Adopting a child can be a joyful and fulfilling thing to do, but it can also be tiring and exhausting especially if it’s your first time. Adoption has become more and more popular, with each year seeing more children getting adopted into loving families where they will thrive. The journey to successfully adopting a child can be long and complicated, and the legal and financial roadblocks are more than what the average person thinks they are. However, the happiness at the end of the process is worth it.
There are three main ways of legally adopting a child (or children): through the foster care system, a local adoption agency or an attorney (independent adoption), and international adoption. Choosing one of these methods depends on personal preference, legal implications, and financial factors. Before starting the process, here are some factors to note.
● Choose Your Prefered Adoption Path
Each type of adoption has its pros and cons. Weighing all sides will enable you to make a decision. The foster-adopt system cares for children who are already of school age. The government’s foster care system aims to eventually reunite these children with their birth families. If you are a parent hoping to adopt a newborn, an independent adoption might be the best option for you. International adoptions have declined over the years due to the closure of international adoption programs but there are still ways to successfully adopt children from abroad. Ensure you study the adoption laws of different countries before proceeding.
● Choose Your Adoption Professionals
The process of adoption is not a walk in the park and should be done carefully. Finding an agency or a lawyer to carry out this process for you may not be so easy. It is recommended that you speak with people you can trust. Referrals are a great way to find suitable professionals that will deliver great results. Carry out research of different adoption agencies and lawyers before making a final decision.
● Prepare for A Home Study
Irrespective of your adoption path, you must complete a home study. This is the process that allows you to legally adopt. There will be an evaluation to assess your fitness to serve as an adoptive parent. There will also be a criminal background check, proof of health and income coverage, and visits to your home. A home study can take from three to six months. While being evaluated, your case-worker will also educate you and give you the necessary resources.
● Decide How Open You Want to Be
Ongoing research has shown that there is some benefit in having an open relationship between you and your child’s birth family. This can range from a birthday card every year to personal regular visits. The idea of closed adoption is almost fazed out as children are entitled to information when they turn 18. There also online services that can help to find one’s birth parents.
Choosing to adopt a child is amazing, but remember never to make the child feel you are doing them a favor. Also, keep in mind the financial implications of independent or international adoption.