When you decide to adopt a child, naturally you have a lot of questions. Of course you’re excited, but you might be feeling some anxiety, as well, because of everything you don’t yet know. How does the adoption process work? How long will it take to bring home my child? Is there a birth mother looking for a family like mine? How will a birth mother choose us?
The first step in easing that anxiety is to understand what the adoption process is like for adoptive families. Here’s the general process.
1. Fill Out the Application
After you’ve researched adoption agencies, you’ll choose the one that’s the best fit for you. Ideally, you want an agency that is friendly, responsive, and offers ongoing support throughout the adoption process, including post-adoption.
Once you’ve chosen the adoption agency that you’d like to work with, you should take great care in filling out any and all application paperwork and submitting it to the agency. Once you’ve done that, the agency will contact you for any additional information that they need or to begin the home study process.
2. Complete the Home Study
This is where we really get to know you, and it’s how we ensure each child is placed in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
This process will include preparing documents (like financial and medical records), completing a background check, and visiting with your caseworker in your home.
We’ll interview you about your home life, community, and family. If you have other children, we’ll talk to them, too! You’ll also provide personal references from people who know you well.
We know this might sound overwhelming, but you don’t need to worry. Just be yourself! Some dirty dishes in the sink or even a less than stellar reference won’t automatically disqualify you from adopting. We simply want to be absolutely sure that the child will be safe, loved, and well cared for. We help all sorts of different adoptive families find their children, no matter their income, marital status, sexual orientation, age, or race, and our friendly caseworkers (many of whom have adopted children themselves) make the home study simple and enjoyable. We’re also always here to answer your questions as they arise.
3. Create an Adoptive Family Profile
You should begin working on your adoptive family profile as soon as you submit your application in order to have it ready as quickly as possible once you’re passed your home study.
This is your time to shine! Your profile will be shared with biological parents that you’ve approved who might choose you to adopt their baby. This is where you’ll share your story and give the birth parents an idea of who you are and the life that the child could have in your care. Some questions to answer include:
- Who are you?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- If you’re married, how did you meet?
- Do you have other children? What are they like?
- Do you have pets?
- What are your religious beliefs?
- What is your career?
- What do you do on the weekends?
- What is your extended family like?
- What is your home and community like?
- What are your plans for childcare and schooling?
- Are you seeking a semi-open or open adoption? Amongst others.
Paint a clear picture about what the child’s life would be like with your family, and include pictures. We will assist you through this process, and you can even include videos to really share your personality.
Don’t try to be anything other than yourself in this profile. There’s a biological mother out there looking for someone exactly like you to adopt her child.
4. Get Matched with a Child
Based on the information you provide, we’ll narrow the selection of birth mothers and you’ll be able to ask questions about them and decide whether or not you’d like your profile to be shared with them. If so, the birth mothers will learn more about you, and one may select you to adopt her child! If you both agree to the match, it won’t be long before the baby goes home with you.
5. Take Your Child Home
After the baby is born and ready to be discharged, you will be able to take him or her home. Depending upon your choice of semi-open or open adoption and the arrangements you’ve agreed upon with the birth mother, you might be able to be present at the hospital during the birth and even meet the biological mother.
Getting to this point can take some time, but it’s important to remain optimistic and hopeful. Each circumstance is a little different. You may get the call any day!
6. Complete Post-Placement Supervision
All states require regular visits with an agency caseworker and email or phone contact after the child is in your care before the adoption is finalized. The specific requirements vary by the state, for example Colorado requires three post-placement visits in a six month period before you are able to finalize your adoption. This is to ensure both the family and the child are adapting well to the arrangement and that the baby is healthy and happy.
When the supervision period is complete, a report is filed that recommends completion of the adoption process, and your adoption will be finalized.
The process may seem overwhelming, but this is what Adoption Choices of Colorado does best. We walk you through each step to make it as simple as possible. We, too, want to see you matched with your child as quickly as possible.
If you’re ready to begin the journey to adopting, we encourage you to contact us and learn more about the process!