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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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Family matters: Science teacher looks to adoption

Meagan Martin waited, hope building with every passing second. Maybe, just maybe, this time would be different.

As she looked down at the pregnancy test, the glimmer of hope faded into a deep disappointment.

“Over the past couple of years, there were four or five times when I thought I was pregnant and used a pregnancy test,” Martin, a science teacher, said. “With each negative result, it was like a dream was shattered.”

Meagan and her husband have been married for about six years and have been trying to have children for four years.  In 2006, they moved to Texarkana and she started her career as a teacher.

“At that point, we decided that we would like to start a family,” she said.

However, their dream of having children was postponed.

“A year went by and nothing had happened; two years and still nothing,” she said. “It had been about two years and I asked my doctor if there was a reason that we were not successful.”

The doctor advised Meagan to “just be patient. It takes longer for some people.” However, when she received a call from her sister last summer saying that she was pregnant, Meagan didn’t want to wait any longer.

“[When my sister told me that she was pregnant], it was really hard on me,” she said. “I wanted to be happy for her, but it was a bit disappointing as well.”

Shortly after the phone call, Meagan and her husband started talking about adoption.

“The more we talked about it, the more we realized it had been in our hearts all along,” she said. “The realization that I came to was that I wanted to have a child, but it did not matter to me if that child was biologically mine or not.”

So began the lengthy, four-step process of adoption.

Step 1: Find an agency.

“I did research on the Internet and talked to many people that have adopted,” she said. “My husband and I found an agency that has all the qualities that we wanted.  The agency is Christian-based, and they provide counseling for the birth mother.”

Step 2: Create an application.

“The agency has a pretty intense application that asks about background, income/budget, parenting styles and values,” she said. “We also had to have references. After the application was submitted and approved by the agency, they required us to attend a 12-hour seminar on adoption and parenting.”

Step 3: Home study, fingerprinting and background checks.

“The home study has to be done by a licensed social worker,” Meagan said. “She interviewed [me and my husband] for three hours about our backgrounds, our relationship and other topics.  Also, she did an inspection of our house, making sure it would be safe for a child.  To complete the home study, we had to be fingerprinted and submit a form for a state and federal criminal background check and a check of the child abuse registry.  Last, we had to visit our doctor so he could certify that we are both in good health.”

Step 4: Pick a profile.

“Our agency uses scrapbooks and protected online profiles for birth moms to look at prospective families,” she said. “This is currently where we are in the process.  My husband and I are almost finished with our scrapbook.”

Meagan and her husband have decided to adopt within the states.

“We considered an international adoption, but I started thinking about the fact that there are so many children here in the US that need a home,” she said.

The adoption will be semi-open.

“The degree of openness is a decision that the family and birth mom have to come to as their relationship progresses,” she said.

When Meagan told others that she was planning on adopting, she was shocked to find that she had many friends that have somehow been influenced by adoption.

“We had so many people tell us that their lives had been touched by adoption,” she said.  “It seemed like everywhere we went, we would meet someone who was adopted or had adopted a child or someone in their family was adopted. We have numerous people at our church who have adopted, then someone who works in our doctor’s office was adopted, and the young lady who took our fingerprints was adopted. This was a little overwhelming, but also made me feel that we were making the right decision.”

Though Meagan is eager to adopt a child, she’s a little anxious.

“I fear two things–time and money,” she said. “I am concerned about how long the wait might be. The agency says there is no such thing as an average wait time. Some couples get matched within two weeks of their profile becoming active. Some couples wait two years or more for a child. Also, I worry about the costs. Adoption is not a cheap process. Agency fees, legal fees, birth mother fees, insurance, etc. Everything adds up quickly. Luckily, it is not all due at one time, because the total was a lot more than what I thought.”

Even though the adoption process is lengthy and stressful and the fees are high, Meagan can’t wait to hold her child.

“I hope that we are able to adopt a child and provide it with a safe and loving home.“

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Family matters: Science teacher looks to adoption