It can be disheartening to find out that you or your spouse can’t give birth to a child because of reasons such as medical or health-related problems. Hearing that from a doctor can make it seem like you have no other options left to start your journey as parents, but that’s far from the reality. There’s still hope.
That’s because nowadays, there are plenty of alternative ways to become a parent. You can try in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, surrogacy, or even adoption. If you want a child you can shower your love and affection with, your best bet will be to go with adoption because there are many kids in need of loving homes.
If you don’t know where to begin, try not to worry too much because that’s a normal feeling to have. Besides, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve already done your research about the adoption process and have decided to pursue this path to parenthood, here’s how you can keep going:
Step 1: Know Your Options
The most important thing you have to understand when it comes to adoption is that you can’t simply order one with all the qualities you want them to have. Every child is beautiful and unique. So you have many decisions to make, like are you open to adopting an older child or do you prefer a newborn?
You’ll also have to decide if you’re going to adopt locally or internationally, which means there’s a chance that you can get a kid from a different race. If you’re going to go through an adoption agency, there will also be a lot of factors that will come into play when you’re choosing a potential birth mother.
Step 2: Consult with a Legal Professional
Adoption often comes with lots of paperwork, especially because you’ll become adoptive parents of a child who isn’t blood-related to you. For this bit, you might want to consult with a family lawyer regarding the steps you should take to make the adoption process as easy as possible for all parties involved.
It might be best for you to work with a reliable adoption agency or lawyer during this process because you can never be too sure when it comes to fraudulent people. Someone may promise to find you a baby and ask for money upfront, but when you start asking for updates, you’ll never hear from them again.
Step 3: Research the Costs of Adoption
Childcare will always be expensive. It doesn’t matter how you become a parent because it will cost you the money you should be prepared to spend. The main difference lies in how you’ll be spending that money. In terms of adoption, you should research usual home study costs, travel and legal expenses, or the adoption professional’s fees.
You will also have to spend money on the birth mother’s pregnancy-related expenses, should you choose to adopt a newborn baby. Other fees might not be mentioned here because that will mainly depend on the adoption agency you decide to go with. So, be sure to adopt within your budget because you’ll still be raising a kid for the next few decades.
Step 4: Complete the Home Study
Just because you’re already decided to adopt a child doesn’t automatically mean that you’re ready for it. Being a parent comes with many responsibilities, which is why adoption professionals go through such an in-depth and time-consuming process to assess your capability to become adoptive parents.
This is what’s known as the home study process. During the home study, a social worker will conduct a series of interviews to get to know you better, assess your home situation, and evaluate your readiness to become an adoptive family. This way, they can make sure that the child can grow up in a loving home.
Step 5: Finalize the Adoption
Once the child has been placed in your home, it could still take a while before the adoption is finalized. This is because the adoption agency will be taking this time to gauge your capability to raise the child in a safe and healthy home environment while assessing how you’re coping with your newfound responsibilities.
You can expect to get visits from the social worker over the duration because that’s how they can ensure that the child is receiving everything they need to grow up well. If you pass all the criteria, the adoption agency will send their approval and write a recommendation of your adoption to the court.
There are a lot of shows and movies about kids being adopted by loving parents, but none of them cover the nitty-gritty of the adoption process. That’s why so many people are hesitant to even consider adoption, partly because it’s so mystifying. But hopefully, this breakdown will show you that although adoption is a long and winding process, it can also be a rewarding experience.