How to Adopt a Baby in Delaware
What You Need to Know About the Delaware Infant Adoption Process
Adopting a baby in Delaware can change your life.
There are many different ways parents may come to consider adoption for their family. You may have struggled with infertility, and worked through the grief that comes with it. You could be an LGBTQ couple who dreams of becoming parents. Or, you could simply believe that adoption is the right choice for your family.
Whatever the case may be, adopting a child in Delaware can be an amazing opportunity. It can also be very confusing.
The adoption process is lengthy, and it’s full of complicated legal requirements. It can seem overwhelming at first and leave you wondering how to adopt a baby in Delaware. If you are looking to adopt a baby, understanding the process before you dive in can make the whole journey seem more manageable.
While each Delaware infant adoption will be unique, there are some steps of the process that you are sure to go through. Before we get started, you should know that you can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption specialist. They will talk you through all of your available options and help you gain a better understanding of what adopting a baby in Delaware will look like.
How do I adopt a baby in Delaware?
The adoption process is unlike anything else. It affects the lives of so many people, which is why there are a lot of rules, regulations and requirements involved. Anything this important has to be accomplished in a safe, ethical way. When you adopt a baby in Delaware, it’s not your job to make sure that process goes perfectly — that’s why you work with an adoption professional. However, it is helpful to understand what is going on.
These are the basic steps of how to adopt a child in Delaware.
Step 1: Decide if Adopting a Baby in Delaware is Right for You
You can’t adopt a baby in Delaware without taking the time to understand what you are doing. Deciding if infant adoption in Delaware is right for you is its own step of the process — a vitally important step that no one should move past too quickly. This is a big choice. Take the time you need to thoroughly think it through.
After a good amount of thought, you may come to think, “Yes, I want to adopt a baby in Delaware.” Now you’re ready for step two.
Step 2: Choose an Adoption Professional
Your adoption professional can make or break your experience with the adoption process. You want to work with a professional you can fully trust. In this regard, you have several different options to choose from. These are different types of adoption professionals who could help you adopt a baby in Delaware.
Adoption Facilitators: In some states, you can choose to work with an adoption facilitator. These are unlicensed, unregulated professionals who work to match potential birth mothers with hopeful adoptive parents. However, adoption facilitators have proved untrustworthy in many circumstances, and Delaware does not allow them to operate in the state.
Adoption Attorneys: These are attorneys who specialize in adoption and can guide you through the process, assisting you with all of the legal requirements of baby adoption in Delaware. Adoption law firms typically work in conjunction with an adoption agency to find an adoption opportunity for hopeful parents.
Local Adoption Agencies: Local adoption agencies in Delaware are state-licensed, regulated organizations that find adoption opportunities for potential birth mothers and hopeful adoptive parents within the state of Delaware. These agencies typically have small staffs, which can create the chance for more direct, face-to-face interaction with you as the adoptive parents. However, local adoption agencies can also be prone to longer wait times, as the smaller staff works with a large number of cases and is limited by state lines.
National Adoption Agencies: National adoptions agencies are fully-licensed, regulated organizations that operate in all 50 states to find adoption opportunities for hopeful adoptive parents. These agencies are regularly reviewed and held to high ethical standards. Typically, national adoption agencies are full-service, which means a national adoption agency like American Adoption can serve you throughout your entire adoption process in Delaware. From deciding to adopt a baby to post-placement contact, American Adoptions can assist you. Working with a full-service agency can make the process of adopting a baby in Delaware much smoother. You won’t have to worry about being the adoption expert or juggling contacts to meet your varying adoption needs.
Step 3: Beginning the Process to Adopt a Baby in Delaware
Once you have chosen the adoption professional you would like to work with to adopt a baby in Delaware, you will begin taking steps to become an “active waiting family.” This means that you have completed all the necessary requirements in order to be presented to potential birth mothers for an adoption opportunity. If you work with American Adoptions, this will include three primary steps.
Step 1: Complete your adoption planning questionnaire. Also known as the APQ, this is where you set the boundaries for your Delaware infant adoption. This questionnaire asks a lot of deeply personal questions, and you need to be completely honest. The way you answer these questions will determine the adoption opportunities your adoption specialist is able to search out for you.
Step 2: Complete the Delaware adoption home study. Every family looking to adopt a baby in Delaware is required to complete the adoption home study. This is a review of your home, lifestyle and adoption readiness by a licensed social worker. The purpose of the adoption home study is to making sure anyone adopting a baby in Delaware is truly prepared for this responsibility. Your adoption specialist will refer you to a trusted home study provider in Delaware and help you prepare to succeed.
Step 3: Create an adoption profile. Your adoptive family profile will be presented to potential birth mothers in order to find an adoption opportunity. This is a chance to put your best foot forward, and American Adoptions’ team of media specialists will make sure that happens. Along with the written adoptive family profile, you’ll be able to create a video profile that helps a potential mother have a sense of personal relationship with you before choosing your family.
Step 4: Find Babies to Adopt in Delaware
Once you have taken the steps to become an active waiting family, your adoption specialist will begin presenting your adoptive family profile to potential birth mothers. This part of the process feels longer than the others, because you are primarily waiting for an opportunity. Try to be as patient as possible, and know that your adoption specialist is working as hard as they can to find the right opportunity for you to adopt a baby in Delaware.
When a prospective birth mother chooses your family, you’ll be contacted about an adoption opportunity. This phone call will be emotional. You’ve put in a lot of hard work to get here, and it’s worth celebrating such an amazing moment.
Step 5: Pre-Placement Contact
Did you know that more than 90 percent of domestic infant adoptions are at least semi-open? This means, in part, that you will have the opportunity to get to know the potential birth mother before placement when you adopt a baby in Delaware. The level of contact will vary based on your unique adoption plan. The most common types of pre-placement contact are conference calls or Skype calls, which are facilitated by your adoption specialist. This is a special time, and a great opportunity to form a meaningful relationship. Investing your time and energy into making the potential birth mother feel cared for will only strengthen her confidence in her adoption decision.
Step 6: Placement, Post-Placement and Parenting
When the time comes, your adoption specialist will call you to let you know it’s time to travel to the hospital. At the hospital, you will follow the plan laid out by the potential birth mother. After the baby is born, the potential birth mother will give her legal consent to the adoption, and you will be placed with your baby. In many ways, this is the end of a long journey. But it’s also just the beginning.
There are still a few steps left in the process to adopt a baby in Delaware. You’ll need to complete a series of post-placement visits and attend an adoption finalization hearing. Beyond that, there is a lifetime of steps ahead. Parenting is a journey that doesn’t end, and you now have the joy of experiencing it.
Even after all of this information, you probably still have questions about adopting a baby in Delaware. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time to speak with an adoption specialist, and you can request more free information about adoption in Delaware.
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