If you have ever thought to adopt a child, there is such an incredible wealth of information to seek out and learn. Discovering this information through...

Adopt a Child

If you have ever thought to adopt a child, there is such an incredible wealth of information to seek out and learn. Discovering this information through searches such as online and personal conversation can lead to information overload. There are a few general frequently asked questions many have about the process to adopt a child, and what all that entails. Many of these questions surround the readiness to adopt a child, the change in family dynamics, and why adopting a child might be a good option to grow your family.

There are many people who state that they are interested in adopting in the future. However, many of these people will never actually feel ready to adopt or find more about what it means to adopt a child. For some people, they may never feel that it is the “right time” to adopt. For some, they may believe the many myths about adoption that are often portrayed in the media, For others, it might be that they simply don’t know where to look to find out more about adoption. Regardless of the reasoning, the interest in adoption will only take you so far if you do not move past the often misunderstood barriers and see the true picture of adoption.

If you want to adopt a child, understanding the various processes involved in adopting a child will help you take that plunge. There are multiple ways to adopt a child. There are thousands of children at any given time in the foster care system who are legally available to adopt at little to no cost. When people think of adoption, they often note the high cost of adoption. However, there is little education about the fact that each state absorbs most of the cost of adoption from foster care in order to place children in permanent homes. The process will still involved background checks, a home study, adoption education or training, and the transition of the child to your home. This process can be lengthy and requires a lot of commitment. Adopting from foster care is not for everyone, but may be a great option if you are hoping to adopt an older child.

Another avenue through which to adopt a child is international adoption. In this type of adoption, children are often older, but can still be in the toddler age range. While many of these children may be placed into care as infants, the lengthy international adoption process can often mean they are 18 months of age or older when they are brought to the United States. Adopting a child internationally can be costly, often reaching over $40,000 easily. These fees include agency fees as well as travel for you and the child. The adoption laws in many countries are often changing, so it is incredibly important to research the ease of adoption and adoption alerts in various countries before proceeding. You will also likely find that adoption agencies specializing in international adoption will only work with certain countries. Trust this specialization, as many of these agencies know the more efficient way to adopt a child and what countries are easiest to work with when it comes to international adoption.

You may also choose to adopt a child through domestic adoption. While this type of adoption often involves infants, there are situations where birth parents decide to place their older children for adoption. There may be a variety of reasons for this including a change in financial situation, addiction, death of a parent, etc. During the Great Depression, many children were placed in orphanages or placed for adoption due to their parents no longer being able to afford to care for them. When this occurs, the process for infant or child adoption will be the same. The prospective adoptive family will go through a home study process, have background checks, attend adoption training, and will need to take the additional legal steps to finalize their adoption. This will also be done with the assistance of an adoption attorney and/or adoption agency depending on the requirements for your state.

When making the decision to adopt a child, one of the most important steps you can take is to educate yourself on what is means to be a child who was adopted. While I love my children whom I adopted, their reality will be different than my children who are biological. That label of “adopted” will mean something to their identity growing up. They will go through feelings and emotions to which I will not be able to relate. If you adopt a child of a different race or culture, this can be even more true for them. This is why it is important to not ignore that a child was adopted. I often hear people who have newly adopted say phrases such as, “I don’t want my child to feel ‘adopted.’ I will treat them just like another member of the family.” While this is well-meaning and great advice to an extent, your child’s adoption is not something to erase. It will be a part of him or her and should be celebrated. On this same token, in regards to transracial adoption, I have often heard the phrase, “I don’t see color.” Again, most people are well-meaning and simply mean that they are not racist. However, your child will still be treated differently by the world due to her race. He will still go through things you do not go through due to his race. For children who were adopted internationally, they have experienced a whole different culture and way of life before you. Adoption and racial differences should be celebrated, not ignored. Ignoring them will not make them go away. Even when a child is adopted as an infant, her life began before her adoption. Celebrate the child, his history, his birth family, and honor the many different facets of who he is.

Visit Adoption.com’s photolisting page for children who are ready and waiting to find their forever families. For adoptive parents, please visit our Parent Profiles page where you can create an incredible adoption profile and connect directly with potential birth parents.

Lita Jordan

Lita Jordan

Lita Jordan is a master of all things "home." A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the "other Michael Jordan" and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/.