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What Is The Process For Adopting A Child?

What Is The Process For Adopting A Child?

After you have made up your mind to go for an adoption, you will need to find out the steps of the adoption process. The steps are the utmost crucial at this beginning stage. This is true because by knowing the exact steps you would need to take; it will help you save a lot more time and effort before the adopted child is legally part of your family.

Below are the simple steps you should take when going about adopting a child.

1. The first step one should take in the adoption process is to do one’s research about how to go about doing it. As the rules are different in different countries, the initial research is to find out the exact steps. Armed with more information and knowledge, the adopting family will have a better understanding of the adoption procedures before going to the next step.
2. Seek professional help from an adoption agency. Select an agency that is highly recommended to ensure good service because this agency that you have chosen serves as a guide to help you along the way towards successfully adopting your baby. A thorough check has to be done through a number of agencies before you can get one which meets your expectation. Look for testimonials from adoptive parents who had went through the similar process; their comments can give you a better understanding of the agencies they have chosen.
3. In some countries, the adoption process includes a home study. The adopting parents have to undergo this home study which determines if they are suitable to adopt a child. This stage is crucial and necessary as the counselors would want to observe and determine if the couples are ready and really serious in adopting a child.
4. After successfully complete your home study, you will have to start looking for the child you have been waiting for. At this level of the adoption process, the search should not be long as your agency will help you out in searching for a child you want.
5. When you have selected a child from your agency, the private and confidential information of the biological parents will be shown to you. During this part of the adoption process, you will be able to find out more about the adoptive child’s background and even medical history. At the same time, the court will do a final determination if you are qualified to adopt the chosen child.
6. Next step is to meet up with the adoptive child. This is crucial especially if you are adopting an older child. You have to get to know the adopting child better and personally. Make sure the child is comfortable with you and let him or her feel your love towards him or her.
7. Once the court has cleared and approved your application, the child is ready to stay with you. During this final stage, a new birth certificate will be issued to the child. If the child is from another country, you will have to apply for a citizenship to be issued.
8. Last but not least, welcome the adoptive child to your family. The adoption process ends here, but the challenges continue as you will have to start building bonds with the adoptive child.

Going through the adoption process successfully is not easy. However, if you have made up your mind, you should go all out for the adoption. With persistence, commitment and patient, the route towards adopting a child would be a smooth and easy one. Whether you have chosen to adopt because of infertility or because you want to expand your family and provide love and shelter to a needy child, adoption can be a rewarding choice. There are several steps you must take after choosing adoption.

First, you need to decide whether to adopt through a public or private adoption agency. Do some research and compare the pros and cons of each side. Once you decide what type of agency fits you best, you can request information from several agencies in your area.

Next, attend several agency orientations. The orientation will show you in detail how each agency’s process works and give you an opportunity to ask questions. You will also be given the fees of each agency. Also, you will have the opportunity to hear from and talk with birth mothers, parents who have adopted, and other couples considering adoption. After attending several orientations, you can compare their procedures and choose the one that you feel comfortable working with.

After choosing the agency, you will need to return the application and registration fee to them. After the agency has reviewed and accepted your application for adoption, you must complete a home study. The main purpose of the home study is to evaluate the environment the child would be raised in. It aims also to help you as adoptive parents to prepare for the arrival of the child and with parenting. Your agency will advise you of their preferred method for the home study (as there are several ways to complete the state requirement). The study will include at least one visit with a social worker in your home, and possibly some educational classes with other adoptive families. Finally you will be required to have a physical exam, a fingerprint inking, and a background check. The average home study takes about two months to complete. Finally, the only step left is to wait. Your waiting period depends on many factors.

Adoptive parents and birthmothers or children are matched according to the requirements and needs for both parties.

Adopting a child of another race besides Caucasian may significantly reduce your waiting time. A Caucasian newborn adoption usually takes two to five years. An international adoption may take up to a year or more, depending on the foreign country. After receiving the child, the parental rights of the birthparents will be terminated. After the child has been in your home for six months, the social worker must submit a recommendation for approval, and a judge finalizes the adoption by giving you all legal rights and responsibilities to your child. The adoption process is now complete and you have a child that is yours to love and raise.

Difficulties That Come With Adoption

Everyone agrees that children need honest answers about their adoption situation. The hardest questions are about why did my real parents give me up? Try hard to preserve your child’s self-worth by explaining to them that their parents could not, for whatever reason, take care of you as well as you deserved, so they made the decision to give you to people who could give you everything you need. If your child notices that you look nothing alike admit that he/she is right and ask how they feel about it. Kids ask different questions at different times in their development.

Considering the child’s feelings will help you understand what’s really on the child’s mind.

Discrimination and Bullying

When children are seen as different, due to their family situation, the color of their skin or the shape of their eyes, can be bullied by other children. You are your child’s primary protector. The best way to handle bullying is to deal with it as soon as it appears. Children shouldn’t have to suffer bullying. However, you can go a long way towards preventing bullying if you actively help your child’s schoolmates understand and value the differences that your child contributes. Consider asking your child’s teacher or the principal if you can present information about the different kinds of families as a special presentation in November, during National Adoption Month. The kids will learn that adoption is simply one way that a family forms, just like when two divorcees blend their families or when a child goes to live at Grandpas house.

If yours is a child of color and/or a child from another country, teach his or her classmates about that culture so that your child is viewed as interesting and cool rather than different.

Rebellion

At some point, your child may become angry about being given up by his/her biological parents, anger at you and your spouse for adopting him or her, anger at everyone else because he must deal with challenges that others don’t face.

While each circumstance is different, adoptive parents generally try very hard to understand that anger and, most of all, to not take it personally.

Experience the Joy

As an adoptive parent you may have some challenges but you also have the joy of knowing that you chose to make a family with your child. Discover other adoptive families in your community to friendship. You’ll find that they’re extra special because they climbed a steeper path to create their families and they love those families all the more for all the extra pains it took to come together.

Ways to Value Your Adoption Attorney

How can an adoption attorney change your life? By helping you bring a new loved one into your life. However, when adopting, there are often legal hurdles to jump, fees to pay, and time spent on waiting lists. This is where an adoption attorney can be quite valuable. If you have no experience in adoption, it’s crucial to consult with an attorney.

Your Adoption Options

If you are just getting started in adoption, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by your options. The initial steps can sometimes be the hardest. You might go to an agency, just curious on the process, and see the huge fees, complicated criteria, and long waiting list. You have many options, and the first value of an adoption attorney is explaining them. While agency adoptions can be costly and time consuming, you may get the child you really want. On the other hand, you might choose to use independent adoption, adopting directly from a birth parent. These are just some of your options, and a lawyer can help explain them.

Get the Child You Want

Do you want a child of your race and culture? Would you be willing to adopt more than one child, or a child born in another country? To get the child you want in your family, an adoption attorney is invaluable. The more specific you are on the child you want, the more difficult. If you are not too picky about the age of a child, from where the child comes from, and his or her ethnic group, you can save some time. In either case, you should get an attorney’s help.

Save Time

An adoption lawyer can best explain your options, saving you time. If you are against being put on a waiting list for years – which sometimes does happen – you might avoid an agency adoption. Or you may prefer paying more and working with a private agency for adoption. However, if this is your first time adopting, you may not know about all the legal issues which come up in adoption. You may not be aware of how an independent adoption works, or how soon you can adopt a child from a foreign country. It’s also likely you won’t know how to fill out forms and study agencies and parents.

An adoption attorney is invaluable here.

Save Money

Yes, a lawyer charges a fee, but with some adoption costs exceeding $40,000, a lawyer fee is the least of your concerns. You can save time by working with an adoption attorney, but if you are raising a family and want to adopt, spending tens of thousands is likely out of the question. This is where an attorney can best explain your options. Not all agency adoptions are that expensive. Also, you might choose an older child, a pair of siblings, or even a child from another country. Independent adoption can be expensive too, so working with an attorney is crucial.

Legal Protection

Finally, adoption is a very complex legally. For one, if you choose to use agency adoption, they have strict criteria on who can adopt. If you are a same sex couple, for example, you might have trouble adopting in some states. While the child’s protection and rights are supreme, there is cause for mistakes and misunderstandings. An adoption attorney can protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly.

Is Adopting a Child Right For You?

Can I be sure that adoption is the right thing for me? This is probably one of the most difficult questions that you will ask yourself. Adoption is a life changing event whoever you may be. With adoption you have to realize that the child is going to be with you for the rest of your life. Do not take adoption lightly. If you feel that you just want to care for somebody then try to find a pet to look after. Adoption means that you are going to have to look after a child throughout the good times and the bad times with equal enthusiasm and patience. With adoption you give a family to a child that never thought they would experience one in their lives. But you also get to add a member to your family too.

Many people consider adoption for many different reasons. Some people may be unable to have a child of their own for one reason or another. Some people may be too frightened to go through the process of child birth. Or you may simply feel the need to help out others in a far worse position than yourself. If ever you consider the process of adoption you must ask yourself “do I have the patience to look after a child”. Children are not easy to handle every minute of the day. You only have to look around when you are out and about to see that some children can be very hard to handle at times. This is what parenthood is all about. Children do not always do as you would wish. A child has his or her own personality and will eventually grow up as themselves. Adoption is all about caring and loving for the child and giving them a better way of life than they would otherwise have had; so it is important that you have the understanding and of course the finances to cope with adoption before you decide to apply.

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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
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About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.