An adopting Mom's commentary on Dateline's disturbing Guatemalan adoption report.
Thousands of happy families have resulted from Guatemalan adoption. But it's the exploitation, extortion and baby snatching that makes news.
While the stories seen on Dateline are horrific and difficult to watch, they are not representative of all international adoption. If you or someone you know is considering adoption, here are three crucial insider tips...
•Research, research, research. Books and the Internet are very important tools when it comes to adoption. The Ultimate Insider's Guide to Adoption can help you determine if adopting is right for you as well as compare domestic and international adoption routes. There are many websites that specialize in specific countries as well as those with general information like The Adoption Guide.
•Ask and listen! Never sign on with an agency before talking with others who've used them. Do a search online for any negative feedback. Also, there are Yahoo groups for almost every adoption question as well as agency referrals. Listen to all feedback and carefully consider before signing anything.
• Join a community. When you do sign on with an agency, ask if there are any families in your area who are going through or have gone through the same process or find families through an online group. Having support during the adoption process is vital to your emotional well being.