If your family has made the decision that adopting a child is the right step for you, you may be wondering how you can get started. There's no one way that works best for everyone, but there are several beginning decisions you will want to make as you proceed in adopting a child.
First of all, you need to have a family discussion with all parties involved. This includes any children already in the family, future grandparents, and other members of your extended network. Consider who in your lives will be the most help and will offer the most support during this time.
Next, you will want to consider how you want to adopt. Do you plan on going through an adoption agency, private adoption, or through the department of family and children services. Many parents find that acting as a foster parent is a faster and less expensive method of adoption and go that route to complete their families. Whatever means you choose, you will find that typically, all methods require the following steps:
- Participate in parenting and family training classes that will teach you the basics of raising an adoptive child. It will also help you make an informed decision about adopting and the perils and joys involved.
- Background checks are common and in some states must be repeated each year that you're trying to adopt. Especially in cases involving adoption agencies, your journey to adoption can take several years and background checks must be done yearly.
- Health screenings that show no one in your family has any communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, MRSA, or AIDS are required also. Doctors must sign off on health certificates stating your physical and mental ability to adopt a child.
- Home inspections are common for both adoption agencies, fostering, and fostering to adopt. They are not rating how fancy your home is, but rather how safe and appropriate it is in which to raise a child.
There's no doubt that it can be a long and trying process to complete an adoption, but it never happens if you don't get started on it. There's a child out there that needs a home and you represent a home that needs a child in it.
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