For couples who are struggling with fertility issues or for those who are just looking to give a baby a good home, adoption is often a viable option. In the United States, there are many children who get adopted into loving homes each year. If you're considering adoption, it is important to know and understand the steps involved in the process. Once you know how adoption works, you can be prepared to bring a beautiful child into your family and home.
Choose an Agency
Adoption agencies serve as a way to help new prospective parents find a child to adopt, perform screenings, and help ensure the safety of the child and that he or she is adopted into a good home. Find a few local adoption agencies, and do some research to determine which one will serve your needs best. It's recommended that you get a few personal referrals from happy parents who have found success there.
Undergo a Home Study
After you've chosen an agency to use, you'll need to have a home study performed by a social worker. The purpose of this study is to ensure that the child being adopted will come into a safe and loving home. The study will ask you and your spouse for several pieces of information including credit and employment checks, criminal record checks, and personal interviews with you. They may also ask for personal references and do some interviewing of friends and family members. Typically, there is also a minimum of one in-home visit with you and your spouse, and sometimes several in-home visits are performed.
Choose a Child to Adopt
After you've passed the home study stage, it is time to begin looking for a child to adopt. Your name will go on a list with other parents who are now eligible to adopt, and you can begin working with the agency to find the right child for you. The agency will ask if you prefer a boy or girl, as well as if you'd rather adopt a baby, toddler, or even an older child. Once you tell the agency your criteria, they will begin to assist you in your search. For many adoptive parents, they must be placed on a waiting list until a child is available.
Placement and Adoption
Your adoption agency will contact you as soon as you've been selected to choose a child for placement. You will then have an opportunity to meet the child and spend some time with him or her. If everything works out, the agency will assist you with filing for official adoption. In most states, you need to file a petition with the court for intent to adopt. As soon as this part of the process is complete, you're officially new parents to a loving child.
Contact a service like Pregnancy Resources to learn more.