You’ve decided to adopt. You’re eager to become a parent and can’t wait to get started. But now what? The adoption process can be overwhelming if you’re unprepared or don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips to help you start your adoption journey.
1) Decide what type of adoption you would like to do. Before you dive into the adoption process, it’s important to know what you want. Are you interested in a domestic newborn, international or foster care adoption? Are you willing to travel to bring home your child? Do you want contact with your child’s birth parents after the adoption? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will be ready to move forward.
2) Research adoption agencies. After you decide on the type of adoption you’re interested in, you can begin searching for an agency that is the right fit. Find agencies in your area that specialize in the type of adoption you want to pursue. You can find a lot of information by visiting agency web sites and asking friends and family for referrals. You can also request information packets from the agencies you are considering.
3) Choose your top three agencies. Once you’ve identified a list of agencies, you can narrow them down. When selecting a potential agency, you’ll want to decide what you feel most comfortable with. Do you want a large agency or would you prefer a smaller more personal one? Do you agree with the agency’s philosophy and approach? How much money are you willing to spend?
4) Attend informational meetings or schedule an appointment. Many adoption agencies offer group meetings for potential adoptive parents to find out more about them and what they offer. Sometimes other families who have successfully adopted are there to share their stories and answer questions. If the agency doesn’t offer group meetings, you can call to set up a one-on-one appointment.
5) Select your agency and fill out a preliminary application. After you’ve gathered information and attended a meeting, you will be ready to make a decision on which agency you want to work with. The next step is to fill out a preliminary application, pay the application fee and wait for further instructions.
At that point, you will be on your way to adopting a child. There is still a lot of paperwork, a home study and an unpredictable waiting period. But with time, patience and hope, you will likely become a parent one day!