Before you begin, consider if you are ready to adopt. The
adoption process can be long and challenging but worth it in the end. If you
are ready for a challenge and are willing to jump through whatever hoops are
thrown your way in order to give a child a forever home, then here are a few
things you should know.
1) Find a licensed adoption agency or adoption lawyer. These
professionals will help you navigate your adoption process. They will make sure
that you meet all deadlines and sort through all the red tape. They will be
your “go-to” people and will most likely have the answers to all of your
questions along the way.
2) You will need to determine what kind of adoption you
would like to pursue. There are three basic ways to adopt a non-infant child:
Foster to adopt, private placement, and international adoption. Each of these
options comes with their own set of requirements and costs.
-Foster to Adopt. Consider becoming a foster parent before
you adopt. You will have an opportunity to meet the child first and begin to
form a relationship. This option is usually the least expensive, but can take
the most time. It is important to remember that the goal of fostering a child
is for them to reconcile with their family. In the event that this is not
possible, the parents’ rights may be terminated and the child made available
for adoption. As you foster with no end-time in sight, remember that you can
offer the child the best “now” family they could have, and in doing so you
could change their lives.
-Private Placement. If you desire an open or semi-open
relationship with the child’s birth family, you may want to consider working
with an adoption agency or adoption lawyer. They have the networking ability
show your profile and match you to perspective parents. Before and After
Placement, they can act as an intermediary between you and the birth family.
There are many children across the world who are available for adoption.
Consult with an adoption agency to help you determine from which country you
may be able to adopt. You will need to consider things like age, special needs,
sibling groups, and location. Each country has its own prerequisites. Time and
finances will vary per country.
3) It also couldn’t hurt you to educate yourself on the some
things you may face with younger and older child adoption. Not all children are
available for adoption because of a horrible trauma or bad situation, but all
adoptions come from a hard place. Being severed from the family that raised
them is traumatic in itself. Knowledge is power.
4) There is A LOT of paperwork and such when adopting. You will
probably be able to sign your name in your sleep before it is all over. You will
have medical exams, home inspections, background checks, mental health checks,
and financial checks. Don’t let it all freak you out. They are just doing the
best they can to make sure that the child is coming to a loving forever home.
All in all, the basic process for adoption a child is very
similar to adopting an infant. The difference is that the younger or older
child has more memories attached to their past and may have more of a voice in
the adoption process. Keep in mind that deep inside every person is the need to
be loved. Even if the child “says” they don’t need love, they do and are
probably testing you (almost daring you) to love them. Be patient.
Adoptable Child Photolisting - adoption.com/photolisting
Foster Care Information - adoption.com/foster
Articles about foster parenting - adoptioncenters.com
Open Adoption Articles - openadoptions.com
International Adoption Information - internationadoption.org