I started researching adoption pretty early on in my marriage. Due to a pre-existing diagnosis, I’d known for years that adoption may be how I created or added to my family. There was so much that I didn’t know, however, and the more I read, the more I realized I had left to learn. If you’re in the boat that I was nine years ago, I hope these suggestions help you!

First, research the types of adoption to see what feels right to you.

International? Domestic infant adoption? Foster-to-adopt, or adopting from foster care? Maybe a private adoption? Each type has a different process, cost, risks, timeline, and ethical considerations. Even if you think you know what you want to do, still take a little time to learn about the other options, just in case.

Second, seek out other adoptive parents who have done the type of adoption that you’re considering.

Ask what lessons they’ve learned. Are there things they’d do differently in retrospect? If you’re struggling to find people to speak with, check out adoption groups on Facebook, the Adoption.com forums, or Adoptive Families Circle. You will especially benefit from learning from other members of the adoption triad: birth parents and adoptees. There are Facebook groups and forums where all members of the triad interact together, plus many blogs.

Third, After you’ve determined what type of adoption is right for you, decide who is going to work with you.

Interview agencies or, if an agency isn’t the route you want to take, consider what’s important to you in an adoption professional. Again, asking other adoptive parents their opinions on the agencies or professionals you’re considering is a good idea, as is (if you’re going the domestic infant adoption route) seeking out birth parents to hear about their experiences.

Once you’ve hired your agency/lawyer, or been assigned a county case worker, they’ll walk you through what comes next.

Fourth, the Great Wait to meet your child(ren) begins!

Find tips on how to deal with that wait here, here, and here.

If you’re ready to pursue a domestic infant adoption, click here to connect with an experienced, compassionate adoption professional who can help you begin your adoption journey!