The legal process of getting parental rights to a child is called adoption. A child that is adopted has the same legal rights and responsibilities as a biological child. The process of adopting a child is nearly as daunting as people expect them to be. It is both expensive and time-consuming.
Editor and publisher of "Adoptive Families" magazine, Susan Caughman, said that many couples are scared by the myths about adoption. Here are 7 easy steps on how to adopt a child.
Before you head on to an agency, research the biggest questions that most couples who plan to adopt would ask. There are local support groups who help parents looking to bringing a child home. Know if you want a newborn or an older child. Choose if you would prefer a kid from a domestic or international family. Discuss with your partner also if you are willing to adopt a child with a varied race.
Decide who you want to work with
Attorneys and agencies fulfill legal requirements and prepare paperwork for couples. Pregnant women who plan to have their infant adopted go to agencies. On the other hand, attorneys get clients from ads and networks to find children for adoption. Talk to a few attorneys and agencies to know with whom you would want to work.
Take your pick
Past president of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Mark McDermott, said that attorneys mostly had handled hundreds of adoptions. If you prefer agencies, make sure it is state-licensed. Know that you should evaluate them thoroughly. Do note that there are adoption scammers.
Complete application and home study
Some agencies require adoptive parents to attend an orientation session. You will fill out forms then they will check them whether to accept you as their client. If they accept you, you need to pay a fee. After that, they will conduct a home study to see if you are fit to be an adoptive family.
Prepare to wait
Adopting a child always takes time. However, the amount of time may depend on many factors. They have to consider the parent's age, family structure, and state legal requirements. International adoption usually takes two weeks. Domestic adoption usually takes three months to three years as you need to wait for the birth mother to choose you as a parent.
Complete the legal procedure
The last step to complete your adoption is by fulfilling the legal requirements. If you have chosen to use an agency, you might need to hire an attorney. The adopted child usually lives with his new parents six months before the adoption is legally finalized.
The social worker will make sure that the child is taken care of by visiting the home many times. They will write the required court reports, then the agency will submit their approval to the court. You and your attorney can then file the adoption with the court.
For international adoption, you still need to fulfill the requirements of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. It is needed before you naturalize your child as a US citizen.
Prepare your home
Since a new child will be joining your family, you need to prepare your home for the little one's arrival.
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