There are many reasons as to why couples, and even single people, choose to adopt. Often times, it’s because they can’t conceive on their own. Other times, there may be something physically wrong with them so they can’t carry a child. Or maybe the woman is not able to become pregnant at all. Whatever the case may be, the benefits of adoption extend far beyond mental and emotional for the person getting adopted and their adopting parents. Financial stability, a sense of family and belonging, a better life than what they could have had otherwise – adoption offers a number of amazing perks that can put you ahead in life. But with all that being said, the adoption process is often long and tedious. It’s something you don’t want to rush into, especially since it involves children. With this article, I want to offer up some tips in regards to the adoption process and what you need to know moving forward if this is something that interests you.
Determine your motivation
You’ve decided to adopt, and you’re ready to take the next step. Before you can begin the adoption process, however, you need to determine your motivation for adopting.
The decision to adopt is a big one and should not be taken lightly. Here are some questions to consider:
Do you want to save a child from a dangerous or impoverished situation? Adopting an older child may be better for both parties involved. Older children tend to have more stability because they have been in foster care for a longer period of time. They also have more life experience than a newborn, which can make them easier to parent.
Are you prepared for the financial cost of adoption? Do you have a stable income? Will your current health insurance cover pregnancy-related expenses if necessary? Are there any other financial considerations that might arise during the pregnancy or after birth (such as daycare)?
Is your home suitable for raising a child? Does it include all of the necessary safety features (such as cribs and baby gates)? Are there pets currently living in your home or will there be soon after adoption? How many children do you already have in your home? If this is your first child, how will the adjustment affect everyone else in
Decide which type of adoption will work best for you
The first step in the adoption process is deciding on the type of child that fits your family best. You may want to start by speaking with an adoption agency or a social worker at your local hospital or county health department to discuss your options.
Choose an agency or attorney that provides services in the state where you live and where the child lives. If possible, choose an agency that has experience with international adoptions or domestic infant adoptions because both processes require specialized knowledge and expertise.
Pick an adoption professional with a good reputation
It’s also important that you find someone who has a good reputation within their community; these professionals will be able to tell you who else they work with or refer clients to if need be. This way, if something goes wrong with one professional, another one will be there to pick up where they left off so that no time is wasted in finding another person
Understand the costs of an adoption and learn how to get help paying them
Adoption agencies and lawyers charge fees that vary depending on their level of expertise and experience and their industry reputation. Private domestic adoptions range from $2,500 to $30,000; international adoptions cost between $15,000 and $40,000; agency adoptions cost about $15,000 for domestic adoptions and $30
Get your finances in order to fund your adoption
You can expect the adoption process to take a few months or even a year or more. It all depends on your state and where you are adopting from. Here are some things to consider:
- Get your finances in order
- Consider whether you want to adopt a child locally or internationally
- Complete an application with your state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) or other local agency
- Attend orientation and parenting classes
- If you’re adopting from overseas, attend training seminars offered by an adoption agency
- Apply for a home study, which includes visiting your home and interviewing friends, family members and neighbors
Create a financial plan for adoption
It’s important to have a budget in place before you begin the adoption process. You’ll have expenses along the way, including legal fees, post-placement supervision fees, home study fees and filing fees. You may also need to travel to your child’s country of origin and stay there for several weeks or months while he or she is being processed through the system.
Submit a home study and other required documents
The documents required will vary depending on your situation and state laws. Most agencies require that prospective parents have a copy of their birth certificate, social security card and marriage license (if applicable). If either parent has been married previously, they must provide proof of termination for those marriages as well as any other children that may be born during the marriage (if applicable). The agency will also want to see copies of any criminal background checks performed by local law enforcement agencies on both parents as well as proof that both parents are financially stable enough to provide adequately for their child(ren).
Create a family profile book and portfolio of yourself that you can share with prospective birth families
The adoption agency will ask you to create a family profile book and portfolio of yourself that you can share with prospective birth families. This is an opportunity for you to share about yourselves and why you would make good parents for their child. You should include photos of yourself, your home, your pets, and other children or grandchildren if applicable. Because this book is going to be shared with the birth family of your future child, it is important that it meets with your approval before sending it off! It may be helpful to meet with a professional photographer who has experience creating photo albums so that she can guide you through this process. Keep in mind that this book will not only be used by adoptive parents but also by social workers evaluating families during home studies as well as by agency personnel responsible for placing children with adoptive families.
Wait for the perfect match to be found
This could take months or years, depending on how fast you want to adopt and how much time you are willing to wait.
Be ready when it’s “go time”!
There are many children in this world who need good homes, some of them desperately. If you decide that you are ready to become a parent and you do not feel that your first choice of having a baby naturally is something that can happen for you, you should explore the adoption process. There are so many wonderful children who need loving homes and parents who are willing to give what those children have been lacking in their short lives. By choosing adoption and finding the right family for your child, everybody profits, including you and your child.