Once you make the exciting and life changing decision to adopt, it can be extremely overwhelming figuring out what to do next. Do you decide on domestic/international adoption, choose an agency, or schedule a home study?
Relax, and take a deep breath! The first thing you should do is research. While you are probably on a huge adoption high, allow yourself time to come back down to reality and really research the different types of adoption. For example, if you are considering domestic adoption, are you thinking about:
- Adopting an infant?
- Adopting a toddler?
- Adopting an older child?
- Adopting a baby or child with special needs?
If you have your heart set on domestic adoption, you need to think about possible adoption agencies that can help you in your journey. For example, are you thinking about :
- Small, local agencies
- Larger, national agencies
- No agenciesógoing through an adoption attorney
If you have your heart set on international adoption, you will want to research adoption agencies with experience in the area you want to adopt from. Questions to ask your potential adoption agency include:
- How long have you been assisting in adoptions from (fill in the blank) country?
- How many adoptions did you complete from this country last year?
- Are there any pending laws that might change the adoption process from this country in the next year?
- What resources do you provide to us once we have our child home?
If you are sure that you want to adopt, but simply canít decide whether to adopt domestically or internationally, consider attending adoption workshops and conferences. These offer great opportunities to talk with other families who have been in your shoes.
In addition, you can still begin a home study with a licensed social worker in your state. He or she will be an excellent resource for your adoption questions, and give you good information about both domestic and international adoption. Itís not uncommon for potential adoptive parents to begin the home study process while still deciding on what type of domestic or international adoption they want to begin.