This is a sponsored guest post.
The adoption process in America consists of many steps. The process is long and time-consuming. However, it’s worth it when you’re finally able to your arms around the new addition to your family. The following is an overview of what you need to do to adopt within the United States.
Step 1: Choosing to Adopt
Deciding if adoption is the right choice for your family is an extremely personal decision. The desire to adopt arises in many places. Some of these reasons include the inability to conceive and the simple desire to bring more love into your life.
Before deciding to adopt, consult a counselor. They’ll help you understand the journey you’re about to embark on. They’ll also answer any questions you may have, and help you ultimately decide if adoption is the right option for you.
Step 2: Selecting the Type of Adoption
Once you choose adoption, you decide what kind you’re interested in pursuing. The options you have include taking in either a newborn or an older child. You also have to choose to adopt a child born in the US or internationally. You decide whether you’re going to go through the process privately or through a foster care system. You also have to weigh whether there should be any contact with the birth parents. All these decisions are important ones that can deeply affect your new child’s future.
Step 3: Choosing an Adoption Professional
After deciding what type of adoption you’re going to do, you have to choose a professional. Your options can be local, like these Houston adoption attorneys, or some national agency.
Many people assume that all agencies are created equal. That’s not actually the case. Not all organizations provide the same services with the same amount of success.
You want to do your research on the multiple resources available to you. This includes accurately assessing the services they offer and the benefits of choosing them. When doing this research, you want to take into consideration wait times, hidden fees, disruption rates, education, financial protection, support, and other similar factors.
Step 4: Becoming an Active Waiting Family
Many agencies will have you complete a process before they let you become an active family. They typically require you to complete a home study.
During this study, they take an in-depth look into your life to make sure that you and your partner are fit parents. They do background checks, collect medical and financial information, conduct interviews, and do home inspections.
Many organizations also have you fill out a questionnaire. This will help the agency determine what you want.
Finally, you’ll likely have to fill out a profile. This type of profile will typically consist of pictures and information about your family so that birth mothers can see what makes your family the best fit.
Step 5: Waiting for an Adoption Opportunity
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you’re now an active family. All you have to do now is wait for the opportunity to adopt.
This period of time can be difficult for a few families looking to adopt. To keep from getting antsy or obsessive, be sure to maintain your normal way of life. Those who are able to distance themselves while waiting often find that the process is smoother.
Step 6: Communicating with the Birth Parents Before the Adoption
Once you’re selected by a birth mother, you’ll become part of an “adoption opportunity.” During this time, the birth parents will get to know you and your family a little better. Openness is important in such a situation as it helps the birth parents feel confident that they’ve chosen the right path for their child.
Communication usually occurs in stages, starting with a conference call. You and your adoption professional will mediate a call between your family and the birth parents. You’ll then move on to email correspondence that’s ongoing and confidential until the child is placed. Finally, you’ll meet during placement.
Step 7: Finalizing the Adoption
Finalizing the new addition to your family will be an exciting time. It makes it official and makes the whole process worth it. To reach finalization, you have to wait for paperwork to clear (such as Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children if you’re adopting across state lines), complete all post-placement visits, and attend your finalization hearing where a judge will review the adoption.
Once all of this is completed, you’re granted legal custody and given the adoption decree. You’ve successfully brought in a new member of your family whom you get to raise and love for the rest of your life.