For those just starting their adoption journey, there is much to consider. Finally putting adoption into the “family equation” means a plethora of questions. And it seems just as one question is answered, another appears. But, it doesn’t take long to get into the adoption groove. After understanding a series of general adoption questions, the hopeful adoptive parents are armed with just enough information and an abundance of excitement as they begin their new adventure.
Where do I begin? What is involved in adopting a child? We live in a day when information is at our fingertips. A quick online search will bring up blogs, forums and websites – all dedicated to answering your questions. Understand that adoption is accomplished when a child and an adoptive parent are matched. This means that the governing parties deem it is in the child’s best interest to have that specific parent(s). Beyond being matched, adoptive parents must have a completed home study. Once all is in order, the family goes before a judge who will finalize the adoption.
What is a home study? A completed home study is a document that provides crucial information, signifying that the adoptive family meets the requirements to raise a child in their home. This includes safety information, background information, financial information, parenting styles and more. It takes place with a caseworker conducting interviews and visiting the home. It feels invasive to some, but when you understand that the purpose is to be sure a child is raised in the best environment possible, it makes the invasion feel acceptable.
How do I find my child? Where do I look? You may be one who shares your desire to adopt with friends and family. This could lead to a private adoption. Or you may ask around for a reputable adoption agency. The agency will guide you through preparing an adoption profile and other things to make you visible to birth parents. If you are adopting internationally or through the foster care system, you will be given access to photos and brief histories of the children who are adoptable. Through careful consideration, you will be guided to your child.
This information will get you started. As you begin, and take the first steps toward adoption, more questions will arise. But, by that point you will be surrounded with professionals and support groups who will guide you each step of the way. CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to adopt!