Adopting a child is just as much as a blessing as having a biological child. Making a commitment to raising a child and opening your heart and home to someone in need is a gracious gesture that brings joy not only to the child, but to the adoptive family as well. Adopting a child requires a large amount of planning and preparation, which at times might seem somewhat overwhelming. Adopting a child may also involve a large financial obligation on the part of the adopter.
The first thing to do after deciding to adopt a child is to determine what age, gender, ethnicity and region the child will come from. There are children ranging in age from newborn to eighteen years old that desperately desire a family to call their own. Many children in need of adoptive families have special needs because of abuse, neglect or physical disabilities. These children live as close as your own community and as far as the other side of the world. There are many agencies available to help you find a child to adopt, easily accessible via the Internet. Adopting a child can also be conducted privately, arranged by the birth parents, a family attorney and the adoptive parents.
If you decide to use the services of an adoption agency, the next step to adopting a child is to fill out an adoption application. The adoption application is used by the agency as an initial screening tool for families interested in adopting a child. The acceptance of the adoption application varies depending on the agency’s protocol. It is common for a family’s application to be rejected by one agency, only to be accepted by another.
Upon the acceptance of an application, the next step in adopting a child is to undergo a home study. A home study consists of a series of interviews conducted by a professional social worker that serves two purposes. First, a home study is designed to ensure that the adoptive child will be well cared for, and second, it prepares the adoptive family for their child. A home study takes place over several months and requires a great amount of patience from those wishing to adopt a child.
Once an adoptive family has been approved by an adoption agency, the next step in adopting a child is to begin legal procedures. It is much easier to hire an adoption attorney at this time than to try to handle legal procedures alone, and some municipalities require one. The legal steps to adopting a child differ between states in the U.S., as well as internationally.