Adoption Process

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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The adoption process begins with the decision to adopt. The first step is to be sure that the decision is the right one. If you adopt, you should be doing so for good reasons. Adopting is not about making or saving a marriage. It is not about proving yourself as a woman or a man. Adoption is a commitment. Adopting is parenting. Adopting is forever.

What's Involved in the Adoption Process?

Once you are committed to adopting, the next step in the adoption process is to decide what kind of adoption is best for you. The laws in the state where you live will set your options. Things to consider include choosing an agency, an attorney, participating in foster care, or opting for an international adoptions. It may be that you are interested in stepparent adoption.

Four areas of qualification come into play in the adoption process. First are legal criteria, which will vary from state to state. Secondly, you must meet the criteria of the agency, beyond those of your state. You may also face any possible criteria of the birth parents. Don't forget about your own (adoptive parent) limitations. The factors considered in these criteria include marital status, length of marriage, number of marriages, age of prospective parents, age difference between parents and child, health issues, and disabilities.

Once you have gotten this far in the adoption process--chosen a means and qualified to adopt--you're part of the way home. The adoption agency is chosen and the application completed and approved. Home study, adoption, and parenting classes come next. Next comes the most momentous phase: searching for and selecting a child. Then come the final preparations, filing the formal petition to adopt, and sealing the process.

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