So, you've decided to adopt. You know you want to be a parent. But now what? I wish I could tell you that adoption is very simple and just requires a decision on your part. But there are steps to be followed, papers to be filed, and legal matters to consider. But don't allow yourself to be overwhelmed! Here are a few simple things that you will need to do as you prepare to bring home your child forever.
1. Choose your path. Before you can even begin to think about bringing your child home, you need to know your plan. Do you want to adopt an infant? How about an older child? Are you looking at international adoption? Or do you want to adopt from foster care? Before you become too overwhelmed from too much information, sit down and think about what you want your family to look like. Knowing where to start will help you as you make decisions down the road.
2. Research agencies and attorneys. Once you know what kind of adoption you want to pursue, it's time for you to consider the best way to pursue that type of adoption. Ask around; join social media groups focused on the type of adoption you're interested in; and call the agency or attorney with your questions. One of the most important questions you will want to ask is for a breakdown of the fees. You also will want to know what their policy is in the case of a disrupted adoption. How do they treat the birth mother? What do they expect from the adoptive family? It is very important to ask how many placements the agency or attorney has completed in the last six months in the last year. There are many options available out there, so be sure to contact one that specializes in the type of adoption you want.
3. Start applying for grants and loans. You may as well know right now that adopting requires a lot of paperwork. Now is the time for you to start finding grants and loans that fit your type of adoption. Each grant has its own specific requirements, so be sure that you meet those guidelines before you spend the time filling out the application. Here is a list of some financial resources to help you get started.
4. Prepare for your home study. No one is able to take a placement of a child until a home study has been completed. An adoption professional will come to your home to interview you and to make sure that your home is safe for a child. There is no need to stress over this interview if you follow this list. The home study is an important part of the process to ensure a good placement for both you and the child.
5. Find a match. While your agency or attorney will have a plan in place to help match you with a birth mother, you can help the process along if you are searching as well. Prepare an online profile, and advertise on social media that you are wanting to grow your family. Tell your friends and family. While you do this, though, be cautious if a situation seems too good to be true, and always check with your agency or attorney to make sure that what you are doing is legal.
These are just a few things that will help you as you get ready to bring your child home forever. While the process may seem long to you now, the time will become a distant memory once you are holding your child in your arms and standing before the judge for your finalization.