How to Adopt a Baby in South Dakota
What You Need to Know About the SD Adoption Process
When you start thinking about what it means to adopt a newborn, an exciting journey begins. If you are wondering how to adopt a baby in the U.S., below are the six steps to adopting an infant in South Dakota with American Adoptions.
As every adoption is different, we encourage you to speak with an adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION before you begin your journey.
Step 1: Are you Ready to Adopt a Child in SD?
Before you can transition to becoming an adoptive parent, there are some questions that you may need to ask yourself.
Many families that are considering adoption have experienced infertility — and may have struggled for several years. This is often the most difficult step for adoptive families to come to terms with. If you are thinking about adopting an infant in South Dakota, you will need to abandon the notion of conceiving a child biologically and fully embrace the idea of growing your family through infant adoption.
Step 2: Choose an Adoption Professional
Once you have decided that you are committed to adopting a newborn baby in South Dakota, the next step is to choose an adoption professional. The most common way to adopt a baby is through either a national or a local agency. Both have their benefits and disadvantages.
National Agency: As a national, full-service adoption agency, American Adoptions is a great choice for many prospective parents that are interested in a baby adoption in South Dakota. Some of the notable services that we provide include:
Shorter wait times for adoptive families, meaning that you’ll be able to build your family much sooner.
Help creating an adoptive family profile, creating more exposure and increasing your chances of finding an adoption opportunity quickly.
Financial risk-sharing program in the event of an adoption disruption.
On the other hand, compared to a local adoption agency, there may be less chance of face-to-face interaction with a national adoption agency, depending on where you live.
Local Agency: If you are thinking, “I want to adopt in South Dakota,” there are several local agencies that can get you started. Local adoption agencies offer many of the same services that a local adoption does but often:
- Are smaller staffed and usually only offer services to a particular region.
- Offer less predictable wait times, which will often vary dramatically depending on the location and your advertising budget.
- Charge less in adoption fees, but may not help connect you with a trusted attorney or offer effective advertising services.
When adopting a child in South Dakota, it’s understandable that you want to research all of your options for an adoption agency. If you are interested in working with American Adoptions, or if you would like to receive information about the benefits that we offer, contact 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a trusted representative.
Step 3: Become an Active Waiting Family
After you have decided that you are on board with adopting an infant in South Dakota through American Adoptions, you’ll need to become an active waiting family. In order to start the process, one of the first steps is to complete an Adoption Planning Questionnaire so that you can be presented to expectant mothers that have the same goals for their adoption as you do.
During this time you will also need to complete your adoption home study. This will include an in-home visit that will consist of an interview and a home inspection. Generally, you will also need to provide the following documents:
Background checks and clearances
Your most recent medical history
Financial statements that may come in the form of tax returns and paystubs
If you think that you’re ready to start your home study, the best thing to do is contact a licensed home study professional in South Dakota first. They will be able to tell you which documents are necessary when you adopt a newborn and if there are any additional requirements.
Step 4: Find an Adoption Opportunity
Most adoptive families worry about how long it will take for them to be chosen by a prospective birth mother. In general, most of our families receive a placement between one to twelve months after becoming active with American Adoptions.
This will be an anxious time for couples who want to adopt a baby in South Dakota, as they wait patiently to hear the good news — they’ve been chosen by a prospective birth mother! While you’re waiting, it’s important to maintain your current lifestyle as much as possible, and to keep busy with new hobbies or spending time with your family and friends. During this restless time, your adoption specialist will be there to guide and support you during the waiting process.
Step 5: Match with a Birth Mother and Placement
Before you know it, you will receive a call from your specialist telling you about an adoption opportunity. If the match seems like a good fit for everyone involved, your adoption specialist will mediate a call between yourself and the prospective birth mother, as well as the birth father, if applicable. Communication will continue throughout the pregnancy as much as both parties feel comfortable. Starting with phone calls, email, and skype, you will be able to build strong, healthy relationships that last a lifetime.
After the baby is born, placement occurs at the hospital. Your adoption specialist will work with you to get ready for this part of the process and will provide resources such as the Preparing for a Successful Match manual.
Step 6: Post-Placement Visits and Finalization
Once the baby is born, South Dakota law states that the birth parents must wait at least five days before consenting to the adoption.
When the family returns home with the newest member of their family, the adoption is almost complete. At this point, either American Adoptions or the agency that preformed your home study will complete the necessary post-placement visits. This step will occur before finalization for a child adoption in South Dakota.
If you were adopting a baby in the U.S. but traveled outside of South Dakota for the adoption, you will need to follow the guidelines outlined by the Interstate Compact Placement of Children (ICPC). With ICPC, both states will look at the adoption and make sure that everything has been complete according to both state’s laws. If you completed a newborn adoption within South Dakota, then you don’t have to worry about ICPC.
After you have completed all the necessary steps, you can get ready for your finalization hearing. Your adoption specialist and adoption attorney will let you know what to expect during this huge milestone.
Even though this article gives a general idea of what the process looks like in South Dakota, you will likely have many more questions. If you would like to learn more on how to adopt a baby in the U.S. or if you would like to start the process to adopt a child in South Dakota, please call 1-800-ADOPTION to receive free information.
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