If you sense God is calling you to adopt to grow your family, you may wonder what you need to do to fulfill your dream. So how do you get started on the adoption journey?
One of the first things you should do is to learn as much as you can about adoption. Study the terminology and learn about the different types of adoptions. There is international adoption, domestic adoption, and adoption from foster care.
Within domestic adoption, there are three main types:
Studies have shown that open adoptions are best for everyone involved. The birth mother chooses an adoptive parent by looking at their profiles from the adoption agency. After determining who she thinks she’d like to raise her child, she speaks with the prospective parents to learn more about them. This conversation helps the adoptive parents and birth parents get to know each other better to determine if it feels like a match.
After the adoptive family brings home their child, open adoption allows the birth parents to stay connected to their child through emails, texts, phone calls, and visits. In addition, open adoptions allow the adoptive family to get their child’s medical information and be informed about their child’s origins.
Decades ago, closed adoption was the norm. Adoptive parents never met the birth parents, and usually, authorities sealed the child’s records. Closed adoptions are still workable, but today there’s generally more openness in adoptions.
Semi-open adoptions are similar to open adoption, but the adoptive family may only connect with the birth mother through their adoption agency.
It’s important that you decide what type of adoption you want. There is no right or wrong type of adoption.
Get Support From an Adoption Agency
Before you sign on with an adoption agency, it’s vital to do all your research. It’s important to work with the right adoption agency because you risk experiencing a reclaim, fall-through, or adoption scam if your adoption isn’t handled correctly. Contact each adoption agency and ask them a series of questions. How they answer will help you gauge the adoption agency’s level of commitment and engagement with the adoption process.
At Lifetime Adoption, our qualified adoption professionals are eager to answer your questions and give you information and support throughout your adoption journey. You can take the first step today by filling out our free online application to adopt!
Because our adoption professionals have so much experience with birth mothers and adoptive families, they can help you make the best choices. A large, reliable agency is the best choice for several reasons:
- More adoptions per week, month, and year than in a small agency
- More possible matches for prospective adoptive parents and birth mothers
- You don’t need to worry about your adoption process getting shut down because of an economic slump. Many small agencies fail because they lack the funds to stay open.
Understand the Process
Once you’ve chosen the agency you want to use, you’ll start to work on your home study and other required paperwork. Your adoption professional will ask you to create an adoption profile to share about yourselves to birth parents.
Your profile should include information about you, photos, and maybe even a video. Then, your adoption professional will present your profile to various birth mothers who match your preferences. When a birth mother finds a family that interests her, she’ll tell the adoption professional, who arranges a meeting for you and the birth mother.
Explore Adoption Financing
Explore how you will be able to pay for your child’s adoption. First, be sure you understand the agency’s fees and get an outline of all the additional costs you’ll need to pay.
Then, check out different ways to pay for the expenses. You may qualify for a federal tax credit of over $13,000 for adopting a qualified child or baby. This depends on your annual income, but you should check.
Some companies offer adoption assistance to their employees who adopt. So make sure to check in with your employer’s HR department about this assistance. You can also get an adoption loan or fundraise. There are also grants available for certain types of adoption.
Stay the Course
As a child, your family may have gone on a long road trip, and you remember asking, “Are we there yet?” Adoption, like a road trip, can be a long journey with unexpected curves along the way.
If you genuinely feel that adoption is the right path for your family, don’t give up. Stay strong when things look different than you thought they would.
As James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Don’t forget to pray! Ask God to give you wisdom and grace throughout the process. He will bring your child in His timing.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”