How to adopt a kid: what should I know?

How to adopt a kid: what should I know?

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    You found yourself wanting to adopt a child, but now what? My first recommendation is to find yourself an adoption agency.  If you are unsure where to go, you can always try a local church, they usually have information on local agencies. Or you can check out: to find an agency close to you. I will also point out that you should feel comfortable with your agency work, usually called a social worker.  The adoption process is very personal and covers a lot of emotions, so being comfortable with your worker is extremely important.

    You should also be prepared for what will seem like an endless amount of paperwork! Background checks, personal information, letters of recommendations, etc. It will seem like it will never end, but it will. Take it one application/paper at a time. It will all come together in the end.

    You will also need to complete a home study. The home study includes a visit to your house to make sure your home is ready to welcome a child in to. You will also need to make sure it is safe. In order to be prepared for that, make sure you have working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers and plenty of safety measures.

    In any event, make sure to enjoy the journey, it really is a beautiful process.


  • edited June 25
    There are so many things to know about adoption! First off, the process itself has a learning curve. You want to educate yourself on private adoptions, international adoptions, special-needs adoption, and adoption through foster care, so that you can figure out which way is the right way to start your family. (And there is no "right way," only the right way for YOU.)
    If you are leaning towards an international adoption you will want to learn about the Hague Adoption Convention and about ethical adoptions.
    If you are leaning towards a US infant adoption you will want to learn about openness in adoption, and how best to support birth parents.
    Foster/adoption is another way to create a family, and if this is the path for you  to take then you will want to study the laws and requirements in your area.
    Then you need to know about the actual nitty gritty stuff--the home study and approval process. You will want to know how to choose an agency, and what exactly your agency should be doing for you and for the expectant mother that may choose you.
    Another thing to learn about, though it may seem scary, is attachment disorders and adoption, and what the signs are in a child who has not attached, and how best to bond with your future child.
    I highly suggest searching and joining adoption forums (there are even some on this site) that may specialize in the type of adoption you are looking for, because the members can help you through every step of the way--because they've been there too. After you have familiarized yourself with learning everything you can, take a deep breath and remember that, once your kid is a teenager, she will tell you that you don't know anything at all anyways!
  • The posters above have done a great job informing you on the process of adoption. It can be an long and arduous process. The amount of paperwork and the hoops through which you will jump are prolific. The technical process of how to adopt is really a "Point A to Point B" situation with some hills and valleys in the middle. When everything is done legally and ethically, it can go so much more smooth. 

    Some other important things that are need to know may not be listed as part of the process. One of the first things that you will do is search for an adoption agency and/or attorney. The most important part of this is to make sure that you choose and ethical adoption agency/attorney. There may be cheaper agencies. There may be agencies that have a reputation for getting things done quickly. However,  you want an agency that is respectful of birth parents, ensures every step of the process is carried out legally, and cares about the child long after the adoption has been finalized. 

    It is also important to get as much education as possible, especially if adopting a child from a different race. There is so much you will need to learn in a transracial adoption and also building connections will be key. Read all the adoption books. Really sit down and think about what kind of adoption you want. If open adoption is what you are looking into, be honest with yourself and honest with the expectant parents what open adoption will look like for you and what your wishes are long term. 

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