If you’re planning for an adoption, here’s how you can get started with an adoption in the new year:
Understand that adoption is a long process
As you start the adoption process in the new year, it’s important to know that adoption is a months-long process. You go from exploring options for adoption to exploring possible family matches to preparing the paperwork and waiting for court dates. You might spend many months waiting for the right family match, or you may find the right match for your family quickly.
In all cases, there are time delays while you wait for home study reports and court approvals. Adoption is a marathon and not a sprint. There are ups and downs along the way.
Learn about the different ways to add to your family through adoption
The more you learn about adoption, the more you can understand the options that are available to you. When you have all of the options at your disposal, you can choose the type of adoption that’s right for you. For example, some adoptions may qualify for a monthly subsidy for the child until the child reaches the age of majority.
Interstate adoptions may require you to live away from home for up to several weeks while you await approvals to take your child home. International adoptions require extra paperwork at the federal level in addition to state paperwork. When you commit to pursuing an adoption and you know that it’s going to be a long process, you can begin by educating yourself about the different types of adoptions and what’s involved with each possible path to adoption.
Know that different types of adoption have different procedures
Not all adoptions are created alike. The path that you choose determines how long your adoption takes, what you need to do and what costs are going to be involved. For example, a step-parent adoption within one state is very different than an international adoption. In a step-parent adoption, you may be able to skip the family home study that’s required in all other types of adoptions.
Other different types of adoptions have different considerations that are important as you create your adoption plan. If you adopt a child with special needs, you need to show the judge that you can care for the child’s special needs. Of course, your child may qualify for compensation and even extra compensation to help you care for the child’s special needs. It’s important to remember that the child’s special needs should be addressed in your home study.
An international adoption may help you quickly find a match with an available child, but there are also extra costs that may be associated with the adoption. When you pursue an international adoption, you have to follow the adoption laws in the country that you’re working with. Adoption laws can vary greatly from country to country. If you pursue an international adoption, it’s absolutely critical to work with a reputable adoption agency that can guide you through the process.
An experienced adoption attorney can help you understand the legal requirements for each kind of adoption that you’re considering. We can let you know based on their experience what kinds of difficulties may arise. With our insight, you can make the right decisions for what kind of adoption you should pursue in your circumstance and what to expect in the coming year.
Know that there are some procedures that are required in all adoptions
As you begin your new year with adoption, there are some things to expect in all types of cases. Your adoption isn’t complete until you have approval from a judge. There are no exceptions to making your adoption legally complete without approval from a judge. You must also have the appropriate proof that your child is available for adoption.
The child’s biological parents must consent to the adoption or you must provide the legal proof that the court needs to terminate a parent’s rights. Nearly all adoptions require a home study so that the judge can determine if the adoption is in the child’s best interests. Bobby Mills can help you figure out what the requirements are in your case and what you can do to make the process as smooth as possible.
Think through the financials of adoption, and explore financial resources
There are always financial considerations to an adoption. The court needs to know that you have the money to provide for the child. You need to think through both how you’re going to pay for the adoption procedures and prepare for the expenses of raising a child.
There are significant resources that may be available to help. You likely qualify to deduct many of your expenses from your federal income taxes. How you structure your taxes can be important to ensure that you maximize your adoption tax credits. There may also be financial subsidies in your state if your child is considered to have barriers to adoption.
As the adoptive family, you may agree to cover living expenses for an expectant biological mother. It’s commonly expected for you to pay for the biological mother’s attorney fees. Having a clear picture of the financial obligations and resources that go along with adoption can help you prepare in the best ways possible as your adoption moves forward.
Know the differences between open and closed adoption
One of the biggest choices that you need to make is whether to have an open or closed adoption. Both biological and adoptive parents often have strong opinions about whether an adoption should be open or closed.
By default, adoptions in North Carolina are closed, but parents can choose to share information with biological parents and allow contact as they choose. It’s important to think through what kinds of agreements are ideal and what you’re willing to make work as you move forward with adoption in the new year.
Take the first step
When you’re ready to take the first step to pursue an adoption, Mills Adoption Law can help you explore your case to determine what you need to do. Whether you work with only a lawyer or you also work with an adoption agency, we can help you complete paperwork and identify areas that may make your adoption process more challenging. When the end of the year arrives, you can look back with amazement at how your family has grown through adoption.