Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MiM Mail: Adoption advice

My husband and I just found out via my new, shiny, residency contract that my program (4-years long, medical (not surgical)) offers a significant perk of paying about $10k in adoption fees for employees and their families. We've always talked about becoming foster parents or adopting in residency or just after, but we never realized it might be to our advantage to consider doing it a bit sooner (maybe around PGY-3 or PGY-4?). I'd love some advice from anyone who's done either of these things.

Some background -- my husband is a superstar; he's in education and has been a teacher or school leader throughout our marriage, and found an awesome job in the city we're moving to. He's also planning on starting a doctoral program part-time online, to finish when I finish residency. We're open to staying for a chief year or moving for a fellowship, although I want to do primary care and so doubt I'd do that. Obviously, all of this stuff (my husband's schedule, his doctoral stuff, being a resident) is flying around in my head, and this decision is certainly not urgent, but we got excited at the idea that we could pursue something that's long been a dream of ours, and during residency training! Anyone have any advice for an ideal time to do something like this? Has anyone else ever done so! (Obviously, there is no "ideal" time, but some are better than others, and I figure 2-months into intern year isn't one of them!).

Thanks for the tips!

So thankful for this community.
- Future mom and east-coast resident, currently box-packer and barely-a-physician in the midwest


  1. I would definitely get started now if this is something you want to do. And having the adoption perk of $10,000 in adoption fees is awesome! I adopted internationally after residency and it took two years. Adoptions usually take quite a while. You did not mention what type of adoption you are thinking of, but international adoptions usually take longer than domestic so I would get started now if you want to actually have your baby in your arms by year 3.

    1. Awesome, thanks! You're right, I forgot to mention it, but we're planning on domestic adoption (and likely fostering too).

  2. I'm a NP, so I can't speak to the doctoring side of it--but we did adopt our third child through the foster care system. Foster care adoption is free, at least in most states. Sometimes you have to pay court fees or name change. Also, foster care often requires that you have regular visits with bio family, and it can be exhausting--not that I'm discouraging it, but it's not a "for sure" way to grow your family--but a tremendous way to be there for a child who needs it!

  3. The unpredictable nature of the process would have made it very difficult for me to do during residency. We adopted our daughter domestically through a private agency. We did all the paperwork and submitted it, and were matched before we'd completed the home study, at which point I had to frantically reschedule everything for that week and then we had a baby two days after we completed the home study application - 10 days after we were matched. It doesn't usually happen that way, although it certainly can with foster parenting. No way could I have done that during residency, when my time off was assigned to me six months in advance.


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