If you have decided to end your fertility treatments, you do not need to give up hope of bringing a child into your home. There are alternatives to fertility treatments available to couples who are eager to be loving parents to a beautiful child. One such option is adoption, which is one of the most wonderful choices any couple can make. It can provide a child with devoted and caring parents and it also brings special joy into a couple’s life.
What is Adoption?
Most of us are familiar with adoption - it involves parenting a child who was born by another father and mother. When you adopt, you take on all parental rights of the child and are responsible for raising him, providing for him, and loving him. Children are available for adoption from all over the world, and you can have the option of adopting domestically or abroad. No matter what route your decide to take, adoption is a wonderful way of adding to and enriching your family.
Types of Adoption
When you consider adoption, it is important to decide what type of adoption you would like to pursue:
Open adoption has now become the most popular form of adoption. In an open adoption, the birth mother is allowed to take a very active role. She is involved in finding and choosing the right parents for her child. She is also allowed to maintain an informal relationship with her child and the adoptive parents. Depending upon what is agreed upon, this may include updates on her child’s development or occasional visits with the adoptive family.
Open adoption is now the type of adoption recommended by most adoption agencies. Open adoption has been found to help the adopted child to feel safe, secure, and emotionally stable. It also makes for a wonderful and loving family environment.
Closed adoptions are less common today, especially in the United States and Canada. In a closed adoption, an adoption agency is in charge of finding the appropriate adoptive parents for a child. All details about the birth parents are kept hidden from the adoptive parents. The birth mother and father have no input as to who will get to adopt their child, and they will no longer be able to see or speak with their child. Adoption records remain sealed.
Closed adoptions were very popular in the past, but have since fallen out of favor. During the 1940s and 1950s, closed adoptions were viewed as normal and acceptable by most parents. However, by the 1960s and 1970s, more men and women began to call for involvement in the adoption process. As a result, adoption laws in many countries began to change, allowing birth parents more involvement in the adoption process.
How to Adopt?
Many couples become overwhelmed at the prospect of adoption. It can be difficult to know where to start and what processes are involved. There are a few ways of adopting a child:
- through a private child adoption agency
- through a state adoption agency
Private adoption agencies exist all around the world and are there to help facilitate your adoption. For a fee, they can help to place a child with you. In the US, state adoption agencies operate on a non-profit basis. They can help you to adopt a child who is in foster care. Independent adoptions are done without the aid of an agency. Instead, you locate (or are located by) birth parents that wish to have their child adopted. These independant adoptions must be facilitated by a lawyer or other qualified individual, in accordance with your country’s adoption laws.
Where to Adopt Your Child?
When pursuing adoption, you will eventually have to decide from where you would like to adopt your child. You may wish to adopt a child from your home country or state, or perhaps you are interested in adopting a child from a faraway country.
If you decide to adopt a child from you home country, you are engaging in a domestic adoption. Domestic adoptions are bound by your country’s federal or state laws. Depending upon where you live, there are different rules regarding domestic adoptions. You may not be allowed to adopt across state or provincial borders. To help you make sense of all these legal matters, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to oversee the process.
Many couples decide to adopt a child from outside their home country. This became popular in the 1950s and now accounts for more than 20,000 adoptions every year. International adoptions are governed by the laws of the country in which you are adopting, so you will need to do some research before pursuing this option. Many couples choose foreign adoptions because it can sometimes be a faster process. It is also very appealing to those couples interested in having a diverse family.
The Adoption Process
The child adoption process can be lengthy and sometimes confusing, depending upon the type of adoption you choose to pursue. There is often a lot of paperwork and legal wrangling that must be taken care of before you can legally adopt a child. When you adopt through an agency, you will first need to submit an application form and be accepted as a client. Once you have been accepted, you will go through a home study process, during which a social worker will visit you in your home and evaluate your lifestyle and parental abilities. You will also need to undergo a criminal background check, a child abuse clearance, and a health exam. This process generally takes a few months. After this, wait times depend on the age and race of the child you wish to adopt.