Real Housewives star, former SHE Media BlogHer speaker, and tween mom Bethenny Frankel commented on a People magazine Instagram post this week to state that she had attempted to adopt a 3-year-old — and it’s “not as easy as the movies make it.”
“The thing that surprises people is that once they get into the system, it is hard to get them out,” Frankel wrote on the Instagram post, which was about a young boy named Jordan who is in the foster system. “Growing up, we always heard that everyone wanted a baby and not an older kid.” But Frankel learned the hard way how complicated older-child adoption can be when she “tried a while back to adopt a 3-year-old and it was a harder process than a newborn.”
On the photo of 9-year-old Jordan, Frankel also wrote: “I will adopt him. Bryn said ‘momma you should adopt him,'” referencing her 10-year-old daughter Bryn.
It’s not the first time she’s made such claims on Instagram; in 2016 Frankel told People she was “definitely serious” about planning to adopt a 5-year-old girl who had been found abandoned at a bus terminal. “How do I adopt this child?” Frankel tweeted. And we get it: How many of our own parental hearts have been broken at the news of yet another child out there who simply isn’t getting the love and care every child deserves?
But, less than an hour after that 2016 tweet Frankel followed up, writing: “Lawyer says once w the state a private adoption impossible which is now upsetting me more. That is bullshit.” Like she said again this week: Once kids are in the system, it is so hard to get them out.
Dawn Davenport of adoption education and support organization Creating a Family told SheKnows that far too many prospective adoptive parents don’t realize just how hard the process can be, or “how long adoptions take and how often adoption matches fail.”
And then there’s the cost. “The cost of adoption takes families by surprise: $20,000 to $45,000,” Adoption & Beyond, Inc. founder and director Steffany A. Aye, LSCSW, LCSW told SheKnows. “Families don’t initially realize that most adoption agencies are not run by the state, nor do they receive state funding. Therefore, private adoption agencies are supported like most any other business — through fees for services or donations.”
Although Frankel clearly has funds on her side, she’s expressed interest in adopting kids who are currently in the state foster system and therefore unavailable for private adoption. As for Jordan, People reports that “Jordan has received over 5,000 adoption submissions and is on his way to finding his forever home.” We do hope Frankel is able to find the right match and provide a “forever home” for a child of her own, too.
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