1. I'm thinking about adoption, and it's so overwhelming. Where do I start?
There are a lot of avenues to get started. There are books that provide general overviews of different types of adoption, like Adoption for Dummies, You Can Adopt, or The Idiots Guide to Adoption. They can often help you decide what type of adoption may be right for your family, and provide resources on where to go from there.
A number of websites for agencies and other adoption-related communities have webinars and phone seminars about adoption. resolve.org has a number of adoption-related podcasts
Agencies in your area may also have similar offerings.
Once you've decided on a path forward, you can research local and national agencies, law firms, facilitators (if allowed in your state) or private adoption options available to you.
usually suggest that people considering adoption should check out an
introductory book on the subject, because there are so many different kinds of
adoption, each with its own process. I
think books like Adoption for Dummies or The Complete Idiot's Guide To Adoption
(which I used) are a great place to get started. They provide lots of basic information on
adoption, the different types, the processes, and how to research an agency. Other good books are The Complete Adoption
Book and You CAN Adopt. Any of these
will help you decide which type of adoption best “fits” your family.
then decide that domestic adoption is right for your family, you’ll need to
find a good agency or decide to pursue an independent adoption. I highly recommend researching any agency you
are considering to make sure it abides by ethical standards. For domestic agencies, a great place to look
them up is on the yahoo group called "AARD" (Adoption Agency Research
– Domestic). That group is dedicated to
giving honest feedback on agencies. You
can ask about the agencies you are interested in directly, and also search
their archives and files.
choose international, you’ll then need to pick from which country. The US
Department of State's website lists the requirements to adopt from each country
(http://adoption.state.gov/). I always recommend you find a country that
you wish to adopt from first, and then chose an agency that has a strong
program in that country. There are some
great agencies that have some really strong programs in countries they've been
working in for some time...and some fledgling programs in countries that are
new to them. Even though these agencies
are generally highly recommended, their newer programs may not work as well as
those that are more renowned, because they haven't had the time and experience
to figure out all the kinks, establish strong contacts, and become aware of all
the pitfalls. It's also a good idea to
find an agency that has a strong program in more than one country you are
interested in. Adoption programs can be
very volatile, as they are dependent on the laws of multiple
countries/compacts, diplomatic relations, public perception, etc. It's not unheard of for a country to drastically
slow down their process or close entirely, and if your agency specializes in
more than one country you are interested in, you should be able to transfer to
another program with limited difficulty or cost (you should make sure of this
when interviewing agencies). The yahoo
group "Adoption Agency Research" is a phenomenal resource for vetting
agencies, and works the same way as “AARD.”
15 treatment cycles: four early m/c
Moving forward with domestic infant adoption!
Home study approved 5/13, now just waiting...