When you are at the beginning stages of looking into adoption the process can appear overwhelming. It can be, at times, a complicated process with varying emotions from anticipation and excitement to one filled with uncertainty. The following steps can be helpful when you’re considering adoption.

  1. Be Prepared – first and foremost, do your research. Research the process of adoption, the fees, documents, legal fees and the waiting periods for all of the steps along the way. Adoptions can be drawn out over long periods, being prepared for this downtime between steps can help ease anxiety with the process.
  2. Do the Research – adoption can be a long and overwhelming journey, be prepared by researching the methods you’ll be using to adopt, the agency, lawyer, and the prospective birth parents.
  3. Ask Questions! If you’re unsure about the agency or anything about the adoption process itself, ask your legal professional about it. Ask the agency to provide information and references. You should never be asked to pay a full amount up front or make a decision right away. Professional agencies and services will go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable with the process.
  4. Decide the details – before choosing to bring a child into your home and life it is important that you do some soul searching about what exactly you want from the adoption itself. Are you looking for a baby, do you have a preference over gender, do you want a U.S. born child or an international one. Adoption isn’t a one size fits all scenario and you must consider all options before wading into the process. For example, would you be willing to adopt siblings or a special needs child? The relationship with the birth parents, whether it’s a closed or open adoption can also be decided.
  5. Prepare finances or acquire financing – adoption can be costly depending on the option you choose. Determining the type of adoption is the first step in preparing for the financial responsibilities you’ll face.
  6. Prepare to Wait – the process of adoption can take an amazing amount of time to complete from start to finish and many couples express surprise at just how long it takes. It is best to focus on each step individually, be excited about the outcome but invested in the moment. By focusing on what each step entails and successfully moving through the steps one-by-one you’ll help ward off the waiting game jitters.
  7. Getting to know your new baby or child – once the process is completed and you have brought your new child home give them some time to acclimate to their new home, if they are older they may have had foster parents before you, you may be able to talk to the previous foster homes to get an idea of what life was like for your child before you adopted them. Learning their routines can be especially important in helping them transition into your family and make them as comfortable as possible.This can be especially true for international adoptions or bringing a child into your home from another state even. Traveling to the child’s home, be it a country or a state, can give you an opportunity to connect to the culture they are coming from. Connecting with a child’s past can be a great start to getting to know each other or forming an attachment.
  8. Post adoption services – be sure to take advantage of post adoption services, bringing your child home isn’t the end of the process, rather it is just the beginning of your life together with the child you have chosen to bring into your family. Post-adoption services can provide support for those who have gone through a similar journey and help with some special cases like special needs children.

In short, use the resources at your disposal and do your research. Adoption is a big step and one that results in a permanent member of your family. Always take the time to discuss concerns or questions to the professionals who will be aiding in your search for a child for adoption.