Monday, August 07, 2006

California Adoption Story

Yearning for family transcends borders
"I just never thought that I wouldn't produce a baby. I was 39. We had gone through a year of infertility treatments," says Susan Bailey, an Oakland stay-at-home mom. "(We) wanted a family. We had to get over the fact that it wouldn't be the old-fashioned way."

Domestic adoption follows the laws of supply and demand. In the United States there simply are not enough babies to fulfill the dreams of would-be adoptive parents. Costs can soar. Some families end up paying not only pre-natal and hospital expenses for the birth mother, but apartment rent, car and college tuition. And the competition is fierce. Birth mothers pick and choose from among hundreds of potential parents.

After a while, says Bailey, the rejection gets to you. Susan and her husband, Gary, were told they were too old for an infant. They did not have a dog. They lived too far from grandparents. And they were "too religious."

"My husband's an Episcopalian priest. You can't hide that," Susan says. "(One mother) chose a family that had a horse. We said, 'This is totally nuts. We need to find a better way to find our family."

They turned to international adoption, adopting their daughter, Beilin, just after Easter in 1998 and their son, PengPeng, in 2003 just before Christmas.


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