Adoption can be a daunting process, and it can be hard to gather all the facts about the process. Have you ever wanted more information about adoption but have been afraid to ask? Sometimes we feel as if our questions are insensitive. Other times, we believe if we start asking questions, we'll feel pressured to commit. I'm an adoptive mom of seven kids, and I asked some of my friends to share their most pressing questions. Here are the most common ones:
- What is the cost of adoption?
The cost of adoption varies with the type of adoption. According to AdoptUSKids.org, the cost of adopting a healthy newborn from the United States—or a child from another country—can cost between $5,000-$40,000. The cost is based on agency and/or attorney fees. Yet not all adoptions cost that much. In most states it is free or low-cost to adopt from foster care. According to statistics stated on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, the average cost of adopting from foster care can run anywhere between $0 to $2,500. In most states, it is free. Also, if you adopt from foster care, the state typically pays for a child's health care and therapists through the age of 18. In some cases, you can also receive a monthly stipend to pay for a child's additional costs even after the adoption is finalized. That's how big the need for adoption through foster care is; they'll give you assistance to see the child have a loving home.
This is something everyone fears, but in the vast majority of cases, it is not possible for a birth parent to be granted custody after an adoption is finalized. If it's a private adoption, the biological parents' rights are terminated by the courts after the parents sign the legal documents. In the case of adoption from foster care, the biological parents' rights are terminated by the state before the child is eligible to be adopted. Sometimes parents foster first, and then they are later able to adopt the child they foster. But also there are many children whose parents' rights have already been terminated, and they are open for adoption. You can find out more about waiting kids here: Adopt Us Kids or Heart Gallery of America.
- What should you do if you want to adopt but your spouse doesn't agree?
Successful adoptions are only possible when both parents are dedicated and committed. If your spouse isn't committed, consider offering help to orphans in other ways until both of you are on board with adoption.
- Do you really need to adopt kids according to their birth order?
While many people suggesting adopting kids within their birth order, there are many families who do the opposite and make it work, including our family. We adopted pre-teens and teens after previously adopting younger children. While there was a time of adjustment, we believe we made the right choice, and we've grown into a united, loving family.
Adoption takes a lot of adjustment no matter how a child enters your home, but with open conversations and help from professions, challenges can be overcome.
If you are considering adopting older children and are worried about adopting out of birth order, open up conversations with your children and with adoption specialists and social workers. Adoption takes a lot of adjustment no matter how a child enters your home, but with open conversations and help from professions, many challenges—including this one—can be overcome.
- I've heard there are a lot of preteens and teens who need to be adopted from foster care, but isn't that just inviting a lot of trouble into your life?
It may be more challenging to adopt a teen from foster care than it is to adopt an infant, but there are also numerous rewards. It's important to remember that teens in foster care are there due to no fault of their own. They were not put into foster care because of their own mistakes. Instead, they were put into foster care because they were not cared for as they should have been. With the right therapy, supportive environment and committed parents, older kids can integrate well into families.
- How do you find out the requirements and cost of adopting from foster care in your state?
Each state also has state or private agencies that are happy to answer your questions. Here's a great resource: I Care About Orphans. Most importantly, keep asking questions. Most adoptive parents don't mind being asked questions similar to these. We know the needs of waiting kids, and we love to do our part in seeing more children welcomed into loving families.
Tricia Goyer is an award-winning author and speaker who is also an adoptive mother and part of the writing team at LightWorkers.
LightWorkers' mission is to create engaging, uplifting and inspirational content that breaks through the clutter, building a community of sharing and igniting a movement in the real world that motivates people to celebrate and share the good all around them. Find them at lightworkers.com.
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