Adopt a Child
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn, Jonathan
Babies are such a wonderful gift. Deciding to become a parent is momentous, rewarding and humbling experience. There are, however, people who do not have the biological capacity to bear a child who want to experience the joys of parenthood. Like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, there are also couples who want to share their love and blessings to less fortunate orphans of this world. To these people adoption is an option. Interested? How do you adopt a child?
Adoption is a legal process in which a family is given the complete rights and responsibilities to look after the general welfare of another person's child. The process makes the child a full and permanent legal member of the adoptive family. Prior to adoption, a home study is conducted based on mutual assessment and coordination by either an agency or a social worker, and the prospective adoptive parents to determine the latter's eligibility to adopt.
Types of Adoption
- 1Foster Care Adoption. The process involves the adoption of children under the custody of the State Department of Child and Family Services. It is usually handled by either local public or private agencies contracted by the State.Advertisement
- 3Independent Adoption.
Eligibility to Adopt
The general rule applies that any adult who is fit enough to be a parent is eligible to adopt a child. However, some states impose certain restrictions and stricter laws when it comes to adoption. Restrictions may also apply to some individuals or couples with different orientation or preference. Even though technically they pass all the requirements, the court may still rule out against adoption using the argument for the "best interests of the child."
To successfully qualify as adoptive parents, the following attributes must be possessed:
- Lifelong commitment to take care of the child
- Tolerance to value and cultural differences
- Flexibility, but at the same time firmness in providing character structure for the child
- Have a reliable support system to prop the parenting duties
- Have positive expectations for the child's future
- Have the ability to satisfy the emotional and physical needs of the child
Preparing Before the Adoption
Families with an intention to adopt need to consider many things prior to a final decision. There is much to think and learn about in order to be prepared psychologically, emotionally, and financially regarding the addition of a child as new member of the family. One cannot be in a hurry, as this is a lifetime commitment. It is something that requires forethought and thorough evaluation to come up with an intelligent and caring decision.
- 1Infertility Issues. The inability to have a biological child can be an emotional blow for people hoping to become parents. Individuals or couples desiring to have a family have to deal with the disappointing truth about their inadequacy to bear and give birth to their own child.
Fulfill Adoption Requirements
- 1Finance the Adoption.
- Home Study Fees
- Counselling Fees
- Medical Expenses of the Birth Mother
- Medical Expenses of the Child
- Legal Fees
- Travel Expenses
- If you're opting for foster care adoption, your expenses may be reimbursed by the agency.
- 2Comply with State Laws. Find out which agencies are accredited to process adoption in your particular state. If you find it confusing, hire a credible adoption lawyer to spearhead the process in your stead.
- 3Go through a Home Study. Adoption will not be finalized unless prospective adoptive parents undergo a home study. During the process, the agency or state sends a licensed social worker to meet and spend some time with the family, individually and as a group, to make sure they are qualified to accept a new member into their fold.
The Search for a Match
- 1Deal with the right agency.
- 2Establish a good relationship with the biological mother.
- 3Meet the child.
- With the foster care system, you get to meet the child earlier than the other types of adoption process.
- Meeting the child you're adopting from another country is dictated by the country's laws. Usually, the adoptive parents are asked to fly to the child's country for the meeting.
- Adopting a baby from a biological mother means you get the chance to be in the hospital for the birth.
All through these, the social worker facilitates the series of meetings. After a few meetings, the child will be allowed to live with you for several days or weeks on trial basis.
The Final Stage of the Adoption Process
- 2Attend court hearing. The last and final stage is a court hearing wherein the judge will rule according to the recommendation of the agency, particularly the social worker. A certificate of adoption serving as temporary birth certificate will be awarded pending a new birth certificate naming the child as member of your family.
- 3Welcome the child to the family.
Tips, Tricks and Warnings
- Be prepared to deal with a child adopted from foster care. Many children in foster care may have psychological issues due to possible history of neglect or abuse.
- If you're planning to adopt from abroad, conduct thorough research on the adoption policies of the target country, as well as the adoption agencies there. Make sure to comply with international and national laws on adoption to avoid legal issues in the future.
- Be prepared to talk in the open and admit to your child that he is adopted when the time is ripe. You will have no problem with the child in terms of his reaction if you have raised him up well in a happy but disciplined and moral environment. He will be happy and in gratitude to be adopted and raised in your loving care.