Every adoption process starts with making choices. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to make the right choices for you, your family, and your future baby. Here are some basic first steps to take after you decide to adopt.
1. Do your research.
Read up on the topic of adoption. There is a plethora of excellent online resources and books about adoption. This first step doesn’t just include reading, it should also include thorough research about adoption.
Other couples and individuals who’ve been through the adoption process can be amazing sources of inspiration and information. Try to contact someone or just do some networking and you’ll be surprised how many people have connections to the adoption world.
2. Know your options.
In order to adopt, you need to understand all the adoption options. This is going to come up from the moment you start your adoption research. The biggest decisions you’ll need to make at the start include:
- Do you want to adopt domestically or internationally?
- Do you want to adopt a newborn, a toddler, or an older child?
- Do you want to adopt privately through an adoption professional, or do you want to adopt through the foster care system?
3. Choose an adoption type.
Another important aspect of adoption is deciding what type of adoption is right for you. You can choose from a closed, open, or semi-open adoption type. Each of these adoption types has its advantages and disadvantages, which are different for each family and based on their needs and desires.
If you have any doubts when it comes to an adoption type, you should consider asking for help from people who’ve adopted, talk with your adoption professional, and do a research to decide what is going to work the best for you and your family.
You may be open to more than one adoption type, and that’s fine — in fact, it offers you more flexibility and may even increase your chances for adopting a baby sooner!
4. Find an adoption professional.
Once you’ve completed these first steps, it’s time to choose an adoption professional. It’s best to take as much time as you need to thoroughly research all your options, ask a lot of questions, and take your time making these decisions since that’s quite important in order to find a perfect match. Your adoption professional is going to be with you throughout the whole process, so choose wisely.
If you didn’t get your priorities straight and you’re still in doubt about the other decisions you have to make, you should organize those things first since it’s easier to look for an adoption professional when you know exactly what you want. Alternatively, some adoption professionals will work with you to help you make the right decisions for your family.
The first couple of months of the adoption process is going to include a lot of thinking, decision-making, paperwork, interviews, and also a home study process. It may feel overwhelming and it might get stressful at times. It’s important to keep in mind that every family who’s successfully adopted has gone through the same journey, so you can do it!