Will We Be Allowed to Adopt?

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Is adoption possible with my history of depression?

Nov 2007

My husband and I are looking into adoption - we've just only begun. We tried to get pregnant for a year then went the fertility route (Clomid and IUI), however, b/c I have a history of depression, I had a really hard time on the CLomid. I have been going to counseling for about 6 years and on anti- depressants for the same amount of time. I've never been suicidal and have not engaged in destructive behavior due to the depression. I am stable and have been for years up until my experience with Clomid. Once the Clomid is out of my system, I am ''back to normal.'' However, I am worried that we will not be able to adopt given my experience with mental illness. Does anyone know anything about this? We would probably adopt domestically since many countries DO have restrictions regarding depression. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My dear, doesn't 30% of the country suffer from depression? It's really not an unusual medical situation. Besides, if you're infertile, you're almost always depressed

But let's talk about Clomid. It's a STEROID. I took it and I swear to God it turned me into Mike Tyson. I was lifting weights at the time and would go to the trainer once a week (other than that one week I sat on my butt all week.) When I took clomid, every week I could lift 10 more pounds. He thought it was great until one day he asked me how my husband was and I ranted - seriously RANTED for the entire hour. Then I walked out, called my husband, yelled at him, and then drove around fast for a while. I went home, called my doctor, and told him that I was DONE with clomid. Later, I asked him about it. ''Oh yes,'' he said, ''that's a somewhat common reaction.''

I was shocked. Why on earth did he give it to me? quick answer: because at the time, clomid costs $75 a month, and when I did IVF, my drugs were more like $1400.

That said, being on fertility meds (REAL ONES) felt like riding in a LIMO next to clomid.

So don't worry. They gave you a nasty drug. Don't let it freak you out. For more information, go to my FAVORITE site: www.askapatient.com and check it out. Askapatient.com lets people log their opinions of their medication. It is run by two sisters. It is one of the few resources around that is NOT TOUCHED by the long, all-powerful arm of the drug companies. Ha!

I wouldn't even go into the clomid thing with them. Someone gave you a nasty med; you had a bad response. finis. And stay off clomid! hate clomid too

This comes up time and again on adoption boards that I was on. The best advice I can give you is to not have this mentioned at all in your homestudy or on your medical. Many doctors understand the need to omit information in this fashion as there are a lot of countries out there with outright bans on anyone who has ever taken medications for depression (and similar types of things). If your doctor isn't one of those ones who can be cooperative about this, I suggest going to another doctor. As for your homestudy, I don't see any reason to mention it to your social worker. I don't generally encourage people to lie about things, but some of the rules from countries that permit adoption are very stingent and don't allow for any considering of individual circumstances. If whatever the issue is won't affect your parenting, then take steps to make sure it doesn't appear in your paperwork. Good luck! Adoptive Mom
Hi, we adopted two children in 1997 and 1999. I don't remember anyone looking that closely at our medical backgrounds. You do fill out some forms and they do a 'home study' which is not really that big of a deal. They are more interested in...is your home safe...can you provide for the child...would this be a good home -- not judging you based on other things. I am very large but it never came up as an issue. If your depression is under control with meds (you and about a million other people in the area) then I don't see why you have to disclose it at all. (Maybe you do, but you can state it in the mildest sense not the most extreme.) I did fertility drugs for years and it was horrible emotionally. Having infants and going thru menopause was nothing compared to that time - my point is, you've survived the worst, and have everything to look forward to. My advice is to proceed full steam ahead with adoption and just let the depression non-issue recede into the background. Adoption brings out our insecurities about ourselves; try to focus on all your good qualities and putting together a good brochure. Good luck and all my best to you. Happy mom (on meds)

Will my misdemeanor charge prevent me from adopting?

March 2004

My husband and I are considering adoption, probably international but not sure yet. I am wondering if the fact that I have a misdemeanor drug charge (possession of marijuana) on my record, plus a number of political arrests (unlawful assembly, trespassing and the like -- all misdemeanors) from about 13 years ago will come up or be a problem in the screening process?

I'm not sure how your past arrests will affect the possibility of adoption, but it may be possible to clear some or all of the arrests from your record, and even convictions if you have any. The San Francisco Public Defender's office has a program called ''clean slate'' that can help you with the paperwork - if the arrests are in another jurisdiction contact a reputable criminal defense attorney to find out what you can do to clean things up. pd mom
If the marijuana arrest was as a teenager, look into having it sealed. Then, your record would not show this at all, and you would not have to claim it on any forms. I was able to do this, but I didn't have any addtional arrests. I had to call the county where the arrest occurred to have it sealed. It's worth a try. Good luck.
I am the Director of an adoption agency for both domestic and international adoptions. In both kinds of adoptions someone with an arrest record like you describe CAN adopt a baby! We would interview the client in more detail and may want more information, but small offenses, a long time ago are generally exempted, at the discretion of the agency. Lynne
I'd be surprised if this is a problem but don't know for sure. I would advise discussing it with whoever you'll be working with to facilitate the adoption. We did our adoptions working with Jewish Family & Children Services in San Francisco. They were great, highly helpful, and I'm sure you could ask them this sort of question and get it readily clarified. I imagine they'd be happy to do this even if you don't have an existing relationship with them. Adoptive Dad