What is Adoption?
Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from a child’s birth parents to adoptive parents. There are three basic ways to adopt:
- Adoption of children in foster care through a public or private agency
- Independent adoption arranged directly between birth parents and adoptive parents
- International adoption of a child from another country
How do I know adoption is right for me?
Right now, you probably don’t know. Maybe you’ve considered adopting. Maybe you haven’t. If you’re sure of anything, it’s that you want to have a child, and that’s a good enough place to begin. Now it’s up to you to consider all the options. With a little effort, you’ll quickly discover that adoption can be a rewarding and affordable choice. Not only will you change the life of a child, you’ll change your own as well.
What kinds of people adopt?
Adoptive parents don’t have to be “perfect people” living perfect lives. They are everyday people with real lives full of ups and downs. Adoptive parents don’t have to be of the same race or the same ethnic background as the child they adopt. They don’t have to own their own home or have a minimum income level. If you feel you have something to give and want to provide a safe, stable and nurturing environment for a child, you are probably the kind of person who adopts.
Will this be expensive for me?
The cost of adoption depends on the type of adoption you choose. Adopting a child from the public welfare system is not expensive. In fact, there are funds available to help you pay legal fees and monthly subsidies are sometimes available to help with the care of an adopted child. In addition, there are adoption tax credits and many employers offer adoption benefits.
Will it take a long time?
The length of time will vary depending on the type of adoption. The process usually includes:
- Training sessions designed to give you an overview of adoption and answer basic questions
- A home study period including meetings with a social worker, medical evaluations, criminal history background screenings, child abuse and neglect screenings and references
What kinds of children are waiting?
All kinds. Ages range from toddlers to teenagers. Virtually every race, ethnic group and socioeconomic category is represented. Some children have needs that may require special attention, but all of them have one basic desire: a safe and loving family.
Will I have to answer many questions?
Because the agency has to be certain a family and child are well matched, they need to know about you and your family and the kind of environment you can provide. They aren’t being nosy; their goal is simply to ensure a healthy, safe place for the youngster. Any information they request is sought with that in mind.
Where do I begin?
Start by learning as much as you can about adoption. Check you local yellow pages under “Adoption” or “Social Services” for local information or search for the word “adoption” on the Internet for more resources.
Date Last Modified: 10/02/2008