Adoption is a wonderful, life-affirming act. However, the process can be complex. It is important to ask questions, and learn all you can about what to expect. Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions about infant adoption.
Thinking about adoption can be exciting and overwhelming. Friends in Adoption is a licensed, not-for-profit infant adoption agency that helps families navigate adoption in the U.S. For more information:
Having the right adoption agency on your side is crucial since you’ll be relying on them for solid information, support, advice, as well as connections to potential birth parents. When you’re looking at agencies to work with, consider:
- Are they licensed?
- Are they non-profit?
- Can they work throughout the U.S.?
- How successful have they been?
- Do they have a good reputation? (Talk to successful adoptive parents)
- Do they promote only a specific type of adoption (open, closed, semi-closed) or recognize that each circumstance is unique?
- What support and resources do they offer adoptive families and for how long?
There’s no single, straight-forward answer here since the cost for adoption services comes from many elements. Each adoption process is unique so expenses vary. We’ll do our best to explain the various costs associated with the adoption process and alert you to financial commitments as they come up.
Adoption costs may include:
- Agency fees
- Home study fees
- Birth mother expenses
- Legal fees
- Travel expenses
Prospective adoptive parents can face a long and bumpy road, and the length of time will vary. The process may take only months or it could be years.
Children can be adopted through private agencies like Friends in Adoption, private adoption attorneys, the child welfare system, existing relationships, or the international process.
In a private agency adoption, placement is made by an agency. An independent adoption is an adoption with a private adoption attorney. In this case the child may be connected to a family in various ways but an attorney is needed to facilitate the adoption.
In public adoption, a child who’s to be placed for adoption may initially be placed in a foster home operated or contracted by the state. Although the foster system is primarily focused on reuniting parents with their children, foster homes may also be used for children awaiting adoption.
Private and independent adoptions can be open, semi-open, closed, or semi-closed, or anywhere in between. In an open adoption, there is an ongoing direct relationship between the child and the birth family. Should the birth family considering adoption wish for a closed adoption, the names of the birth mother and father and the adoptive parents are not shared with one another. Each adoption process is unique, and there are many variations on the continuum of openness based on the needs and wants of the birth family considering adoption.
A home study looks at your home, relationships, interactions with children, neighborhood, and childhood. Adults living in your home may need to pass an FBI fingerprint background clearance. A social worker will meet with you several times and also interview any other people living in your home. The home study helps the courts determine if the home environment is stable and secure enough to receive a baby for adoption. The social worker will be checking to make sure the child you adopt will be entering a safe, healthy home. If he/she notices something of concern, you will be advised and given time to make changes or adjustments.
Having a health condition does not automatically disqualify a prospective adoptive parent. In fact, many people with health conditions are approved to adopt a child. The health assessment that’s part of the home study considers each person’s ability to be an effective parent. Just be sure your doctor agrees that the condition is controlled. Plenty of adults live with health issues and are competent, compassionate parents.
Thinking About Adopting? Contact Us.
Caring and knowledgeable professionals are available to answer your questions.