Infant Adoption Guide

Infant Adoption Guide

Steps To Take When Planning To Adopt An Infant

Adoption is the process of permanently placing a young person below 18 with people who are not birth parents. Adopting a baby is a selfless and fulfilling way to expand your family, but the adoption process can seem overwhelming for people who have never done it before. Fear not, there are steps to take when you are looking to adopt an infant that can help make the process as less daunting as possible.

Step 1: Work With The A Well-Suited Adoption Professional

Choosing a well-suited adoption professional is a huge decision and can make a significant impact on your adoption journey. With infant adoption, you can go through a social worker, a private adoption agency or you can complete a private adoption through a qualified attorney.

According to Adoptions From The Heart, good adoption professionals will equip you with proper guidance, education and support to help you make smart decisions before and after the adoption process. Many professionals and agencies also offer counseling to both adoptive and birth parents (if alive) to make the process as seamless as possible.

If you plan to pursue the option of private adoption, you will need to hire an adoption attorney to help you better understand adoption laws in the country. The attorney will help you with the legal aspects of finalizing infant adoption, whether it is domestic or international.

Step 2: Understand The Legalities Regarding Domestic And International Infant Adoption

Some states legally require you to hire an adoption agency. If you’re undertaking domestic infant adoption, then you are required by law to comply with the legalities of both states – the original state of the infant and the state you are residing in.

If you’re planning to adopt internationally, then adoption laws in the country require you to be single or married and over 25. The adoption-seeking parents should also file a United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) adoption petition. U.S citizens may be eligible to adopt children from other countries based on two processes.

Step 3: Get A Home Study

A home study is an activity where licensed adoption professionals get to know you and your partner well to establish your eligibility for infant adoption. There’s a certain process to be followed with a home study, including criminal history checks, background checks, medical checks, financial checks and more.

You’ll be required to answer several questions about your personal life – from your childhood and family to your neighborhood and behavioral disposition. You’ll also need to provide the professionals with a list of recommendations from people before they deem you eligible for infant adoption.

You may consider this process invasive and unfair, but it helps the professional establish whether you’re in the right position to take care of an infant. All parents want their child to be loved and in a good home, so a home study helps to safeguard the interests of the infant.

Step 4: Yes, There’s Paperwork Involved

You’ve probably heard that there are mounds of paperwork involved in the process and it’s all true! You cannot expect to get a baby without due diligence, can you? The paperwork requires some effort, but it certainly isn’t impossible and there are professionals to help you get it right. Start slowly and you’ll reach your goal when it comes to filling out the papers for adoption. The first thing you need to do is to find a licensed adoption society or social worker to help you with your case.

And, Money Too

Let’s be honest! You’re going to have to part with some money whether you like it or not because the cost of adoption services must be covered. The amount you spend will depend on your budget and what you consider best for your family. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, the average cost of independent adoptions ranges from $8,000 to $40,000, but you have alternative and more cost effective choices like foster care public agency adoptions, which cost you up to $2,500.

Adoption can be a long process and part of that process requires being in a frame of mind to make the right decision for you. It’s vital that you’re open and honest about any worries so that professionals can help you address your concerns in the best possible manner when it comes to infant adoption.

Written by Maxine Chalker

Maxine Chalker is the founder and Executive Director of Adoptions From The Heart. She holds a MSW and LSW which she uses to give adoption a new face by breaking down the barriers and taking some of the mystery out of the adoption process. Chalker is also an adoptee.

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