attendees. What caught my attention was their style of discipline. This couple had had a foster child removed from their home because, as a punishment, they held his head underwater in a bathroom sink. Naomi asked me if the couple could learn not to do this. I felt it was too great a risk. She ultimately agreed not to place a child in that home.

The second situation was a single parent adoption. The biological mother had placed the baby with this woman, and the courts had assigned our agency to do the home-study.

Adoption is not founded on altruism. Most adoptive parents desire a child to fulfill their needs, but are also capable of meeting the child’s needs, creating a mutual beneficiary. This adoption applicant had such an intense need for a child to fulfill her own needs, which overcame meeting the baby’s needs. The intensity was so strong that I again told Naomi that I could not be a part of keeping the child in this situation.

When the case went to the court, the judge denied the adoption.

Rules could be broken on the opposite side of the issue, also. One couple, with a stable marriage, family support, a great working farm, and steady income, was put off by my boss. Her claim was that the couple belonged to a nontraditional church denomination, albeit not a far-out setting. “Doesn’t the adoptive child have enough to deal with without that?” she asked. We discussed the issue, and shortly my boss placed a baby in the couple’s care.

The first adoptive placement I was involved in was unique. The husband was wheelchair bound. Questions of how he would manage, what effect this would have on a child (this was considered, while the couple belonging to a nontraditional church was questioned). A baby was placed with this couple, the first time Naomi had made a placement of this type.

Part of my job was to assist in “delivering” infants to their adoptive homes. In April, I accompanied my boss to the hospital to pick up a beautiful five-pound baby girl. In so doing, I had to play the role of the “mother.” I held the baby in my arms while a nurse wheeled us to the hospital exit in a wheel chair.

On our way out several persons commented on the beautiful child. Much to the chagrin of my boss, I responded, “She isn’t mine.”

We drove into the country to the lucky couple’s home. I carried the infant into the house. Then, I am ashamed to say, I just about threw her into the adoptive mother’s arms. I don’t think she noticed my action, however, since she was so happy to finally meet her daughter.

How could I deliver this child to another woman when I wanted to keep her for myself? At this point, I added another stipulation to my job: no more would I be involved in delivering babies.

To read the 4th and final part of We’re Adopting a Baby! click on We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 4


Adoptee Finds Biological Family: Mine

Oprah and I: Adoption Reunion Experiences

Mystery in St. Francis Cemetery in Minersville (PA)




Mystery in St. Francis Cemetery in Minersville (PA)

My Neighbor Elinor, AKA Pet

MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius



  1. Looking forweard to next weeks story of Adoption, Part 4 !

    Comment by Fred and Grace Wells — January 24, 2013 @ 9:35 am | Reply

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