Adoption is a very special journey. In many ways it is a journey that could be the most joyous and fulfilling experience a person can have. Adoption statistics show how much adoptive parents cherish the time they have with their children. They appreciate every day the opportunity to be a mom and a dad, and its shows!
It can also be a journey fraught with delays and disappointments. If you are an individual or family considering adopting a child, you need to find the path that is right for you and your family, our Dallas adoption attorneys can help you with the many options to consider.
Below you will find some general information and basic steps in the adoption process.
What is the first step in the adoption process?
You will need to decide whether to adopt through a private or public agency. As you examine these options, you will discover there are advantages and disadvantages to each, so take your time and be thorough in your research.
What should I expect when I contact an agency?
The agency may conduct a one-on- –one interview or invite you to attend an orientation. The information given during the interview or at orientation is very valuable. They will discuss their process in detail and give you an opportunity to ask questions and obtain their fee schedule. It is a good idea to explore various agencies and compare procedures and philosophies, and get a sense of which agency fits you the best. At the end of the interview or orientation, you will likely be offered an application to complete and return together with an application or registration fee.
What is a “home study?”
After the agency has reviewed and accepted your application for adoption, you will need to complete a home study. The main goal of the home study is to evaluate the home environment and to help the adoptive parents prepare for parenting and the arrival of the child. There are several different ways to meet this requirement. Your agency will advise you as to their preferred method. The assessment will include one or more visits with a social worker, at least one of which will take place in your home. You will also be required to have a physical examination, fingerprints taken, and a background check. Average time for completion of the home study is approximately two months.
How long will we have to wait for a child?
The waiting period can vary depending on several factors. Many agencies have a wait of two to five years. This delay is due in part to the fact that adoptive parents and birthmothers are matched according to the requirements of both the adoptive parents and the birth mothers. International adoptions may take a year or more depending on the requirements of a particular country.
When is the adoption finalized?
After the parental rights of the birth parents have been terminated, the child will have been in the home for at least six months after which the social worker will submit a recommendation for approval. A judge will then finalize the adoption by awarding the adoptive parents all legal rights and responsibilities. This final step will vary with international adoptions as there are additional legal steps required, including those of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Department.
More adoption questions?
It is common to have more questions than what is addressed above. The Dallas adoption attorneys at Goranson Bain Ausley are available to assist you on this very special journey. Feel free to contact us.
Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.
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