How do I Adopt? Where do I start?

where to start
Adoption is a complex topic, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming if you arm yourself with knowledge about the process and how to adopt, and the right adoption professional.
Growing your family with adoption is a big undertaking. This is a chance to experience parenthood in a unique way, and start a family, maybe for the first time. But there are very real risks with adoption, and not just the financial ones. The better prepared you are for the pitfalls, the better you’ll feel about starting your adoption experience.
On the Child Welfare.gov resources page, the process of adoption is broken down into seven steps; education; understanding law; selecting an adoption professional; completing a home study; placement; filing legal documents; and parenting. Here are some tips and resources we can provide you, to get you started:
  • Learn more about the risks of adopting and how to prevent them.
  • Part of educating yourself is finding the right adoption professional to work with, who can explain adoption and adoption law to you. Read this guide about how to choose the right adoption professional.
  • Next, check our directory directory of adoption professionals. Finding someone that can explain your rights to you as an adoptive parent, from the start, may save you from a lot of future frustrations.
  • Learn more about what it takes to qualify to adopt or become a foster parent and the home study process.
  • Hear stories from other adoptive parents and birth mothers and learn about what the adoption placement process will be like. (link to my adoption journals, profiles.)
  • Set up an adoptive parent profile.
There are three types of adoptions: public, private, and inter-country. According to Child Welfare statistics, 40% of adoptions in the U.S. in 2008 were through public agencies, 47% were through private agencies, and 13% were international adoptions. There were as many as 136,000 children placed in adoptive homes in America in 2008 alone. That’s a lot of success stories!
If you prepare yourself with knowledge and the right professional resources, you also can find yourself at the end of a successful adoption journey, and ready to start the next one—as a parent.