Before You Start the Adoption Process

Craft Family
Craft Family Celebrates Adoption Anniversary. Carrie Craft

When starting out on an adoption journey, the one thing that may throw you a bit is the adoption process itself. So, let's review some adoption talk and explain what each step means to you and your family.

How Should I Pick an Adoption Agency and an Adoption Professional?

Be wise in your choice of an adoption agency and adoption professional. If you don't know what to look for, or out for, you could lose money, time, and go through a lot of heartache.

What Is an Adoption Home Study? Do I Need One?

Yes. You will need an adoption home study whether you choose a domestic adoption, which is within your country, or an international adoption, which means outside of your country. The adoption home study will become a part of your dossier or packet of paperwork. A home study is completed by a social worker who will meet with the family inside their home after filling out a bunch of paperwork. 

What Is an Adoption Child Referral? Can I Reject the Referral?

The adoption referral refers to when prospective adoptive parents get a call regarding a child that the country or agency has selected for them based on the family's criteria. The prospective adoptive parents will also receive information on the child's health. If for any reason, the family feels that this child is not a match, they can decline the adoption referral.

Domestic adoptions sometimes use a different term. When the prospective adoptive parent's criteria and a child's needs are similar, and the prospective adoptive parents read the file and agree, it is sometimes called a "match."

What Is Consent to Adoption? What Is Legally Free?

Consent must be given before any adoption can take place. Meaning, whoever is the child's legal guardian, be that a parent, the state, or a close relative, has to grant permission for the child to be adopted.

Taking in a child that is not legally free for adoption is considered to be a legal risk placement. Many times foster care adoption is a legal risk placement.

What Is an Adoption Subsidy? Do We Qualify?

I have not heard of anyone getting an adoption subsidy for an internationally adopted child, but some children adopted through the foster care adoption program do qualify for monthly support.

What Is Finalization?

Well, it will probably be one of the happiest days of your life. You will be a family, legal in court and on paper, even though you may have already been one in your heart for many months.

Are You Ready to Start the Adoption Process?

OK, we've explored some of the basics or Adoption Process 101. Now, you're ready to dive into the paperwork and believe me there is a lot of paperwork. But, it's all worth it in the end.