It’s estimated that over 100,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. If you’re thinking about joining these statistics, it’s essential to approach your decision with critical thinking.
There are many aspects of adoption that soon-to-be parents aren’t aware of, some of which can be difficult to deal with. To better prepare yourself for this life-changing decision, it’s crucial to consider the details below.
1. The Financial Commitment
Most adults know that raising kids can cost a pretty penny, even if you’re paying for the bare necessities. However, when it comes to adoption, there are many more expenses involved. While prices vary based on where you’re adopting, they generally start at $20,000 and increase from there. Long-distance adoptions can result in additional expenses, such as flights, hotels, and taking time off of work.
2. The Reasons Behind Your Choice
Every couple has a different reason for wanting to adopt. This may be the lack of ability to have children on their own or a simple calling to help a child in a less fortunate situation. No matter the reason, it’s crucial to learn about the child adoption process before going forward with plans to adopt. Counseling beforehand can help with giving you confidence and peace of mind with your decision.
3. International or Domestic Adoption
There are many different routes you can take to adopting a child. The first choice you’ll have to make is whether international or domestic adoption is the right fit. While domestic adoption doesn’t require as much travel, it will mean visiting the birthmother’s location for the birth and the required duration afterward. International adoption will require more travel as well as the need for a visa and passport.
Both domestic and international adoption come with their own sets of laws. It’s important to consider both of these, especially if you’re thinking about adopting in a country with strict requirements. The last thing you want is to find out about a snag in the law at the last minute when you least expect it. The waiting time for both types of adoptions can also vary and range from 1 to 12 months.
4. Open, Closed, or Semi-Open Adoption
Determining whether you want an open, closed, or semi-open adoption is perhaps one of the most significant decisions you’ll make when you are sure you want to adopt. Open adoption may be right for you if you’d like to have ongoing contact with the birth family. In this type of situation, your information will be shared with the birth family, and there will be a plan for how you’ll communicate in the future. You’re encouraged to talk on the phone, e-mail, send photos, and even visit with the birth family so they can be involved with the child as much as you’re comfortable with.
A semi-open adoption may be the right choice for couples who are uncomfortable with such an open relationship with the birth family. With this choice, basic information about you will be shared with the birth family. This may include where you live and your first name, depending on what you’re comfortable with and the laws in your state. Some minimal contact will be expected, including sending updates to the family via mail, phone, or video calls. Visits usually are not a required part of a semi-open adoption unless you are okay with it.
A closed adoption is the most private type of adoption you can choose. This will keep your information and the information of the birth family completely private. No addresses, location information, or even names will be shared between the families. This also means after the adoption is complete, there will be no contact between parties at any time.
Choosing Your Path
Adoption continues to be a saving grace for families and children year after year. However, this doesn’t mean the process won’t be without stress and worry. Before signing any papers, make sure to speak with a counselor, explore your options, and determine what’s suitable for your household. You will learn a lot and can then approach your decision with peace of mind.