Standing between you and your adoptive child’s official welcome into your family is a legal process that demands your time and attention. This process can seem to be filled with questions and anxiety, but this is largely due to a lack of available information. Our hope is that this blog will serve you by giving you a snapshot of what the process looks like, and how to tackle it. Future adoptive parents, are you ready? Below are the 10 steps to adoption:
1. Choose what kind of adoption you want to pursue
Reach out to us to determine which path you want to walk down. You can choose international adoption through an agency, stateside adoption (with or without an agency), foster to adoption, guardianship to adoption, and private adoption. An adoption professional will help you see the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
2. Choose an agency or decide on a private adoption
Ok, now that we have shamelessly plugged ourselves, your next step is to decide whether or not you will go through an agency. If so, they will help you through their process.
3. Prepare for a home study
Your home will need to be studied to determine whether or not it is suitable for a new child. Don’t worry, it isn’t as scary as you think. Your adoption professional, whether an attorney, agency, or both, will fill you in on this stage of the process and how to be sure it goes smoothly.
4. Prepare a profile
For stateside adoptions of infants, you will need to prepare a profile that will be shown to birth mothers. Included in your profile will be your education level, the industry you work in, your interests, values and more.
5. Sign some documents
Congratulations, your profile has just been chosen by a birth mother. Your attorney will now prepare legal documents including a petition for adoption, which you will need to sign. Your attorney will also get the consent to adoption signed by the birth mother, as well as the father in those cases in which his consent is needed.
6. Just wait
Your next job is to wait for the child to enter the world.
7. Some additional paperwork
Once your child has arrived, your attorney will file the petition for adoption as well as all additional required legal documents and then schedule a hearing.
8. The hearing
If steps 1-7 have been done correctly, your hearing will be short and will consist mainly of picture taking. At the conclusion of the hearing, you will be parents.
9. Just a few more to do’s
After the big day your professional should order your child’s birth certificate which will take 8-12 weeks to arrive. You will use this to get your child’s social security card.
10. The real journey
Your last task is certainly your tallest order. Spend the rest of your life loving, protecting, and parenting your child; that’s when the real journey begins!