The Six Steps to Adopt a Baby in Virginia
When a family first decides to adopt a baby, it can be a stressful time as well as an exciting one. Adopting a baby in Virginia will be worth every single step of the process, but it can be extremely helpful to understand that process before you begin. If your family has decided to adopt a newborn baby in Virginia, this is how you can expect a baby adoption to go:
1. Choose adoption.
This step may seem like a simple one, but for many families, it can actually be very difficult. It’s not uncommon for a couple to struggle with infertility for years before coming to the adoption decision, but it’s important that they fully grieve their infertility before proceeding. Before you decide to adopt a baby, you must understand that what you really want is to be a parent, no matter how your baby comes to you. If you’re still holding out hope that you’ll have a child biologically, you most likely aren’t quite ready to pursue a Virginia infant adoption.
2. Choose an adoption professional.
When you’re confident in your decision to adopt a baby in Virginia, it will be time to decide on a professional to help you find your child. There’s a lot to consider when choosing an adoption professional; cost is important, of course, but so are services. Make sure you choose an adoption professional like American Adoptions that offers:
Short, accurate wait times
A financial protection program that will return your money directly to you in the event of an adoption disruption
Round-the-clock birth mother support and counseling
Advertising to birth mothers
Contact mediation between adoptive families and birth families
3. Become active with your adoption professional.
If you end up choosing to work with American Adoptions, you’ll work with your adoption specialist to complete three steps before you can match with a prospective birth mother:
A home study. A home study gives a social worker a chance to examine your family to make sure you’re ready to grow through adoption. He or she will help you to collect important background checks and financial and medical information as well as interview all members of your family and inspect your home. This can be an unnerving process, but remember: Your home study provider is there to help you adopt a baby!
An Adoption Planning Questionnaire, or APQ. This is a series of questions that will help us to connect you with a pregnant woman considering adoption. You’ll indicate what you’re comfortable with in terms of medical conditions you might be willing to accept, what cultural backgrounds you’re open to, the amount of contact you’d like to have with the birth parents, and more.
Adoption profiles. At American Adoptions, we make each of our adoptive families both a print profile and a video profile. Your print profile will act as a brochure of sorts for your family; a pregnant woman will be able to see pictures and read about your family. A video allows her to feel as if she’s getting to know you before actually meeting you. This will help her to imagine what her child’s life could be like if he or she were to be placed with you.
4. Find an adoption opportunity.
After you become active with American Adoptions, you’ll enter the “waiting period” as you wait to match with a prospective birth mother. For many families, this can be difficult. After all the steps you’ve just taken to adopt a baby in Virginia, this may feel like an abrupt halt in the process.
However, it’s important that you maintain your normal lifestyle as you wait for an adoption opportunity. Waking up every morning wondering if today will be the day that you get a call from a birth mother is not healthy and will make the waiting process much more difficult in the end.
5. Begin your relationship with your child’s birth parents.
When you finally get the call that you’ve been matched with a prospective birth mother, you may have time left in her pregnancy to get to know her and/or the baby’s father before the baby is born. As we recommend open adoptions, this is a great opportunity to build a relationship that will last for the rest of your lives.
For the birth parents, this is also an important time period in which they can get to know you and feel comfortable that you’ll give their child the life he or she deserves.
6. Complete your baby adoption in Virginia.
The adoption process doesn’t end as soon as you take your child home from the hospital. You’ll be required to finalize your child’s adoption with a judge to make sure he or she is legally and permanently yours. Your adoption specialist will help you to make sure you follow the guidelines for finalizing a baby adoption in Virginia.
After your finalization hearing is complete, congratulations! You have finished the adoption process, and you now get to experience the joys and challenges of raising your child. However, just because the adoption process is complete doesn’t mean that you’re done discussing adoption. It’s important to have conversations about your child’s adoption story all throughout their growing up; they should always be made to feel proud of how they joined your family.
For more information about adopting a baby in Virginia or to start the process, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.
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