Making the decision to expand your family is an incredibly exciting choice. There is nothing more rewarding than becoming a parent regardless if you’re just starting out or adding to an already established family unit.
We live in a society where information is easily accessible. No longer is it necessary to only rely on word of mouth or trying to find information using a phone book and a telephone when searching for any given topic, adopting a child included.
In starting our own search, my husband and I talked to members in both of our extended families who have added children into their families through the aid of adoption; their stories much different than our own, they only had a limited few choices. Things were very different back 30 years ago – information was difficult to come by as were options. Today we are fortunate that, when adding a baby into a family, we have the opportunity to choose a direction which works best for us individually.
The Adoption Agency – Regardless of where you live, odds are there are a handful of adoption agencies close to you. An adoption agency is an organization that matches families who want to start a family with birth parents who are considering relinquishing their child using the adoption process. Typically agencies have counselors who work with both sides of the adoption – the family looking to adopt and the birth parents who are considering placing their child for adoption. In using an agency, there are options to have an open adoption, semi-open or closed. Some agencies offer local adoption options while others may offer nationwide and/or international options. Finding the right match for you is essential when choosing this route.
Attorney Based Adoptions – Another option to consider when looking to add a child into a family is working with an adoption-based attorney who specializes in matching birth parents and adoptive parents together, similar to what an adoption agency can do but on a much smaller scale. This route can be more costly than other options.
Frozen Embryo Adoption Agencies – This process offers the option of using a third party’s frozen embryos. It is a process which allows families with remaining frozen embryos to donate them to a family wishing to start a family. It requires implantation of the embryo into the female and can offer the opportunity for the adopting family to experience pregnancy and childbirth.
Fostering First – It is possible for some families to add a child they are fostering into their own family through adoption. Typically the foster family cares for the child during a term, however in some instances, parental rights are permanently terminated by the court, and the child can be formally adopted.
The Personal Connection – Typically not as common as some of the other methods, though still an opportunity to adopt a child, is a personal connection. The friends and family of the party interested in starting a family may also know someone who is considering placing their child for adoption or may know someone who knows someone else looking to connect with a forever family. Once both parties agree that they wish to pursue the experience, they can start to work together and decide the best path to proceed.
While making the decision to adopt a child is exciting, finding the right method to make that happen is just as important. Take time to talk to family members and friends about their adoption experiences and to research your options carefully and thoroughly. Make sure to ask a lot of questions with whatever organization or group you choose before you make the decision that best fits your emotional and financial needs, knowing at the end of the adoption process you’ll be starting another beautiful chapter in your life.