If you have been on Facebook recently, then more than likely you have seen the viral video of the family having their adoption placement caught on camera. If you have not, here is the video.
Baby Azariah's Adoption Placement
Here is a beautiful video clip of adoptive parents, Bruce and Christina, meeting their new son, Azariah, for the first time. This was taken by one of the guests at the placement ceremony. Please keep Azariah's birth family in your prayers.
Posted by Family Life Services Adoption Agency on Thursday, January 14, 2016
According to the CDC, there are 1.5 million women that are infertile in the United States, that is 6% of the US female population. This doesn't even count the non-traditional families or single parents that aren't able to have children. However, when you speak to people; there is a lot of fear and questions about adoption. Since we were blessed enough to be able to experience the adoption experience; we wanted to share with you some of the things that we learned.
Adoption is a process, in most cases, a very lengthy one. Below is a basic outline of the process for adoption.
1. Family discussion; are you ready for children, the work to adopt, and having your life changed completely.
2. Once the decision is made to adopt; research the variety of methods of adoption. The National Adoption Center
does a fantastic job of outlining the different methods. Meet with the various agencies, attorneys, or individuals that you find meet your needs. This is a crucial step; you must ensure that the people you work with on the adoption journey are people you feel comfortable with. You are putting a lot of faith in their hands. Make sure to ask them a lot of questions. American Adoptions has put together a list of Adoption Questions
that you can use to ask those that you meet with. Utilize your social circle to see if any of your friends have adopted or know somebody who has. Get recommendations on who they worked with and about their experience.
3. There are several components that you need to examine when working through this process. Things that you need to consider is the cost for adoption; what can you afford, these things can have an impact on the different methods of adoption you pursue.
4. Get a Home Study. The Home Study is the scariest part of the paperwork process for adoption for most people. Everything about you is going to be examined. The person conducting your study is going to review all of your finances, complete background checks on you, inspect your home, ask you many questions, and generally judge you or your spouse / significant other. One thing to keep in mind, you don't need to have your house baby proofed at this point. For additional information on preparing for a home study visit this IAC prep article
5. Make your final decision on the adoption path you are going to pursue. Discuss what you want or will accept in an adoptive child. Are you ok with medical issues, drug or alcohol effects, a certain sex. The most you limit the scope of what you are looking for, the longer your wait might be. Work closely with your agency or firm to fully understand the magnitude of these decisions.
6. If you are working with an agency or full service adoption law firm; you will need to produce an adoption book. You can do some research and view sample adoption books all over the internet and adoption letters. Take these for a grain of salt. Make your book and your letter true and genuine to yourself. When we viewed many of these books, we noticed that almost all of them were the exact same. Make sure your book reflects who you are and your qualities. Remember, somebody is making a huge decision based off of this book. What might seem like the smallest thing to you, might be what makes the decision for the birth parent.
7. Wait. WAIT. WAIT! Once you are actively working with an agency or firm; you will be in the waiting game. This can be the most frustrating period. There are stories of people that have waited years for a placement. Luckily for us, we only waited a mere months.
8. THE CALL! Hopefully quickly you will get the call. I can remember our call very vividly. It was the most exciting call we have ever had. Be prepared; you don't know how quickly you will get your child. We brought our child home the next day. You might get selected and by a mother that is pregnant with months to go. Make sure to find out what level of participation they are comfortable with. What are you comfortable with?
9. The Decision. Is this the child you want to adopt? You should be provided with a family medical and social history. This will provide you with the background you need to make an educated decision on whether this is a child that you can raise for a lifetime. Don't rush into the decision. Make sure to take a night to sleep on it. This is a huge decision for you to make.
10. Once you have made the decision; if it is a yes, you will get to bring your new child home! You will need to complete a post placement home study. This is routine to make sure your home is prepared for the child and that the child will be safe and have what they need.
11. Paperwork. Paperwork. Paperwork. The next step is a lot of paperwork. More than likely you will file for temporary custody of the child. The next step will be filing for permanent custody. There will be additional reviews in your house to ensure you have a fostering environment and eventually you will be scheduled for the finalization of the adoption. This is an extremely exciting day! The day the child is legally yours. Enjoy the day. Take lots of pictures. This is called the "gotcha day". Remember it fondly and celebrate it with your friends and family.
12. Tax Implications. Don't forget the tax consequences of adoption a child. You can learn more about the adoption tax credit from the IRS
Adoption was an amazing journey for us. We hope that if you are considering it; that it will be one for you as well. There are so many children that are in a bad situation; providing them a better life is an amazing and rewarding experience.