The Adoption Process
What can you expect from the adoption process? What will happen during each step of the way?
Once you've made the decision that adoption is truly what you want to do, you're doing yourself a favor if you try to fully understand what you're getting yourself into. The adoption process is no simple undertaking. Depending on what you want to get out of the adoption process, it could take up to two years before the child you are looking for is available to join your family.
The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of child you're looking for. Is the reason you're taking in a child to help a needy teenager out with a good home? In that case, finding the right person to adopt may not be overly complicated. The number of teenagers up for adoption is much higher than the number of young children available, mainly because of demand. Most adoptive families want to adopt young children so they can groom that child from as early in life as possible. Next, you need to learn about the laws in your state. You need to find what rules you need to follow when adopting. Figure out what kind of adoption you should get. Should you adopt through a public agency (a center that deals mainly with kids in foster care)? A private agency (one that deals mostly in healthy, same-race babies)? An international adoption (one in which you work with an agency outside the United States)? The other option is a private adoption, during which you work with a lawyer to arrange the adoption of a specific couple's child.
Adopting a child is not an inexpensive undertaking. It can cost as much as $20,000, depending on the type of adoption. The next step is going through an interview process with the agency you chose to adopt from. This interview stage can be quite rigorous for an adopting couple. They will ask you very private questions and expect to have very real answers. They want to make sure that if you're going to adopt with them that you're a good family for the child. They'll ask about all your financial situations, what your qualities are, what your hindrances are. Once that stage is complete, you'll have the opportunity to decide whether you want to have a private adoption, in which the records are sealed, or a public one, in which all records as to where the child came from will be open.
The final stage is when you finally get the call that they've found the right match for you. You'll get to meet your new child and the exciting life of parenting is then yours.