Adoption: Where Do I Start?: Step 5: Engage in the Placement Process

Step 5: Engage in the Placement Process

What You Should Know

Once your home study is completed, you are ready to begin the placement process—the time when a specific child is identified for your family. Depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing, the characteristics of the child or children you are seeking, and a variety of other factors, this process and the time involved in waiting for your child can vary greatly.

If you are pursuing a foster care adoption, you may review information about a number of children who are waiting for families. Your agency may have adoption events, a photolisting service, TV or video segments describing waiting children, or other ways to let you know about available children waiting for families. You can also view waiting children at the national photolisting website like Adoption Photolisting. You will often have the opportunity for preplacement visits to get to know a child before he or she moves into your home. Your family may also be able to serve as a resource, foster, or concurrent planning family, working with the agency to support the child’s return to his or her birth family as well as being considered as a potential permanent family for the child if reunification does not occur.

If you are pursuing adoption through a licensed private agency, the expectant parents may select your family from among several prospective adoptive families.

If you are pursuing an independent adoption, an attorney or facilitator may help you identify expectant parents, or you may locate them on your own if allowed by State law.

If you are pursuing intercountry adoption, you may review information about your prospective child and may have the opportunity to meet your child in his or her placement setting (foster home or orphanage).

Obtaining Background Information on Your Prospective Adopted Child

Making the decision to adopt a child can be a wonderful, yet complicated process. In any type of adoption, it is important to obtain as much thorough and accurate medical, genetic, and social history information as you can about your prospective child.

Continue to Adoption: Where Do I Start?: Step 6: File Necessary Legal Documents