– The Adoption Process: Part 1 of 5

Finding an Adoption ProfessionalIf you have decided to grow your family through adoption, you have a long and exciting journey ahead of you. This five-part series is meant to give you the basics on the main steps of the process.

To begin this process, you will need to decide who you want to help you through the steps of your adoption. There are multiple types of adoption professionals, including:

  • National agencies
  • Local and regional agencies
  • Adoption facilitators
  • Adoption attorneys and law centers

To help you decide which of these professionals works best for your situation, ask yourself these questions:

Have I Already Found a Birth Mother?

If you are pursuing domestic infant adoption, you need to connect with a birth mother who is placing her baby for adoption. Adoption agencies will help you to find an adoption opportunity, or match, as will adoption facilitators. Adoption attorneys may sometimes be able to help you find a birth mother, but you will most likely need to find one on your own.

What Services Do I Need or Want?

Some adoption services are required in order for your adoption to be legally recognized. For example, you will need a social worker licensed in your state to complete a home study, which will ensure that you are ready to adopt. You will also need the assistance of a lawyer to formally finalize the adoption.

Other types of services, such as counseling, are very helpful but not necessary to making your adoption official. If you choose to find a birth mother with a facilitator, you will most likely not receive any counseling, mediation of contact with the birth parents, and post-adoption support.

What is My Adoption Budget?

Unsurprisingly, adopting a child takes some financial planning. Adoption professionals charge widely varying fees depending on the number of services they offer, and only you can determine what works for your budget.

It’s important to include as much flexibility as you can in your adoption budget – some expenses are variable and can change over the course of the process. With American Adoptions, you are able to set a maximum budget, and if the costs of adoption exceed it, you may choose to reassess an adoption opportunity.

By answering these questions, you will be able to determine which adoption professional best fits your needs. Stay tuned for part two of the series, where we will talk about completing a home study!