ADOPTION LESSONS LEARNED: NATALIE MARCOTTE’S CHALLENGING SECOND ADOPTION [S5E11]
In this episode of ADOPTION NOW:
Returning guest Natalie Marcotte is here with updates on her adoption journey.
Last time Natalie was here in 2017, the show ended on news that her daughter Lily had a biological sibling who was looking for a home! In this episode, we will hear all about this update to Natalie’s adoption journey.
Host April Fallon says that even though this second adoption didn’t go as smoothly for Natalie, this episode is a great resource for weathering the chaotic moments of the adoption experience.
To start the interview, host April Fallon reminds listeners that even if you have done an adoption with a couple before, you still have to pay the same amount of money as you did before. She asks Natalie about her experience with coming up with the necessary money.
Natalie says that it seemed silly to pay $25,000 when they all knew each other already. Eventually, she decided to go through a lawyer instead of an agency. She was trying to save about $20,000 from the whole process.
Natalie says they did find a lawyer who would only charge $3,000. And then they needed a home study update as well as birth parent counseling. So her hope was spending about $10,000 in total.
April asks Natalie who called and told her that they were choosing her for the adoption. She says it was the grandmother–the birth mother’s mother–who had called and told her. In fact, the grandmother had picked all of the adoptive parents of the prior adoptions. Natalie had been the only parent to meet the birth mother, so this was a major factor why she was picked as well!
April then asks if they were ok with Natalie’s plan to avoid using an agency.
Natalie says it was tricky because they had grown accustomed to using the same agency. But after she plead her case and explained how expensive adoption was, the Grandmother realized she had underestimated the cost.
So, after meeting with the very confident lawyer, Natalie felt good about her adoption approach. But as April states, the reality of private infant adoption was contrary to the expectations of the lawyer. You don’t get guardianship of the child, even after taking them home. This fact contradicted the efforts of the lawyer.
The lawyer had said he handled numerous adoptions, but a local agency told Natalie that they didn’t have a good feeling about it. Actually, almost everyone involved thought it was misinformation the lawyer was giving.
“I certainly didn’t think that anything he was doing was under the table or illegal.”
April then asks about the day that Adam was born.
Natalie says that it was really cool because they were involved with the birth this time because of their previous connection with the family. She said that this time was much more different than Lily’s birth.
This adoption was different because of how they had constructed the adoption; they arrived officially as ‘guests’ of the family instead of the adoptive parents. And it was also really different this time because they had no official rights. The agency wasn’t on their behalf, only the lawyer was.
The lawyer did show up that day with the necessary documents, but the judge, who was supposed to sign off on the documents, was out on vacation.
“So we hear this on Tuesday. We start to panic. And then Wednesday, everything hit the fan.”
Then social services called and started asking questions about Lily. It was a scary time: they were not sure if they were going to be able to keep Adam, if he’d go into foster care. Natalie says that Wednesday was one of the most difficult days of her life.
So, because the judge wasn’t there to sign off on the paperwork, child services came in and said that if the guardian paperwork wasn’t signed by the next day, they would come in and get custody of Adam.
When speaking to DCF, they explained to her that because they were not Rhode Island residents or qualified foster care parents in Rhode Island…they said that if Natalie didn’t do something, she would never see the child again.
DCF said they didn’t want to have to step in and take the child, but they would have to if no one was able to take custody of the child. Soon they were told that they had to sign with an agency. It would cost $20,000. They did end up signing, and fortunately they didn’t have to pay up front, but this cost was still very upsetting.
April says Natalie’s story is a great opportunity to learn how to avoid the chaos of adoption. She also recognizes that adoptive parents can often have a smooth adoption than run into a more challenging next adoption.
When April asks how she attached with Adam, Natalie says it was difficult at first to bond with him. This was because of the whole dynamic of the adoption and how she was a spectator in the hospital for three days. In addition, she was used to girls! A boy was a whole different learning experience.
But Natalie says that they are completely bonded now. He is 19 months old and she loves Adam to pieces. And guess what: Natalie just found out recently that she’s pregnant! Leave your comments and feedback below and congratulate Natalie on the great news!