If you’re thinking about adopting a baby in Washington, it’s likely that you have quite a few questions about the infant adoption process. That’s completely natural; adopting a baby is a big step and one that will change your life forever. Sometimes knowing how to adopt a baby in the U.S. can be helpful in the decision-making process. With this in mind, then, we’ve put together a list of the steps you’ll have to take to complete a baby adoption in Washington. For more information, please feel free to call American Adoptions at any time at 1-800-ADOPTION.
The first step in the Washington baby adoption process is, of course, is to decide to adopt a baby. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you already know you want to adopt a baby. If you’re still mulling it over, though, that’s completely okay. Many couples come to adoption after struggling with infertility for years, and it’s important that you have grieved the inability to have a child biologically before you attempt to pursue an infant adoption. When you have completed the grieving process and are just as excited about growing through adoption as you would’ve been to conceive on your own, then you’ll be ready to adopt a baby in Washington!
Once you’ve chosen to grow your family by adopting a baby in the U.S., it will be time to choose an adoption professional to work with. When researching different adoption agencies, you should pay special attention to make sure they offer the following:
Short, accurate wait times for families waiting to adopt a baby in Washington or throughout the U.S.
A cost estimate that includes all aspects of the process, as well as a financial protection program in the event of an adoption disruption
24/7 counseling for pregnant women who are either going through the adoption process or looking for support with an unplanned pregnancy
Advertising for pregnant women who might consider adoption
Assistance with coordinating contact between adoptive families and birth parents, both initially and throughout an adopted child’s life
At American Adoptions, we offer all of these services and more.
If you choose to work with American Adoptions, there are three steps you’ll complete before you’re able to connect with a pregnant woman considering adoption for her baby.
1. Complete an adoption home study. This is essentially an assessment of your home and family to make sure you’re prepared to adopt a baby. Your Washington adoption home study will consist of a home inspection, a documentation phase that includes background checks, and interviews with each family member in your home.
2. Complete an Adoption Planning Questionnaire. This is a form comprised of a series of questions about your adoption preferences that will help your adoption specialist determine which prospective birth mothers you might be a good match for. Otherwise known as an APQ, this document will ask you about your comfort level with factors such as cultural background, medical conditions, contact with a child’s birth parents and more. It’s important to remember that the more flexible you are in your adoption preferences, the more open you are to being chosen by different prospective birth mothers. In other words, the more open you are to different adoption opportunities, the more likely you’ll receive an adoption opportunity within the quoted approximate wait time.
3. Complete two adoption profiles. At American Adoptions, we have two kinds of adoption profiles for prospective birth mothers to look at. First you’ll work to create a print profile, which will act as a sort of brochure to let a pregnant woman know about your family and your life. If the print profile interests her, she’ll be able to see the video profile you create. This will allow her to see you interact in your own home, and she’ll begin to get a sense of who you are before even meeting you. If she thinks you might be a good match for her baby, your adoption specialist will arrange a conference call!
When all of the above steps are completed, you’ll be considered “active” with American Adoptions. This means that adoption specialists will show your profiles to prospective birth mothers who might be a good fit. This period can be difficult for many adoptive parents, because it’s essentially a waiting game. It may feel like you’ve been scrambling to become active for such a long time that to sit and wait for someone to contact you feels strange. During this period, we recommend sticking to a regular routine. We know it can be painful, but we promise: That call will eventually come!
Being chosen by a prospective birth mother can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship, and we aren’t necessarily talking only about the one you’ll eventually form with your child. At American Adoptions, we recommend at least some amount of openness, or contact between adoptive parents and birth parents, in all adoptions. This benefits everyone in the adoptive triad, and allows a prospective birth mother to feel more comfortable with you and with her adoption plan.
Once your child has left the hospital and settled into your home, there’s still one step left in the baby adoption process: finalizing the adoption in Washington. You will need to attend a finalization hearing in your county and a judge will verify that everything was completed legally and ethically before issuing a final decree of adoption.
After you’ve received your child’s final decree of adoption, congratulations! The adoption process is over. However, this doesn’t mean that adoption will not still be a very large part of your lives. It’s important that you talk with your child about adoption throughout the stages of growing up. They should always know to feel proud of their adoption story!
For more information about baby adoptions in Washington, please call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time.
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