While the specifics of child adoption will vary from program to program, there are some basic requirements you will need to follow.
A private adoption arranged through a private attorney will require less pre-adoption hassle. The challenge in a private adoption is to make sure the surrenders from the birthparents are taken carefully and legally. You should work with an attorney that specializes in family law to go over all the documentation with you.
If you are with an adoption agency or through state social services, you will find there are more guidelines.
Personal information: Be prepared to share a great deal of your personal information with an adoption agency. They want to make sure that any child they place is going to be in very good hands. You will have to talk about your relationship with your spouse and answer questions such as: How long you have been married, your styles of communication, and who will do what in taking care of a child. If there are other children in the home then their ages as well as how they are cared for will be examined.
Financial information: It is important to be able to meet the financial requirements of raising a child. This doesn’t mean you have to make a fortune but you should be financially stable. Your education, work experience, and your income will be considered. The amount of debt you have may be asked for too so that they can be confident you will have enough disposable income to meet the basic needs of any child you adopt.
Background check: A background check is a very common aspect to complete before you are able to adopt. If you have been convicted of a felony you may not be eligible with many of the adoption agencies. However, others will look at the entire situation before they deny you the right to adopt. They will evaluate what the charges were as well as how long ago. Any type of crime that involved a child, violence, or drugs will usually make you ineligible.
Medical evaluation: Medical evaluations of potential families are important too. This is to ensure a child isn’t placed in a home where medical problems could result in the child not being properly cared for. If you have controlled medical problems such as diabetes or other situations you can still be eligible. Serious problems such as cancer or diseases that can’t be controlled may disqualify you.
Psychological evaluation: A psychological evaluation may also be required. Concerns will arise if either prospective parent has serious mental health issues.
Character evaluation: An adoption agency will want to know about your general character. This can involve a face to face interview or a lengthy questionnaire. It isn’t uncommon for them to ask for contact information either so they can interview your friends, family, and co-workers.
Have you researched the basic requirements for your desired child adoption agency or program? Having an idea of what you will encounter will prepare you for the application process.
A good attitude goes a long way. When we did our agency adoptions, we said, “Show us the hoops we have to jump through so we can get jumping!” The end result – a new family member – is well worth the effort.