Whether you are considering adoption or have already started the process, you will want to look for ways to maximize your chances of success and avoid the heartbreak of a failed adoption. Luckily, the more you know, the smoother the adoption experience will be.
Do Your Homework
Learn everything you can about adoption. Contact local adoption agencies, join an adoptive parent support group and search for information online. Familiarize yourself with the different ways to adopt. There are many options to consider -- Will you adopt through a public or private agency? Will you explore an international or in-state adoption? Knowing what to expect will help you keep your expectations reasonable and ensure that you are following through on the many steps involved. A part of a successful adoption experience is simply keeping up with all the paperwork.
In the course of your research, you will discover that the adoption process can be costly, unless you choose to adopt a child from the foster care system. If you don't have the money on hand, you'll need to save up, get a loan or fundraise to get the process rolling. There are ways to offset these costs, including tax credits, employee benefits that cover some adoption-related expenses and payment plans. Be prepared to cover some unexpected costs as well.
Whichever type of adoption you choose to pursue, you'll need to complete a home study. During a home study, a social worker comes to your home to meet with you and your spouse and assess your readiness to become adoptive parents. In addition to discussing your hopes and dreams of raising a child, the social worker will need several documents from you, such as your marriage license and birth certificates, personal references and child abuse clearances. While you are not expected to have an immaculate house, a tidy and inviting environment will help you ace your home study.
If you are adopting domestically, through a private agency or independently, you will need to create an adoption profile that prospective birth mothers will use to get to know you. Since she will likely be given a stack of profiles, your words and photos need to stand out to increase your odds of being chosen. Take the time to find photos that capture the essence of your family. Candid shots give a birth mother a better sense of your lifestyle and personalities than a posed picture. In the text, include lively anecdotes rather than dry statements. Most importantly, be yourself. A birth mother who loves your profile will soon meet you, so make sure you're highlighting the real you.
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