Adoption is a viable alternative for many would-be parents who either cannot conceive or prefer to adopt. Those who want to adopt must meet certain requirements to gain approval before they can begin the wait for their child. Requirements vary, so look at several different agencies to find one that fits with you.
Babies need homes, but adoption agencies want to be sure that they are sending the baby home with a parent who has the means to support the baby and will provide a loving environment. While setting requirements for adoption will not necessarily translate into the perfect home for a baby, they exist to weed out the bad homes.
Age requirements are common for adoption agencies, with many preferring parents between 25 and 45 years old. You may also find income, marital status and religious requirements, along with a home inspection to ensure that you have the space to support a new baby. In a private adoption, where the birth mother is selecting the adoptive parents, you may have additional requirements. International and domestic private agencies will charge a fee, which can range from $5,000 to $40,000.
When adopting internationally, you must be prepared to meet the requirements of that country, which may be quite strict. For example, if you want to adopt a child from South Korea, you must meet weight requirements, weighing no more than 30 percent above the idea weight for your height. Other countries may be stricter about marital status, refusing to adopt to single people or to gay couples.
The cost requirement is probably one of the biggest hurdles that most couples face. It’s difficult to come up with that kind of money. Fortunately, many families who adopt babies, whether domestically from public or private agencies or internationally, qualify for a tax credit in the year that they adopt. You may need upfront money, but you can recoup this cost later.
You may be disappointed to find that you don’t meet the baby adoption requirements set forth by the agency, but this doesn’t mean that you can never adopt a baby. Look for alternative agencies that have requirements that you do meet. For example, international adoptions may have higher age restrictions, or you could create a contract with an individual birth mother who doesn’t mind adopting to a single woman.
- baby image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com