What to Know About Adopting a Baby in Wisconsin
If you are thinking about adopting a baby in Wisconsin, learning everything you can about the infant adoption process is a great place to start. By reading this article, you are already taking the first important steps to adopt a baby in WI!
As you consider newborn adoption in Wisconsin, you can always contact American Adoptions for answers to your questions and help getting started. Call 1-800-ADOPTION for free, no-obligation information or request free information online.
In the meantime, here’s how to adopt a baby in Wisconsin:
1. Decide to adopt a newborn in Wisconsin.
Adopting a baby can be a beautiful and amazing way to start or add to your family — but it isn’t right for everyone. Making the decision to adopt is the first and most important step in the Wisconsin adoption process.
As you consider whether WI infant adoption is right for you, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What type of adoption process do you want to pursue? This may depend on a number of factors, including the types of adoption opportunities you are interested in. If you want to adopt an older child, you might consider a foster care adoption. If you want to adopt a child from an orphanage, you may want to look into international adoption. However, if you can confidently say, “I want to adopt a baby in Wisconsin,” that’s a good sign that domestic infant adoption may be right for you.
Are you emotionally ready to adopt a newborn baby in WI? Many hopeful parents face some challenges on their path to parenthood, and it’s important to overcome those challenges before starting the adoption process. If you have struggled with infertility, for example, you need to make sure that you have fully grieved those losses and are excited about the opportunity to adopt a baby in Wisconsin before beginning the adoption process.
Do you meet the requirements to adopt in Wisconsin? In addition to assessing your emotional readiness, you should familiarize yourself with the various requirements to adopt a baby in Wisconsin. (Don’t worry; your adoption specialist at American Adoptions will help you understand these requirements and ensure you meet the qualifications to adopt).
Are you prepared for the highs and lows of the adoption process? Adopting an infant in Wisconsin can be an amazing experience that forever changes your life for the better — but the process is not without its challenges. It’s important to have a realistic understanding of the ups and downs that come with adoption before you commit to this process.
Once you know that you want to adopt a baby in Wisconsin, you are ready to officially start your journey!
Remember, however, that this is not a decision you should rush into; take your time to determine that you are 100 percent ready for adoption. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION at any point in your research to learn more about the Wisconsin newborn adoption process and talk to an adoption specialist about whether it’s right for your family.
2. Choose a Wisconsin adoption professional.
Once you have decided to move forward with the Wisconsin baby adoption process, it is time to choose a professional to help you on this journey. There are many professionals available to help parents hoping to adopt in Wisconsin, including:
Adoption Attorneys: Every parent looking to adopt a baby in Wisconsin will need to work with an attorney at some point in the process. When you work with an agency like American Adoptions, your adoption specialist will connect you with this attorney. However, some families work solely with an adoption attorney to complete an independent adoption; this may be an option for you if you are very familiar with the adoption process and feel confident that you can find a baby for adoption in Wisconsin without an agency’s help.
Local Adoption Agencies: These are organizations that are licensed and regulated in Wisconsin and may have offices nearby. Local adoption agencies may be able to meet with you in person, but they typically have smaller staffs and only work with hopeful parents and women placing babies for adoption in Wisconsin or the surrounding area — which sometimes leads to a longer wait time and a less predictable adoption process.
National Adoption Agencies: American Adoptions and other nationwide adoption professionals work with prospective birth mothers and adoptive families across the United States, not just in Wisconsin. These national adoption professionals are usually licensed in more than one state, meaning they are regularly reviewed by multiple states’ adoption authorities. Because of their scope, national adoption agencies usually offer the lowest financial risk, shortest adoption wait times and other benefits that smaller, local agencies can’t always provide.
Adoption Facilitators: Adoption facilitators (sometimes also called adoption law centers) are unlicensed, unregulated organizations that specialize in matching potential birth mothers with waiting adoptive families. However, this is typically the only adoption service they provide. Wisconsin has strict laws regulating the entities that can advertise for adoption opportunities on the behalf of hopeful adoptive parents, making the use of an unlicensed adoption facilitator potentially risky. For these reasons, it’s generally advised that adoptive families work with a licensed adoption agency or attorney instead of using an adoption facilitator.
Your choice of adoption professional is an important decision that will impact the rest of your adoption experience, from the quality of services you will receive to the amount you will pay for those services and more. Carefully research various Wisconsin adoption professionals before choosing the one that’s right for your family.
3. Become an active waiting family.
There are several steps you’ll need to take before you can become an active waiting family and bring an adopted baby home in Wisconsin. The exact requirements and processes you’ll need to complete may vary slightly based on the adoption professional you choose.
If you are adopting a newborn in Wisconsin with American Adoptions, you’ll need to complete the following steps before you can be considered for potential adoption opportunities:
Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ): Along with some other adoption paperwork, your adoption specialist will help you complete an APQ, which outlines everything from your adoption budget to the types of adoption opportunities you are open to accepting.
Adoptive Family Profile: Working with our media team, you will create print and video profiles that can be shown to women placing their newborns for adoption in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S. Your profile should help prospective birth mothers get to know you, your family and the type of home you would provide to a child.
Adoption Home Study: The adoption home study is an important step that every hopeful adoptive family must take to prove they are fully prepared to adopt. Your adoption specialist will help you prepare for the home study and can refer you to a Wisconsin-licensed home study professional near you.
These steps and requirements can feel daunting at times, but remember that each one serves an important purpose — and each brings you one step closer to adopting an infant in Wisconsin!
4. Find an adoption opportunity.
Once you have completed the above requirements, you are considered an “active” adoptive family with American Adoptions. This is an exciting milestone in your Wisconsin adoption journey — it means that you can be chosen for an adoption opportunity at any time! On average, most adoptive families adopt within 1–12 months of going active with American Adoptions.
When a prospective birth mother selects you as the potential adoptive parents for her baby, you will likely have the chance to get to know her through pre-placement contact mediated by your adoption specialist. Your adoption specialist will help you prepare for your first conference call and give you suggestions and guidance as you continue building a relationship with her.
Your adoption specialist will notify you when the baby is being born and it is time to travel to the hospital. Based on the prospective birth mother’s hospital plan, this could be your opportunity to interact with her and your baby for the first time!
5. Finalize your adoption.
After your baby is placed with you and the birth mother gives her consent to the adoption, you will need to complete a legal process to finalize your adoption in Wisconsin. Your adoption attorney and your American Adoptions specialist will walk you through post-placement visits with a social worker, a finalization hearing and any other legal requirements.
When your adoption is finalized and you receive the final adoption decree in Wisconsin, your legal adoption process is complete and your baby is officially a permanent part of your family!
6. Continue your journey.
While the Wisconsin adoption process legally ends at the courthouse when your adoption is finalized, your adoption journey doesn’t end there. Adoption will always be an important part of your family’s story, and it will continue to shape your lives for years to come. As an adoptive parent, adoption should always be an open topic of conversation with your child, and you will keep in touch with your child’s birth parents through an open adoption relationship.
If you are ready to start the infant adoption process in Wisconsin, or if you would like to receive more information about whether this process is right for you, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information online.
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