Perhaps you and your husband, wife or partner have been considering the idea of adopting a child. However, you’re not quite sure where to start. Deciding to adopt a child will be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Before you even start thinking about adopting a child, you should research all that is required to do so.
1. What do you know about adoption?
Before you even start thinking about locating a child, you must be familiar with what is required of you as a prospective adoptive parent. In the first instance, you want to look at books magazines which discuss the topic of adoption. You will be able to find various material online, in a bookshop, and at your local library.
Further, you can look at social networking sites which discuss adopting children. Further, in your community there will be societies and groups where people get together to discuss adopting children and the process involved.
2. An adoption agency can help you
Whichever state you live in, there will be an adoption agency close to where you live. You can contact those agencies and discuss with them their procedures before you take the matter any further. You will want to ask about the children that they place with prospective adoptive parents. Further, you may wish to speak to other parents who have used that agencies services. The whole process can be quite expensive, and you want to make sure that the agency you are using a high standard. You need an agency with a wealth of experience and one who can trust.
3. The home study process
Before you proceed with locating a child, the home study process must be completed. This is an evaluation process to determine if you are suitable to be a prospective parent. More importantly, the process is undertaken so that the child is placed with a suitable family who is loving, caring, and with a social network. During the process, some matters will be looked at, such as:
- Background checks
- Family life
- Health checks
- Criminal checks
Further, the prospective adoptive parents will be given guidance and training about what to expect when adopting a child.
4. Finding the right child for you
Once you’ve completed the home study, that’s the time you can start looking for a child. Your agency can do this on your behalf. They will then notify you when there are potential children to adopt. Your agency will liaise with some other adoption agencies.
5. Contact with the filing agency
Once a child who appears to be suitable has been found, your agency will then exchange details with the child’s agency. They will require the details of the home study. The child will be given details about your family. It will be then their decision as to whether to take the matter any further. Obviously, at this time, it can be a nail biting experience.
6. Exciting times
If the child decides he or she wants to take the matter further, you will be considered for the adoption process. You must remember that other families may also be considered at the same time. Ultimately, the final decision as to which family meets the child’s needs the best will be made by the child’s worker.
7. First contact
There will be an initial invitation to meet the child. On the basis that this is successful, this will continue over some weeks or even months.
8. Family time
On the basis that you are proceeding with the adoption, the child will come to live in the family home. During this time, your agency will work alongside you. They will visit you at the family home on some occasions. During this period, you file a legal intent to adopt petition.
9. Getting to the end
At this point, you’re getting to your goal of being adoptive parents. You will need to attend court where a judge will decide to finalise your adoption. You will receive a birth certificate that has been amended and named you as parents. Plus, you will receive a certificate of adoption.
10. Your goal is achieved
You can now start your new life having adopted your child.