It is not uncommon for a family to be able to adopt a child in less than a year. The necessities for this achievement are not only $20,000 plus adoption fees. A family must be willing to temporarily dedicate their lives to becoming familiar with adoption issues, preparing the best home possible for their child, and making their plans to adopt well known within the community where they live.
How long does the adoption process take? The adoption home study should never take longer than 5 months unless the adopting family wants the process to go slower. Usually the home study can be completed much sooner. Once it is finished and families began the networking process, over 90% of all families in recent years have received placement within 17 months. The average wait for all families is about 10 months. However, depending on the circumstances, it could take a bit longer. Even if the rate of placements does not change, there will still be over 45% of families who will wait longer than the 10 months that the "average" families wait.
When a family is considering adoption, it is important to ask the prospective adoption agency:
Adoption laws differ from state to state and are continually changing. If you are interested in adopting a child, you should make it your business to know about adoption laws. These laws are becoming more well known due to the unusual media attention that has been given to adoption court cases in recent years. Several of these cases concerned birthfathers who took an interest in their children after they had been placed for adoption by their mothers, and in so doing, brought the issue of birthfathers' legal rights to the front. Other cases involved adoptive parents who did not pursue proper legal action in completing their adoptions, and inappropriate actions on the part of agencies.
As well as court cases, it's vital to know the general areas of important state and federal adoption legislation regarding:
In the past, it was standard that children were only allowed to be adopted by a traditional household- a mother and father. Things have changed significantly in recent years, as growing numbers of agencies and some foreign countries are now placing children with single applicants or gay/lesbian couples. Follow-up research studies of successful single parent adoptions have shown single adoptive parents as mature, independent, and having a wide and supportive network of family and friends. In fact, single adoptive parents are often the placement of choice for children who have problems dealing with two parents due to a history of abuse or neglect.
For many infant adoptions in the United States however, agency criteria for applicants are more limiting. Frequently agencies will only consider couples married at least 1 to 3 years, between the ages of 25 and 40, and with stable employment income. Some agencies accept applicants who are older than 40. Some agencies require that the couple have no other children and be unable to bear children. Some agencies require that one parent not work outside the home for at least 6 months after the adoption. Agencies placing infants will discuss their precise eligibility policy and placement options with you. It is important to find an adoption agency that best meets your needs and criteria in adding to your family.
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