Child Adoption

Preparing to bring home baby

Bringing home a new child is an exciting, exhilarating and scary time, whether that child came about naturally, artificially or through adoption. However, to reach this point, adoptive parents must struggle through applications, background checks, interviews and waiting lists before they can finally add to their families.

If you're considering adoption, there are different options available to you:

Agency adoptions

Parents adopt through a local public agency or a licensed private agency (this includes both domestic and inter-country programs).

Independent adoptions

Parents can seek legal representation to make an identified adoption. This happens when parents seeking to adopt find a pregnant woman planning on putting her child up for adoption and make a legal agreement that the parents will adopt the child once it is born. This is allowed in most states.

In all states, birthparents legally hold the right of consent to adoption of their child. When the parents are not available, that right falls to an agency or another individual who has been given custody.

Preparing to adopt

What will agencies and birthparents look for in adoptive parents? Laws vary from state-to-state and biological parents will have different preferences, but the following are some basic criteria people will look for in adoptive parents:

  • Legal criteria: In general, any single adult or a husband and wife jointly can be eligible to adopt. Stepparents can also adopt the birth child of their spouses.
  • Agency criteria: Final decisions are made on an individual basis, but many agencies take factors like age, health, marital status, citizenship, finances and work schedules into account when approving adoptions. Adoptive parents will also need to provide references and police background checks.
  • Criteria sought by birth parents: People giving up babies are giving them up for a reason - they want to know that the children will be raised in a healthy, happy home. These requirements are more subjective, as birthparents might look for people with similar morals and attitudes, as well as careers, health, age and finances.