Adoption: Where to Start, According to an Adoption Attorney
Are you thinking about adopting a child? If so, there are a variety of things you should know to help make the process easier.
In this blog, we’ll provide a detailed overview regarding the basics of adoption so that you can feel educated about the process and take the first steps toward bringing a new member of the family into your home.
If you have any questions for our adoption attorneys in the Tri-Cities, feel free to reach out.
Adoption: Where to Start, According to an Adoption Attorney
Adoption can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have an adoption attorney there to help. Below is everything you need to know about adopting a child.
Learn about different types of adoption.
There are multiple types of adoptions. These include:
- Adoption From Foster Care: In this type of adoption, you may adopt a child who is currently in foster care or state care. You can adopt through the Department of Human Services or through a private adoption agency that handles foster care adoptions. Most kids who are adopted out of the foster care system are 8 (with a history of physical and/or emotional trauma).
- Domestic Private Adoption: This adoption is done via an adoption agency to adopt a child within the U.S. or Canada. The adoptees typically include young kids and babies, as well as kids with special needs.
- International Adoption: These adoptions involve adopting a child (babies through teenagers) who is from a country besides the U.S. or Canada. The adoption can be done through an adoption attorney or with an international adoption agency’s help.
- Independent Adoption: An independent adoption (or private adoption) is accomplished with an adoption lawyer or adoption counselor’s assistance. This type of adoption typically involves babies.
Decide how you will pay for adoption.
The cost of adoption varies based on the type of adoption you choose. For instance, adoption from foster care can cost up to $2,500. Domestic private adoptions range from $12,000 to $45,000 stateside and $10,000 to $20,000 if you adopt in Canada.
International adoptions cost $18,000 to $60,000 in the U.S. on average, and Canadian adoptions are between $20,000 and $30,000. Independent adoptions cost $8,000 to $40,000 and up, covering the expenses needed to locate a birth mother, adoption attorney fees, etc.
It is uncommon for adoption agencies to charge for foster care adoptions. Although, a home study is still necessary (more on that below), and it is recommended to secure an adoption attorney. The other forms of adoption generally charge fees to help you through the adoption process.
To cover the fees associated with the adoption, you can take out a loan, apply for a grant, or utilize adoption benefits from your employer. You may also take money out of your personal savings, turn to tax credits, or apply for adoption assistance.
Decide what type of adoption you want to pursue.
If you are considering adopting, there are multiple routes you can take. However, it is vital to think about what is best for you and your family and how much you can take on before you bring a child into your home.
- Would you rather do an open adoption or closed adoption?
- Are you comfortable taking care of a child with special needs?
- What age group would be a good match for your family?
- Are you open to siblings?
- What qualities would fit your family?
- How much can you afford?
The answers to these questions all affect the type of adoption that would work best for a family. It is also important to consider whether you’d like to go through an adoption agency, an adoption attorney, or both. (Looking for an adoption attorney near me? Contact Clearwater Law Group here.)
Research and decide upon an adoption agency.
Not all adoption agencies operate the same. For instance, there are public and private adoption agencies with different rules, regulations, and guidelines when it comes to adopting a child. Do your research on a list of potential adoption agencies. Then, choose the one that feels like the best fit for your family.
To conduct research, you can look into the Child Welfare Information Gateway or AdoptUSKids. Also, you may find it beneficial to connect with other adoptive parents in your city who have already gone through the adoption process. They can make recommendations on do’s and don’ts in adoption and help you find the best adoption agency.
Attend adoption and parenting classes.
Adoption and parenting classes are mandatory for the majority of adoption agencies. These classes are designed to help parents better navigate adoption and understand the problems that may come up when you bring an adopted child into your home (e.g., physical and emotional abuse, cultural differences, and learning and physical disabilities).
Regardless of whether your adoption agency makes classes mandatory, you may find that they’re useful and help you become better prepared before adoption.
Begin the home study process.
Home studies offer a learning experience for new adoptive parents. They give the social worker a chance to get more information about your parenting and abilities to care for your child’s basic needs. They also give you valuable insight into the impact of adoption.
In addition, it gets you ready to become a mom or dad to a young person with a different background from you. The home study process is a two-month to year-long period. By the end of it, however, you’ll look forward to bringing home a new family member safe and sound.
We can help.
Adoption is no easy process, but Clearwater Law Group is here to help you navigate it. Instead of wondering what steps to take, what forms to fill out, and where to start, put yourself in a position of success, and work with our expert law team on your adoption.
Our adoption attorneys offer the utmost expertise for a variety of adoptions, from foster care to private adoptions.
Are you looking for a qualified adoption attorney to take your hand through the adoption process? Clearwater Law Group is a trusted lawyer for adoptive parents in the Tri-Cities. Schedule a consultation with us today.