If you’re considering adopting a baby in Michigan, there’s probably a lot running through your mind. Adopting a child is a wonderful and beautiful journey, but it’s not necessarily a simple process. Most first-time adoptive parents have plenty of questions, and that’s where we come in. The following are six common concerns we hear from couples thinking about adopting children in Michigan.
If, after reading this article, you still have questions, feel free to contact one of our adoption specialists for free information at 1-800-ADOPTION.
If you’re reading this article, you may have already firmly decided that you want to adopt a child. However, this decision isn’t always a simple step in the adoption process. It’s not uncommon for couples to struggle for years with infertility and the inability to have a child biologically. This is completely natural, but it’s very important that couples have come to terms with that grief before choosing to adopt a baby. Before adopting a child in Michigan, you must know that you will love that child just as much as you would if you had conceived him or her yourself.
Once you’ve decided to adopt a child in MI, your next task will be finding the right professional to help you do it. When you begin your research, it’s important, of course, to consider cost, but it’s also important that you consider what services each adoption professional you encounter will provide. At American Adoptions, we offer:
24/7 counseling and support for pregnant women considering their options
Advertising to find pregnant women who are considering adoption for their babies
Short, accurate wait times for families who become active with our agency
A financial protection program that guarantees the return of your money to you in the case of a disrupted adoption opportunity
Contact facilitation between birth parents and adoptive families, both before and after placement
If you research other adoption professionals, be sure to inquire about each of these services as well as what exactly is factored into their total cost estimate. Some agencies will have hidden fees or services that aren’t included; you don’t want to be faced with unknown additional costs later on in the process.
When a family chooses to work with American Adoptions, there will be three steps to complete before they can become active, or before they can begin looking for matches with prospective birth mothers.
Complete a home study. An adoption home study is essentially an assessment of a family’s readiness to grow through adoption. A social worker will help you to collect background checks, financial and medical records as well as inspect your home and interview each family member that lives in the home.
Complete an APQ, or Adoption Planning Questionnaire. When you begin working with American Adoptions, you’ll be assigned to your own specific adoption specialist. She will work with you throughout the entire process, and one of the first tasks she’ll help you with is filling out your APQ. This is a series of questions you’ll answer about your adoption preferences that will help us connect you with a pregnant woman who has similar desires for her adoption plan. On your APQ, you’ll let us know what you’re comfortable with in terms of medical conditions, cultural backgrounds, the amount of contact you wish to share with the birth parents and more. Remember, the more open you are to different situations, the more likely that your wait time will be within the estimate given.
Provide the information for an adoption profile. All adoptive families at American Adoptions work with a media team to create both a print profile and a video profile. This will provide pregnant women with two separate ways of learning more about your family before committing to contacting you. She’ll be able to read about you in your print profile, which acts as a sort of brochure to let her know about your life. If she’s interested in what she reads in your print profile, she can then view your video profile, which will allow her to see you and your family interacting in your normal environment. This way, she can more clearly picture her child’s life with you and understand why you want to adopt a baby.
Once your home study, APQ and adoption profiles are complete, you’ll become “active” with American Adoptions. This means your profile will be shown to pregnant women considering adoption. For some adoptive families, this can be a tough phase of the adoption process. You will have to wait until a pregnant woman chooses you — and then, depending on where she’s at in her pregnancy, you may have to wait some more. It’s important that you maintain your normal lifestyle during this period. We know it’s hard, but the waiting process will be much tougher if you wake up expecting every day to be the day you get “the call.”
When that call does finally come in, a new phase of the adoption process begins: getting to know your child’s birth parents. At American Adoptions, we recommend open adoptions for the benefit of everyone in the adoption triad; this is a great opportunity to start that relationship off on the right foot.
Remember, the better the prospective birth parents know you, the more likely they’ll feel comfortable following through with their adoption plan.
Before you’re finished adopting a baby in Michigan, you’ll have to receive a final decree of adoption. This will happen in the circuit court that has jurisdiction over your adoption. A judge will hear your adoption case to ensure that all laws were adhered to and that adoption is in your baby’s best interests. To prepare for this hearing, your adoption specialist will help you to understand what’s required to finalize an adoption in Michigan.
Once your adoption finalization hearing is complete, congratulations! Your child is legally and permanently yours. However, the adoption process is never truly “over.” As your child grows up, you will be responsible for keeping lines of conversation about adoption open. Make sure you know your child can approach you with any questions or concerns, and that they know they should be proud to have joined your family through adoption.
For more information about adopting a child in Michigan, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.
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