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What are the steps of adoption?

The decision to adopt isn't something you should take lightly. There are benefits and downsides to adoption, all of which require you to consider them carefully.

Adoptions help children find homes, but they're also a way for parents to grow their families. Adoptions have the benefit of helping children and couples who can't or don't want to have biological children become parents. Adoption often begins with fostering, so there is a short time during which families can get used to the new family member. It's during foster care that the majority of placements fail; after adoption, a child is a legal member of your household.

If you decide to adopt, it's up to you to contact adoption agencies, private or public, that can help you look for a child. Depending on the age of the child you want to adopt and other factors, it can take months or years to bring a child into your home.

After this, a home study is completed to determine if your home is safe and healthy for a child. This part of the adoption aims to prepare you to become a parent. The social worker wants to see that your home is prepared and that you are ready to become a parent before a child is placed in your care.

Finally, you'll find out that you've been selected as an adoptive parent and get to meet the child. You'll get to meet the child several times before placement and the finalization of the adoption.

If you believe adoption is right for you, your attorney can help you review the contracts and documents needed to begin.

Source: National Adoption Center, "Ten Step Overview," accessed March 22, 2018

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