There are many reasons why a couple would choose to adopt. Some couples have trouble conceiving naturally, and simply don't have the money for expensive processes like in-vitro. This is especially true for most because, despite the number of fertilized eggs that are inseminated, there really is no guarantee of pregnancy. And, on top of that, if pregnancy does result, it is quite likely that there will be multiple children rather than one. In other cases, couples don't want to risk passing down a family disease or disorder by creating a child together, but still wish to have a family. But whatever the reason, medical or emotional (or both), adoption can be a wonderful experience for both the parents and the child. Of course, the first step in having a wonderful experience is to know how the process works and how to properly get started.
what you want
The first thing anyone should know before considering adoption is that there are different ways to go about it. You could choose to adopt an international child, an American child, a child you already know or are related to by blood or marriage, a child with disabilities, a child of another race, and more. It's important to know exactly what you want before you begin to keep things from becoming too complicated down the road.
To help keep your options clear, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before ever contacting an agency.
(this list of questions and more detailed information can be found @ https://www.adoption.org)
1. What age
child do you want to adopt?
- grade school
2. Do you want a child who is from the United States or another country?
3. Do you want to adopt a specific child you saw in an agencies ad or website?
4. Do you have a home study? (a home study
is the approval process that occurs after several meetings between you, your
partner, and a social work while in your own home.)
For this you will need:
- a marriage license
- birth certificate
- personal references
- a child abuse clearance report
- and several other official documents
Do you want to adopt a child you already know?
- unmarried partner's child
- foster child
- relatives or friend's child
5. What else is important to you about the
child you plan to adopt?
- Will you adopt siblings?
- Will you adopt a child with physical disabilities?
- Will you adopt a child with emotional or learning problems?
- Will you adopt a child of a minority race?
- Will you adopt a child whose race is different from your own?
- would you like contact with the child's birth family?
After completing the above process, you will need to contact an agency. At this point, it is important that you practice extra precaution. The danger here is that many criminals have and will pose as adoption agencies in order to both manipulate you and take your time and money. Always check, re-check, and check again an agencies licenses and credentials. Once you are confident they are a legitimate and reputable agency, you can begin. The law states that you must work with an agency in the state where you reside.
Before making your decision, it is important that you get the proper information.
- Are there any fees, hidden or up front?
- What types of children have they placed?
- How do they assess families?
- How long does the average adoption take?
And finally, it is also a good idea to speak to someone who has used the agency before.
Know you are ready to get started! For more detailed information on adoption, what to expect and how to move forward, please visit theadoptionguide.com or the National Adoption Center's web site, adopt.org!
This blog post was provided by Stephanie Parker – our blog writer extraordinaire!