OPTIONS ABOUND for those who wish to adopt – the only limits are time and money. With a biological child, you get what you get and they only come one way – very young.
So let me tell you about our options and what we decided.
First decision: international or domestic? We could go to a different country or stay in the States. We were not keen on international paperwork, so we decided on domestic.
Second decision: public or private? We could adopt through the public (e.g. “state”) system or through an agency/attorney. The difference is mainly in who is relinquishing the child to us – for public it’s the government and for private it’s first parents. We were not keen on the government being heavily involved in the process for this go-round, so we decided on private.
Most private adoptions are infant adoptions. So we’re doing what is generally known as domestic infant adoption.
Some of the work still goes through the state government. Our home study has to be submitted and approved by a licensed state social worker, for example. And the actual placement and finalization paperwork is managed by government entities. The majority of what we’ll be doing, though, will happen with private agencies or attorneys.
I feel like The Adoption needs to be in all caps. We are really truly officially off the ground and, if not running, at least moving along at a decent clip.
Strange to suddenly be IN this, instead of studying it and soaking up a lot of information. For those who kinda’ know the buzzwords, we’re at the front end of our home study. Home studies can take months; we expect ours to take maybe two, max. Thankfully, we found a home study provider who is local and *not* three months behind, as can sometimes be the case.
If it takes six months, though, that’s how long it takes. We know the end of all this will mean our family includes a child, so we’re not married to a specific timeline.
There’s a LOT of gathering of paperwork involved in this part of the process. All the documentation that proves we are who we say we are – birth certs, marriage certs, proof of residency, income, etc… Most of it has to go back ten years and some of it we’ll have to get from family members. Mom, Dad, expect a call.
We had the profound good fortune of being recommended an adoption “coordinator” who has already been an incredible help in organizing our process and directing us as to best practices and possible road blocks. This whole thing felt huge and un-manageable in December and now it feels huge and totally manageable.
Guys. This time next year we could have a kid. That. Is. CRAZY.