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The Journey to Parenthood Through Adoption

Date Published: November 12, 2021
parent holding child

November is National Adoption Month, and we want to take time to address the journey to parenthood through adoption. As we gear up for Thanksgiving, it’s important to recognize that there are many definitions of family and many ways to have one.

According to the Adoption Network, one out of 25 families with children have an adopted child.  There are about 1.5 million adopted children in the US, which is equivalent to one out of 50 children.

Considering adoption can be an overwhelming process. There is a wide array of knowledge available online and it can be intimidating to learn.

Here is a simple set of steps to follow when adopting a child:

Research

As we said earlier, there is a lot of information, an almost overwhelming amount, available online when it comes to adoption. There are a few things you can focus on: the age of the child you want to adopt, if you want to adopt in the US or outside of the US, and what the various routes of adoption are.

Decide what route you want to take

There are five main ways of adoption: foster care, private adoption, international adoption, relative adoption and adult adoption. There is no recommended way because every family situation is unique. 

Pick an agency or attorney

If you decide to go the private adoption route, you will need to pick an agency to work with. Regardless of your path to adoption, hiring an attorney is an important step. They will know the ins and outs of the legalities involved in the process and will help keep you safe from scammers.

Fill out an application and complete a home inspection

When working with an agency or the foster care system, you will have to fill out an application so they can get your details. After your application is accepted, you will likely have to open your home for an inspection. This way, the agency can ensure your home is safe for a child.

 Wait

Once you’ve finished your application and home study, there will likely be a lengthy waiting period to follow. This is totally normal, so don’t panic! We’ll get into some tips later on how to pass the time while you wait.

 Complete the legalities

Once you’ve been placed with a child, there is typically a six-month contingency period before the adoption is legalized. You will likely receive home visits and subsequent recommendations from social workers that will be used in court. Then, your attorney can file with the court to complete the adoption.

What to do while you wait

Adoption requires a bit of logistics. You have to do research, file paperwork, open up your home, finances and personal life to inspection. Once this often-lengthy process is complete, you simply have to wait to get placed with a child.

This waiting period can be nerve-wrecking and emotional, but there are plenty of ways to prepare for your child to come home.

Educate yourself

Lucky for you, there are plenty of books and websites that offer great advice on how to welcome an adopted child into your home. Head to your local library or look online for valuable information.

You can also tap into your community by searching for a local adoption support group. There are bound to be some obstacles that arise after adoption, so having a group of people who have gone through similar hardships will be invaluable.

If you are new to parenting, it might help ease your mind to attend parenting classes. You can check within your community or look into virtual classes. 

Get your mind ready

Do some things for yourself. If you are a new parent, your life will change drastically when your child arrives, and it may be hard to set aside time for yourself. So, take advantage of your free time and try some new activities.

Try creating something for your child. It might help make the time go by faster by filling out a journal or getting a scrapbook ready for them.

Get your home ready

When the arrival date of your child is determined, you can begin to get your home ready. Giving the child their own space by getting a bedroom together with some toys and other activities can really help acclimate a child to a new environment.

You may also want to decide what pediatrician to use in your community. Having decisions like those made before your child arrives will help make the journey easier.

 

If you are looking to adopt and in need of support through the process, please reach out to us. Our team of therapists is here to provide support and guidance. We look forward to connecting with you.