Are you considering adoption? Well, before you do, you should know that it is important to comprehend the steps of the adoption process.
To put it simply, adoption is a process with the goal of assuming parenting of a child from biological or otherwise legal parents and transferring all rights and responsibilities regarding the child.
There are some steps in the adoption process that should never be skipped and we are here to explain them.
1. Learn about adoption
The first step to adopting is finding out everything related to adoptions, use any search engines available, Wikipedia, and public forums online, and consult an expert offline. You would be surprised to see how much you can learn.
2. Select the type of adoption that fits you
As the person who is adopting, you have the possibility of choosing the adoption program that fits you and your family the best. When it comes to making this choice you should know that there are 4 separate decisions you need to make.
– International or domestic?
– Adopting a baby or an older child?
– Private adoption vs foster care
– Do you want a closed, semi-open or open relationship with the biological parents of the child?
3. Choose an adoption agency
Since adoption is not something you can really go through alone, you will need to reach out to an adoption professional. When choosing the adoption agency, you need to understand that not every agency will handle the entire process and help you throughout the entire adoption. Some agencies will only handle certain parts of it. If you want to keep track of your costs, you should ask any professional about every single detail so that you can have an accurate layout of your future expenses.
It should be important for us to note now that the fact that we have used the term “agency” might be ill-fitted as only some of the intermediaries are agencies, while others are adoption lawyers and adoption facilitators. So, what are the differences?
An adoption agency is a business that places children in adoptive homes. They are staffed by trained professionals and regulated by the state. This means that they can offer the most out of these options.
On the other hand, if you want to adopt a child as soon as possible, and money is not an issue, a facilitator might be a better option. An adoption facilitator can connect you with expectant mothers that are considering to give their children up for adoption. You should know that some states do not allow for this type of facilitating.
Adoption lawyers are simply experts in adoption law. They can handle any legal questions and processes, but they do not locate the birth parents for their clients.
4. Do your home study
If you want to adopt a child in the United States of America, you will have to complete a home study. A home study is actually a series of meetings with a social worker hired by your agency.
The social worker in question will ask you for certain documents such as birth certificates, child abuse clearances, marriage license and personal references. The main purpose of the home study is to teach you, as the adopting family, about what you need to know and prepare you for adoption.
The social worker will also schedule at least one meeting at your home to ensure that you, as a family are ready to have a child enter your home. There are 2 things you should know about this: every member of your household will have to attend and this is not an inspection of your home. So they will not check for dust or minute details but are simply trying to see if there are any extreme circumstances that would eliminate you as an adoptive parent.
5. Search for a child
Once the home study is complete, the search for a child, or children (in the case of siblings) for you to adopt is beginning.
This usually works by your agency having children in its care, or the worker assigned to you contacting other child placing agencies to try and find a child for you.
However, this does not stop you from being proactive and trying to find the child yourself. Once you find the child or the still-pregnant mother of the child, the agency will arrange a couple of visits.
Then, you will get a placement date and you will file a petition of your legal intent to adopt.
6. Finalize the adoption
The child you are adopting can only become a legal member of your family after you attend a court session where a judge can finalize the adoption. You will also receive a birth certificate of the child, but amended so as to name you (and your partner) as parents. You will also receive a certificate of adoption.