How to adopt a child? Want to learn how to adopt? Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way. If a family asks us how to adopt a child, we will always point them to the information you’re about to read.
[This is a basic rundown on how to adopt a child in the USA.]
1. Get informed about adopting a child
The fact that you’re reading this is a great first step in learning how to adopt a child (or maybe you’re looking for babies for adoption?). It would also be a good idea to snoop through the library or a bookstore in search of adoption books. You could search for an adoptive parents support group if you want to talk to other people in person about it and possibly build some lifelong friends who will help you with the adoption process.
You can also check out the NAC site which offers a social networking experience for those interested in the subject of adoption.
2. Choose an adoption Agency
You will need to contact an agency that works in the state that you live. IE: Texas, or New York. If you don’t want to be old fashioned and get out the phone book, try adoptivefamilies.com.
Important things to ask them:
a) What type of children? Broken homes, deceased parents, etc?
b) How to they decide which families will match the children?
c) What are the fees involved?
d) How much time will it take to find a child?
Other things to consider looking into:
a) Are other parents satisfied who’ve worked with this adoption agency?
b) Does the Better Business Burroughs have any information on the agency?
3. Do a Home-Study
A home-study is a handful of meetings between you and an adoption agency worker. This is to make sure that your home is a suitable place for a newly adopted child and that you have no significant criminal record, etc. This is for the safety of the children and a totally standard process.
The adoption agency worker will request specific documents, likely a birth certificate for you and your spouse, they’ll check with authorities for a child abuse clearance, and may even ask you for personal references.
They’ll arrange at least one meeting to take place at your home where each person who lives in the residence will need to be present. The whole point of this meeting is not to scan your home for dirty dishes left in the sink, or a line of dust along the TV stand, but to have a sit down conversation with you to make sure that you’re psychologically ready to have a new child in your home. You might be surprised how many mentally unstable people search for children to adopt.
During this meeting, feel free to ask ANY questions you might have about the process. This is the other reason they’ll be coming to your home.
4. Search for a Child
When your home-study has been completed and approved, this is when the search begins for a child at various foster care centers across the region. This is a very exciting time and can be exhilarating, but do try to stay focused! You’ll first start with the children that are already in care by your agency, and then move on to other nearby agencies.
While waiting, this is a great time to get involved in your search. Try www.adoptuskids.org/, which claims to have already matched nearly 20,000 kids with permanent adoptive families thus far! They also include photo listings which is a great bonus.
5. The Information Exchange
When a child is found who seems like the right match, your agency worker will exchange contact information with the child’s caretaker. The caretaker will review your families profile, and if they are satisfied, your adoption agency worker will let you know. This can be a slow process of many weeks and takes a lot of patience at times.
6. You Have Been Selected!
If/When you are selected, confidential information about the child will be shared with you, and you have another chance to decline if you feel the child is not right for your family.
Don’t worry! If you’re unsure, move on to the next steps and you can always cancel later, (but it will be tougher since you will have then met the child face to face).
7. Meet the child for the first time
You’ll meet the child for the first time. If things went well, your adoption agent will arrange several more meetings over the course of the next few weeks or months.
It is not too abnormal to be matched with a child in another state. Don’t worry, your agent will handle the arrangements.
If things are going great, the child is happy and you’d like to proceed, this is the step where important paperwork will be completed. You’re getting very close! We hope this how to adopt a child HOWTO is working well for you.
8. Placement Begins
A “placement” is the date a child starts living in your home for the first time.
This is where books and other resources mentioned in the first step (at the top of this page) will come in handy. It can be a very trying time for everyone, but try to take comfort in the belief that things will pan out in a week or two.
Remember, adoption is an unnatural process and can be uncomfortable at times for both parties. But more than likely, you’ll sail right through this step without ever looking back. This is an exciting time for your family!
This is the point in time where your adoption agent will help you fill out the “legal intent to adopt” form.
9. Adoption Finalizing
Your new child legally becomes a member of your family when you join a court session where a judge will finalize and stamp your adoption paperwork. You’ll also get a new birth certificate for the child which lists YOU as the parents of the child, and you’ll get a “certificate of adoption” paper, too.
One further note: If the child’s previous caretakers were his actual biological parents, the legal termination of guardianship would happen at this time.
10. Live Together as a Family
Congratulations! You’ve learned how to adopt a child, you’ve adopted a child, and now you’re living together as a happy family. What’s more precious than this?
Article Source: http://www.adopt.org/assembled/overview_howto.html