Get Acquainted with the Process of Adopting a Baby

You can think of the process of adopting a baby as a journey with multiple challenges and possible setbacks, but the end result will make it all worth it. Based on recent statistics, an average of 135,000 out of approximately 428,000 children in foster care are adopted every year in our country. Out of this, roughly around 0.5% of those adopted are babies. The process of adoption is extremely long and tedious, and you need to be aware of certain things before you set the ball rolling. The following article will walk you through how to adopt a baby within your country:

Deciding for baby adoption
Deciding if adopting a baby is right for you and your family is a personal decision. More often than not, people turn to this route due to struggling with infertility. Although infertility treatments are available, fertility experts suggest that the success rate ranges from 30%–35%. As a result, some families choose to invest this money in adopting a baby instead. It is advisable to consult an adoption counselor who will help you understand the process of baby adoption better.

Selecting the type of adoption
Once you have decided to adopt a baby, you need to decide the type of adoption you are interested in pursuing. This depends on several factors such as nature of adoption (private or through foster care), communication with birth parents, and ethnicity in some cases. There are three types of adoptions:

  • Open adoption
    In this type of adoption, the adoptive and birth parents share contact information during the pregnancy. Both the parents can be in contact by sharing photos, phone calls, texts, and visits in some cases.
  • Semi-open adoption
    This type of adoption involves limited communication between adoptive and birth parents through an adoption agency or professional.
  • Closed adoption
    No information or contact is shared between the adoptive and the birth parents. Most types of adoption in our country were closed adoptions until recently; when most adoption centers decided to establish transparency in the adoption process.

Choosing an adoption professional
Not all adoption agencies provide the same services. So, it is imperative to choose the right adoption professional or agency for a successful adoption process. Other than the cost of adoption, factors to consider while choosing an adoption professional include wait times, disruption rates, hidden fees, and financial protection. There are hundreds of adoption centers, agencies, and attorneys facilitating the adoption of babies. Visit their official website and centers to know their selection process and the type of adoption offered by them.

Becoming an adoptive family in waiting
Once you have chosen an adoptive family, there are three processes before you can actively seek to adopt a baby:

  • Home study
    The adoption agency takes an in-depth look into the lives of adoptive families. A representative from the agency will conduct state and federal background checks, look into the financial security and medical information. An interview with the adoptive couple will also be conducted to ensure they are capable enough to parent a baby.
  • APQ
    Adoption Planning Questionnaire or APQ is a series of questions which help adoption centers finding the best birth mothers fitting your adoption goals. The confidential questions may pertain to the cultural backgrounds of the baby you are interested in adopting. They may also ask if you are interested in sharing your contact details with the birth parents and if you are willing to accept their medical conditions.
  • Adoption profiles
    This stage will have your complete profile. The profile will consist of written information and pictures, allowing birth mothers to know what makes you and your family truly unique for baby adoption. Some adoption centers also require you to make video profiles so that it can give the prospective birth parents can easily imagine what their baby’s life would be as a member of the family.

Looking for adoption opportunities
Now that you have become an active adoptive family, you need to wait patiently until there is a suitable opportunity for a baby’s adoption. Adoption experts suggest not to rush into this process as both, you and the foster baby need to be comfortable with each other.

Contacting birth parents before the adoption
Once you have received a call from the adoption center for a prospective baby’s adoption, you and the birth parents can go ahead with the adoption plan. This will be done through conference calls, email exchanges, and meetings.

Finalizing the adoption
The adoptive family needs to do the following three things to finalize the adoption:

  • Complete the ICPC paperwork
    This is done in case the baby adoption is interstate. Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) paperwork clearance usually takes 7–10 business days
  • Post-placement visits
    Usually performed by the home study provider, this is done to show the court and the adoption center that you and the adopted baby are adjusting well to one another.
  • Attend finalization
    A judge’s final review of the adoption ensures that the above-mentioned steps were completed, and the birth parents’ parental right has been legally terminated. The adoptive finally is granted legal custody of the child and awarded the adoption decree.

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