There are currently over 390,000 children living without parents in the foster care system in the United States. Although it may make you want to reach out immediately and adopt a child, there are some serious steps that need to be taken before considering a child to adopt can even take place.
Adoption is a lengthy process that requires patience and perseverance, so if you’re considering adopting a child, here are three of the most important steps you’ll need to undertake in order to be considered to continue in the adoption process.
Learn About Adoption
Adoption isn’t as simple as movies or television shows may make it seem. In order for the adoption process to occur, there are a lot of preliminary steps that need to be taken. A good first step in learning could be visiting adoption agencies and compiling a list of questions. You may also want to look for books and magazines about adoption at bookstores, libraries and online. Attending an adoptive parents’ support group or adoption conferences can be helpful as well.
Select an Agency
In order to adopt a child, you need to work with an adoption agency that is licensed within the state where you live. It’s always a good idea to contact several agencies to ask about the type of children they place, their fee structure, how they assess and prepare families, and how long it will take. Get references, too. Speak with other parents who have used the agency you are investigating. you don’t need an attorney at this point, but you may want to ask which legal services will be provided by your agency and which services you may be responsible for on your own.
Complete a Homestudy
A homestudy is a series of meetings between you and a social worker from any one of the adoption agencies that you have chosen. These meetings serve as an ongoing conversation which is part of the adoption process and prepares you for parenting. The social worker who prepares your homestudy will be required to ask you for certain documents such as birth certificates, a marriage license, child abuse clearances, and other personal references before finalizing his or her report.
Adoption agencies are willing to work with potential parents to ensure that every child is placed in the best possible home. The process may seem long and arduous, but the end result is a new family, and a better life.