Preparing For An Adoption

Posted on: 25 February 2015

Adoption is a wonderful way to make a child not biologically related to you part of your family, but it is also a legal matter requiring the family courts to be involved. Adoption can be a challenge, but here are some tips you can use to get yourself ready for the legal issues you will face. 

Have a Home Study

The first step in the adoption process is completing a home study. Many adoption agencies conduct home studies. Call some in your area to compare prices and to find an agency you are comfortable with. You don't have to use the same agency for a home study that you use for your adoption. 

The home study will involve having a social worker visit your house to see where the child would live and to ask you lots of very detailed and even personal questions. Here are some things that the home study will cover. 

  • Is your home safe for a child? You should have a bedroom designated as the child's room. It doesn't have to be ready for the child yet. You just have to show it is there. You should have smoke alarms, a carbon monoxide detector and other standard safety items in your home. 
  • What is your criminal background? The agency will conduct a criminal background check. Be ready to admit to and explain anything that is likely to come up. Some crimes will prevent you from adopting, but there are details to consider such as the nature of the crime and how long ago the crime was committed. 
  • Are you financially stable? Be prepared to show that you can pay for an adoption and be financially responsible for a child. 

Hire a Lawyer

If you are working with an adoption agency, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. However, if you are fighting to adopt a child against the biological parents wishes or if you find yourself having to prove that your home is the best choice for a specific child, you will want legal representation. 

Family courts may be more likely to place a child with biological family members, but they will also seriously consider what is in the best interest of the child. An attorney can help you prove that the child will be safer and happier with you. 

Stay Positive and Patient

Decisions made by family courts can take a long time. You may see a judge many times over the course of a year or more before an adoption is finally finished. Getting angry or making waves will only cause problems. 

Adopting isn't easy, but it can be the most rewarding thing you ever do. You can help make your adoption go smoothly by being prepared for the challenges you are likely to face.