Adoption is a beautiful way to create and grow a family. Whether you have always dreamed of adopting a child, or have only recently considered adoption, it is a big decision! Today, there are thousands of children and infants in the United States looking for loving, permanent homes. For prospective adoptive parents who are interested in pursuing domestic adoption, Adoptions With Love has outlined some of the many considerations to keep in mind.
Matters of the Heart, Time, and Money
Before jumping in to the adoption process, you must first consider the financial, physical, and emotional demands of parenthood. From a financial standpoint, are you in a position to care for a child? Can you provide a safe and stable home, nutrition, clothing, and education? According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610! You certainly do not need to be wealthy to raise a child in Massachusetts, but you should have steady income with the means to cover your baby’s basic needs and any potential emergency care. While it is important to be financially stable, it is also not the only demand. Are you able to commit time to caring for this child? Are you capable of loving this child more than yourself? Adoption is a lifelong choice. If you have answered yes to these questions, you are ready for the next step in the adoption process.
Private vs. Foster Care
Another important consideration when starting the domestic adoption process is whether to go through a private adoption agency or foster care. With foster care, children are often older than infants, have siblings, or have additional needs. Also, a child coming from the foster care system may be returned to their biological parents or placed with biological relatives, instead of non-related adoptive families. Most children in private adoption agencies are infants or newborns. Are you open to adopting a child of any race or gender? Are you open to an open adoption – meaning you have some contact with the birth mother? Are you open to adopting sibling(s)? Are you able to care for a child with special emotional needs? These are all important factors to when deciding between a private agency and foster care. Adoptions With Love is a non-profit, private, domestic adoption agency dedicated to connecting prospective adoptive parents in Massachusetts with their child/children. Click here to read about the benefits of domestic adoptions.
Keeping an Open Mind and an Open Heart
The journey to adopt a child is beautiful and emotional. At Adoptions With Love, prospective parents are guided through the entire domestic adoption process, which includes an adoption home study. It is, of course, important to have a safe environment for a growing family. Parents who keep a safe, comfortable home should have no problem with this step. As part of the Massachusetts home study, a licensed social worker (such as the ones at Adoptions With Love) will interview members of your household. You will also be required to submit several documents: birth certificate(s), tax documents, marriage certificate (if applicable), educational and medical histories, a statement from your physician, and personal references.
Once the home study process is complete, you will be approved. Our agency will then assist you in designing your Adoptive Family Profile and writing your “Dear Birthmother” Letters. These tools give birth parents great peace of mind – allowing them to get to know who you are, your reasons for adopting, and what values are most important to your family.
An estimated 95 percent of private, domestic adoption plans are open, meaning most adoptive families have established some sort of relationship with their child’s biological family. At Adoptions With Love, all our adoptive families agree to at least a semi-open adoption. They share letters and photos with their child’s birth parents. Many have chosen to continue with even deeper levels of contact, including phone calls and, in some situations, personal visits.
Of course, open adoption does not mean co-parenting. This is a common concern among prospective adoptive parents. Open adoption, rather, provides an opportunity for the adoptive and birth families to get to know one another and develop a relationship. This method is proven to pay off in the long run. Studies show that children of open adoptions are happier than those with closed adoption plans. Children who meet their birth mothers in-person have the highest levels of satisfaction. The more flexible and open-minded you are with your plan, the more adoption opportunities you will have, and the less time you will wait for a match. Many birth mothers only want families who are willing to commit to the open adoption arrangement. Click here to learn more about Open Adoption.
The Waiting Game
Adopting a child is an incredibly exciting and joyful feeling. It is also something that takes some time. Birth parents wait nine months before welcoming a baby, and, in many cases, years before that to conceive. Adoptive parents wait for the process to be complete before meeting their child. The home study process typically takes several months. After being approved, prospective parents then wait to be matched with a birth mother. The wait time for domestic adoption is much shorter than that of international adoption. At Adoptions With Love, the average adoption happens within six to 18 months of completing the home study. As any adoptive parent would tell you, it is well worth the wait. It is just something to consider when starting the domestic adoption process. Click here for some tips on things to do while waiting to be matched.
Spreading the News
Sharing the news of your adoption is one of the most exciting moments in adoptive parents’ lives. Letting family and friends share in your joy is an important part of the experience. Timing is important. While it may be tempting to share the news right from the start, you should consider waiting until the adoption process is closer to completion.
Much like raising a child, the adoption process is an incredible journey that requires both love and patience. Massachusetts residents considering adopting a baby in the U.S. can rely on Adoptions With Love for caring, understanding guidance. We have been providing services to adopting families across the Bay State for more than 30 years. Just as you are driven to open your heart and home to a child, Adoptions With Love wants to provide the best possible care matching adoptive parents and their forever baby. Click here to download our free eBook on The Massachusetts Adoption Process, or call us at 1-800-722-7731 for more information regarding the domestic adoption process.