Foreign Adoption

Some parents choose to adopt their child from a foreign country. In most cases, the decision to adopt from another country stems from an effort to avoid long waits for a baby in the United States...

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January 14, 2011

The Adoption Option If You Can’t Have Children

One of the most hurtful points for a family comes when a couple cannot have children. If you cannot have children, that does not mean you cannot have a large family. You can adopt one or more children to add some love to your family. While it will be different than raising your own child, it can be a wonderful experience for parents. If you are unsure of how to adopt, this blog guide goes over your adoption options.

How to Adopt
You can get started by consulting with some adoption agencies in your area, inquire about independent adoption, and perhaps look into an international adoption. You can do all these things by hiring an experienced adoption lawyers. There are many tricks to learn, and this is not an overnight process. You will have to be patient: you might wait as long as one year to adopt, if not longer. You have to go through proper channels and to look into any options. Some agencies, for example, are not as good as others and make you experience long delays.

Agency Adoption
Agency adoptions come in two forms, private and independent. Private agency adoptions are more expensive, while public agency adoptions can be more reasonable. Some prefer private agencies because you can adopt internationally, get more adoption help, and be more picky. Public agencies take children from foster care, but offer less guidance through the adoption process.

Independent Adoption Option
Independent adoption is when you adopt directly from the birth mother, forgoing an agency. Independent adoption is not allowed in all states unless you work with an agency. But if your state allows it, independent adoption has many advantages. You typically save a lot of time and money. You need not hire an agency to find you a child, though you definitely need a lawyer to make it work. You have much less time to wait. You cannot formally adopt the child until he or she is born, but once that happens most states allow the papers to go through. Be careful with some birth mothers, and be very selective. Some mothers are dishonest, perhaps promising the same child to multiple families for more money. Some simply try to fleece you for more and more money. Have a lawyer, come to an agreement, and be careful.

How to Hire an Adoption Lawyer
If you cannot have children, really the first step is to consult with an experienced adoption lawyer. It’s his or her job to help you navigate all the legal waters. Some adoption agencies will be unprofessional. Some independent adoptions will not work. You may go through unexpected delays. Your right to raise this child may be questioned. You may even face a situation where the birth parents try to take the child back. It’s your lawyers job to handle problems like this.

The Adoption Option If You Can’t Have Children

by Jacob Malewitz

One of the most hurtful points for a family comes when a couple cannot have children. If you cannot have children, that does not mean you cannot have a large family. You can adopt one or more children to add some love to your family. While it will be different than raising your own child, it can be a wonderful experience for parents. If you are unsure of how to adopt, this blog guide goes over your adoption options.

How to Adopt

You can get started by consulting with some adoption agencies in your area, inquire about independent adoption, and perhaps look into an international adoption. You can do all these things by hiring an experienced adoption lawyers. There are many tricks to learn, and this is not an overnight process. You will have to be patient: you might wait as long as one year to adopt, if not longer. You have to go through proper channels and to look into any options. Some agencies, for example, are not as good as others and make you experience long delays.

Agency Adoption

Agency adoptions come in two forms, private and independent. Private agency adoptions are more expensive, while public agency adoptions can be more reasonable. Some prefer private agencies because you can adopt internationally, get more adoption help, and be more picky. Public agencies take children from foster care, but offer less guidance through the adoption process.

Independent Adoption Option

Independent adoption is when you adopt directly from the birth mother, forgoing an agency. Independent adoption is not allowed in all states unless you work with an agency. But if your state allows it, independent adoption has many advantages. You typically save a lot of time and money. You need not hire an agency to find you a child, though you definitely need a lawyer to make it work. You have much less time to wait. You cannot formally adopt the child until he or she is born, but once that happens most states allow the papers to go through. Be careful with some birth mothers, and be very selective. Some mothers are dishonest, perhaps promising the same child to multiple families for more money. Some simply try to fleece you for more and more money. Have a lawyer, come to an agreement, and be careful.

How to Hire an Adoption Lawyer

If you cannot have children, really the first step is to consult with an experienced adoption lawyer. It’s his or her job to help you navigate all the legal waters. Some adoption agencies will be unprofessional. Some independent adoptions will not work. You may go through unexpected delays. Your right to raise this child may be questioned. You may even face a situation where the birth parents try to take the child back. It’s your lawyers job to handle problems like this.

January 10, 2011

The Adoption Option If You Can’t Have Children

One of the most hurtful points for a family comes when a couple cannot have children. If you are incapable of having children, that does not mean you cannot have a large family. You can adopt one or more children to add some love to your family. While it will be different than raising your own child, it can be a wonderful experience for parents. If you are unsure of how to adopt, this guide goes over your adoption options.

How to Adopt

You can get started by consulting with some adoption agencies in your area, inquire about independent adoption, and perhaps look into an international adoption. You can do all these things by hiring an experienced adoption lawyers. There are many tricks to learn, and this is not an overnight process. You will have to be patient: you might wait as long as one year to adopt, if not longer. You have to go through proper channels and to look into any options. Some agencies, for example, are not as good as others and make you experience long delays.

Agency Adoption
Agency adoptions come in two forms, private and independent. Private agency adoptions are more expensive, while public agency adoptions can be more reasonable. Some prefer private agencies because you can adopt internationally, get more adoption help, and be more picky. Public agencies take children from foster care, but offer less guidance through the adoption process.

Independent Adoption Option

Independent adoption is when you adopt directly from the birth mother, forgoing an agency. It’s not allowed in all states unless you work with an agency. But if your state allows it, independent adoption has many advantages. You typically save a lot of time and money. You need not hire an agency to find you a child, though you definitely need a lawyer to make it work. You have much less time to wait. You cannot formally adopt the child until he or she is born, but once that happens most states allow the papers to go through. Be careful with some birth mothers, and be very selective. Some mothers are dishonest, perhaps promising the same child to multiple families for more money. Some simply try to fleece you for more and more money. Have a lawyer, come to an agreement, and be careful.

How to Hire an Adoption Lawyer
If you cannot have children, really the first step is to consult with an experienced adoption lawyer. It’s his or her job to help you navigate all the legal waters. Some adoption agencies will be unprofessional. Some independent adoptions will not work. You may go through unexpected delays. Your right to parent may be questioned. You may even face a situation where the birth parents try to take the child back. It’s your lawyers job to handle problems like this.

December 22, 2010

Common Questions on Independent Adoption

What is an independent adoption?
Terms for independent adoption can differ, but for our purposes let’s consider it as it sounds: you are forgoing an agency and adopting directly from a birth mother, if not birth parents. There is no intermediary and you as adoptive parents and the birth mother will make decisions as you go along. Typically you can take the baby right after birth, though some state laws make it hard to finalize the adoption prior to birth.

Do all states allow independent adoption?
No, all states do not use independent adoption as we define it. The laws change from year to year. A handful of states make it nearly impossible to use independent adoption as we define it. Some states only allow those within the birth mothers family to adopt. Others make it so you must go through an agency. Since state laws all differ, it’s important to hire an experienced adoption lawyer if you’re interested in independent adoption. If you hire a lawyer, you can find out state laws, and if you cannot adopt independently, you can look into other options.

How does independent adoption work?
The birth mother has more power in independent adoption, which makes sense. She should have as much information on the adoptive couple as possible. Your basic information may be asked for. What religion you follow, what educational background you have, your income, where you live, how long you’ve been married, perhaps even if there is an interest in certain hobbies or sports. Some birth mothers also want at least one face-to-face meeting with the adoptive parents prior to making the decision. At any time, if you feel this process is not going well, as the adoptive parent you have the right to bow out. While you have less power than the birth mother, you can always find a different birth mother and a different child.

Why use independent adoption?
You may have more options with independent adoption. You may save some money. And you almost always save time. With an independent adoption, you are forgoing an agency, but you can use an experienced lawyer and network to find a number of birth mothers interested. Some will simply not have the means to raise this child; some may not even have the money to pay for the medical costs. Therefore, independent adoptions, in states where they are legal, tend to be quite common. Since some private agency adoptions can drag on for years, and even public agency adoptions can take well into the years, independent adoption can be a much faster process too. Finally, since you are not working with an agency, you stand to save quite a large amount of money. You may have to pay for the birth of the child, but these costs are minimal in comparison to paying for an agency adoption.

Who can help?
If you have more questions about independent adoption, it’s time to speak with an experienced adoption lawyer. A lawyer will charge a fee, but independent adoption is simply not safe, legally or financially, without some legal help. An adoption lawyer may help you find the right birth mother to adopt a child from. You may in fact be better off with an agency adoption. Or you may have options internationally. You simply won’t know without consulting with an attorney.

December 9, 2010

Save On Adoption Costs

Adoption can be quite costly. Some adoptions cost more than $50,000, and the average agency adoption can be as much as $30,000. Why does adoption cost so much? It’s important to protect the child, it’s important to protect the birth parents, and it’s important to protect the adoptive parents. If this process were rushed or done cheaply, you may run into more problems. Adoption can change your life. You may be incapable of having any children. You may be looking to add a new loved one to the family. You may simply want a chance to raise a son or daughter. In any case, there are ways to save on adoption costs. This blog post shows you how.

Hire an Adoption Lawyer
While you may consider forgoing hiring legal counsel and doing this alone, you might pay far more and wait far longer if you do not hire an experienced lawyer. An adoption lawyer ensures you are not “taken” by birth parents. Some birth parents may promise a child to more than one couple. Some adoption agencies are not regulated and not honest. Some international adoption companies promise one price, only to change it before the child is yours. There are hundreds of other possibilities for a lawyer to save you considerable delays and costly fees.

Avoid Some Agencies

Some adoption agencies are simply not honest. Make sure they follow all state and federal adoption laws. Be sure they are accredited.   Just like many companies lack government oversight, so do many agencies. Some will make you jump through hoops and then delay you again and again. Some agencies will lie to you. Some will make promises they cannot fulfill. How can you avoid this? If you are ever unsure, consult with your adoption lawyer.

Try International Adoption
International adoption can sometimes be the cheapest route to go. There are literally millions of children available to be adopted across the world. Why? Especially in poorer countries, some mothers and families simply cannot raise a child. In all countries, there are unwanted children. So foster homes are filling up with children. While you cannot get an infant, you can save quite a lot of money on adoption fees. You should always consult with a lawyer when working with an international adoption agency. They too are not all honest.

Try Independent Adoption

If you prefer getting an infant or simply a child born in the U.S., you may try an independent adoption. This can save you quite a lot in fees. You may have to pay for the birth. You may have to pay some of the other expenses. And you should pay a lawyer to ensure this all goes well. But at the end of the day, you pay much less than you would with an agency.

December 4, 2010

What Adoption Agencies Look for In Parents

If you’re considering adopting, you may want to go through an agency. An adoption agency can help you select the right child, help you with counseling, and help you through legal process. You should also consider hiring an experienced adoption attorney. There are some points to consider if you want to adopt through an agency. What do adoption agencies want in parents? Some can be quite selective. This blog guide can help you master the process of adopting through an agency.

Do you have parenting experience?
While this is not always necessary, if you have any prior experience with raising children, that reflects well. You might have adopted before. You might have had children before. You may have raised a sibling’s child for some time. Any relevant parenting experience can help you.

What is your background?
Parenting can be a tough occupation, sometimes a dangerous one. If you have a criminal record, you can have trouble adopting. Agencies look over your background for cases of violence, for drug history, and for other criminal acts. While some of these are worse than others, if you have a history of violence, drug use, or simply breaking the law, you may not be able to adopt.

Can you provide?
You should be able to not only pay the fees involved in working with the agency, but also support this child throughout his or her early years. If you cannot afford to pay for food, if you lack medical coverage, if you have no job, if you struggle paying the bills on a monthly basis – there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it would be unfair to place a child with a family incapable of supporting him or her.

Do you have time?
Parenting requires far more than money. It requires a major time investment. You may have to spend time helping this child learn to walk, to read, to laugh, to communicate with others, to play sports, and these things all require time. While you may be able to support this child, if you barely have time to spend with him or her that is even worse. You should be able to support this child emotionally too, to help them learn about life, and guide them through troubles.

Do you enjoy children?
Parenting requires more than effort: love is a factor. You have to enjoy children. If you get sick of handling children very fast, it may be a sign you’re not ready to parent. You need patience. You need to show interest. You need to enjoy handling the good and understanding when things go bad.

Can you get through troubling times?
There are naturally going to be bad times; this is not all paradise. An adoption agency won’t expect perfection, but they will want you to be able to get through struggles. Perhaps the child suffers through an early illness. Maybe the child has a learning disability. Perhaps he or she has trouble connecting with others. Whatever the case, if you have a lot of energy, emotional strength, and a sense of humor, you stand to help the child through troubling times.

December 2, 2010

FAQ Sheet for Adoption

You likely have many questions when it comes to adoption. This guide acts like a glossary, explaining key terms you need to know if you want to successfully adopt. If you are ever unsure about how this process works, you should consider consulting with an experienced adoption lawyer. It’s his or her job to explain how this process works, what you can expect, how long it might take, how much it might cost, and what laws you have to follow.

Adoption Agency
An adoption agency is a licensed entity in your state which oversees an adoption for you. Their job is to help children find parents. There are private adoption agencies, who handle children directly, and public agencies, who take children from foster care. Private agencies are typically the most expensive, but they give you the most adoption help of all forms of adoption. A public agency will typically be easier on the pocket book, but you get less help, such as with counseling and paperwork.

Independent Adoption
Independent adoption occurs when you directly adopt a child from the birth parents. Some states do not allow it unless you go through a certified agency. Other states do allow it. You may have to somehow compensate the birth parents for the child, but you typically save both time and money. You rarely can sign for the child prior to birth, as state laws can come into effect here.

Home Study
A home study occurs when a social worker visits with the prospective adoptive parents. Your home will be visited, as will your health and criminal history. The main goal of the home study is to simply protect the child from getting parents dangerous to them or incapable of parenting effectively.

Illegal Adoption
Also called a “black market adoption” these forms of adoption have the effect of what it sounds like. You are paying someone to break state and federal laws for you. It might be birth parents, or an adoption attorney, or even someone elsewhere in the decision making process. You might pay off an attorney in order to speed up the process, lie on documentation, and help you get the child.

International Adoption
An international adoption again sounds like what it is: you are adopting a child from birth parents in another country. You will have to follow state, federal, and the child’s country’s adoption laws. State, federal, and foreign laws can differ on what is allowed in internationally adoption, but some rules are set in stone. For example, you can never have the child taken back from you; all international adoptions are final.

Adoption Lawyer
An adoption lawyer, as we noted at the beginning of this blog post, is an important part of the adoption process. His or her job is to help prepare you for a successful adoption. Your lawyer can advise you on laws, can help you negotiate with agencies and birth parents, and also help you get support if needed.

November 30, 2010

When Should You Use International Adoption?

When you adopt, you may wonder what to do to get started. Well, the first goal should be to understand when each type of adoption can be helpful. International adoption can get a bad name. You will get an older child, an unhealthy child, a child who is of a different race. You might on the other hand save time, save money, get a healthy child, and even if you get one from a different race that may not be a big deal to you. This guide goes over the times when an international adoption should be used.

When You Want to Speed the Process Up

Obviously you can only speed the process up so much, but some adoption agencies make you spend years on waiting lists. You might save some time by taking advantage of international adoption. There are far more children available, as many birth parents worldwide simply cannot raise a child. You have more options. You can get children from a variety of cultures. The only downsides would be of regulations, health, and age of the child. You will have to follow your state regulations, federal laws, and the foreign country’s laws. You may have a hard time finding out about any potential conditions the child may inherent. And finally, the child will not be an infant; typically they are older if you adopt internationally.

You Want to Save Money

International adoption not only saves you time; it can also save you some money so you can focus on raising the child. You will have to go through an agency, but since there are more children, you can often spend less.

You Are Open to Older Children

If you are open to having an older child, which isn’t really a downside, you may want to consider international adoption. Again, you have more options, but they will not be infants. Some parents understandably want to be there for their child from day 1, but this simply does not always work out.

A Child From a Different Race is Not a Problem
Some parents may struggle with bringing up a child from another country. It’s common for children to not understand why they do not look like their adoptive parents, for example. The child may go through some early issues with this.

No Luck with Normal Means

If you are sick of waiting on adoptions which simply are not happening locally, international adoption is a good option. You might have much more luck by adopting from another country. You typically only wait 12-18 months, you spend less, and though there is more paperwork, once you are given a child he or she cannot be taken away.

November 26, 2010

6 Tips On Being a Foster Parent

Foster parenting can be a life changing experience. Foster parenting is also a necessary process for children. It occurs when a child is left with no place to go, often an emergency situation where they no longer live with a family, and is placed with a foster family. It is different than adoption, but many foster parents end up adopting foster children. It can be a great life lesson for both the parents and the foster child. If you are unsure of how to become a foster parent, what it entails, or what difficulties to expect, this guide can help you.

When It Happens
Foster care is not an adoption, where you literally take the reins of a young child’s life, but it can be just as important. If you are deciding on whether or not to adopt a child, offering your help as a foster parent, if you’re eligible, can be a great experience. You need not worry too much, even if you’ve never been a parent before. Most children are receptive to guidance. Be sure to have family support for any emotional problems you and your spouse may face.

Understanding the Needs of the Child
While foster parents do not take the place of a child’s family, they do act as parents for the child for some time. If a child has been removed from a family, his or her needs may not be great, but the child will need a place to live, to learn, and to grow. The demands of parenting may seem scary, but understand you are sometimes only a stepping stone, and providing a great help for the child.

Giving Hope to the Child
You may get a child who suffered physical abuse. You might get one who had to face drug or alcohol problems. Sometimes you may even have a child who’s been through sexual abuse. You are giving this child a new hope for a better life. While it may seem easy to say, that you will be a great life changer, the fact is may of these children come from troubled homes. You are not expected to work miracles; only to provide stability.

Using Foster Parenting to Adopt
About two third of foster parents end up adopting the child. If you are eligible, which we’ll go over, you may consider it. Are you up to taking on a lifetime project? If you have parenting experience, it may help you understand the scope of raising a child. If you and your spouse are incapable of having children, learning from foster children, and then perhaps using it as a means to adopt, can again be a major life event. Many learn whether they can handle parenting full time by first offering help and hope to children who need foster parents.

Requirements of Foster Care
There are many requirements for foster parenting which you can go over with foster care agency. They do change from state to state. If you decide to adopt, you may consider hiring an experienced adoption attorney. If you want to be a foster parent, you have some basic requirements, such as being at least 21 years old, having a bed for the child, having a home which is safe, and be able to physically and emotionally take care of this child.

Is It Right For You?
Foster parenting, much like adoption, is not for everyone. Sometimes even experienced parents run into trouble. Don’t let that stop you from trying, but don’t expect a perfect situation. There may be some trying times. You might have trouble with the parenting role. It may take you more time than you thought. There is help, such as family support, foster care agency support, and help from other parents.

November 24, 2010

If You Can’t Have Children, Consider Adoption

What if you and your spouse are incapable of having children? You have the option of adoption. Will it be expensive and time consuming? Adopting a child is not easy, and for good reason: not everyone is capable of parenting. If you are unsure, this is part of the process of learning. How can you get the process started? This blog guide gives you some action steps.

How do you adopt?

We might add another question: should you adopt locally or from another country? Well, this depends on your situation, your finances, and your personal preferences. There are some advantages and disadvantages to adopting internationally. On the plus side, you can typically save a lot of time and money. For instance, all international adoptions are final: birth parents, unlike here in the U.S., cannot just decide to take the child back. On the down side, you will not get an infant, you may run into problems finding out about the health of the child prior to adopting, and you may get a child from another culture. Some of these downsides are not necessarily negative, but it depends on what you want.

To get started adopting, whether locally or internationally, you should consult with an adoption lawyer and also start querying adoption agencies. This can help you get the process started.

Public or Private Agency?

Before we get into independent adoption, it’s important to understand that public and private adoption agencies are different. First, public agencies typically get children from foster care, where parental rights have likely been given up. Private agencies typically have infants, and you can adopt from foreign countries via this method, but you tend to pay more and spend more time. If you are more picky, you may prefer a private agency. If you want to lower costs and spend less time, there is nothing wrong with using a public agency. In some states, you must work with an agency, while others allow you to adopt via independent adoption.

Independent Adoption
Independent adoption occurs when you find birth parents, or a birth mother, willing to give up a child to you. In some states, independent adoption without an adoption agency is illegal. However, if your state allows it, this process can be very rewarding. You typically spend much less time waiting, you can save on fees, and you can likely get an infant. On the other hand, some independent adoptions can be tricky, especially when the birth parents want compensation. It’s important to work with an experienced adoption attorney in this case.

Should you use a lawyer?
Yes, you should almost always use an adoption lawyer. This is one of the best choices you can make. It’s his or her job to ensure you stay within all laws. You might get a lawyer who can refer you to parents willing to give up their child. Your lawyer may find an agency with a short waiting list. If you run into legal problems, your adoption lawyer can protect your rights.

If you are incapable of having children, you have many options for bringing a new child into your family. Thousands do so every year successfully.

November 22, 2010

6 Success Tips for Agency Adoption

While adoption can sometimes be a demanding process, it can also be a very rewarding one. With the help in this guide, you can get started with the right mindset, goals, and options.

Educate Yourself
If you want to adopt, it’s time to consider both the laws in your state and who might represent you. That means doing some research on your own. You might stop at your local library for references on local adoption. You could look online at blogs like this one. Or you might consult with a professional in adoption.

Have a Budget
Adoption is not always financially possible, but with the many options you have, you can often find options you can afford. Private agency adoptions can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. However, public agencies can be much more reasonable, with the footnote that you might get a child out of foster and less paperwork help. In any case, you want to find something you can afford, to do some research into how much adoption agencies, attorneys, and other professionals might charge. While it can be difficult to find one that fits your price – and you may have to pay more than you want – you can quite often find some reasonable options which will fit your family.

Choose Your Agency Wisely

If you work with an agency, which is required in some states even with an independent adoption, you can still be picky about who you work with. Some adoption agencies are better than others. Some will charge you excessive fees. Some might not help much with paperwork. Other times you may go through some long delays. So look into your agency, ask if they are licensed, and when possible look into their background.

Paying Birth Parents
Some states allow you to directly adopt a child through birth parents without an agency. Even then, you should be careful about paying much before hand. You might find birth parents willing to give up their child, but who want you to pay a large sum of money. Always be careful when this happens. If you haven’t already, consult with legal representation.

Have Legal Help

You should always work with an experienced adoption attorney, someone who understands the laws in your state. This can save you quite a lot of legal hassle, sometimes even cut down on fees you have to pay. It’s especially important to use an attorney when using independent adoption. If you have any questions, you can ask your attorney, and this can be invaluable.

Be Ready for Problems
In any adoption, there are going to be some problems, so be ready for them. This is not to say you should be ready for the worst, but financial, time, and legal problems are part of the process. You might find the adoption costs more than you were prepared to pay. Your adoption may be delayed by months. There may be some laws you did not know about and must follow. If you have a lawyer, you are safer if there are problems.

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