How to Adopt Guide
Congratulations on your decision to adopt! It can be a beautiful and life-expanding way to grow your family. Sometimes, however, adopting a baby can seem like a pretty overwhelming process. Where do you start? What happens now? We’re hoping to help you see that adopting a baby is something you can do. Remember at AdoptionLife.org, we are here for you every step of the way!
As you’ve carefully pondered your decision to adopt, we’re sure that you’ve heard that adoption means a lot of paperwork. It’s true, there is quite of bit of paperwork to take care of, but it’s doable, we promise.
To get started, you’ll need an adoption home study. This home study is prepared by an adoption professional in your state. He or she will help you understand and organize all the paperwork you’ll be required to complete.
In most cases, you’ll need to complete paperwork for your home study and for your agency or attorney. Some of that paperwork will overlap, but some will be specific to the agency.
Open adoption is a term used to describe adoptions where adoptive families, birth families, and the adoptee have communication with each other before and after the adoption placement. Your adoption professional may ask you about the level of openness that you are comfortable with during the preparation of your home study so it’s important to start thinking about this early on in the process.
AdoptionLife.org is here to help with your open adoption plan and will provide lifelong open adoption support and mediation if needed.
Should I use an adoption agency?
Choosing the right adoption professional is a big decision and can make a world of difference for you, your future child, and your child’s birth family during the adoption journey.
You have two main choices in how to pursue a domestic infant adoption: employing the services of a private adoption agency like AdoptionLife.org or completing the adoption privately, using an adoption attorney.
A good adoption agency will provide education, guidance, and support that will help you make informed decisions before, during, and after your adoption has been completed. It will provide a professional to complete home study and will help match you with expectant parents who are making an adoption plan for their child. It will provide the counseling and support that expectant parents need. Many agencies provide counseling to both birth parents and adoptive parents as well as offer classes to help educate parents about topics such as choosing open adoption, parenting a child that was adopted, and building a multicultural family.
If you decide to pursue a private adoption, you will need to retain an adoption attorney to help you understand adoption laws and work through the legal aspects of placement and finalization. In private adoptions, the medical and legal expenses of the expectant mother generally become the responsibility of the adoptive parents. You may also need to pay for counseling for the expectant parents and possibly for housing and clothing during the pregnancy.
Find out if AdoptionLife.org is the right agency for you.
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Your adoption agency will have you put together a profile designed to introduce you to expectant parents who are considering placing their child for adoption. This profile will include photos of you, as well as information about your life, your reasons for adopting, and your parenting plans.
It can be intimidating to look through the profiles of other hopeful adoptive parents, all of whom seem to be financially independent, highly educated, ecstatic about their marriage, owners of an immaculate home, and a favorite among their nieces and nephews.
Don’t get too caught up in all that! Try to represent yourself as honestly as possible. It may surprise you what it is about your profile that interests someone considering placement for their baby.
AdoptionLife.org can help you present your best and most genuine self. We have strategically partnered with top internet specialists who will help you create an interactive profile about your family and help spread the word that you are hoping to adopt.
Spreading the Word
Tell everyone you know that you’re hoping to adopt. Announce it on social media and ask people to share your hope to adopt with others.
You never know whose cousin’s friend’s sister-in-law might be considering adoption for the baby she’s expecting and is looking for a family just like yours. Many people were matched with expectant parents considering an adoption placement for their child because they spread the word that they were hoping to adopt.
But sometimes, those connections feel like they are just not reaching far enough or reaching the right people. Spreading the word that your family is hoping to adopt is another area where AdoptionLife.org really shines. Due to our strategic partnership with top internet marketing specialists, your adoption profile will benefit from unparalleled reach and exposure.
Making that Adoption Connection
Like you, expectant parents considering adoption are also searching. They desire the right family for their child. You may make connections with a number of these expectant parents prior to finding the “right” match–one that works for your family, as well as for the expectant parents.
Once that match has been made, you can begin building the relationship with the woman or couple considering placing their child with you.
Facilitating this relationship can seem awkward and stressful at first. Assisting in the creation of lasting connections between birth families, adoptive families, and adoptees are something the AdoptionLife.org team has been doing for decades. Let us help you!
Planning for the Birth
Before the baby is born, it’s important that expectant parents and hopeful adoptive parents sit down together and make a clear plan for what they hope will happen on the day the baby is born.
Be prepared to communicate your hopes, but understand that ultimately, the feelings of the expectant mother are the most important. This is a vulnerable and tender time for her. She should be able to identify key elements of the event, such as who will be present with her during delivery, who will cut the baby’s umbilical cord, who will hold the baby first, when the adoptive parents will be contacted, how much “alone time” time she plans to spend with the baby before placement, and more.
These conversations between expectant parents and hopeful adoptive parents can be difficult. Allowing an AdoptionLife.org professional to help openly and honestly express the wants and needs of each party can greatly benefit everyone involved and help the hospital experience be as smooth and beautiful as possible.
This is the day you get to bring your baby home! This is a bittersweet day with lots of tears on all sides. Be prepared for your heart to grow three sizes!
Your AdoptionLife.org adoption professional will help you and the birth family plan for this day and support you and the birth family during this emotional time.
Post Placement Visits and Support
Most states require post-placement visits by an adoption professional to make sure the child is safe, cared for, and is bonding with the family and the family is bonding with the child.
A good agency will be available to you for post adoption support and can even provide you with referrals to other resources that help create strong families.
At AdoptionLife.org we are here to help you even after the adoption placement! In fact, we offer lifelong support to help you cope with parenting challenges and communicating with birth families.
Finalization is the day when the baby becomes legally a part of your family. You’ll attend a court hearing to complete this process. The time period between placement and finalization can vary depending on the state’s laws and regulations.
The journey doesn’t end at finalization. In fact, the parenting adventure is just beginning!
If you need assistance with parenting challenges or help with maintaining a healthy open adoption for everyone involved, AdoptionLife.org would love to assist you. Please reach out to us!