Considering adoption brings so many questions and concerns. And a very common question is, how do you adopt a newborn baby quickly?
To adopt a newborn baby quickly, be sure of your decision to adopt. Already be financially ready, and know which type of adoption agency you wish to work with. Know your home study requirements and get things ready before you are asked, and get your adoptive parent profile letter written.
Two parts of the process take the longest; the home study program and waiting for a child to become available.
There are things you can do to help speed up this process. Having the desire to adopt a child, however, is a decision not to be taken lightly.
It is okay to take your time and make sure that adoption is the right decision for you.
Sometimes, people can change their minds after doing more in-depth research. You also need to realize that everyone wants to adopt a baby, and if there is a waiting list it might be very long.
Even though there are things you can do to help speed up the adoption process, there is no magic bullet that makes the process go faster.
Follow the tips below to ensure you are on top of your game and that you have done and are doing everything possible so you are not the hold-up.
Adoption Counseling to Discuss Your Decision
Being sure of your adoption decision is crucial. I would strongly advise that if you and your partner are considering adoption, you seek counseling to openly discuss all the variables that you will want to consider.
What to Know Before Adopting a Child is an enormously helpful article, courtesy of The New York Times, that covers a multitude of things you will want to consider before making your adoption decision.
Is your partner on the same page with the adoption decision? Having concerns about the adoption process is normal and to be expected.
Is your partner on board with your excitement, or do they instead feel more apprehensive? Are you both open to the same types of children you may consider as a member of your family?
Are you wanting to adopt as a single parent? If so, you are not alone. Many single parents adopt children and provide them with loving and stable homes.
Gone are the days when it was an unspoken rule that if you planned on parenting a child, you would have a partner.
And let us be honest, your biological clock might be ticking, but that does not mean you have found your perfect partner to share child-raising with you.
LGBT couples may be wondering if their desire to raise a child will be frowned upon and discriminated against.
However, it is becoming more and more acceptable today to adopt a child if you are of a different physical orientation, and many LGBT couples are adopting and raising happy and healthy children.
Do not let a preconceived notion in your head stop you from thinking you can adopt a child. That is simply not true!
Let go of the idea that counseling is only for those who suffer some sort of dysfunction in their lives.
Smart, mentally stable people know that discussing important decisions with others is healthy and helps them solidify their plans.
Learn how to make your adopted child feel welcome in their new home.
Be Financially Ready to Adopt a Child
Make no mistake about it; adopting a child can be very expensive. You will want to do your research to make sure that you are financially ready to pursue your adoption option. Adopting a child can cost thousands of dollars, to say the least.
Adopting a child: Financial Considerations, an article courtesy of The United Way, is an insightful article about things to consider when deciding if you are financially ready to adopt a child.
Being financially secure before you start making those phone calls will help you in being more prepared for the adoption process. You will want to make sure that your credit cards are paid off.
Do you have any outstanding student loans? Are you able to focus on getting those paid off sooner rather than later?
Having debt will not prevent you from being eligible to adopt a child. It’s just that the cost of the process can be very expensive. Do you own a home or are you renting? The cost of adoption could be a down payment on a home.
I am not saying that if you are renting you will not be allowed to adopt. I am simply saying that financially having your ducks in a row will not only make you look good to the adoption agency you choose as well as the birth mother, but the cost of adoption itself is going to take a financial toll.
Adopting through the foster care system is significantly less expensive, not even remotely as costly as a traditional adoption.
This gives you the option of getting to know the child who lives with you before deciding if you wish to adopt them. We encourage you to research the pros and cons of being a foster parent to know if this option is of interest to you.
Begin Vetting Adoption Agencies
Now it is time to start making those phone calls. But before you do, you will want to do some research to understand your adoption options.
There are several different adoption liaisons you can use to adopt a child, and you will want to become familiar with each of those options before deciding on the one you feel most comfortable with.
Choosing an Adoption Agency, courtesy of Resolve.Org covers many things to consider when choosing the adoption agency you feel is best for you.
One may adopt locally, also known as a domestic adoption where you are adopting from your local area.
Others may wish to travel abroad to adopt internationally, while others may take advantage of a national adoption agency where there are children all over the United States that may be adopted.
And let us not overlook the value of hiring an adoption lawyer to handle our adoption for us.
Keep in mind that regardless of the type of adoption agency you choose, there will always be a lawyer involved in the process.
An adoption attorney is necessary to ensure that all your paperwork is being handled properly and that all state requirements are being met.
To give you a head start on the types of adoption agencies you have to choose from, we will dive into some specifics on some of your options.
Domestic – Local Adoption Agencies
- Domestic adoptions can be completed within a few months.
- You are apt to receive a more substantial medical and social history of the child you wish to adopt as compared to adopting internationally when medical history may not be known.
- There is no waiting list. You instead will put together a personal profile for the birth mothers to review, and they will determine who will adopt their baby.
Your profile is a visual and written introduction that gives the birth mother a sneak peek into who you are as a family, so she can then have an idea of what it will be like for her unborn child.
National Adoption Agencies
- A national adoption agency represents all 50 states with offices all over the country and tends to be very large.
- You may be asked to satisfy more requirements due to other state adoption laws. It all depends on the state in which you are adopting in.
- There is naturally a larger selection of children to choose from with a national agency, as well as shorter wait times.
- Adoption costs tend to be more expensive due to the overhead of having employees spread out all over the US, which differs from local state agencies with fewer employees.
International Adoption Agencies
- As implied, your adopted child will be Internationally born.
- Choosing an international adoption means adopting an older child, but as young as an infant or toddler is possible.
- Whether you choose domestic or international, neither are more-or-less expensive than the other. When adopting internationally, the cost of travel is likely to significantly add to the overall costs.
- Internationally, the costs of adoption can vary based on which country you adopt from.
- You will be put on a traditional waiting list, which is very different when adopting a child domestically.
- There are age limitations in some countries, which may make you ineligible from being able to adopt.
Other factors such as how many times you have been divorced, as well as how long you have been married could affect your chances for international adoption eligibility.
- You will rarely receive a family medical history when adopting from another country. Although, you would receive medical information for the child.
- There is a perceived advantage of being very far removed from the birthparents distance-wise. It is natural to have a secret fear that someday the birth parents and your adopted child will reunite.
Although not impossible, this is more unlikely when adopted internationally.
Foster Care Adoption
- Foster care provides a safe refuge for children who have been removed from their biological family home due to some sort of trauma they have experienced.
The State in which they reside puts the children in temporary custody, while the biological parents complete individualized requirements to earn back custody of their children.
- The ages of foster children available for adoption are between infancy and 21 years of age.
The Fostering Connections Act allows states the option to continue providing care for a child up to the age of 21 if they are attending school, working at least 80 hours per month, or suffering a medical hardship.
- The cost of foster care adoption is very minimal, if not zero out-of-pocket. This is another incentive for many adoptive parents to strongly consider adoption through the foster care system.
- Those wanting to adopt from the foster care system are strongly encouraged to first become foster parents. This is a wonderful way to access the compatibility between yourself and the child you are considering for adoption.
- A bit more than half of all foster children are returned to their biological parents. The children remaining in the foster care system are many times adopted by their relatives or their foster family.
- The children remaining in foster care desperately need a loving home.
- Foster care adoption is similar to other types of adoption concerning paperwork, requirement obligations, etc.
- Due to the trauma that all foster care children have been rescued from, it is important to be prepared for and understand the healing process that will follow.
Continued counseling as well as working on personal issues is to be expected.
We have several more articles on your adoption liaison options for each state as well as contact information based on the city in which you plan to adopt.
Are you thinking about adopting yet wondering if you’re too old? Here are 10 things to consider.
Complete the Home Study Process Quickly
It is said that the home study process is the part that takes the longest. The home study process involves several steps that are required before an adoptive parent is eligible to adopt a child.
This involves in-home visits with a home study social worker, extensive paperwork, and participation in training and counseling.
In most states, you will be required to pass state and federal background checks along with all other adults in your household.
A medical exam and medical records will also be requested to show that you are physically and mentally capable of raising a child.
You will need to provide financial records to show you can support a child and provide for their day-to-day needs as well as have reliable transportation.
Your home study social worker will want to do a walk-through of your home to ensure you meet all the safety precautions and requirements needed for a child. Remember though, that they are not looking for perfection!
There are so many things to consider, and your home study social worker will help you get ready for your child. For example, do you have safety latches on all kitchen and bathroom cabinets? Are all toxic cleaners out of reach?
So here is my best advice on this one. Be proactive and already have your complete physical exams done and medical records available. Have on hand your financial documents.
Research what will be required for your home inspection and get those things taken care of right away.
Don’t wait for the process to prompt you to get these things done. The more ready you are ahead of time, the faster the process will be.
Create Your Adoptive Parent Adoption Profile
Although the adoption agency you end up choosing may have a specific process for putting together your adoptive parent profile, have yours ready anyway.
Some profiles are done online, and some are put together in a book for the birth mother to review.
Be ahead of the game and already have your letter to your prospective birth mother typed out.
This will include everything from general information about you and your family, your pets, and your hobbies, as well as anything else that is near and dear to your heart.
Have some recent photos of you and your family at the ready when it comes time to put your adoptive parent profile together. The more prepared you are, the more time you will shave off your waiting period to adopt.
Be Positive and Responsive with Communication
Above all else, you will want to make an outstanding impression on the adoption agency or adoption liaison you decide to use. Be attentive to their every request.
If they ask for something, jump on it and provide that information as fast as humanly possible.
And manners, that is a thing. For goodness sake be as courteous as possible.
The goal here is to make sure that the people helping you adopt a child like you. As momma always said, we catch more flies with honey than we do vinegar.
The waiting time can be frustrating, so we need to make doubly sure we are not taking out our frustration on the very people there to help us.
It also wouldn’t hurt to reach out every few weeks to touch base with your adoption team so that you are routinely at the forefront of their minds.
Whatever you do, do not be too in their face and bother them every two weeks. I would suggest perhaps touching base every 5-8 weeks as a good balance of giving them enough trust and space to do their job with the occasional reminder that you are there and excited to adopt a child.
Be Open-Minded and Consider All Child Options
Although it is very common to hope for a newborn when adopting a child, I ask you to please reach deep down into your heart and ask yourself if you could also be open to something other than what you have your initial heart set on.
So many children need your unconditional love, and they are not all newborn babies.
Many older children are overlooked for the sole reason that so many adoptive parents are holding out for a baby. Are you open to a different race than your own?
How would your extended family process the idea of you adopting outside of your race?
Would you ever consider adopting a child who has a physical or mental handicap? Depending on the child you adopt will greatly depend on your adoption process wait time.
In the end, choose the child and the adoption agency that is right for you. . By knowing a little about the adoption process ahead of time, you are more able to be prepared which in turn will help your adoption process go much quicker!
Collect Adoption Reference Letters
An Adoption Reference Letter is a formal letter written by someone who knows a person who is adopting a child and can vouch for their character and recommend them as a good parent.
You will be required to provide adoption references, so getting this process started before you are asked will give you an advantage time-wise.
When it comes to adoption home study paperwork, this is arguably one of the most often requested questions.
You will be expected to provide various documents during the home study process, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, financial forms, and letters of recommendation.
Some organizations may give your reference writers a form to fill out, while others will ask for a written letter. The agency will want three to five letters of recommendation from non-family members.
Who Can Provide an Adoption Reference Letter?
As you may have guessed, adoption reference letters cannot come from family members. Adoption references must come from people not related to you who can vouch for you favorably as a good candidate to adopt a child.
Examples of who you may ask to provide an adoption reference letter are as follows:
- Members of the congregation where you worship
- Friendships with people you’ve known for at least five years
- Close friends with whom you spend time, particularly those who may have children or have seen you connect with them.
- Clergy or Pastor
What Should Be Included in an Adoption Reference Letter?
- The letter must be signed and dated
- Your name should be printed and signed
- Although a letter can be scanned and emailed to the home study provider, the original must be submitted to the home study provider for the file. It’s also a good idea to get the letter notarized for further assurance
- Information on how the adoption reference provider came to know you, such as how long they’ve known you
- Any details about your personality
- Describe your strengths
- Do they advise you to adopt?
- Characteristics that might be appropriate for adopting/parenting a child
- Your marriage/relationship information
- Describe each individual
- Parenting abilities presently
When you ask individuals to write you an adoption letter of recommendation, be sure to let them know what your agency is looking for.
Giving them a sample letter will make the letter-writing process go more smoothly.
Give them the name of the person to whom it should be directed, the agency’s address, and the agency’s phone number in case they have any questions.
Be Aware of Birth Mother Preferences
You may likely be wondering how to make an impression as a prospective adopted parent so the birth mother will choose you. When choosing an adoptive family, what factors do birth moms consider?
Knowing ahead of time the common things birth mothers look for in deciding who will adopt their baby may give you a head start on how you present yourself and your family.
The answer appears to be straightforward: a caring family who will provide their child with limitless opportunities.
While this is true, the circumstances of why a birth mother chooses one family over another are far less evident. It’s impossible to pick one unique feature that will set your profile apart from others in the eyes of a birth mother.
It is not easy for a birth mother to decide to give her child up for adoption.
It might be one of the most difficult and emotionally demanding decisions she ever makes. But she wants the best for her child, so she’s willing to go through the adoption process, no matter how painful it is.
She must first locate the ideal adoptive family for her child and her circumstances.
Things Birth Mothers May Look For When Choosing Who Adopts Their Baby
Being yourself is the most crucial thing to remember. The truth is that there is no secret to what birth mothers look for when choosing adoptive parents. Frequently, it is the most unique aspect of a family that attracts an expectant mother.
Birth moms know what kind of future they want for their children, and you may be the parent who helps them achieve it.
Common things that a birth mother may look for when choosing who they let adopt their baby include:
Birth Mother’s Opinion of Values and Morals
Birth mothers want to know that the home they chose will instill moral values in their children. After all, birth moms want the best for their children. This is why adoptive parents’ perspectives on child-rearing are so significant.
Birth moms search for parents who want to raise their children to be the best version of themselves, and they feel safe picking a family who shares their values.
Birth moms are drawn to specific adoptive parents for a variety of reasons. Birth mothers might choose adoptive parents based on factors such as religion, employment, images in the adoption profile, the presence or absence of pets, or even desired family activities.
It all boils down to her personal choices at the end of the day. Many times, birth moms are unable to express why they choose a certain family. They just simply know.
Does the Birth Mother Want a Closed or Open Adoption?
After adoption, birth moms can have three kinds of contact with adoptive families:
- Closed adoption
- Semi-open adoption
- Open adoption
Most adoptions today are open, and many birth moms wish to be engaged in their child’s life after delivery, whether directly or indirectly.
Adoption is a fantastic method to start a family and provide a loving home for a child.
After all, adopted children have two sets of parents: biological and adoptive, and an open adoption allows children to learn about their biological parents. It’s worth thinking about.
One advantage of open adoption is your adopted child will not secretly have a longing to know their birth parent, as they will already be in the know as to who their birth parents are.
Birth Mothers May Be Attracted to Stability
Many birth mothers choose adoption, as they are unable to provide a stable, financially secure home life for their baby.
Or, maybe there is some kind of abuse in the birth mother’s surroundings that she would prefer to protect her baby from.
The strength of an adoptive family’s relationship is immensely important to a birth mother when choosing adoptive parents.
Birth moms are ultimately looking for a supportive family unit, whether that includes two parents or one. A healthy adoptive family should exhibit their affection for one another.
Birth mothers are no different than any other parent; all they want for their child is a loving and caring home.
Sometimes a Birth Mother Just Feels a Special Feeling Toward Adoptive Parents
Birth moms may know precisely what they want in a family in some cases, but they may not until they meet the right family.
The simplest, most distinctive characteristics might generate an immediate bond for a prospective birth mother. What can or will lead her to bond with an adoptive family is impossible to foresee.
There is only so much preparation ahead of time for who a birth mother may or not choose to adopt her baby. Sometimes odd things may trigger a bond.
Understand that Domestic Adoption is Often Faster
The rules and procedures governing international adoption are constantly evolving and growing more stringent. As a result, many families have chosen domestic adoption.
Contrary to popular belief, adopting inside the United States is typically an easier and speedier procedure than overseas adoption.
Every year, more families in the United States successfully adopt infants. Furthermore, as compared to international adoption costs, domestic adoptions are far less expensive.
International adoption often requires multiple trips to the country where the child is being adopted. Not only does this make international adoption more costly, but also more time-consuming.
How Long Does It Take to Adopt Internationally?
The duration and predictability of the international adoption process vary based on the country, service provider, and individual child involved; nonetheless, an international or overseas adoption normally takes one to five years to complete.
How Long Does It Take to Adopt Domestically?
American Adoptions is a trusted national adoption agency with an average of 75 percent of families completing their domestic adoptions between 1 to 24 months after activation.
The process of being eligible to be adoptive parents is known as activation. The following are examples of activation requirements:
- The home study process
- Create an adoption profile
- Meet with your adoption specialist to meet all other requirements
One of your biggest reasons for selecting a particular adoption professional should be how long it will take for you to adopt a child with them.
The adoption process includes several phases, and the time it takes from start to completion might vary. This is critical to comprehend before moving on to the most challenging part of the procedure.
Consider an Open Adoption
With more and more adoptions today being what is considered an open adoption, it may be in your best interest to at least consider open adoption.
What is an Open Adoption?
Open adoption is a connection between an adopted family and the birth parents in which identifying information is revealed and no adoption professional is required to facilitate communication.
After mediated adoption, open adoption is the second most prevalent kind of adoptive partnership.
This adoption partnership is best for birth parents and adoptive families who wish to get to know each other before the adoption and continue their friendship thereafter.
There is a growing interest in open adoption today. Yet some adoptive parents feel uncomfortable with the idea of sharing identifying information with the birth mother and would prefer to have a clean separation after the adoption is finalized.
Many times, this stems from the fear that the adopted child will love or want to be with their biological parents more than their adoptive parents.
The truth, though, is that it’s human nature to want what we don’t have.
When an adopted child experiences open adoption, they are not secretly wondering who their biological parents are, as they are already in the know as to who they are.
Considering an open adoption may raise your chances of being chosen by the birth mothers over those not willing to participate in an open adoption.
Realize that Adopting a Baby From Foster Care Is Rare
Although there are usually a lot of individuals who want to adopt a newborn from foster care, there are significantly fewer people who want to adopt an older child.
While adopting an older child should never be done without extensive study and planning, it is a much more popular approach to start a family through foster care than adopting a baby.
There are several concerns about adopting an older child, particularly in terms of trauma and connection.
Keep in mind, however, that all foster children, even infants, have suffered some form of loss or trauma. When given enough time, affection, and consistency, children are equally capable of building strong and healthy bonds.
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.