The benefits & challenges you’ll face on the road to adoption.
Many people who’ve gone through the adoption process have had a positive experience, while others will tell you it was difficult, both emotionally and financially. Before deciding whether adoption is the right choice for you, consider both the positives and the difficulties, and the possibility that you’ll need an attorney.
The Great Things About Adoption
- Giving a child a safe home: It goes without saying that rescuing a child who has been removed from their home because of abuse, neglect or because the parents are unfit to care for them, is much more than a good deed. Providing a loving, safe and nurturing environment for this child is a beautiful endeavor that can change lives – the child’s and yours.
- Getting the child you’ve always dreamed of: For many folks who are unable to have children of their own, adoption is the best alternative. It’s not only a win for the child; it’s a win for the parents. Whether you are adopting from a birthmother (in many cases a teenager unable to handle the responsibility) or through an agency, many people have had great success adopting newborn infants or very young children.
- Helping the birthmother: An unplanned pregnancy is often a turning point in a person’s life. Whether a teenager or a woman who doesn’t want to or simply can’t raise a child, adoption is a lifesaving solution to a serious problem. Adoptive parents can provide the home that the mother cannot or doesn’t want to provide, reliving the mother of unwanted responsibility and the child from growing up in a negative or difficult environment.
The Not So Great Things About Adoption
- It’s a long, hard road: In most cases, adoption is not an easy, fast or convenient process. Even if all the parties are in agreement and consent to it, it can still take very long to complete. When dealing with an agency or through your local department of children and families, there’s always an application process, an in-home study to ensure that you can provide a safe and loving home and that you are able to raise a child. Sometimes you’ll find yourself placed on a waiting list, in which case it could take months, even years before you get the call that there’s a child ready to be adopted.
- Financially challenging: Adoption can be very expensive. According to statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services, some agency adoptions can cost upwards of $40,000. For most folks, that’s a huge amount of money. That being said, there are programs available to assist parents with these expenses including tax credits, grants and financial aid.
- Emotionally straining: Adopting an infant or very young child is often preferred by parents because these children usually have little or no emotional issues assimilating into their new family. Older children, who’ve either been in foster care or have lived with their biological parents and been removed for whatever reason, may suffer from various emotional challenges in their adjustment to their new home. Working with a family therapist or counselor can help make the transition easier and of course lots of love, support and reassurance is always helpful.
When to Call an Attorney
Whether you’ve already made the decision to adopt or are just considering it, speaking to an experienced adoption attorney is a smart route to take. An adoption lawyer can handle all the aspects of the process, including preparing you for hearings, home visits, etc., filing all the necessary paperwork and representing you in court if that is necessary.
Choosing an Adoption Attorney
Selecting an attorney is a decision not to be taken lightly. Before making your choice, consider that you want an adoption attorney who is not only experienced, but is local and knowledgeable in your state’s adoption laws and procedures.
You’ll also want to factor in how many adoptions they’ve completed, what percentage of those were successful (without either party changing their mind, etc.) and how much of their practice is dedicated to adoptions.
Another important factor to be mindful of is the attorney’s fees. Many adoption attorneys will charge a flat fee, but be aware of how much it is before you decide, as the adoption itself can be very expensive.
Making the choice to adopt a child, no matter what the circumstance, is a lifetime commitment. If you’re considering adopting, be aware of the pros and cons and call us at Lauriston Law Firm to help you with the process.