Considering Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide

Considering Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide | Baby Chick

Considering Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide

Growing your family is a huge decision. It’s often time-intensive, requires advance planning, and welcomes a new little person for whom you’re completely responsible. No big deal, right?! These considerations are the case for becoming a parent through adoption as well. Here are some actionable steps to take towards realizing your dream of growing your family through considering adoption.

Considering Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Do Your Research

Like any other parenting decision you’ll make, research is key. You should be sure the decisions you’ll make during this process will benefit the child(ren) you intend to adopt as well as the other members of the family.

What needs are you comfortable with the child having? Which ones are you not prepared for? Children awaiting adoption in any setting usually have at least minor correctable (or manageable) needs, whether they are physical or emotional. These are not reasons to not consider adoption, but things to be aware of when considering growing your family in this way. Once you’ve made this decision and have discussed it with your partner or support system, decide whether or not you’d like to pursue domestic or international adoption.

Domestic Adoption is Varied

Many children in the United States await a loving forever family, but the ways in which to adopt domestically are varied! You can pursue foster-to-adoption through your local Department of Health and Human Services office. According to the National Children’s Bureau website, “though it is possible to adopt a baby from foster care, the children who are available for adoption generally range from toddler to 21. The median age is eight years old.”

You could also consider adopting a legally-freed child, meaning they are not going to be reunited with birth parents. The mission of the United States DHSS is usually family reunification, but the reality of this often leads to heartbreak for many foster parents who desire to adopt the children they are fostering. Despite this, approximately half of children in foster care will be adopted by their foster parents or another relative.

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Another avenue to adopt in the United States would be birthmother adoption. This route of growing your family is done through a private agency and not through the government, and usually requires more financial investment. Though not always the case, birthmother adoption means you will be with your new child within a few days of their birth—this is always an exciting prospect for parents interested in adopting a baby!

International Adoption

Intensive research is required when deciding where to adopt from internationally, but this is a wonderful way to grow your family through adoption. Many countries (as well as the United States) are party to the Hague Convention, which is for the protection of children and cooperation in respect of the process of international adoption. It is an international agreement to safeguard inter-country adoptions. Review where the Hague Convention applies here. Though these countries might be participants in the HCCH, it does not guarantee you will find an agency that can assist with adoption from there.

Understand that each form of adoption comes with its own unique wait times, costs, requirements, and more. This can vary from country to country, and even between states for domestic adoption. Informing yourself when making this choice is the first (and arguably most vital) step to be prepared moving forward.

Step 2: Consider Financing Options

As with most anything else in the beginning parenthood, adoption requires some financial planning. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the adoption of a child from foster care is often funded by the state, and in most cases there are few or no fees.

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Other types of adoption usually do cost money. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, working with a private agency to adopt a healthy newborn or baby or to adopt from another country can cost $5,000 to $40,000 or more, depending upon travel expenses incurred. You can often apply for grants or small personal loans to finance adoption, but many families choose to fundraise. Consider large spaghetti dinners, silent auctions, t-shirt sales or garage sales to help fund your adoption.

Step 3: Select an Agency

If you will be adopting either through private or international avenues, you will need to find an agency to support you through this process. It is important to find one that shares your values, is compassionate, has clear communication lines that show they are willing to advocate for you, and has experience in a variety of situations. International adoption is notorious for encountering issues in foreign courts, but the strain that comes with a situation like this can be significantly lessened with the right agency. There are even agencies that will setup an in-country guide or assistant for when you travel to meet or pick up your new child—talk about customer service! Do not sign any paperwork or hand over deposits until you feel completely satisfied and have asked every question you need to.

Step 4: Home Study

The home study portion of the adoption process is usually filled with anxiety, but should not have the scary reputation that it does. Home studies are meant for a licensed agent or social worker to visit you and the other children in your home to assess the safety of it. A home study is required for every adoption, whether it is an international or a domestic adoption. This is meant to provide a basic overview of your life – including criminal background checks, your finances and even your personal relationships. To find out more about the home study process, (and how to prepare for it) visit this site to learn what you’ll need to do to prepare.

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Step 5: Figure out Logistics

This is another example that demonstrates the fact that the only real difference in growing your family through giving birth or adoption is the physical act of doing so: adoption requires advance planning and logistics like a biological birth does! Check with your employer about maternity and paternity leave, talk with your insurance about adding another member to your family, and throw a shower (or blessingway!) to welcome the new little one, and understand that the journey you are about to embark upon will be a beautiful one: and the end result of welcoming a new child (or children) will be worth any amount of difficulty faced along the way.

People often regard adoption as this thing that other people do, but not something they could consider themselves. The fact of the matter is that there are millions of children worldwide who need not a perfect parent or home, but a loving one: and you could be that person for them. Adopting one child does not change the world, but it does change the world for that one child.

About the Author /

Old mom to a chocolate lab and new mom to a baby girl, former teacher and current higher education professional.

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Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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