WANTED:  Loving home for healthy infant.  Parenting experience not required. Reply ASAP for immediate placement without substantial cost.

Years ago when we first started considering adoption, this is the type of ad to which we would have gladly responded.  For young couples just starting out in their adoption experience, this is very appealing.  First, an infant is so adorable, and your heart just melts for one without a pair of loving arms to hold and love it forever.  Second, healthy means birth mom didn’t use drugs, wasn’t stressed by domestic violence or lack of economic stability, and the baby got pre-natal care and proper nourishment.  Third, such an infant doesn’t need experienced parents, just those with a  loving, stable family background to have learned from themselves.  Fourth, immediate placement means not waiting for years.  Finally, the adoption is affordable!

Well, perhaps this ad could be real, and perhaps some fortunate family really could get this dream adoption.  The odds are against it.  Few babies are available.  Fewer still are without health problems.  It does take time.  And, it is expensive if you are going to adopt privately.

A more realistic ad might be:

WANTED: Loving home for neglected, possibly abused infant.  Health status fair, history mostly unknown. Seeking parents experienced (or willing to become) with developmental delays, failure to thrive, fetal alcohol syndrome and/or infant crack addiction.  Other suggested skills are ability to cope with long periods of crying, a willingness to deal with invasive social  workers, and extreme patience for inconvenient birth parent visitations until rights are terminated.  Fortitude also required to deal with overwhelming frustration of the ‘system’.  Reply immediately to nearest county office for lengthy paperwork, criminal background check, and home study.  Case  will be ‘hurry up, and wait’ status.  Low upfront cost involved.

For a family who decides to do foster/adopt through the child welfare system, this is truthfully what the ad should say.  The good news:  there really is very little upfront cost.  Further, if you income qualify and the county has the means, the baby will come with a modest subsidy and Medicaid to help deal with special needs until 18 y.o. or high school graduation.

The most honest ad would read: 

WANTED:  Loving homes with experienced parents desperately needed to adopt school-age children, especially sibling groups, of all races and beliefs.  Lots of courage, time, unconditional love, and ‘out of the box’ parenting skills are the suggested minimum requirement. Potential issues include Reactive Attachment Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, developmental delays in all areas, and chaotic out-of-control hyperactive behavior. Biological children should be older than children being considered for adoption.  Seeking happily married husband and wife Christian couple with very thick skin, willing to lose friends and family relationships over adoption decision, to take on kids with the most problematic behavior.  Financial assistance limited, but efforts well rewarded in Heaven.

Now that’s an ad I’d like to see in every U.S. newspaper!  And, I would like to see families responding in droves! 

With Christ, all things are possible….