Adoption: Step by Step


Have you been thinking about adoption but aren't sure where to start? To help you in your decision-making process, here are the basic steps for becoming an adoptive parent.

Whether you’ve been thinking about adopting a child for some time or have only recently felt prompted to pursue adoption, you might not be sure how to get started. To help you in your decision-making process, here are the basic steps for becoming an adoptive parent.

Find out what’s available to you: Attend an information meeting to learn more about the various adoption programs and your options. What you discover will help you to honestly and carefully evaluate what type of adoption plan is the best fit for you and your family.

Complete an application: You’ve attended a meeting and have made a decision on the type of adoption that would be best for your family, and you are now ready to take the next step. Completing an application to adopt will begin the formal process.

Experience a Home Study: After your application has been received and reviewed, an adoption specialist will contact you to start the Home Study process. The Home Study is the formal means of assessment—including interviews, references, and home visits—to pursue approval to be adoptive parents.

Complete paperwork: Yes, there will be paperwork! It can involve anything from dossier preparation to putting together a family profile to updating paperwork to maintain license/approved status. Your adoption specialist will help you know what paperwork you’ll need to complete and what due dates are necessary for you.

Prepare through training: Adoption comes with its own unique set of challenges and blessings. Through training, you can gain essential skills and knowledge from experienced professionals, share with other waiting families, and receive guidance in identifying the all-important support network and resources your family and child will need on an ongoing basis.

Wait: Although some waiting can be a part of each stage of the adoption process, waiting to receive a referral, to be chosen by an expectant parent, or be connected to a child in foster care waiting for adoption is often the hardest part of the process. You’ll need support while you wait.

Receive the call: Now is the time to lean on your preparation—and your support team—as you move forward to meet your new son or daughter and implement your adoption plan.

Welcome a new member to your family: Congratulations on welcoming another child into your family! This is an exciting time, filled with possibility and worthy of celebration.

Finalization of Adoption:  The length of time for legally finalizing your child’s adoption will vary depending on the type of adoption. Your adoption specialist will be able to provide you with more information on what to expect.

Grow as a family: And finally, just as growing as a family with biological children does not end with birth, neither does growing as a family end with a final adoption decree. Ongoing family development and support is vital to every adoptive home during the post-adoption stage.

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