Sometimes, couples or even single women decide to adopt at least one child to achieve that dream of parenthood. In recent years, more Americans have realized that they aren’t just limited to adopting children from the United States, according to the U.S. Department of State. Whether you decide to adopt a child born in Indiana or Guatemala, you and any domestic partner involved must follow all of your state’s specific procedures.
Find an Adoption Agency
Whether you plan to adopt from within the United States or another country, you must first research reputable adoption agencies, according to the Child Welfare Information Center. The waiting times for children, especially babies, in the United States may daunt some hopeful moms from sticking through this process. Older children in foster care are often more readily available for adoption than newborns; you might check with your state’s Social Services division no matter which adoption type you’d like to explore. The Department of State also offers resources and reports on exactly how to determine if a private adoption agency, regardless of location, is legitimate.
Have a Home Study
Once you and any involved domestic partner decide adoption is right for you and select an agency, you must go through a home study process, according to the Child Welfare Information Center. It can take anywhere from two to 10 months for a social worker to complete interviews with your co-workers, family members and other acquaintances; home studies also include at least a few visits to determine whether your home is safe for a child. You’ll also answer plenty of personal and financial questions; this line of questioning allows the social worker to discern whether you’re emotionally and financially prepared to take care of a child. Almost all foreign countries that allow international adoptions require similar home studies from a licensed social worker in your state, though the time frame of process might be somewhat shorter, depending upon the country.
Welcome a Child Into Your Home
Depending upon what age of child you’ve asked to adopt and from what state or country, once you pass the home study, you’re well on the way toward welcoming a child into your home, according to the Child Welfare Information Center. If you’re planning an international adoption, you might not need to be placed on a waiting list and can make arrangements to fly to your child’s birth country. Adopting a child from overseas requires an extensive visa application process before you travel and also completion of paperwork once your return to make your new son or daughter an official U.S. citizen, according to the Department of State. Some countries also require you to go through a brief interviewing process there. Once you pass all tests, you select an available child, finish any required paperwork and arrange for payment of legal fees, you can usually immediately take that child home.
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