Hoping to Adopt an Infant? Five Easy Steps to Prepare:

Pursuing adoption is a major life altering decision.  Most people who consider adoption have first tried other means of starting their family.  Some have been through years of painful, emotionally draining and expensive infertility treatments with disappointing results.  Many people begin their adoption journey with trepidation and fear. 

A big question is where to begin this process.   How does one evaluate and choose the path that is most likely to result in a positive outcome. This blog is written to help you identify the steps to becoming an informed and educated consumer of adoption services.

Step 1:  Educate Yourself

If you are hoping to adopt a baby, you will need to start by educating yourself about your options.  There are many adoption books and other publications available in your local library or book stores.  There is also a significant amount of information online; some of which is accurate and helpful while others sources are misleading, confusing or downright inaccurate.  Be careful about which online sources you choose.  Look for reputable publications such as Adoptive Families Magazine or articles from major news sources.

Step 2: Find Local Resources:

Learn about local resources available to help you navigate this complex web of information. Local resources may include adoption agencies, private adoption counselors or adoption attorneys.  In order to get the most accurate information, make sure that the professionals you contact are licensed in your home state.  Contact your Department of Child Services or visit their website to find a list of licensed adoption agencies in your area.  You may also contact your local bar association to learn whether there is an adoption law committee comprised of local adoption attorneys.  Read online reviews to understand the experiences of others who have gone through the adoption process.

Step 3: Find Support:

Deciding to pursue adoption can be an emotionally charged event in one’s life. Talking with others who have gone through the adoption process can be both comforting and informative. Join an Adoption Support Group such as Chicago Area Families for Adoption.  Talk to friends or family members who have adopted a child to gain insight and support.  Attend a local adoption or infertility support group offered by organizations like Resolve, an Infertility and Adoption Support Organization based in Massachusetts. Resolve has local chapters throughout the country. Find an adoption counselor to help you through this process or speak with a clergyperson.  It doesn’t matter where you get support as long as you get it. 

Step 4: Visit Local Adoption Agency Websites and Social Media Sites.

Learn about the different adoption agencies in your area.  Find an agency that is a good fit for you.  Some agencies are religiously based while others are non-sectarian.  Some agencies engage in open adoptions while others are less interested in promoting openness. Ask about wait times, the number of placements they do annually and the type of children (age, race, health) they place each year. You will want to find an agency that best meets your needs and expectations.  Most agencies have websites which is a good way to learn about their philosophy and approach to adoption.  Adoption agencies may also be found on various social media which is another good way to learn about them.

Step 5: Meet with an Adoption Attorney

Meet with an adoption attorney to learn about the legal intricacies of the adoption process.  Because adoption attorneys and adoption agencies work closely together, attorneys can be a valuable referral source for other professionals (including agencies) in your area. 

In the end, you will want to choose the best professional resources for you.  It is important that you are comfortable with the professionals you are going to work with. You will be investing a great deal of time, emotion and money in this process so having confidence in the people and organizations that you will be working with is essential.

This blog is provided by the Adoption Center for Family Building.  A licensed Open-Adoption Agency in Illinois and Indiana.  This agency holds a monthly open house which enables prospective adoptive families to meet with an agency Director in a one on one meeting. You may also call the office for information and receive a free information packet.  Free counseling for expectant parents is available 365 days/year.  Call for more information or email info@centerforfamily.com  or visit our website: https://www.centerforfamily.com/contact-us