You and your significant other have been together for a while, and you’ve decided it’s time to welcome a child to the family. Adopting a child is a wonderful way to welcome the next generation into your home, offer a safe space for those who have none, and avoid contributing to the global overpopulation crisis.
However, you both have many questions about the child adoption process. No worries! Our guide will help you find the way forward.
The Child Adoption Process
Adopting a child isn’t as simple as movies make it seem. The classic orphan on a doorstep trope is borderline nonexistent in the real world. The real child adoption process involves a lot of paperwork, patience, and parental discussion. Here’s what to expect as you begin:
Step One: Decide On an Agency or Lawyer
When you decide to adopt, you need to choose whether you wish to do so through an adoption agency or through a lawyer.
Adopting through agencies offers the benefit of continued support through the child’s life from the agency. However, many agencies have rules that prohibit certain types of parents from adopting, e.g. income restrictions, religious exceptions towards LGBT people, etc.
Adopting via a lawyer involves fewer rules and red tape than adopting through an agency, but could prove more expensive, and lacks the built-in support an agency offers. Review your needs and discover what’s best for you.
Step Two: Negotiate Adoption Terms
Do you want an open or closed adoption? This should be the first question you answer when beginning the adoption process.
Many people who put their children up for adoption, or who have their children removed and put up for adoption, don’t come from the best circumstances. Are you willing to not only enter but maintain a positive relationship with the child’s birth family for their entire childhood?
If so, open adoption might work for you. If not, closed adoption is the best call.
Step Three: Check All the Boxes
Make sure every single ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed for your paperwork, and your financial house is in order before you sign those adoption papers. If not, you’ll set yourself up for trouble down the line.
You should also research your parental and custodial rights during this time. Many states have laws on the books that prioritize birth parents over adoptive, and the last thing you want is to lose your child over a silly technicality.
Step Four: Complete the Placement
Once your paperwork is filed and you’ve done your research, it’s time to complete the placement. Newborn adoption involves completing the hospital’s placement process. With an older child, this process may involve several meetings with the child to ensure your home is a good fit for them.
The child adoption process can be stressful, but ultimately fulfilling.
We’ve detailed the basic steps you’re likely to go through above, but if you need more help with the process, we at Crosson Richetti and Daigle are glad to help you through it.