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Artificial Twinning

Picture this: you wait patiently for a referral. You don’t voice a preference for a baby girl or a baby boy, you just want a baby. Your homestudy indicates that you would accept two children but that is more a formality encouraged by your social worker than anything else.  Finally it is referral day! The phone rings and it’s a boy! And another boy! TWINS! Would you consider a twin referral? HECK YEAH! By the time you see the photos, your heart is already embracing the idea of twin baby sons. You have already shared the news with your family and friends. And then you see the photos. Strange. They don’t look too much alike. But they are so tiny, all newborns look different. Remember your friend’s twins? They looked nothing alike until they were 6 months old, and they are identical! Of course the babies might not be identical but that is ok with you. TWINS! And your agency says you can count on traveling very soon – maybe in the next 1-2 months! This is all happening so quickly. They’ll need a decision soon. Of course you’ll say yes! What could be more wonderful than this double blessing?

How did you get so lucky? Or did you get so lucky at all?

Artificial twinning is a term you may have read or heard about during your homestudy or adoption reading. It is the term used to describe a situation where two children who are not biologically related but are within 9 months of age of each other are raised together, more or less as twins. Artificial twinning, itself, is controversial. Some experts, homestudy agencies and adoption agencies are unsupportive of it. Some families have had excellent experiences with artificial twinning within their own home. Regardless of your opinion of artificial twinning, there is one situation where is is always wrong: when an agency or orphanage deceives families and the government in an attempt to pass off unrelated children as biological twins. This is what I want to address today. Fraudulent artificial twinning.

It is my belief that unethical artificial twinning is happening in Vietnam. Right now. Actively. I believe that it has been happening for months. I can think of about a dozen “twin” referrals off the top of my head in the last year alone, despite the fact that Vietnam only claimed 168 adoptions for Fiscal Year 2006. To add to my suspicion, these adoptions are almost always with the same few agencies. One agency alone has claimed to have referred out a half dozen twin sets already. Others seem to have an almost constant stream of twin referrals. One agency is reportedly under investigation for artificial twinning as we speak. And yet, when you look at some of the agencies who have been working in Vietnam most actively and ethically since early 2006, you don’t see a single twin adoption. Not a single one.

Legitimate, ethical twin adoptions can and have occurred. It is rare but it happens. So what about the rest? What about the twin adoptions where the children are not biologically related but an agency or an orphanage falsifies their paperwork in order to pass them off as twins?

First, it is wise not to believe that twins grow on orphanage trees. I hate to be flippant but it is amazing to me what people will believe when they are thinking from their hearts instead of their minds. Vietnam’s twin rate is hard to pin down but it is probably just under 1% of births, we don’t know how many of those births are later relinquished or abandoned but I think it is safe to say that less than 1% of all orphans available for adoption are twins.  I have even heard agencies claim that the huge rate of twins they seem to see is related to “Vietnamese superstitions”. Well let me put that myth to rest. I’ve asked around and although Vietnam is a superstitious country, there is no known superstition specifically related to twins being bad luck.

Second, it is wise to be aware that twins are a hot commodity. Many parents are willing and eager to accept a twin referral, most are homestudy approved for 2 or more children. A parent who wishes to adopt twins through an ethical agency can be looking at years of waiting, if the agency will even agree to consider the request. If an agency approaches with a “waiting” twin referral with no special needs that they just can not place, consider that there may be a reason that is bigger than the babies themselves. And then re-read my blog entry from the other day about Waiting Children & Unethical Agencies. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Third, listen to that inner voice. Adoption can be painful business. It sometimes forces us to stare our morality in the face and make difficult decisions that we never considered we’d have to make. If you receive a referral of twins that do not look like twins or even the same age, do the right thing. Ask the right questions. Investigate the agency more thoroughly. Ask how many other twin referrals they have given out in the last year. Ask to talk to others who have recently adopted twins to compare stories. And then think from your head, not from your heart. Listen to that little voice that tells you something is off.

Parents have ultimate power here. So often we feel completely powerless in the adoption process but we have all the power. We speak with our contracts and with our money. We can support ethical adoptions and ethical agencies or we can keep feeding the unethical beast. If we make the wrong choice, we may be soon looking at a program that no longer exists to us here in the U.S. Artificial twinning can not possibly happen if prospective adoptive parents don’t let it happen. That choice is ours. Let’s do the right thing with that power.

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28 Comments »

Comment by Jenny
2007-05-22 13:16:05

I find this post to be curious. My twins are actually twins. Born in the hospital with proof of their birth as twins. We were approved for twins for CHINA and it happened to be that we were the only people approved for twins when our girls became available. We saw 3 sets of twins in the girls orphanage, why, I have no idea, were they twins, yup.

I have stumbled across many chinese blogs with people with twins. I don’t find it too hard to believe that Vietnam would have a share of twins up for adoption for all the regular reasons. I do agree artificial twining is not something to be taken lightly, is unethical and should be moved to 2 separate adoptions but this post has underlying implications that “most” twin adoptions are unethical, and frankly, MY adoption was not unethical and my girls are twins…and we will know if they are identical in 2-4 weeks.

 
Comment by Laurie
2007-05-22 14:34:26

Excellent post Nicki! Someone needed to say it, and you said it bravely and VERY articulately. I have seen several sets of “twins” come out of Vietnam and you’re absolutely right – always seem to come from those agencies who offer VERY fast referrals with VERY short waits to travel. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not. Let’s use our brains people. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a legit set out there, but surely it’s not as common as we want to believe it is. When there are hospital records and birthmom info, that’s a different story (see above post). Too often we’re told “abandoned at the gates” and we see 2 babies that are both Asian and roughly the same age…that does NOT make them twins.

 
Comment by S.
2007-05-22 15:25:10

Isn’t there at least one family that knows for certain their “twins” are not actually twins?

I actually just read an article–I think it was posted on the Global Adoption Triad group–that was very persuasive that there is no evidence that artificial twinning was detrimental. Of course that was with the informed consent of parents.
Adoption agencies telling families that two babies are twins when they really aren’t is a whole nother story.

 
Comment by ellen
2007-05-22 16:02:57

I had not realized that unethical agencies might be creating “artificial twins”. Wow. Do they get a bigger fee for this? With all the people waiting for referrals, why would one family get twins rather than two families each getting one baby? What is the motivation? (I’m not questioning the fact that it’s happening, just trying to understand it.)
Also, I would assume parents could check with a DNA test and that could get the agency in some trouble, right?
Now, here I go with something that may be unpopular to say but these forums are for *all* of us, right? The first time I heard of “artificial twinning” was in an email from another AP who was adopting two infant girls from the same agency (two different orphanages). Honestly, this freaked me out! Again, with so many of us waiting so long, is this fair? Now, I know that it’s not my place to question another’s adoption process but understand my perspective. I’m 43 and I’ve tried for years to have a bio child. Complicated a bit by marrying late, but nonetheless I had pre-existing conditions for years. At any rate, I have been a fantastic aunt to my nephews and a great friend to all my friends with kids. I have never once allowed myself to become bitter as I watched everyone else get pregnant so easily. I’ve never cried in self pity at a baby shower. When my best friend (same age, 2 kids already) called to tell me she was pregnant with twins at age 42, I had just heard *that day* from the doctor that I was not a candidate for IVF and there were very few options for me. I still managed to be happy for her. . I didn’t want to hold it against anyone else that I had issues. But now that I am in the adoption world my bitterness has finally emerged, especially when I hear about people adopting 2 at a time (not sibling groups) from one country — especially a little country like Vietnam where we know there is more “demand” than “need” in the adoptions. I’m willing to wait, again, to be a mom because I want to make sure it’s ethical. I am still on the verge at times of switching to another country where there might be more need and more ethical practices, but our heart is with Vietnam. I really wish that those who are adopting two would just think for one minute about those of us who don’t have any kids at home at all and would so very much like to start our family. (I’m by no means asking for real twins to be split up — but referring to artificial twins). To know that agencies are making this worse with their own fradulent practices is even more frustrating. Nicki, I would also love to hear offline about which agencies are doing this so I can make sure mine isn’t one!
ellen

 
Comment by Jenn
2007-05-22 17:10:46

I have to agree with Jenny here and say I somewhat disagree with this posts tone.
I agree that unknown artificial twinning is not a good thing. Not everyone is up for the challenges of artificial twins. As a mom of adopted birth twins, I can see that there is a special bond with them, something different from even my bio girls who are 12 months and 15 days apart. Artificial twins may have a harder adjustment at homecoming as well as other possible issues. However, if one is up to researching, learning needs, and doing what is necessary artificial twins can be well adjusted and well attached members of the family. I do agree though, that parents need to know they are not birth twins so they can address this special need.
As a mom who switched agencies to adopt waiting twins, I take a bit of issue with inferred twin adoptions are likely unethical tone of this post. Our twins are biologically sisters, there were no families anywhere near paper-ready in our agency that were willing to accept twins, and they are perfectly healthy little ones to boot. In the instance of children placed for adoption due to poverty, twins would be even more of a burden. Also, most of the adopting parents I talk to are only paper ready for one child and can only afford one. Think about it, how many people in your agency are on a twin waiting list? It has been my experience that twins are actually harder to place as many families simiply can not afford to do it (for most agencies nearly everything doubles with the exception of travel…in otherwords your talking over $40,000 for the adoption.)
Agencies that are fully disclosing artificial twins, doing testing on babies to see that they are biologically related are doing a service. Orphanges that continue to artificial twin without letting the agencies know are doing a disservice. PAPS need to ask questions, but not live in fear that their referral for twins is unethical or their agency is unethical simply because they have referred more than one set of twins.
Another thing, who benefits from artificial twinning on the business side? The agency would be better off financially to place them seperately as they would profit more in agency fees. Only countries that do not allow artificial twinning would benefit from it financially.
Twins=bad agency(most likely)…it just doesn’t make sense to this mom of another set of ethical twins.

 
Comment by E.
2007-05-22 20:39:05

I see a lot of KNOWN artificial twinning with my agency. A lot. Seems like everyone is asking for (and getting) two.

And I do not see these same people talking about the risks/unknowns internationally adopted and post institutionalized children. I do not see these same people talking about attachment parenting, or special issues effecting trans-racial adoptees and families.

And I reject the arguement that there could be issues with bio kids as well. My own opinion is that the A-Parent has the duty to realize that IA post institutionalized kids have special needs – period. My own opinion is that any parent who thinks there post institutionalized child in a trans racial family is just another kid, with the same issue any kid might have – is possibly missing some important opportunities to help their child develop.

I also wonder about the children who is not a twin, but being raised as a twin. An asian child who doesn’t have asian parents will always stand out. Now they are going to stand out because they are a twin – but wait, they aren’t. They are artificial twins. And that makes them stand out even MORE . . .

I guess I have a hard time seeing how known artificial twinning is a wise course of action as a rule (I’m sure there are exceptions where it is a really good/appropriate thing) – it seems too much in favor of the parents preceived needs and not enough in favor of the child’s needs/potential needs.

What would be really interesting to know (and I realize we won’t know for 20 years or more) but is do the kids think it’s great? Did they like being raised a twin when they weren’t? Did they like having to share divided parental attention, when they were at their neediest? Did they get the all the support and resources they needed to overcome any emotional, physical or developmental issues they had? Did they appreciate all the extra attention the twindom brought them, when they already drew plenty of attention because they were in a mixed race family?

Just food for thought. I’m no expert – and I don’t really know if it’s right or wrong. Just watching this flood of it right now, it doesn’t feel right to me – and I have been thinking about it a lot. I appreciate the post and the conversation.

 
Comment by Jena
2007-05-22 21:02:50

Nicki-
You say it like it is. Thanks! I saw two instances of artificial twinning while in Vietnam bringing out son home. Both sets of girls, both 4 months old. Same sketchy agency who took four tries to get their lisence in Hanoi, which was denied repeatedly, and then mysteriously granted. Hmmmmm….

 
Comment by E.
2007-05-23 14:17:42

Interesting post. It piqued my interest because we have always said we would adopt a boy Tank Boy’s age or younger, so artificial twinning of that variety has always been in the back of my mind. In many ways I hope it winds up happening that way — with another boy the same age. In many ways, I hope it doesn’t. I hadn’t really thought about the possibility that agencies were pretending two children were twins. Interesting. I do wonder about agencies that place two unrelated babies (even with everyone knowing they are unrelated) at the same time, with the same family. I have mixed feelings about that.
I see there is another E. out here in bloggerland. Maybe I need to throw in another letter or something. :)

 
Comment by Dianna
2007-05-23 15:48:52

Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking for months! And congrats on the success of the new site :)

 
Comment by Stacy
2007-05-23 19:37:14

What a timely post – I’ve been wondering about this same topic a lot lately as well. I, too, wonder the motivation of an agency creating artificial twins when nearly every agency has a line of PAP’s waiting – what do they gain? I suppose they must seem to think they have a never-ending line of babies available. Well, apparently some agencies do seem to manage to maintain a never-ending line of available babies – scary.

Yes, there absolutely are legitimate twins being referred. Could twins be available more than the average birth rate of twins due to economic issues and such? Possibly. But I too have been shocked at the number of twins people seem to be getting referred – sorry, but it just seems like a red flag to me. I also have personally followed the journeys of at least a couple of families that appear to have been mis-led about their “twins” and run into a rough time once in-country. And while they may get through it, what does that do to other parents with the same agency, or other agencies in the same province, etc.? Never-mind the children. What a horrible position to put families in, out of what – greed by the agency?

Then of course the question of people adopting two at once, whether from the same agency or two different agencies at the same time… Frankly, it concerns and bothers me. As earlier noted – I’m sure there are circumstances that make such a situation make sense. I just worry about whether or not it’s truly in the best interest of those children to follow that course. Whose needs are being placed first in this situation – the desires of the parents or the needs of the child?

So, I say, right on with this post – and the website as a whole. You always make me think. What to do about it all, I’m never sure, but I’d rather be educated and watchful than in the dark or even worse, in denial. Thanks!

 
Comment by S.
2007-05-24 14:36:44

E. (the first one who posted here) –well so does the other E. ;) makes lots of good points. I think Jenex had a great post about every adoption being a special-needs adoptiong–particularly IA, post-institutionalized children and infants.

 
Comment by Donna
2007-05-31 05:06:35

An interesting article on the incidence of twinning
http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0510/feature6/learn.html
The incidence of twins varies by race. Africans have the highest rate worldwide, Asians the lowest.

Thanks for the great site, Nikki!

 
Comment by Leanne
2007-05-31 22:06:57

I am the parent of artificial or virtual twins adopted from Vietnam in 2001. They are two months apart in age and are now 6 years old. Virtual twinning worked well for our family and our kids. Our children have benefited from having the bond of country and same age. They are each other’s best friends and greatest support and have been since infancy. They are happy to admit this themselves, I am not just wishfully thinking, to those who think that artificial twinning is just for parent gratification. At the time of our adoption, there were many babies waiting that our agency was trying to place and no paper ready parents. We did not deny another adoptive parent the chance to parent by having two referrals at one time. How families are developed is the choice of the family. Others outside the decision and the family can not impose their desires. For our family, artificial twinning worked. Other families are not equipt for this and hopefully either the family themselves or a social worker during a home study would identify this and not recommend a family to adopt two children at the same time. Our children have not suffered from lack of attention. Neither of them exhibits any behavioural concerns or RAD issues. I feel that saying artifical twinning automatically means that children suffer from divided attention would be like saying that no family should have more than one child or bioligical twins since then parental attention would be too divided to adequately support the children. Each family has to consider the choice of how to best build their family for themselves. I do not in any way endorse agencies or orphanages passing off unrelated children as twins. This is the lowest of the low to further take away a child’s birth identity and replace it with lies. However, artificial twinning can be successful when it is approached realistically by families.

 
Comment by Erin
2007-06-11 19:31:12

I wonder if anyone here was referring to me… ;-)

My husband and I were approached by our agency while we were waiting for referral to see if we would be open to twin baby boys. We were not approved for two on our home study – we had that updated after we said yes. My husband and I have serious doubts that the boys are twins as they do not share one single trait in common yet (they are 12 months old… or around there). The boys were abandoned at the gate but had lab work done about 1.5 months prior to the abandonment date which clearly demonstrates that the “abandonment” story was, in some measure, fabricated.

Hubby and I have our theory on why our agency and/or the orphanage may have done this:
1) Money – the agency made double on almost all fees. Cha-ching! The orphanage gets paid per baby placed too. Cha-ching! Cha-ching!
2) Boys do not always find homes – Unfortunately, the demand for girls is so high, not all boys get adopted. So, if they can get two boys placed at once, this is a good thing (from their and my perspective).
3) Too many babies – Believe it or not, the orphanage our boys came from was very large. Our boys were in the 6 – 12 month room which was full of babies. We estimated there were around 30 babies in there. Some cannot be placed or will not be placed (not technically orphaned, special needs, etc) and many boys may get “too old” sitting there waiting which is very sad but true.

I do not agree in “twinning” babies without PAP consent but I do not believe the agency and/or orphanage did it with completely malicious intent (assuming our boys are not actually genetically related). But, having been there and seen how POOR Vietnam was, having people stop us on the street and offer to sell us their babies – SERIOUSLY – it would not at all surprise me that twins are far more common in the orphanages than in the general Asian public.

As this is my first time to post on this blog, I would also like to say that I am really glad I found it! This is a great site and brings up very good topics. I just wanted to add my two cents here since you could very well be talking about my situation!

Would you please privately email me what agencies you were referring to? Thanks!

 
Comment by Kim
2007-06-14 18:43:28

Thanks for this great site! We are in the paperwork stage right now of our adoption from Vietnam. We have two bio daughters and a daughter from China. I am so glad I found this site, as VIETNAM is NOT CHINA! And it is much harder to find information on Vietnam adoption than it is Chinese adoption. Could you please email me privatly regarding the questionable agencies that have been referred to here? I want to make sure that ours is not one of these. I feel comfortable with them but want to make sure. Thanks

 
2007-06-28 06:07:34

[...] writing the original artificial twinning post I’ve spoken to several families and read even more accounts about artificial twins and, based on [...]

 
Comment by shalena
2007-07-14 18:49:41

I think artificial twinning is wonderful, I mean why should people who can really afford to bring a child home or two be deligated by the government to just take one baby. My god so, you are basically saying that the other child must have her life in the orphanage just because of polical reasons how insane. Have you ever been in an orphanage yourself? In china they have to bundle up the babies because there are no indoor heating. The babies all have flat heads in the back from lack of available staff to hold and cuddle them. when they are able to, they are put int walkers imagine 30 little babies just scooting around in walkers all day. Then not to even mention how they save on diapers. They hold the babies over the toilet and go pst pst pst then the babies learn to urinate on cue. My advice to you, you ignorant fool!, go to an orphanage and see for yourself before you write something that you do not have the slightest idea about!

Comment by Trish
2008-06-27 21:47:06

Shalena, have you ever been to China?

Most babies don’t wear diapers….mothers in the street/in their homes hold their babies over drains/toiles and either ‘they learn to urinate on cue’…(or possibly it’s that the mothers become attuned to their child’s rhythms).

My advice to you,go to China and see for yourself before you write something that you do not have the slightest idea about!

PS – I agree with you about the conditions in Chinese orphanages, just the toileting situation has nothing to do with orphanages. and I would never normally make such a rude comment as the one above….

 
 
Comment by shalena
2007-07-14 19:01:55

ok now that I am a little calmer. I did not know that there was such a thing as artificial twinning but It made me cry tears of joy to hear that it would be possible to adopt two little girls at one time. My husband and I were terribly sad when we heard that we could only adopt one baby at a time. I wanted twins, we were pregnant with twins and we ended up losing them through miss carriage I actually was directing my last post to the first gal in this blog. I have a friend whom is a doctor and she adopted both her babies from china but at different times. I loved those girls. I helped take care of them for a year
it was wonderful. Even though they were not related biologically they were such a joy in my life. I could not imagine anything better than having two little girls to love. I got to see what the orphanages were like and all of the babies all of them had flat heads in back. Can you imagine that? Also, the orphanages spend all the money ont he children not one penny is wasted. Not one. So, I ask you, are you really serious that you think they are doing it out of some sort of alterer motive? these are babies, human little ones, that no one picks up snuggles with, plays with they are so busy just meeting their basic needs that keep them so busy.
Is it too much to ask you to have it in your heart to say, it is the right thing to do, to save a child the heartbreak of getting too ” old ” to be adopted. Its people like you that make it hard for people like us who love children to give homes to the ones that we are able to.

 
Comment by Christina
2007-07-14 19:32:36

Shalena,
The reality is, Vietnam is not at all like China. There are not thousands of babies waiting in orphanages. In fact, there is a 6 – 24 month wait for a baby from Vietnam. I think it’s safe to say that every single (relatively healthy) child under the age of 3 who is legally adoptable in Vietnam will be placed in a family. And when one family adopts two unrelated children at the same time, they are in effect making the wait that much longer for everyone behind them. Is that fair? And many studies have shown that a newly adopted child needs to have time, at least 6 months to a year to adjust to their new family and bond, and during that time they need to be the focus of attention. Many agencies (and some countries) will not allow families to adopt two unrelated children within a year of each other for this reason. No one wants children to waste away in orphanages waiting for a family. But the reality is in nearly every country where inter-country adoptions are allowed, there are more families waiting to adopt than children available. Even in China, there’s a 2 year backlog of waiting families. So while we all wish every baby had a loving family from the moment they were born, I think we need to remember that there are processes and procedures in place for a reason, and the primary reason is to protect the children.

 
Comment by Joanie Subscribed to comments via email
2008-01-16 17:03:21

This has been a helpful site so far. I am a 50 year old mom who birthed identical twin 16 year olds. Our family is considering/hoping to adopt a Eurasian boy age 1-3, and eventually adopt twin girls from SE asia (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.) in the 3-6 year old age range. My husband and I are also both social workers, so alot of the considerations brought up here definately interest me. Any info out there for older parents looking to adopt in this geo area? Also most of the demand seems to be for babies… any info regarding slightly older children? Thanks so much!

 
Comment by Trish
2008-06-27 21:55:39

it intrigues me that much of the debate here AGAINST artificial twinning relates to the fact that it might slow down the process for other adoptive PARENTS.

Does not anyone stop and think about whether it might have an impact on the CHILD?

Here in Australia, artificial twinning in adoption is not allowed. Neither is adopting more than one child at a given time, unless they are a sibling group. There are also restrictions on the age of the child in relation to existing children in the family – an adopted child MUST be the youngest in the family by at least 2 years. You must then wait at least 12 months before adding another child to the family (except in the rare cases of bio children obviously).

WHY have all these been restrictions been put into place? Well, hmmm, lets see…..could it be perhaps that its in the best interests of the CHILD? to have their new parents undivided attention for at least 12 months following their adoption?….and not to have to deal with the power struggles that are often found when a previously ‘eldest’ child has their position usurped?

I don’t doubt that there are some benefits to being adopted simultaneously with another child. BUT its interesting to note that these restrictions are in place in Australia….where adoption is NOT an industry, but a highly regulated, government-run situation, where nobody profits….but they are not in place in the US…where the more babies adopted, the more money lining the pockets of those running the show…..

I just hope that will give you some food for thought….

 
Comment by Joanie Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-28 09:43:02

I had not planned on commenting again, but as a mental health professional would like to say it is NOT NECESSARILY in the best interest of the child to be raised without a ‘twin’. I would like to submit the following:
• Adopting two children simultaneously from the same country can be very affirming, bringing added feelings of confidence as the children are enfolded into a family of a different culture/ethnicity. They are a support for each other and can encourage a continued connection with their homeland while they bond with their adopted family and new life. They will have someone who looks like them and speaks their native tongue alongside as they acculturate

• From anecdotal evidence as well as the limited amount of research available, young children who are adopted from orphanages adjust better and quicker when there is a child/children near to their own age in the home. They are accustomed to others in the baby house and see the others there as siblings. They have spent every moment they can remember sleeping, eating, bathing and playing with similar aged children in their group. They miss the camaraderie when no similar aged children are present.

• The adaptation of boys in particular (birthed or adopted) to any new addition of a sibling is complicated. They do not have the natural mothering instinct little girls possess. It is common for them to feel rejected and resentful if another child is added to the family within a year or two of their entrance. The subsequent travel to adopt a second child just when the first adopted child is settling in can be a very disrupting experience. If the parents travel again without the first adopted child, serious abandonment issues can arise. If, however, two boys join the family together, their acclimation is much easier since no one must leave for a second adoption trip. Also, as we noticed with our girls, they will have known no other status in the family except that of sharing attention, so sibling issues of displacement are lessened.

• While the actual adoption costs will be roughly doubled, travelling costs will essentially remain the same or increase only slightly. Time considerations in terms of total work and income lost by parents will be decreased with one trip instead of two (or four if a two-trip adoption is required in each case), causing less financial stress on the family as a whole.

These are significant arguments FOR adopting two of the same age at once.

I cannot account for why Austrailia has the restrictions they do. On the surface they look to be sound guidelines. although I would like to see the evidence/research they base their practices on. Just be aware that highly-regulated, government-run, nobody financially profits situations do not necessarily translate into healthiest, wisest and best. Look at the old USSR and other Communist regimes as examples!

 
Comment by Trish
2008-06-28 20:18:26

Joanie,

Did you see my comment “I don’t doubt that there are some benefits to being adopted simultaneously with another child”

I wasn’t trying to say that there were no benefiits to being adopted simultaneously. My post pointed out that most of the arguments were about the benefits to the parents, not the child. And pointed out that in a country where individuals don’t benefit from finanically from pushing through as many adoptions as possible, these restrictions have been put into place.

There are many flaws in the Australian adoption system, I don’t deny that for a second. But the focus here is defintiely on the child, not the parents.

I have long though that what would be ideal would be a compromise somewhere between the Australian system and the US system.

In an ideal world……sigh….

 
Comment by Joanie Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-28 21:49:13

Trish- Please forgive me if I gave any offense.
I would agree that the decison should not be based solely on what is best/convenient/desirous for the parent (although frequently if the parents are benefitted then the whole family- including any adopted children- also benefit). I would even add that not everyone should be ALLOWED to adopt two unrelated children (just as not every family is allowed to adopt siblings or more than one child period).

Raising my bio twins has taught me alot about how to help them negotiate living with someone all the time from day one. And it is a real stretching experience to meet the needs of two at the same age/stage. When God dumps them into your lap by conception you just muddle through, but not everyone is equipped and able to do it by choice and care needs to be taken to ensure the families are equipped to deal with the issues that will arise.

My fondest desire would be that any families who were willing and able could take as many children as they could raise, as frequently as their heart and lives could manage, and that money for the travel and adoption costs would never need to be an issue. Then there would at least be the hope that all orphans could have a family to grow up in and parents to be loved by. So I dream and pray…

 
Comment by Trish
2008-07-15 09:29:07

Joanie, apologies for snapping. By now I really should’ve learnt that reading these posts is very emotionally charged – and make sure that I’m in the right frame of mind before responding!!! Trish

 
Comment by Eileen
2008-12-13 19:37:28

Joanie,

I would be really interested in any research you may be aware of regarding the pros and cons of the simultaneous adoption of non-siblings compared to the adoption of siblings.

 
Comment by Von Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-11 17:35:01

The idea of artificial twinning is a very good demonstration of the lack of ethics in the American adoption industry and in the suppliers to that industry.It is good to see some parents are taking a stand; while they may at times feel powerless, it is always the adoptee who is powerless in the end.
Australia has it right and is not concerned about profit, marketability etc.

 
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