NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s National Adoption Month and CBS2 is going way back to a very personal story from our own Cindy Hsu.
Fifteen years ago, she shared the story of adopting her daughter Rosie from China.
Now, she reports on what the adoption process is really like and how it’s changed for both the good and the bad.
“I get the referral today and so we’re waiting,” Hsu said in 2004, surrounded by the CBS2 family.
They saw the first baby pictures of the little girl that Hsu would soon adopt. A month later, they met in China.
2004 was the height of international adoptions with about 23,000 children “matched” that year with families from the U.S.
That number has dramatically dropped. Last year, only about 4,000 children were adopted internationally.
“Politics. That’s why Russia closed. Sometimes it was countries didn’t like the idea that so many of their children were being adopted abroad… Like China,” adoption attorney Denise Seidelman explains.
Other programs shut down due to questionable adoption practices. In some cases, child trafficking. Seidelman says most adoptions are now done within the United States through foster care, an adoption agency, or an adoption lawyer. Seidelman has brought together more than 500 families and says many previous barriers are no longer an issue.
Same sex couples adopt the same as anyone else; the same with singles.
Age limits for people who want to adopt have also been eliminated by many agencies.
Andrea and Patrick are on the adoption journey right now. They’ve been married for 12 years and spent the last year getting through all the red tape to qualify to adopt. Now it’s about getting their profile out to as many people as they can. They created a 10-page book for expectant mothers to see.
“We talk about where we met which was at our middle school bus stop. We’ve been together a long, long time,” the couple said.
They want to show the kind of parents they’d be.
“Like going out and hiking and we love to travel and we love to be silly and karaoke.”
They have a website – andreapatrickadopt.com – and are all over social media.
“We and many other adoptive couples are on different websites and web platforms that serve like a match dot com but for adoption,” Andrea said.
The process is much more complicated however, and sometimes scammers contact them or things just don’t work out.
“It feels like it’s going to work out and it falls through at the last minute,” Patrick said.
They put their profile out about two months ago and know it can take days or even years to find the right match.
“It’s a rollercoaster, we’re really fortunate to have a really extensive support network of friends and family,” the couple added.
It really is an emotional and challenging process, but well worth it CBS2’s Cindy Hsu says, once you find the child who’s meant to be yours.