How to Adopt a Child: Agency Adoption
There are many reasons for a couple to adopt a child. One scenario would be when the couple are unable to conceive a child; instead of turning to fertility treatments, they consider the idea of simply adopting a child. But many couples who are toying with the idea may never actually proceed with it, simply because they have no idea how to adopt a child.
If you are thinking about adopting a child, it would help to know the adoption process even only on an overview level. You have the option of pursuing a private adoption or an agency adoption. The following steps comprise the process of adoption through an agency:
- Home study interviews – The home study is the first step towards your plan of adopting a child. The social worker will set an interview and an ocular visit of your home, and the home study interview will typically look into your family background, any criminal record, your perception and basic ideas of child rearing, among others. The details may vary depending on the social worker. Typically three interviews are required to complete the home study, although the numbers may vary by state laws, as well as depending on the discretion of the social worker, such as if she feels that she needs to check on more things. Note that the home study will likely comprise the first of many payments you will need to shell out.
- Matching with a child – When your home study is approved, you become eligible for placement of a child. Placement can happen in weeks or several months. Some people take longer to have a child matched with them because of personal preferences: for example, those who indicate that they only want Caucasian babies tend to wait longer than those who are open to other races.
- Placement of the child – If you are matched with a newborn baby, you will usually have a very short time to decide whether you want the baby and to get him or her, or else he or she will wind up in the foster care system.
- Finalization – When you get the child, he is yours, but legally, you will need to undergo hearings and court proceedings, before the process known as finalization. In the finalization, the judge will sign the papers with your child’s new name, declaring him to be forever yours. From then on, you will have all legal rights to the child, and his birth parents no longer have any right to him!
Meanwhile, you also need to understand the cost of adoption: you will be shelling out money nearly every step of the way. The good news is that there are non-profit agencies that work to minimize the costs as much as possible, by cutting expenses on other parts of the pipeline. For example, The Zoe Foundation has worked to reduce the cost of adoption as much as possible, thanks to staff and workers who are driven by His love and go beyond the expected, even by receiving minimal salaries.
The process of applying for an adoption comes with many uncertainties, with the time factor being a major concern for many couples. However, when you know the lengths to which God went to adopt you into His family, paying with the blood of His own Son, it can give you the strength as you wait for the time when you can finally hold your baby in your arms. Until then, He will give you the strength to pray for the possibly unknown little one, and even then, He can already give you insight into the heart of the bundle He intends to entrust to you.