There are three main types of adoption; domestic private, international or inter country and domestic public. In this post I am going to talk about steps to a domestic private adoption (which is what we did). If anyone knows the step by step process for the other two types of adoption, please share them with us in the comments and I will add it as a post.
- Find an Adoption Practitioner in your area (see resources page), let them know you plan to adopt privately through an agency. They will send you all of the necessary paperwork and checklists to ready your home. The amount of paperwork will seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time and you will get through it all! a home study typically costs $2500 and takes about 6 weeks to complete.
- Sign up for a P.R.I.D.E. Training course near you. This will cost around $1500. There are options like 1 night a week for 9 weeks or you can do it in two weekends, depending on who teaches it and where.
- Make a Profile book of your family. Detailed information about how to do this will be in your home study info. $50-$100 per book and each agency will need at least two books. This book will need to be updated for each adoption and usually the birth parents like to keep a copy for themselves if they chose you.
- Research adoption agencies and interview them over the phone (list of questions to ask in our resources page) Once you have chosen your favorites, set up an appointment to be interviewed by them and then they will register you. An interview costs about $200-$300 and registration is about $150-$200
- After you are “adopt ready” (home study done, pride training done) and you are registered with agencies, they will present your profile book to birth mothers. Usually the birth mom lists the type of family she is looking for and the agency will choose about 5 families profile books based on her wishes. You might or might not be notified that your profile book is being shown.
- If the birth mother chooses your family, the agency will arrange a meeting with your adoption practitioner, you and your spouse (if you are adopting with a spouse), the birth parents, the birth parent counselor and possibly the agency director. At this meeting you might discuss possible names, openness agreement, birth plans etc. It sound intimidating to have all of those people at your meeting, but they are professionals who do this all the time and they will help facilitate the meeting and ensure all goes smoothly and that this is a great match for both the birth mom and the adoptive parents.
- If all goes well at the meeting you might be asked to join the birth parents for a hospital tour prior to the birth. When the birth takes place you may be asked to be at the hospital or you may need to wait at home until you are contacted. Hospital time is completely up to the birth parents wishes.