Adoption: Where Do You Start?

Meyer & Middleton, LLC: Adoption Attorneys
Magic City Law, LLC: Adoption Attorneys

Adoption is a beautiful thing. You are taking a child without a family and accepting them into your family as if they were always there. Many people want to adopt for various reasons whether it be that they cannot have children of their own, they feel a strong need to help out a child without a home, or the opportunity arises within their network that they can’t turn down. If you feel that adoption is in your future but you don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help you figure this out. The first thing to consider is where you want to get your baby. There are many considerations when looking at the following choices. You have to think of your possible options. Not going too much into detail, in order for you to know where to start, you have to consider a few factors: Do you care if the race of the child is the same as you?Do you care if the child’s family is involved?How much information do you need on the child’s family?How much money can you invest initially in the adoption process? How long are you willing to wait to hold your bundle of joy? After you’ve thought these options through, it will give you a better idea as to where to start with finding the new addition to your family.

  1. Domestic Adoption (A Domestic adoption simply means that the adoption is within the United States).
    1. Independent Adoption (This includes a private adoption between two individuals. Normally this involves family members or friends in which the adoption is taking place privately between the parties. These include grandparent/stepparent/closely related adoptions to even people who meet, begin a relationship that builds trust, and decide that an adoption is a viable choice between the families. )
    2. Public Agency Adoption (This is better known as the Foster Care System and adoption via DHR. This option is the most affordable, but it does not come without risks. The children are in the system due to their families either giving up or losing custody of the children. The state is involved and heavily invested in the outcome of the adoption. The system prefers reunification with the birth family, however, sometimes that is not the best option. You must be aware that when a child has been in the system there are often issues of abuse or neglect that must be addressed and worked with in order to provide proper care for the child. For the most part, these children have had unstable homes and may be reluctant to starting a new life with a new family. )
    3. Licensed Private Agency Adoption (These agencies are all over the state. In this situations the birth parents will relinquish their rights to the adoption agency and the adoption agency sets up an adoption with adoptive parents who are available to take in the child. These agencies will normally set up questionnaires or profiles that the adoptive families can answer so that they can find a child that matches their wishes and desires. Then, when a mother comes in with a child that fits that criteria, the agency can set up a way for the birth mother, or the agency to choose who the child will go to. These agencies are normally the best chance for families to get a newborn or younger child.)
    4. Intercountry Adoption (This is also commonly referred to as “international adoption.”) This means that you are planning on adopting a child from another country. Depending on the country that you choose to adopt from the country of origin may have very strict requirements pertaining to that child’s placement. There is also very little known about the child’s family or even their medical history.  Also, sometimes the county of origin requires that you come visit their county to see their culture and to pick up the child. However, once you get your home study and pay the associated fees necessary to begin the process, you are very likely (close to guaranteed) a child as there are many children without parents overseas. The birth mothers don’t change their minds in these situations because these children are orphans as deemed by the law.  The time and costs associated with this process are more known than with most other options. You should research each country you think you want to adopt from in order to know what they require for adoption.  The top countries for international adoption are Russia, China, Ukraine, Ethiopia, and South Korea.
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