If you and your partner have been struggling with infertility, adopting a baby is probably the best option for you. Adoption is a common practice where a certain adult takes on the role of a parent for a child or baby who is not this specific person’s biological offspring. Keep in mind that the process of adoption always involves a variety of legal paperwork which is generally vital for the whole process to ensue.

However, adoptions do not only happen between unrelated individuals since it can also occur between related family members. Historically, a lot of adoptions have occurred within families and based on data gathered from the United States, almost half of adoptions are between individuals who are related. One of the most common types of adoption is the stepparent adoption where the parent’s new partner can legally adopt the child from the previous relationship of the parent. There is also the intra-family adoption through surrender which is usually the result of parental death or when the child is unable to be cared for, the said family member agrees to take custody instead.

Where to Start

If you are planning to adopt a child, you should first start off by reading and doing a lot of research to give you better insights on the whole process of adopting; also, you can join a local support group in your area or begin networking with other parents who are also considering or have already done the process of adoption. The biggest decisions that are necessary during this process is if whether you want to adopt a newborn, a child of a different race, domestically or internationally, plus if you prefer working together with an adoption agency or a private adoption attorney instead.

Different Kinds of Adoption

Not everyone knows that there are different types of adoptions, so we have listed the different kinds of adoption processes that you would need to know if you are planning to go through this:

• Public Adoptions – in the years 2000 and 2001, there have been over 100,000 children that were annually adopted in the US only, and during the late 80’s, the annual adoptions have generally remained constant. Generally, these types of adoptions account for about forty percent of all adoptions and over 50,000 public adoption agencies have accounted for the 40% in each year.

• Private Adoptions – in these types of adoptions, a child is sent to non-relative homes via non-profit agencies that are licensed by the operating state. For non-agency or independent adoptions, a child is sent to non-relative homes by the birthparents or via services offered by an unlicensed or licensed facilitator, clergy member, certified medical doctor, or an attorney.

• Transracial Adoptions – this is where a child is set with an adoptive family with a completely different race; these may proceed via independent, public, and private agencies; however, most of these types of adoptions take place via the public child welfare system.

The Parental Concerns During Adoption

Although adopting a child may be a great gift, there are some concerns that you should know before going through the whole process. There are those who think that it does not cost much but apparently, adopting a child is expensive and most of the expenses are court or attorney fees, as well as the cost for preparing the home for the adopted child. These expenses result from the adoptive parents’ lost wages during their time off to visit social agencies or to be present during home inspections.

You should also keep in mind that adopting is also emotionally taxing; adoptive parents have to deal with a lot of uncertainty and if there are other children already within the household, parents will also have to deal and ready themselves for those children’s feelings and reactions when they meet the adopted child; furthermore, other people involved will need to prepare to welcome their new family member. This is the reason why adequate time must be spent with a social worker for them to evaluate the home and the members of the family as well.

Who Can Adopt?

Determining the qualifications of those who can adopt is all based on the process of proper assessment, as well as a thorough preparation made by the social worker or agency and the potential adoptive parents – a process which is called home study. Most people are qualified to adopt, regardless of their age, sexual orientation, income, and whether they are single or married; also, if an individual who plans to adopt is disabled, this does not automatically disqualify them in becoming a prospective adoptive parent.

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