In this blog post, we will answer the question “what is the easiest way to adopt a baby?” While doing so, we will answer questions about ways to adopt, possible reasons for adoption, and the cheapest ways to adopt.
The easiest way to adopt a baby
There are three basic avenues to adoption: Your itinerary will be determined by personal, legal, and economical considerations.
Adoption may be a lengthy, complicated, and emotional process, with more legal and financial difficulties than most people know.
But, as most foster parents will tell you, it’s also a thrilling adventure.
In the United States, there are three basic routes of adoption. International procedures, foster care systems, local adoption organizations or individual attorneys.
Your decision will be influenced by a variety of personal, legal, and financial reasons.
For this guide, I spoke with five adoption specialists to acquire a better understanding of each of the major adoption procedures as well as a few practical factors that prospective adoptive parents should be aware of before beginning the process.
Know why you’re adopting and what you’re willing to give up:
Before you start the adoption process, you need to figure out why you want to adopt. “It’s her decision for the rest of her life,” said Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
“It’s vital to be honest about whatever special requirements you may have.” Any restriction you designate should not be viewed as a “failure,” according to Soronen. “This is a sincere personal viewpoint.”
Here are some of the most frequent questions that adoption consultants recommend researching in order to choose which form of adoption is best for you:
- Is having a newborn baby vital to you, or are you willing to adopt an older child? What about forming a sibling group?
- Is your house suited for special-needs children? Is it a baby who has been around drugs and alcohol since birth?
- Are you willing to explore the subtleties of having an interracial or multicultural family if you have children of diverse races or backgrounds?
- How easy is it for you to communicate with your adopted kid and biological family?
You may learn about these and other adoption-related topics from a variety of online resources. The Child Welfare Information Portal, run by the federal government, offers free materials on a variety of issues and is a good location to start your search.
AdoptUsKids, Getting Started with Families, the National Adoption Board, and the North American Adoption Board are just a few of the well-known non-profit services available.
Choose the best path for you to take in terms of implementation:
- Foster Adoption:
More than 440,000 children are in foster care in the United States, with more than a quarter of them officially “released” for adoption, according to the US Children’s Bureau.
According to Laurie Goldheim, adoption director of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Advocates, this makes foster care “a very feasible choice” for adoptive parents (A.A.A.A.).
Children who have not been officially “liberated” may be eligible for adoption in the future, but Goldheim emphasizes that the government’s primary objective in these circumstances is to reunite the kid with his or her birth family.
The Dave Thomas Foundation’s Soronen explains, “These kids are in foster care for a purpose.” The majority of them are school-aged children over the age of eight who have been abused or neglected in some way.
Several tools are available through the Kid Welfare Information Portal to assist adoptive parents in preparing for the reality of raising a grieving child.
However, according to Soronen, the finest training begins once the certification process has begun. “Every parent should be homeschooled and receive at least 20 to 30 hours of instruction,” she stated.
“It takes a long time, but it’s incredibly instructive.” The procedure, according to Soronen, might also act as a “reality check” for parents. “There will be many opportunities for you to determine if a foster home is suitable for you,” she says.
She suggests to call a qualified child care provider and initiate a dialogue about adoption, calling it the first step to adoption.
- Domestic or Home Adoption:
There are two major possibilities if you want to have a baby. Either through a private adoption attorney or through an adoption agency.
The latter is frequently referred to as “private” or “independent” adoption. “The option you choose will depend on how much you want to be involved in the process,” remarked Deborah E. Gaston, former AAAA Director.
Adoption agencies, she continued, often handle all parts of the adoption process from beginning to end.
You are responsible for components of self-adoption that are generally handled by agencies, such as advertising to identify the intended biological parent and engaging an agency to undertake home investigations.
“Independent adoption is best for those who want to be actively involved in the process,” Gaston added. “Someone who isn’t afraid to delegate authority may prefer the security of an agency.”
Independent adoption is not permitted in many states, and where it is, limitations are sometimes imposed. Consult with an expert adoption attorney to further understand the legislation in your state.
- Adopting Internationally:
As a result of the closure of international adoption programs in various countries, the number of international adoptions has been progressively dropping in recent years.
Despite this, hundreds of parents successfully adopt their children from another country every year. The method for doing so varies greatly from country to country.
“Some places have restrictions on who can adopt children based on marital status, sexual orientation, or age,” said Goldheim of the A.A.A.A. “Body mass index might potentially be a factor.”
For country-specific adoption regulations, go to the US Department of State’s International Adoption website. Laws can change rapidly, so keep an eye on this page. You’ll need the help of an approved provider to guide you through this.
Carefully select your adoption specialists:
It might be difficult to find an adoption agency or lawyer. HelpUsAdopt.org’s Becky Fawcett recommends connecting to her own network as a first step.
She advised Fawcett to “start talking to people you trust.” “You’d be amazed who has a decent reference from time to time.” You never know who has been affected in some manner by adoption.”
You may also use the Internet to conduct your research. A list of all state-accredited adoption and foster care agencies may be found on the Child Welfare Information Portal.
The Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Bar Academy is widely regarded as the greatest resource for obtaining an attorney when self-adopting.
You can discover a professional who has gotten an international adoption permit through an international adoption certification organization if you are looking for someone from another country.
According to Gaston of the A.A.A.A., the interaction between potential adoptive parents and experts is “intimate.” “As a result, it’s critical not to take it lightly. Make a lot of phone calls to agencies and lawyers and ask a lot of questions.”
Make sure you’re ready for the home study:
You will need to acquire a home education regardless of the adoption method you pick, and this will assist you in obtaining formal adoption.
“There are two aspects to good homeschooling: evaluation and teaching.” Dawn Davenport, the managing director of the charity organization Building Family, agreed. “Social workers are in charge of training and recruiting you as a foster parent, as well as determining your appropriateness.”
A house survey normally takes three to six months, depending on the state and agency, and includes the following: People in your immediate circle who can act as references.
Check out our Child Welfare Information Portal and the tools at Family Getting Started for more information on what to anticipate and how to prepare for homeschooling.
Make a decision about how “open” your adoption will be:
In the United States, there is a strong trend between biological and adoptive families having some kind of contact. Part of this is due to continuous research that demonstrates the benefits to all parties engaged.
Negotiations between you and your child’s biological family determine the level of “openness” in your consent. “This might range from a yearly letter exchange on a child’s birthday to regular personal visits,” according to Davenport of Building Family.
Davenport claims that even in “closed” adoptions, children will have access to some identifying information about their birth parents when they reach the age of 18.
The emergence of commercially available DNA testing services like Ancestry.com and 23andMe has made the process of locating biological relatives so simple that the notion of a truly “closed adoption” has all but vanished.
On its website, Family Initiation, like the Child Welfare Information Portal, lists various resources for public adoption.
Be aware of the prices:
Foster care adoption is almost always free, if not completely free. Other routes, on the other hand, might come with a hefty price tag. Institutional adoptions normally cost $20,000 to $45,000, independent adoptions cost $15,000 to $40,000, and overseas adoptions cost $20,000 to $50,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
“The expense of adoption should not be a reason why people don’t adopt since there are so many children who need decent families,” said Fawcett, who gives up to $15,000 to HelpUsAdopt.org to assist cover adoption fees.
There are a number of other grants and loans available as well. “You should also check with your job,” Fawcett advised, “since many businesses offer perks or adoption assistance programs.” Check to see whether you qualify for tax benefits for adoption.
A reminder to potential adopting parents who are single, unmarried, or LGBTQ:
Some states have established legislation that make it permissible for public assistance programs to discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs.
This makes it more difficult for some adoptive parents who identify as LGBTQ or who are unmarried. Choose one of the agencies included in the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children All Families database if you are adopting through an agency.
It contains a list of organizations that adhere to a nondiscrimination policy. The Family Law Institute of the LGBT Bar Association also has a list of attorneys who are devoted to diversity.
What Causes Adoption to Be So Expensive?
Infants, embryos, and intercountry adoptions are costly since taxpayers do not pay for them, unlike foster homes.
Foster family adoptions are estimated to cost taxpayers $100,000 each case, according to our estimates.
The expense of our children’s, foreign, and regional programs is a small fraction of this. Adoption is also costly due to the fees associated with the procedure. Staff and other overhead costs must be covered by agencies.
In the case of international adoption, for example, the chart on the right shows travel fees, adoption agency costs, and expenses incurred in other countries.
Travel expenses are included in the pricing and many places need two or three journeys. These journeys can span several weeks and necessitate the use of translators and other specialists.
Finally, the orphanage where the kid is now residing is responsible for its own costs as well as the costs of the other children. These costs are frequently included in the “country fee,” which is the most expensive portion of an international adoption.
- The cost of international adoption is the expense of:
- foreign travel
- Fees charged by foreign governments
- In foreign nations, legal and mediation services are available.
- Expenses of adoption agencies
- Insurance and Compliance
- Fees charged by the US government for applications, visas, and document verification
- Donation and assistance to international shelters
- Domestic adoption costs:
- Expenses associated with the birth mother (hospital, housing, food)
- Expenses for the government and attorneys
- Counseling prospective moms
- Expenses of adoption agencies
- Fees for adopting Ad Snowflake® embryos on your behalf are as follows:
- Transfer of embryos via legal contract Lab testing for donor parents
- Expenses of adoption agencies