1. Initial Contact with Adoption Agency or the Adoptee
The first step of the adoption process requires you to educate yourself about adoption; this crucial step of the adoption process requires you to conduct research of all the adoption options in your country or jurisdiction. To expedite this portion of the adoption process, you can hire an adoption professional, who will streamline the procedure. When you have definitively decided that you want to adopt, you should contact an adoption specialist who will answer all your questions concerning the adoption process.
Adoption specialists are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-ADOPTION to answer all questions concerning the adoption process and to elucidate upon all the options available given your situation. Before contacting an adoption agency you must learn everything there is to know about adoption. Joining an adoptive parent support group, reading adoption books, magazines, websites and attending pre-adoption information sessions (hosted by local adoption agencies) will supply you with fundamental information concerning adoption.
2. Obtain and Subsequently Analyze the Adoption Packet
After contact has been made with the coordinating adoption agency, you will receive, either by email or regular mail, fundamental information concerning the adoption process along with some preliminary forms to initiate the adoption process. These forms will typically contain medical background information and generic biographical information; all information required on these preliminary forms will be used confidentially to break ground on the adoption process.
The completion of these forms does not commit you to the adoption process; the forms are simply telling the adoption agency that you are ready to begin exploring an adoption plan. During this phase, you will no sign any legal adoption paperwork until the baby has been born or the adoption has been affirmed.
3. Creating an Adoption Plan
If adoption is viewed as the best option given your current situation, then you and your adoption specialist will begin constructing your adoption plan. This part of the adoption process will elucidate upon the crucial aspects of the adoption including: the selection of the adoptive family for your baby or you can ask your adoption specialist to select a family for you. During this part of the adoption process you can also choose to meet the adoptive family or talk with them via email or on the phone.
The most crucial aspect of the adoption plan is deciding on whether you want a closed or open adoption; in an open adoption a continued relationship is developed between you and the adoptive family. Additionally, in this portion of the adoption process, you can set-up or decide whether you want to receive letters and pictures of the child in question, face-to-face counseling, help with medical bills, aid with living arrangements, or talk to other birth parents and/or adoptees to learn about their personal experience regarding the adoption process.
Once the baby is born or the child is selected for adoption, the adoption process has reached an ending point in regards to the adoption plan. At this time, you will sign the legal adoption documents to fortify the adoption. This process; however, will vary based on statute and state law as it corresponds to the locality in which you initiated the adoption.