How does adoption work?

edited November 28 in New to Adopting
How does adoption work? 

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    If you are asking about the adoption process, it will depend on what type of adoption you are pursuing. There are three main types of adoption: International, Domestic, and Foster Care. While the entire process of these adoption types will vary, they will all start in a similar fashion. 

    The first step in any adoption process is to  find an adoption agency and/or attorney to represent you in the adoption process. Every adoption will need either an agency or attorney. Some states will only allow you to work with an agency. You can check your state's requirements here. In the case of foster care adoption, you will work directly with a state or private foster care agency. 

    Once you have found an agency/attorney to guide you through the adoption journey, you will undergo a home study. This home study will include interviews will everyone in your family and well as a safety audit of your home. You will also be subject to finger print FBI background checks of everyone over the age of 18 in your home. Some states will also require a juvenile record check for teenagers in your home, though this will vary. 

    You will be required to complete adoption education in a domestic and international adoption. For foster care adoption, this is often in the form of classroom training. Education can vary from classroom training, seminars, book reports, etc. When you are searching for an agency, they should be able to provide more information about what education they require. 

    After the home study are complete, you will be eligible to adopt. For domestic adoption, this includes being matched with a birth mother or, if you have already matched, waiting for the birth of your child. (Domestic adoption is typically infant adoption, though this can vary in unique situations). In foster care adoption, you will also be matched with a child, typically a child you have chosen or may be currently fostering. For international adoption, you will also wait to be matched with a child over seas from the eligible country you have chosen. 

    After your match in each adoption type, you will work with your agency on next steps to bring your child home. For international adoption, you will travel to the country of your child to bring them home. You will usually finalize the adoption in the child's home country. In domestic and foster care adoption, once home, your agency will conduct post placement visits. Once these visits have been completed and all necessary paperwork has submitted, a finalization date will be assigned. 
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