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 independent 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.