Adoption is such an exciting journey, and a wonderful way to start or add to your family. At times, however, the process can be overwhelming. You may be filled with a million questions, and everyone seems to have their opinions about exactly how, when, and where you should begin your adoption process.
While friends and family are well meaning, there are some other resources that may help answer your questions as you prepare for your adoption journey.
The library is a great place to start your research. They are filled with books on adoption, and itís nice not to have to pay for all of them! As you browse through the selection of books, be sure to check when each book was published. If you find yourself really enjoying an older book on adoption, check for a more recent version on the libraryís computer. The practical information may still be accurate, but the rules and laws on adoption may have been updated or changed.
Though probably tempting, donít try to read every book at once. If you are not sure if you will be adopting domestically or internationally, start with books that provide in depth coverage for each type of adoption. Be cautioned though, as some books that claim to give you an overview of both processes will have a slightly negative slant towards one or the other. Look for the books that offer informative, balanced information on all types of adoption.
The Internet is another great source for starting your adoption research. There are numerous adoption websites and message boards all across the web offering support and guidance. As you become familiar with these websites and forums, you will hear firsthand accounts of peopleís adoption journey.
Many of these people also provide links to their blogs or personal websites in their forum posts, providing additional ways to follow along on their adoption paths.
Adoption agencies are an often overlooked source for research. You donít have to sign up with an agency in order to learn more about the adoption process. Agencies often offer monthly meetings, workshops, and even webinars to answer your questions about adoption. Most agencies will be happy to provide a list of references for you to contact. This is another excellent way youíll get to meet other parents who have been through the adoption process.
Agencies will often participate in adoption conferences. At most conferences, you will find booths set up with representatives from many different agencies. The representatives will inform you about the agencyís programs, services, fees, and answer your questions. In addition, there are usually several workshops throughout the day on different areas of adoption, such as domestic adoption, international adoption, home studies, etc.
Starting your adoption is such an amazing experience, and the resources above will help guide you on this life changing journey.