Our home study packet arrived on Friday! I've already become CPR certified just in the last 48 hours! I'm so excited to get everything going, I feel like I'm running a race. Oh and I started our profile book too which is what I was most looking forward to doing. I'll share more about that later.
I have been asked so many questions since we opened up and started sharing about our plans to adopt. So I wanted to reach out more and answer more questions because adoption is a really complicated and there are tons of misconceptions about it. So hopefully this will help people understand certain aspects about adoption in general, and also some of our personal feelings about it.
What is the process to adopt?
The first step is the home study, which is done by a social worker and consists of lots of paperwork and documentation, educational training, and three interviews (one of which is done in our home). The home study is done as soon as we complete all of the necessary requirements, but most people say it takes about 3 months to do. Once we are approved and signed up with agencies, our profile book will be shown to expectant mothers and we basically just wait for someone to pick us.
How long will it take us to adopt?
This depends on so many things so it's impossible to answer. Most agencies say it takes 1-2 years. We are going to be using Christian Adoption Consultants. They act as middle men and connect us with multiple agencies, lawyers and situations across the country. We are hoping this will help the process go smoother and quicker. They say most families match in under a year.
Why is it so expensive to adopt?
I plan to dedicate a whole post to this in the near future, but here is a brief answer. I've heard of people spending as little as $8,000 and as much as $50,000, with the average being between $25,000-$35,000. Crazy right? I think I have finally wrapped my head around why, although I still am shocked by it. It seems like the biggest factors are agency and lawyer fees(mostly for advertising and locating an expectant mother). Birth mother expenses can also vary a lot. It is illegal to pay someone for their baby, but in several states it is legal and expected to cover birth mother expenses such as rent, food, medical Etc. We will be doing fundraising over the next few months to help with the expenses. With Wes still being in medical school there is no way we can do this on our own.
(Someone asked me why domestic adoption is less expensive than international, and I actually don't think it is less expensive. I haven't researched international much but domestic can definitely be just as expensive. Travel and time required in the country is probably a big factor though).
Do we know the gender or race?
Wes and I both want to be open and not put too many limitations on the child that could bless our family. While we know that adopting a child of another race could present different challenges, we are really excited about the possibility of having a diverse family.
Will our adoption be open or closed with the birth family?
We are open to whatever kind of relationship the birth parent(s) want to have. Open adoptions, where there is open communication between the child and biological parents, is what is most recommended. It's healthiest for the child, especially when figuring out their identity. It also seems healthiest for the birth mother which I can completely understand. Closed adoptions with no contact or information are fairly uncommon now.
What is our biggest fear going into this?
Our biggest fear is experiencing a failed adoption. Apparently it is pretty common for this to happen. It's entirely possible that we could show up at the hospital, fall in love with the baby, and then find out that the birth parent(s) have changed their mind and want to parent themselves. And of course they have the right to do that. But in order to love we have to open ourselves up to heartbreak.
What is our biggest hope?
Our biggest hope is to find an amazing expectant mother that we can invite into our family to love our child with us. And obviously we hope that the whole process goes smoothly and quickly.
Thanks for checking in on us!! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!