Laurie Q&AQ & A with Laurie

Hello everyone, my name is Laurie Walker, and I am an Adoptive Family Specialist with American Adoptions. I have worked with many birth mothers and adoptive families in my time here at American Adoptions and love being able to watch families form through adoption.

Q. We have been waiting for an adoption opportunity and are a little discouraged that it has not happened after 8 months of waiting. We know we are probably more restrictive than other families on our APQ, especially given that we are only open to a full Caucasian child. Honestly, we are not open to including much more into our APQ, but we are slowly starting to consider adding another race acceptance to our APQ. What we don’t know is what other races are commonly seen in these infants other than full Caucasian. Can you help us to focus on what to open ourselves up to?

A. This is a very good question and one we’d be more than happy to answer. Below is only a representation so please know that these numbers can shift from year to year slightly, though they stay relatively consistent.

Taking into account both programs (Agency-Assisted and Traditional Programs), a little more than 50% of the infants placed by our agency are full Caucasian. Only being open to a full-Caucasian child means that you are missing out on close to 50% of the other possible adoptive placements that are completed by our agency. Also, please understand that nearly 100% of the families within the Traditional Programs are also open to a full Caucasian child. So, if there are 150 families open to a full Caucasian child, we will not be able to show all 150 profiles to a birth mother who is looking at family profiles. We typically show about 15-20 profiles to a birth mother at a time, so your profile will not make it to all of the birth mothers for whom your APQ matches.

Therefore, you will actually not be considered for more than 50% of adoptions by not being open to additional races. Adding additional races to your APQ would increase your profile exposure and potentially lessen your wait time. It’s best to have your profile shown to as many birth mothers as possible within your comfort zone, of course. Keep in mind that your home study must approve you for any races you are open to on your APQ. If you add additional races to your APQ, you may need to also contact your home study provider to ask them to complete an addendum to approve you to adopt a child of another race.

If you are interested in what races pertain to the Traditional Program, the following information may help you determine what additional races to include on your APQ. The numbers below represent an example of how the Traditional Program may look when broken down by race.

  • 70% Caucasian
  • 16% Caucasian/Hispanic
  • 4% Hispanic
  • 3% Caucasian/Native American
  • 2% Caucasian/Other
  • 1% or less All other race combinations

As you can see, a child of Caucasian/Hispanic race is the second most common adoption completed within the Traditional Programs, so adding an acceptance to that race would have the largest impact on your profile exposure. However, fewer families are open to some of the additional races, so it could also greatly assist you to open up to any of the other race possibilities. For example, when working with a woman having a full Hispanic child our agency will often have 7-10 families open to that situation. Therefore, those who are able to have their profile shown have a much greater chance of being selected. If a family comes to the agency wanting to adopt within the Traditional Program, it certainly could be beneficial to be more flexible on the race acceptance, budget, medical history and substance abuse sections to help increase the profile exposure.

If you are interested in the Agency-Assisted Program, the following information may help you determine what additional races to include on your APQ. The numbers below represent an example of how the Agency-Assisted Program may look when broken down by race.

  • 45% African-American/Caucasian
  • 36% African-American
  • 5% African-American/Caucasian/Hispanic
  • 4% African-American/Hispanic
  • 2% African-American/Caucasian/Native American
  • 2% African-American/Asian/Caucasian/Native American
  • 1% or less All other race combinations

Many families in the Agency-Assisted Program come to us only open to adopting a child of African-American/Caucasian heritage, but as you can see, those families would be missing out on many placements in the Agency-Assisted Program. If a family comes to the agency wanting to adopt within the Agency-Assisted Program, it certainly could be beneficial to be more flexible on the race acceptance, budget, medical history and substance abuse sections to increase profile exposure.

There certainly are steps to take before adding additional races to your APQ. First, you should talk extensively as a couple about the reasons you were not initially open to accepting these races on your APQ. You should speak very openly about this subject. You should also consider how this child would be accepted into your immediate and extended family, as well as community. Would you be able to support the child’s questions about their ethnicity? Would you be able to help support any discrimination they might experience in life? Can you imagine yourself not only raising a baby of this race, but a teenager and later an adult of this race? Would you be open to a child of any percentage of the race combination (i.e. 75% Hispanic and 25% Caucasian)? Do you know all ethnicities included in the race you are selecting an openness too (i.e. Asian includes Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, etc.)? Lastly, you may need an addendum to your Home Study if you were not previously ap proved to adopt a child of this race. You can certainly add this to your APQ prior to having the addendum written up in most circumstances, as long as you do plan to have it added to the Home Study in the near future.

If you have further questions about this topic, speak to your Adoptive Family Specialist who can provide further guidance.