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Adoption 101

Adoption 101

Ideally, adoption is a wonderful experience for you and your partner, and one that ends in meeting your new baby! However, you need to educate yourself before you decide to adopt. Here are some tips on making your adoptive journey as smooth as possible:

What are your reasons for adopting? Maybe you and your partner have tried to conceive naturally without success, or perhaps you have always felt that adoption is the right option for you. Also, consider how old of a child you want to adopt, and if you have a preference about where the child is from. While it's wonderful to think that you can embrace any child as your own, you need to examine how you feel about adopting a baby of another race or religion, or an older toddler as compared to a baby.

Do you have the time and money to invest in the adoption process? Adoption is not quick! It takes months of family assessments and paper work before you receive the child. If you decide on foreign adoption, you might need to remain in that country for a few weeks to finalize the procedure. Adopting a healthy Caucasian baby starts at around $10,000, although you might pay less for an international adoption. Can you afford to spend the money, and will you have the months to devote to pursuing the adoption?

If you decide on adoption, you will be responsible for all of the fees the paperwork, the travel for international adoption, and the family assessment or mandatory parenting classes that some states require you to take. If you work with an adoption agency, you will have to prove that you meet their requirements, which could mean everything from submitting your marriage license to your medical history.

Do you want an open or closed adoption? Some couples want a closed adoption, where the birth mother is not at all involved in the process, while others want to meet and speak with the woman before the baby is born. Some families even embrace a completely open adoption, where the birth mother can write letters and even visit the child. This is a very personal decision, but one that must be made before you begin the adoption.

Do you want to adopt from your own country, or internationally? The waiting time may be less if you choose to adopt internationally, but you will likely have to remain in the country while the adoption is processed. A newborn may be almost a year old by the time you can actually adopt, so make sure you understand all of the legalities before you commit to any agreement.



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