We are living in unprecedented times with many businesses shutting down due to the COVID-19 restrictions. With those restrictions, many courts have closed as well, only allowing emergency hearings to be held. For many adoptive families, that has left a lot of uncertainty about when they will ever be able to bring their child/children home and make it official. Here are some ways you can continue to move forward as you wait:
1. Be prepared. This is a great time for you to be gathering all the information you will need for your home study. Find your birth certificate, financial documents, and any other papers your provider might need. Get your home ready as well. Update your fire alarms, check for safety issues (such as uncovered electrical sockets or open stairways), lock up your medication, and ensure that you have a specific room ready for the baby.
2. Get educated. While you wait at home, this is a great time to login to some online courses to earn CLEs. While not every agency or attorney will require credits in order to adopt, it never hurts to educate yourself on some of the issues that may arise from different circumstances. Going into a situation informed will give you more peace of mind and help you make the right decision for your family.
3. Find creative ways to save for your adoption. Adopting a child comes with a lot of paperwork and financial needs, and you might want to use this time to look into how you are going to fund your adoption. This is a great time to apply for grants and loans (/News-Resources/Adoption-Grants.shtml) and check with your employer to see if they offer adoption assistance.
4. Get involved online. There are many adoption groups on social media who can help you connect with other adoptive families who can answer any questions you might have. This is also a good way for you to potentially match with an expectant mother. Social media offers a lot of opportunities for you to find your community.
5. Check in with the hospital where you plan to pick up your baby. Many hospitals are allowing just one adult to come into the hospital to be with the baby, and they are not allowed to leave until the baby is discharged. Other hospitals are not allowing anyone except the expectant mother into the hospital. As each hospital follows different protocol, be sure to touch base with the social worker at the hospital to let her know that you have an adoption plan in place and to see what accommodations will be made for you.
6. Stay in touch with your attorney or agency. Just because you can’t go to a courthouse right now doesn’t mean that you can’t be moving forward with your adoption. Many couples are still being matched and are able to drive or fly to pick up their child. We are still working and making sure that our families are able to get the proper paperwork processed in a timely manner to come home with their child. Many judges are also now allowing finalizations to happen via programs such as WebEx; so while your finalization may be take a little bit longer to get to on the docket than normal, you still can rest in the fact that it will happen as quickly as possible.
Adoption is still possible-even in quarantine-and we would love to help you fulfill your dream of becoming parents. While the adoption process may look a little bit different right now, we are here to navigate the legal process with you.