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How to Begin the Process of Adopting a Child

Many people consider adopting a child. Every year, about 164,000 children are adopted in the United States, and even more are adopted from other countries. The decision to adopt is a big one, so it is helpful to learn how the process works before you begin.

The first step is to decide that you want to adopt a baby, child, or youth. It can take up to a year or more to complete the adoption process, depending on the factors of your specific case. Adoption is a legal process so it is important to seek guidance from an experienced adoption attorney. You need to ensure that the adoption is completed in a manner that protects you and the child.

Consider Types of Adoption

Before you begin the process of adoption, it is best to learn about the types that are possible:

  • Private adoption: Private adoption happens when a parent puts a child up for adoption through a private agency.
  • Adoption through the child welfare system: Adoption through child welfare is also known as foster care. Children are often placed in foster care homes prior to adoption.
  • Relative adoption: A child may be adopted by a relative. This may occur when a child’s parents are unable or unwilling to care for their child.
  • International adoption: International adoptions are also made through agencies. These types of adoptions can be more complex.

Regardless of the type of adoption you choose, you will need to prepare for the process.

Prepare for Adoption

You will want to prepare for adoption in several ways:

  • You will need to ensure that you have the funds necessary for adoption.
  • You must prepare your home for inspection and for your child.
  • Gather your financial and other documents that are required to provide to an agency.

An adoption agency or welfare system will need to verify that you are qualified to be a parent. Generally, the representative will visit your home and interview you and your partner if you are adopting together. You will also need to show that you are financially able to provide for a child. Once you are approved for adoption, you will be placed on a waiting list.

Visit an Attorney

An attorney will provide you guidance through the adoption process. Since adoption is a legal procedure, you will want to choose an attorney with experience handling adoptions. Your attorney will ensure that the adoption is handled properly and that the adoption takes place in a way that protects your rights as well as those of the child. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney as early in the process as possible. This will alleviate a lot of the stress and give you confidence that all the adoption matters are addressed and taken care of throughout the procedure. You do not want to spend a lot of money only to find out that you are not going to be able to adopt the child.

Adoption can be much easier when you get help from a qualified adoption attorney. Contact us today at (608) 784-8310 or by email.

Published March 28, 2022
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