If you are considering adoption, good for you! Children across the U.S. and around the world deserve loving homes, and couples interested in adoption deserve to be supported and informed. Adoption is a long and involved process, so it’s easy and normal to feel confused and overwhelmed.
Bushway Law Firm provides counsel for people willing to take the important step of welcoming a new child into their home. Part of our job as your advocate is making sure we answer all your questions and concerns.
The National Adoption Center (NAC) has a list of frequently asked questions that are helpful for couples considering adoption. Today, we’re going to talk about four of those questions and hopefully help you on your journey to adopting a son or daughter.
How do I find out more about the child I want to adopt?
Simply ask the agency for more information about the child you’re interested in adopting. Keep in mind that certain information could be confidential, and agencies will only share it with serious candidates. However, once you are selected as parents, the agency is required to share any information it has about the child. The agency cannot reveal identifying information about the birth family.
The NAC reminds couples to ask for all available information such as:
- Medical reports
- Results of psychological and/or educational testing
- Information about early development
Will the birth parents be able to take the child back?
Birth parents must give up legal parental rights in order for their child to be adopted. The NAC says that most children are already legally free for adoption before they are placed in your home. Instances when birth parents change their minds are infrequent, and once the adoption is final, they have no legal tie to the child.
How long is the process?
The NAC defines two stages in the adoption process: pre-placement and post-placement. “Placement” refers to when the child enters your home. The time frame before a child enters your home (pre-placement) varies. For healthy children, the process can last anywhere from 2-7 years.
After the child is placed in your home (post-placement), the adoption agency will supervise your family for a certain period of time before finalizing the adoption. Post-placement lasts at least six months.
What is the difference between foster care and adoption?
Foster care is temporary, and children can return to their parents once the parents are capable of providing care. Sometimes, foster children can be adopted if their parents are unable to care for them. For more information about becoming a foster parent, or about adopting a foster child, visit the National Foster Parent Association.