Adopting a baby can bring a lifetime of joy and happiness to your family, but the adoption process can be daunting. All you know is that you want to hold, love and nurture a little human being but, instead, you are faced with mountains of paperwork to file and hoops to jump through before your adoption can go through. Understanding the adoption process will help you maintain your cool as you await the addition to your family.
Research several adoption agencies to choose an adoption specialist to work with. Your adoption specialist will walk you through the process. She is the person you will call when you have questions, doubts and desires. She is the person who will help coordinate your application, home study and finalization. Choose a specialist who makes you feel confident and comfortable with your adoption efforts.
Provide information to the adoption agency. This information packet can include medical background information, financial history, family dynamics and demographics. The information is used to evaluate your current life circumstances, future possible medical issues and other things that come into play for adoption. The information packet does not commit you to an adoption. There is no risk in completing it, as you do not officially adopt until the legal adoption paperwork is complete.
Select an adoption style for your family. Whether you want an open adoption in which the child maintains contact with his birth family as he grows, a closed adoption in which all ties to the birth family are severed at the adoption or a limited open adoption, in which photos and letters will be exchanged, you need to choose which route you want to pursue. Once this has been decided, your adoption specialist can assist you in locating a child.
Schedule a home study. A home study allows experts to come into your house and examine your lifestyle, house and family to evaluate your ability and commitment to the adoption. Once the home study is complete and interviews are over with, a written report is prepared for the files.
Sign the final adoption papers. This is a legal requirement whether you were in contact with the birth mother during the pregnancy and birth or you first met your new child after the birth to 18 years old. The legal papers are signed and filed with a court of law to finalize the adoption. Most states have a waiting period in which the birth parents can change their mind and take their child back. Your adoption specialist can tell you what the waiting period is in your state. Once the waiting period is over, your child is a permanent part of your family forever.