Steps of the Adoption Process – How to Get Started

If you are considering adopting a child, you need to be aware that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. While you will be giving a child in need a new home and thus expanding your family, there are many obstacles you will have to go through in order to make this a reality. Below are some steps that you need to keep in mind if you decide to go down this path. Take a look.

Make sure this is the right step for you

Before you choose to put yourself through this often tedious process, you need to make sure this is the right move for you and your family. Assessing your motivation for this is essential. In case you’re struggling with infertility, you might be considering this option. To truly be ready for this new chapter of your life, you will need to put your infertility worries in the past, be excited about adopting and share the same goals as your partner. In case you cannot agree on this decision, the timing might not be right as an unhappy family situation is not the best place to raise kids.

Understand the costs of adopting a child

Apart from the motivation, you will also need to ensure you are financially ready for adoption. Unfortunately, this is often not a cheap process so you need to make sure you are getting the best services possible for the money you’re paying. You need to do proper research to see which approach would be most beneficial for you and how you should go about it. Furthermore, you cannot neglect all the expenses that having a child comes with, from food and clothing to education.

Choose the right type of adoption and research the law

When it comes to choosing the type of adoption, your options are domestic and international adoption. As can be expected, international is a bit more expensive due to travelling and various citizenship and immigration application fees. When adopting domestically, you have the option of going through an adoption agency, which comes with a cost, and the state foster care system, which is free for the most part. To properly understand what each approach entails, you will need to do some research into the local laws.

Find a professional to work with

Once you’re sure that adoption is something you really want and can afford, the next step is finding a professional to work with. If you opt for the agency path, you should take several into consideration and do some research on them. This will allow you to see their costs, success rate, wait time and how happy other adoptive parents were with the process. What is more, if you plan on adopting from a foreign country, you need to ensure they are reputable and have all the necessary licenses. On the other hand, if you will be going through the state, you need to make an initial enquiry and discuss your situation with a professional who will guide you through the steps you will need to take.

Attend seminars to educate yourself

One thing that will be required of you before you can formally apply for adoption is attending an education seminar and completing a formal training session. By doing this, you will better understand the steps of the whole process and what is expected of you. You will also learn more about certain policies and procedures as well as all the documents you will be required to gather once the adoption process begins. After the seminar, you can meet with your agency or state representatives to go over any questions you might still have and discuss any issues you might be having before filling in your application form.

Go through the assessment period

After going through the training and submitting your application, you will be required by law to participate in an assessment to determine whether you are suitable to adopt. During this period, you will be assigned a social worker who will conduct interviews with you, your family members and any other people living in your home. In case you are single, people who will be helping you out will also be interviewed. Other than this, medical, financial and police checks will be performed and the social worker will closely inspect your home for any safety concerns. They might also suggest some improvements.

Accept a placement

Once your assessment report is deemed suitable, professionals will start matching you with children or maybe you will get the chance to choose the kid you would like to get to know better. No matter how you get matched, you get to choose whether you will accept this placement. By accepting it, the child will be in your care for the next few months. Regular check-ups will be conducted to see how the child is adapting and whether the placement is working for everyone involved. If everything is satisfactory, the social worker will advise you to lodge an adoption order application.

Finalize the adoption

After filing your application, a court hearing date will be set where your case will be considered. Then, you will appear in front of a judge to hear what decision has been made. If granted, the adoption is finalized and you become the child’s parent immediately. In the following few weeks, all legal records and documents will be updated to reflect these changes.

Keeping these eight steps in mind will help prepare you for the adoption process if you opt for that alternative. Make sure you are emotionally and financially ready for this big step, do your research thoroughly and find the best possible experts to guide you on your journey. Good luck!

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