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How to Adopt a Baby in Hawaii

Everything You Need to Know About the HI Adoption Process

If you’re a parent hoping to adopt a baby in Hawaii, it’s safe to assume you’ve got a lot of questions. It’s completely reasonable. Adopting a baby is a life-changing process, and it’s one that will, in all reality, be difficult. There’s a lot that goes into an adoption, both emotionally and otherwise, and it can be helpful to understand exactly how to adopt a baby in the U.S. before beginning that process.

Keeping in mind that this process will differ slightly for everyone, this article outlines what you can expect to happen in the course of pursuing a baby adoption in Hawaii.

Step 1: Decide that adopting a child in Hawaii is the right choice for you and your family.

It may seem like common sense, but choosing to adopt a child in Hawaii — and getting everyone on board with this decision — is a big first step in the adoption process. It’s not uncommon for families who adopt to have first struggled for quite some time with infertility and grief, and that’s completely okay. It is, however, important that everyone has moved on from this grief and is equally as excited about growing the family by adopting a newborn baby. A child who is adopted deserves just as much love and commitment as a child biologically born into a family.

Step 2: Decide that adopting a newborn baby is the right form of adoption.

Once your family is set on adopting a child, it will be time to determine which type of adoption you wish to pursue. Some families choose to adopt an older child or one with special needs from foster care, and others choose to adopt a child from another country. Many, however, choose to adopt a newborn baby from within the United States, which is the process the rest of this article will focus on. 

Step 3: Choose a professional to help you through the process of adopting an infant.

When it comes to private domestic adoption, there are different adoption agencies in Hawaii to help you complete the process. However, as a national, full-service adoption agency, we’re pretty partial to our own services here at American Adoptions. If you choose to research other agencies in the area, be sure to ask a few important questions:

  • Does the agency provide the average wait times to adopt a baby with their services?

  • Does the agency work to both support and educate pregnant women as they go through the decision-making process? Do they provide this same service to adoptive families?

  • Does the agency provide a total estimated cost to use their services? Does this include hidden fees?

  • What happens if a pregnant woman changes her mind? What will the agency do with the finances already invested into that adoption situation?

It’s important that you know the exact answers to each of the above questions before you commit to working with any specific adoption agency. To learn more about the services American Adoptions provides, please contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Step 4: Become active with your adoption agency.

Before you can begin to actively pursue adoption with the professional you choose, you’ll have to meet a set of legal requirements for an adoption in Hawaii. Just as you would in any other state, you’ll have to complete an adoption home study prior to adopting. An adoption home study is essentially an assessment of your readiness to adopt a baby and includes three phases: a documentation stage (with background checks), a home inspection, and interviews with each of the family members living in the home.

Different adoption professionals will have their own additional adoption requirements. At American Adoptions, we require each of our families to complete both an Adoption Planning Questionnaire and an Adoptive Family Profile on top of the adoption home study. Your Adoption Planning Questionnaire will help your adoption specialist to identify what you’re looking for in terms of an adoption situation, and your Adoptive Family Profile will showcase your family to a pregnant woman in order to help her imagine what her child’s life might look like if she placed with your family.

Step 5: Find an adoption match.

Once you have adhered to all of the requirements set forth by the state of Hawaii as well as your adoption professional, it’ll be time to meet with a pregnant woman who’s considering adoption for her child. At American Adoptions, you’ll work with your own individual adoption specialist who will help you to find and develop a relationship with a pregnant woman considering adoption. We always recommend that all Hawaii adoptions have some decree of openness, or communication, as this benefits everyone in the adoptive triad.

However you choose to bond with your child’s potential birth mother — be it through emails, calls, in-person visits or more — we encourage you to think of her as an additional family member, and to remember that this is a relationship that will continue for the rest of your lives.

Step 6: Finalize your baby adoption in Hawaii.

While it will certainly be an exciting day, the Hawaii adoption process is not officially over when you bring your baby home from the hospital. After adopting a baby in Hawaii, you’ll have to attend a finalization hearing, which is when a judge grants your final decree of adoption. As long as everything has been completed legally and ethically and the adoption is in the child’s best interests, this is the day when you’ll be granted permanent legal custody of your child.

Even after you’ve received your child’s final decree of adoption, the adoption process is never really over. It will be your responsibility to communicate with your child about their adoption. Make sure they understand their story, and make sure they know they can come to you with any questions or concerns. Adoption is a lifelong journey, and it’s one your child should be proud of!

To learn more about adopting a baby in Hawaii with our agency or to begin the adoption process, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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