Newborn adoptees can be anywhere from hours to weeks old when placed with the families that will raise them so the process is similar to bringing home a baby from the hospital. Moms and dads who opted for an international adoption process or are adopting older children may be faced with some challenges as all parties mesh into a family. Here are some tips for easing that transition.
Families of adoptees will experience the same joys and frustrations of other parents throughout their lives, but they will also face some unique challenges, particularly if their children are from different backgrounds. For tips on how to handle these situations, read more
We've spent the week celebrating the ways families are created with in-depth looks at adoption and surrogacy. Some of Hollywood's most famous clans include children who came together through these alternative means. We've rounded up some of our favorite celebrity blended families starting with the Jolie-Pitts who have welcomed offspring from Vietnam, Ethiopia and Cambodia via international adoption and biological babies as well. Brad and Angelina prove that the love parents have for their youngsters knows no bounds. Check out our other choices.
After dealing with infertility and still desiring a family, some couples turn to another woman to carry their baby. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is artificially inseminated, by either the child-to-be's father or an anonymous donor, while in gestational surrogacy, an egg is removed from the future child's mother and fertilized with sperm from either the father or an anonymous donor. The fertilized egg is then implanted in the carrier via IVF. Similar to the adoption process, families interested in surrogacy often work with an agency to help them find a suitable surrogate, handle the legal issues that the transaction involves, and help them through the process.
Qualifications: Similar to adoption, families meet and register with an agency to learn about the process. and to find a carrier. In general, agencies require carriers to be between 23-38 years old, have previously had at least one child on their own, be married or in a serious relationship, undergo a complete medical and psychological evaluation, and be financially stable.
To see the rest of our look at surrogacy, including a chart of the states where it is legal, read more
Every child deserves a place to call home and loving parents to raise it. Sometimes the parties must travel thousands of miles to meet each other. International adoption is a process which can take anywhere from nine months to several years depending on the child's country of origin. Unlike domestic adoptions, international ones usually involve children that are placed in orphanages or have been made legally available by their parents.
Each country has its own set of guidelines and having an understanding of the culture can help before bringing the child into your home. Most families interested in international adoption work with an agency to help them through the process. Among the most popular countries Americans adopt from are Russia, China, Taiwan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, South Korea and Kazakhstan. Last year, 17,438 children were adopted internationally.
Qualifications: Like the domestic adoption process, families register with an agency and attend information sessions. They then go through the home-study process, which involves criminal and medical background checks, fingerprints, a safe home and stable living environment inspection, a financial records review, references, interviews with adoption counselors and monitoring of marital status. The family must then receive approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before submitting their paperwork to the country they are interested in adopting from.
To see the rest of our look at international adoption, read more
This week we're celebrating the ways families are created. From domestic and international adoption to using a surrogate, celebrities have become the faces of alternative means since they are in the spotlight. See if you can guess how these celebabies entered their parents' lives.
Not all mothers meet their babies at birth. For some, connecting with their child is more a labor of effort and love. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, Edie Falco, Calista Flockhart, and Nia Vardalos have put familiar faces on adoption and made it a household word. Hopeful parents have reasons ranging from fertility issues to choice in deciding to adopt domestically. The process involves the placement of American-born children with US-based parents and can be facilitated by an agency, like New York's Spence-Chapin or a private attorney. Firms match birth mothers and adoptive families and usher them through the process while lawyers often work with doctors who have patients interested in handing their children over for someone else to raise.
Qualifications: Once families register with an agency, they go through a home-study process, which involves criminal and medical background checks, a safe home and stable living environment inspection, a financial records review and monitoring of marital status. The family also submits a letter to prospective birth mothers explaining why they want to adopt.
To see the rest of our look at domestic adoption read more
Honeymoons might be made for two, but these days weddings aren't just made up of a couple exchanging vows. Blended families are becoming more and more common with divorce rates on the rise. So what's the best way to celebrate the new clan? A familymoon!
Nuptial ceremonies and proposals often include the bride and groom's kiddos so why leave wee ones out of the honeymoon — especially when childcare factors in? While newlyweds normally seek out exotic locales for their time away, parents look at different factors for these jaunts. Check out a few of our favorite family destinations.
To see a video from the original familymooners, The Brady Bunch, read more
Take the Quiz
The couple's quiz stumped some lilsugar readers while others passed with flying colors so let's give blended families a go. See if you can tally up the grand total of children between these two television parents — one is a recent show and others are blasts back to the past. Test your knowledge by taking this quiz!