Looking to Adopt? What to Know Before Starting the Process

Contributed by Hannah Whittenly

Adoptions are becoming a more popular option for many families. While the reasons for adoption vary, the goal is always the same. This is to place children with the loving families they need. If you are looking to adopt, you must do your research and learn what to expect. Here are some of the things you should know before you start the process:

It Will Be Expensive

An adoption will cost significant amounts of money in many cases. However, costs will vary based on a number of factors. Adopting from a private agency or internationally will usually be at least $10,000. Adopting from foster care, on the other hand, has many expenses covered by the government. Foster care adoptions can, therefore, cost a lot less—from nothing to about $2,500.

It Will Take Time

Adoptions can, and should, take time to complete. Agencies and organizations need to take the time to ensure everyone’s interests are represented. They need to ensure the child is going to a good home. They need to ensure the birth parents are willing to give it up. They need to ensure the child is a good match for the adopted family. All of these things happen within an inconsistent time frame but are entirely necessary to ensure the adoption is right for everyone. Working with an experienced adoption attorney can make the process easier.

The Real Challenge Will Be Parenting

Parenting never has, and never will, be particularly easy. In many ways, you may look back and find the adoption the easiest part of the process. You will face many trials and tribulations in your new family, and things may not always work out. It’s scary, but it’s also a fact of life, and what makes living it a grand adventure. You must be prepared to give the child the care and guidance he or she needs, as well as line up professionals to help you throughout the process.

It’s About the Child

Throughout the process, it’s important to remember that this is not about you. It is about the child you are adopting. Everything you do and all the decisions you make should ultimately be in the best interest of the child. This is even more important if you are adopting an older child rather than an infant, because an older child will have wants and desires that need to be factored in. Eight is the average age of children waiting for an adoptive family, so older children should at least be considered.

Adoption is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It can take time and cost some money, and even result in heartbreak. However, at the end of the day, giving a child a loving home is very much worth it.

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