As parents who are in the first stages of the adoption process, you may feel you are in a whirling vortex of emotions. There is the elation of being selected and meeting a prospective birthmother, the determination to finish all the paperwork and home study requirements, the confusion involved in the complexities of the process, the disappointments at the roadblocks and the thrill and anticipation at the act of love of adding a precious child to your family.
Here are some things you can take into consideration as you embark on the first steps of this exciting process:
– Decide on what kind of adoption you want. There are basically the following types of adoption you can consider:
Foster adoption. This involves the adoption of a child that is in the foster care system. Foster adoption has the least adoption-related expenses. The child will also have the most complete medical information and you will have access to counseling and other medical resources provided by the child services department. However, until the adoption is finalized, there is a risk of the adoption not be completed. Also, children in the foster care system may have issues related to abuse or neglect.
Domestic infant adoption. With domestic infant adoption, you can have the opportunity to be with the birthmother during the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby. There is also the choice of having an open adoption, where you can also have access to the child’s medical information and history since you can have direct communications with the birthparents. However, this type of adoption comes with the risk of the birthparent changing his or her mind about terminating his or her parental rights. Most domestic infant adoptions also involve a period of waiting for the birthparent to choose you from among the other prospective parents. You may also be providing for the birthmother’s medical and living expenses during the pregnancy, delivery and recovery.
Foreign adoption. Orphaned children from other countries are also waiting for a family to love them. With foreign adoption, you can get to meet your child. The length of the adoption will usually depend on the child’s country of origin. There will be more paperwork since you will also need to process the child’s immigration papers. Also, it may require extensive expenses and travel to and from the child’s country of origin. Additional drawbacks include the lack of medical or personal history and potential issues with the child’s being institutionalized.
– Prepare your family and friends. Educate yourself not just about the adoption process, but also how to parent a child who has been adopted. You will also need to prepare any existing children, as well as immediate family and close friends so that they can have a better understanding of the reasons behind your decision, as well as how best to approach the issue of adoption with the child’s best interests in mind.
– Examine your financial resources and available help. Adoption may involve a considerable expense. On top of this, prospective parents must also prepare the family’s monthly budget for an additional expenses to the family. There are a number of ways for prospective parents to get financial assistance – through their employer, through loans or grants provided by adoption-related organizations.
– Choose your adoption professional. A reputable adoption professional or agency such as A Act of Love adoptions will prove to be invaluable as you navigate the path towards adoption. These professionals will help you through the home study, help match you to prospective birthparents and provide pre- and post-adoptive services.
– Fulfill the requirements of adoption. At this stage, you can decide on the adoption agency you want to work with, prepare an application for adoption and go complete the home study process.
After these basic steps, you now prepare to wait for a placement. An adoption agency with a wide reach such as A Act of Love can help provide opportunities for placement. While waiting, you can exert more effort to prepare yourself, your family and your home for your child’s arrival. Once the adoption is legally finalized, you will now be embarking on another exciting adventure – becoming and growing together as a family!