We know there are plenty of people who don’t know a lot about adoption or what the process is like, so we thought we’d try to answer some of the questions you might have…
Why domestic infant adoption? Before we adopted our son Andrew, we spent a great deal of time in prayer and researching the possibilities for adoption – everything from fostering to adopt to international adoption, weighing the pros and cons of one versus another, and so on. But ultimately for us, it came down to us believing this was simply the way that God was going to build our family.
Will you be adopting a boy or girl? What race? What age? Honestly, at this time, until we are matched, we really won’t know. We’re pretty open to whatever God brings our way, and will be happy to welcome home an infant boy or girl of any color!
How much is it going to cost? The cost associated with adoption can depend quite a bit on the adoption professional you work with. A recent report from Adoptive Families Magazine found that domestic infant adoption costs families an average of $43,000. Admittedly, adoption can be quite expensive, and there’s a lot to take into account when when it comes to why it’s so expensive. Before families can adopt, they must attend various training courses, fill out a ton of paperwork, get health exams and lab work done, and more! They also have to complete a home study, which includes home visits, interviews and extensive background checks required by both the state and the adoption agency. Then there’s the matching process, in which an agency or adoption specialist will counsel and help expectant parents through making an adoption plan that brings them together with waiting families. And finally, there’s all the legal work to be done. All of this requires the services of qualified professionals, which adds to the cost of adoption. While every adoption may be different and unique, one of the reasons we chose our agency was due to their price structure and their lack of hidden fees. Altogether, including legal fees, we expect our adoption will cost us over $30,000. It is our hope and goal that we can raise as much as $25,000.
So where are we now in the process? Since last year, we’ve attended training classes, read required books, done a slew of paperwork in preparation for our home study, health screenings, extensive background checks, and more! At this point, all our pre-study work is done, and we are now waiting for our home study to be conducted and completed. (Our first home study visit is scheduled for April 9!) For those of you unfamiliar with what a home study is, it’s something all states require for adoption. It’s a process (usually taking on average about 3-6 months) that concludes with a written report about our family created by an adoption agency or caseworker. The home study includes information like family background, financial statements, references, education and work history, life experiences and relationships, information about our home and how we live, faith/religion, background checks, medical history, and more! It’s also something that has to be updated and renewed annually if an adoption has not occurred in that time. The good news for us, is that because we’ve adopted with this agency before, we will not have to go through multiple home study visits this time around! This will quicken the pace of things, which means that it should not be long before we become a “waiting family!”
What happens next and how long will you have to wait? Once our home study is completed, expectant parents who come to our agency seeking an adoption plan for their child will have the opportunity to look at profile books (or videos) that waiting couples and families have created. The expectant parent(s) are the ones that actually first choose the family/couple that they want to adopt their child. During this time, some families have reported waiting just DAYS to be “matched,” while others have experienced having to wait years. Unfortunately, there’s just no way to know how long the waiting process will take. It’s really just up to God and His timing. However, once we are chosen and matched, things can move VERY quickly! Some couples may get “the call” 2 or 3 months before a baby is due, while others may get it and be told to get to the hospital right away!
When will the adoption be complete? Every adoption situation is unique and different. In most infant domestic adoption cases, once a child has been born and parental rights have been signed over to the agency, the child will be “placed” with the family that intends to adopt. At that point, what follows is a bunch of legal stuff that occurs between the lawyer, the agency, and the courts. This process can take anywhere from 3-6 months – sometimes more, sometimes less – all leading up to a final court day that we must be present for and at which time the adoption is made “official.” Many families celebrate this day in court and may refer to it as “Family Day.”
How can we support you? Like most couples and families hoping to adopt, we could use a lot of support! There are several ways you can show your love and support for us, including praying for us, sending encouraging notes, and helping us financially. For more information, check out our Show Your Support page.
If you have additional questions or would like to speak with us further about our experiences with adoption that we cannot (or will not) share publicly, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.