Choosing to adopt may very well be the biggest decision you ever make. Before you make that decision, though, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the adoption process. If you go through with it, you’ll have to have a home study, meet financial requirements, wait for a match, and deal with post-adoption requirements. It can be an extensive process, so it’s important to know what to expect before you begin the process.
The Home Study
In order to get approved for either international or domestic adoption, you’ll need to go through a home study. This is basically a way for the adoption agency to make sure that you’ll be a fit parent. They’ll make sure your house is child-proof, fairly clean, and has all the basic necessities. Everyone in your home will have to pass a background check, and the social worker will ask you a few questions to make sure you won’t be an abusive parent.
You’ll also have to earn enough money to support your new family member. This requirement depends on if you’re adopting from another country or not. According to the child support lawyers of the Richard Eldridge firm who help parents in Sacramento with adoption, international adoption usually requires an applicant to make at least 125 percent of the national poverty level for their potential family size. If you’ve chosen to adopt from foster care, you’ll only have to prove you don’t need an adoption or foster care stipend to live on.
Waiting for a Match
The wait time for an adoption varies greatly depending on where you’re adopting from, which agency you’re with, and what kind of child you want to adopt. If you want to adopt a healthy infant from China, there’s a good chance you’ll have a wait of over five years, but if you’re willing to adopt an older child from foster care in your home state, you could potentially be matched with a child within a month.
Certain countries require adopters to maintain contact with the agency after adoption on a yearly basis. If you decide go with private domestic adoption and are okay with an open adoption, you’ll have to come to an agreement with the birth parents about how often they can see their child. Older children may require medical or mental health services throughout their life.
The processes for domestic, international, foster, and private adoptions are all different, so be sure to research each to find out which is best for you. It might be a long process, but it’ll be worth it once you complete the adoption so don’t let your discouragement keep you from completing the process, and completing your family. Seek the help of professionals to help make the process go more smoothly, and do the proper research so you can be fully prepared for anything that might come your way.