How To Adopt A Baby In The US: 17 Things To … – Adoption.org

Are you looking to add to your family through adoption? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available? Are you hoping to adopt an infant in the U.S.? Then youre going to need to read this article. For answers to the above questions and more, well cover all the basics you need to know about how to adopt a baby.

If youve arrived at the decision to pursue a domestic infant adoption, its likely that youve crossed off international and foster adoption. Youre ready to meet your baby from day one and share an abundant amount of memories together. When you adopt a baby from the US there are going to be somethings that are easier than other types of adoption and somethings that are harder. If you choose to adopt an infant in the US rather than another country, youre avoiding the seemingly endless task of communicating with a foreign adoption agency. If youre choosing domestic infant adoption over foster care, youre likely to spend considerably more money. But the way you choose to grow your family is your choice and only your choice. If youre a little unsure if domestic infant adoption is right for you consider asking yourself the following:

If youve answered those questions and still feel confident that adopting a baby in the US is right for you, congratulations! Youre ready to start the adoption process!

Also if youre wishing that there was some kind of group you could join (for free!) where you can connect with others on their adoption journeys, you might want to check here.

Is Domestic Infant Adoption Right For Me?

People choose adoption for many reasons. But you should not let grief and infertility be the reasons why you are choosing adoption. Although those kinds of pains may never leave you, your adoption journey has to be separated from your infertility and grief journeys. When you havent finished grieving you wont be able to put your whole mind into adoption. Adoption is not a quick and easy fix to make a family. You will be dealing with real lives, both the baby and the birth parents. Its okay to feel that pain, but it shouldnt be the drive to adopt. Adoption is not the bandaid for infertility.

You can visit here to reach out to others facing infertility and find comfort that you are not alone.

Adoption Does Not Cure Infertility

Adopting After Infertility

When Infertility Makes You Feel Inadequate as a Woman | NIAW

Please Dont Adopt If You Havent Grieved Your Infertility

The paperwork and the home study are often some of the most dreaded and nerve-wracking parts of the adoption process. Essentially you are being asked to share everything about your personal life for all the world (really its just your social worker/agency) to see. It can feel invasive. However, these processes are necessary because adoption professionals have to make sure a child is going to a suitable home and family. This can also help a professional match you with the right potential birth parents.

This part can take awhile depending on how quickly you can have the paperwork done and get your appointments scheduled and completed. If youre early in the process, its always a good idea to start gather what you need right now. Youll need certified copies of the following:

Then you will also want to start gather your financial information.

Your paperwork will also consist of a physical exam, criminal background, fire safety inspection, photographs of everyone in your immediate family, previous home studies if any, and references. Some of these things will take longer than others, which is why its important to get started on the ones you can do as soon as you decide to adopt.

Dont be intimidated by the sheer quantity of things you have to fill out. Take it one step at a time. You may consider forming a list that you can check off each item as you complete the tasks. And dont be afraid to ask you adoption professional any questions you have. Its there job to know the answers to your questions. You may also wish to join communities like the ones below that may be able to help and support you on this home study and paperwork journey:

Hoping to Adopt a Baby Group

What to Expect During Your Adoption Journey

How to Keep Your Adoption Paperwork Organized

Who Should I Choose to Write My Adoption Reference Letters?

Paperwork how bad is it

So much paperwork

Starting Home study process and paperwork

Choosing an adoption professional is like choosing your guide for the entire adoption journey. This is the person that should be helping you along your entire journey. So how should you choose the right adoption professional? Well besides joining this group to help you, there are few things you should look for in an adoption professional.

These are just some of the questions you should be asking before deciding on an adoption professional. You will also have to decide between working with an agency or adoption attorney. So whats the difference between the two?

Adoption agencies are often private organizations that can be an all-in-one option for hopeful adoptive parents. They often have social workers, facilitators, counselors, and more available to help you on your adoption journey. However, their fees can be higher because they are a private organization. Since adoption agencies are private, they can also decide what kind of parents they will help (sexual orientation, religion, marital status, etc).

Agencies also have the resources to walk you through every step. They often provide counseling for you and the potential birth parents. You will likely have to go through some kind of education and training to become adoptive parents. However, most agencies will have you responsible for paying the attorney fees to finalize the adoption.

While there is no special education required to become an adoption attorney, there are education options available for attorney to help them be more proficient at adoption law. Adoption attorneys are essentially people that take on those types of cases. Sometimes working with an adoption attorney will help you adopt more quickly because there is less paperwork, but that same thing can also hinder your adoption process.

You will likely have to hire other adoption professionals to help you. Attorneys are not social workers so they cannot complete a home study. You may also wish to hire someone to help you market your hope to adopt. If youre choosing private adoption, you will be the one to find your potential birth parent, whereas an agency will likely be working already with expect mothers making adoption plans. Private adoption costs can also vary greatly in price, so its important to discuss with your attorney and the other professionals you might work with to make sure it fits in your budget.

Choosing between an adoption attorney and adoption agency is personal preference. There are many pros and cons between the two. Decide what qualities are important to you to help you determine which type of professional you would like to proceed with.

You can also get in contact with an adoption professional right here. And there happens to be a great directory of adoption professionals in your area that you can find here.

11 Ways to Know You Have a Great Adoption Attorney

Adoption Agencies vs. Adoption Attorneys

When Do I Need An Adoption Attorney

Selecting an Adoption Agency Guide

A Guide to the Differences Between Direct Placement and Agency Adoption

Once you have a start on your home study paperwork, youll need to get working on setting up appointments with your social worker or agency. Theyll be the ones conducting and compiling your home study information. Theyll start you with the necessary forms and then begin meeting in person with you to determine your eligibility for being adoptive parents. Be sure to fill out your paperwork and answer questions honestly. Theres nothing that will hurt a home study like lying. Chances are whatever youre trying to hide will come out at some point during this extensive process.

When many think of the home study, they think of the home visit. But thats just one part of the home study process. Typically your adoption professional will meet with you several times to help with paperwork, interview you, and answer questions. You should bring something to take notes with each time your adoption professional visits.

The home visit is really not as intimidating as it sounds. Typically, your adoption professional will want to make sure your home is adequate for a child, not if youve remodeled your kitchen recently. He or she will check theres enough space, that youre meeting any safety rules your state has, and that hazardous things (guns, medicines, cleaning supplies) are stored securely. Its advised that you look into what your state requires as far as regulations for home studies.

Some people may have a rougher history than others and have concerns that this may cause them to fail the home study. If you have a history that includes alcoholism, drug abuse, or an arrest, its best to be upfront and honest about them. If you can demonstrate honesty and explain that things are different and how they are different, your adoption professional may not see it as cause to fail a home study. For the most part, its safe to assume that your adoption professional is not looking to fail you from the home study. He or she is interested in helping you grow your family through adoption.

You may find the following discussions and article helpful as you go through the home study process:

Home study home visit tips needed

First Home study visit scheduledwhat to expect?

What Do They Look For In Home study?

How long does a home study take?

7 Adoption Home Study Horror Stories That We Can Laugh About Now

8 Aspects of a Home Study

What does a home study involve?

Surviving Your Home Study Guide

Open adoption is a fairly recent development in the adoption world. Put simply it means the adoptee and adoptive parents stay in contact with the birth parents. The level of openness will vary between families based on accessibility and level of comfort.

So is an open adoption right for you and your child? Consider the following points.

Open adoption is not an easy option. You may think its easier to have a closed adoption. And maybe in some ways you would be right. But if you are committed to having a thriving open adoption, you can. The best ways to avoid the common problems in open adoptions is to communicate about everything and set appropriate boundaries.

It would do well to keep in mind that although in most states communication agreements after adoption are not legally enforceable, going back on your word can cause serious damage to the relationship. Thats not to say that you cant adjust the level of openness based on every members needs, but lying about wanting to have an open adoption is deceitful. When you meet with potential birth parents its a good idea to address concerns with them ahead of time. Let potential birth parents know what kind of relationship you would want for your child and what rules you think are fair to have in an open adoption. Communication is essential.

Remember that open adoption is not co-parenting. As the legal adoptive parents, you are in charge of your childs wellbeing, health, and life. Once a birth parents rights have been legally terminated, he or she does not get a say in how a child is being raised. However, a birth parents involvement can be especially healing during parts of the grieving process. They are still able to have a healthy relationship with their child. Adoptees also benefit from the open communication. They can have answers to questions as they come up. Theres less mystery surrounding their adoptions. Many think that it would be confusing for the child, but it doesnt have to be! Read this birth mothers perspective on her open adoption with her daughter.

Closed adoptions, though less common these days, still occur. Sometimes a parents rights have been involuntarily terminated or your child may be a safe haven baby. An open adoption may not be an option for some families. A closed adoption is where no communication exists between the three parties of the triad.

Having a conversation with your spouse is important to deciding what kind of adoption you want for your child. Read others experience in open adoption, educate yourself on what open adoption entails, and decide what kind of boundaries you feel comfortable with.

The Differences Between Open Adoption And Closed Adoption

Common Problems In Open Adoption And How To Address Them

6 Open Adoption Facts That Will Surprise You

Open Adoption Guide

4 Pieces of Open Adoption Advice from an Adoptive Mom

Im Not Perfect: Confessions Of A Mom In An Open Adoption

Does Open Adoption Seem Scary To You? 5 Reasons To Consider It.

Open adoption fears

The First Time I Spoke Publicly About My Open Adoption

Contact in open adoption

You might not realize the serious decisions that have to be made when youre growing your family through adoption. Already you have made the serious choice of pursuing domestic infant adoption over international and foster adoption. Now, as you fill out your paperwork, you will come across some more decisions that need to be made.

You will be asked to fill out a form of your preferences. You will be asked about open adoption, racial preferences (if any), special needs, drug and alcohol exposure, and more. Its important to discuss with your spouse what you are willing to handle. You will both need to be on board with what challenges you are willing to face.

It may help to examine your lifestyle to determine where adopting a child of a different race or nationality is right for your family. Transracial adoption comes with its own challenges. Will you provide opportunities for your child to celebrate his/her culture? Will your child be without those similar to him or her in your community? You can read this to find out more if transracial adoption is right for you.

The number of special needs a child could have is a list that never ends. You could have a child with down syndrome, RAD, or any number of special needs. When you fill out your adoption papers, you will be asked if you would adopt a child with a number of special needs. There will be some you have never heard of. It will be up to you and your spouse to decide if you have the means to care for a child with special needs. Children with special needs can be an incredible blessing, but they are an undertaking of itself.

Do your research ahead of time. Understand the complexities of raising a child with different needs. Understand what you can do to help your child. It would also be good to demonstrate your understanding of these different needs to potential birth parents.

Of course, be aware that there is only so much paperwork can do. When you adopt a child or when you give birth to a child you can never truly know what challenges lie ahead.

Its a good idea to talk with other parents of either special needs or transracial adoption. They will be able to give you an idea of what family life will be like after adoption. Visit these groups to ask questions and get answers:

Transracial Adoptees

Transracial and Multicultural Adoption

Special Needs Adoption

Transracial/Multicultural Families

Adoption Parenting

6 Things to Consider While Checking Boxes on Your Adoption Application

Special Needs Adoption Guide

Prenatal Drug and Alcohol Exposure: Should You Mark YES On Your Adoption Application?

What about Transracial Adoption?

Transracial Adoption: A Familys Experience and Advice to Those Considering Adopting Transracially

3 Facts You Need to Know About Fetal Trauma in Adoption

The road of adoption is hard. Theres a whole book (its free for you) about the stories of families going through domestic infant adoption and not one of them is without some challenge. You have to be prepared to manage the stress or you could burn out before you even get to the best parts of adoption.

The stress of paperwork, home study, and financial strain are all stressors youll have to face. Here are a few ways to cope with adoption-related stress.

How do you de-stress?

Fighting with Spouse More Often Due to Adoption Stress

Pre-Placement Stress Disorder (PPSD)

Tips for Dealing with Depression and Negative Feelings

How to Find Peace In The Crazy, Stressful World Of Adoption

Staying Positive When Adoption Is Hard | Positive Attitude Month

The Hard Road Of Adoption | My Domestic Adoption Story

What I Mean When I Say Adoption is Hard

One of the most intimidating parts of adopting a baby in the US are the costs that go with it. The average cost for adopting a baby in the US is $37,000. This includes home study fees, agency fees, placement fees, birth parent expenses, counseling and more. Youre never paying for a baby, but rather the work and processes that go into adopting.

There are many options on how to fund your adoption. There are grants and loans available to those that qualify. You can also check with your employer to see if they offer any adoption benefits. Another way families choose to fund their adoption is through fundraising. You can check out some of these articles about fundraising and financing your adoption here.

Dont be shy about asking others how they afforded adoption. There are several groups out there that can help you brainstorm ideas about affording your adoption. You can also visit adoption.com to find adoption boards and adoption discussions regarding the adoption process.

Affording Adoption Guide

What Is Included In The Cost Of Adoption?

How Much Does Adoption Cost?

Link:
How To Adopt A Baby In The US: 17 Things To ... - Adoption.org

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