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How to Start the Adoption Process

Updated on June 26, 2013

The adoption process can be long and grueling but the results are well worth it. Adoption is a great way to add to your family, but before you begin the process you may need to ask yourself some questions and do some research. The main question you need to decide on is do you want to adopt an infant, toddler, or an older child? Do you want to share the same ethnic and racial backgrounds? You also will need to decide if you want to adopt locally or internationally.

Are you truly ready for this step in your life? Those without any other children have a lot to think about, while others who have children already may have an easier time. It is also wise to decide what type of agency you would like to go through. There are public, private, and independent agencies all of them come with fees, some exceptionally high. Depending on what type of agency you want to go with the fees can range from $2,000 to $40,000 and some foreign adoptions are slightly more.

Depending on which kind of agency you decide to go with, most will require you to fill out detailed adoption applications and supply certain other information. You may also be required to go through a psychological examine to ensure that you are ready for a child and are capable of taking care of that child. After your application is processed the next step may be a home visit, this visit can take several weeks or months as it is usually dividing into two parts. One is to make sure the child will be cared for properly and the second is to ensure the adoptive family is ready to welcome this new child.

Now you can begin the legal proceedings for adoption. Some cities and states require you to hire an adoption lawyer to help you in the process, even if your area does not require you to have an adoption lawyer you may want one as the process can be demanding. Once this part is complete a judge will issue the order that makes you and your adoptive child an official family. Now is the time to have a "Welcome Home" party for your new child and yourself as you have just entered a new phase of your lives.

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