Although you undoubtedly made your decision to adopt a child with careful consideration and with full understanding of the legal, financial and emotional commitment it will require, well-meant advice from others may be overwhelming. Many myths exist about adoption, and separating those from facts and focusing on the latter can ease the adoption process.
- Birth parents can claim the child back -- Following completion of the adoption, with the consent form signed by the birth parents, they no longer have parental rights. However, as the adoptive parent, you may agree to allow some contact with the birth parents, as long as it will be in the child's best interest.
- International adoption is more popular -- It may the more popular choice of celebrities, but it could be extremely challenging. It may be more costly and time consuming. It is also unpredictable and can lead to great disappointment if an adoption is canceled -- sometimes after significant financial outlays.
- LGBT families cannot adopt -- Under updated laws, non-traditional families have as much right to adopt a child as any heterosexual couple has. There may not be as many children available to those families because the birth mothers are entitled to state their preferences, and for this reason, it may take longer to get a child.
With the right guidance and support, you could simplify a typically complicated process of adoption and significantly increase your odds of a smooth transition toward becoming the legal parent to a child. Your first task will be to create a profile to tell the prospective birth mothers all about you and your family. After completing a home study, you must be prepared to wait for a birth mother to select you. Your attorney can assist in the drafting of any agreements.
Build your Support Team
To prevent the confusion and many pitfalls you may encounter, the support and guidance of an experienced family law attorney who is skilled in handling adoption cases can avoid delays and other obstacles. A seasoned lawyer can assist with drafting your profile to ensure your presentation shows you in the best possible light to the prospective birth mothers. He or she can also help you to register with several adoption agencies to increase your selection chances, and he or she can explain the California adoption laws to you.
Will your preferences work against you?
Be careful not to be too particular with you preferences. Although adoption gives you the opportunity to specify your requirement for the child you want, being too fussy may lead to a longer wait. For example, by insisting on a particular gender, you immediately cut your chances in half. Remember that most birthmothers want to choose adoptive parents before the birth of their children, at which time many are still unaware of the gender of their babies.
Although you are entitled to be as specific about your wishes as you want to be, you must understand that it might extend the waiting time.
Hopefully, armed with a knowledge of the basics of adoption along with the skills of an experienced family law attorney on your side, building your family through adoption will be as exciting as it would have been if you had your own child.