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About 135,000 adoptions are finalized each year in the United States. These adoptions represent a wide range of situations and adoption types. Some of these adoptions are of infants. Others are adoptions of foster children. Children adopted internationally are included in this number. So are kinship adoptions, in which a child is adopted by a member of their biological family. People decide to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons as well. Whatever a person’s circumstances or desires, adoption can be a daunting journey. There are legal, financial, and emotional ramifications. One cause of stress is that it can be difficult to understand the process. But there are many resources available to help people through the process of adopting a child.
The first steps when considering adopting a child are learning about the process, identifying an agency to work with, and attending either a virtual or in-person orientation session.
Although each state has its own adoption laws, this guide by the state of Georgia has lots of information that may apply to states around the country.
The North American Council on Adoptable Children has compiled a thorough list of each step prospective families will go through on their adoption journey.
Adoptive parents might want to consider having a doctor review their child’s medical records before they bring the child home so that they can properly prepare for any special care the child might require.
Waiting is a major part of the adoption process for prospective families.
Adoption can cost the adopting family a lot of money. Luckily, there are programs available in each state to help make the process more affordable.
Most states maintain a searchable database of children available for adoption. Here are the children waiting to be adopted in Texas.
Children from other countries adopted by United States citizens must go through an immigration process to become American citizens.
The State Department offers resources and assistance for Americans adopting children internationally.
No matter what type of adoption someone decides on, each type typically requires the adopting family to complete a home study.
Prospective adoptive parents often find the idea of a home study a little scary. These tips can help them prepare their home for the social worker’s visit.
Although different states or agencies will have their own forms, reading through this can help people prepare for their home study.
Family therapy is often recommended for those adopting older children.
These stories from real people who have adopted older children will help people understand what life is like after becoming the adoptive parent of an older child.
Respecting the adopted child’s birth story and prior experiences is key to helping them build confidence.
Children adopted at older ages often struggle to form lasting friendships.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation wrote this article describing evidence-based best practices for support and treatment for adopted older children who have residual trauma they need help dealing with.
The majority of children adopted straight from foster care are under the age of 3.
Adopting an infant straight from the hospital is the goal for many prospective adoptive families.
Although wanting a healthy baby is a natural impulse, adoptive families are often presented with the choice of waiting for a perfectly healthy baby or choosing to adopt an infant whose biological mother used drugs during the pregnancy.
Adoptive family support groups have recommended this guide on how prospective adoptive families should choose the right adoption agency or attorney to work with on their path to becoming parents.
Prospective adoptive families should consider their support systems, their financial resources, and how stable their lives are before beginning the process.
The Dave Thomas Foundation published this in-depth guide explaining the adoption process.
These women have gone through the adoptive process and share the ups and downs of the journey.
Adopting from foster care was emotionally draining but ultimately rewarding for the writer of this article.
Older children need to be able to share their feelings freely with the adults in their lives.
Adoptive children have unique needs their new families need to be prepared to meet.
Families who already have biological children face additional concerns and challenges when bringing their adopted child home for the first time.
Every family’s adoption journey and experience is unique to them.
Parents and children need ongoing support once the adoption is finalized to become a successful family unit.
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