There are many things to take into consideration when thinking of becoming an adoptive or foster parent. Here are a handful of the most important things to consider when starting this journey.
International Adoption vs. Domestic Adoption
If you are considering becoming an adoptive family, you have two primary options: international or domestic adoption. Both types of adoption are going to give a child a safe and loving home. It is up to you whether you would like to adopt a child from another country or from the United States. Texas Adoption Center shares that international adoption and domestic adoption have similar costs associated with them but be aware that if you want to adopt a newborn, you will need to do domestic adoption. For international adoptions, children must be cleared for adoption and are usually toddlers by the time they are able to be placed with a family.
Evaluate Your Finances
Both foster families and adoptive families must be financially able to provide for the child(ren) in their care. A World For Children reminds prospective adoptive or foster parents to ask themselves if they are financially ready to provide for a child. If you have a stable income, a safe place to live, adequate transportation, and are willing to make sacrifices for a child, you may be ready to start the foster care or adoption process. According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, domestic adoption usually ranges from $15,000 to $45,000 and international adoption ranges from $20,000 to $50,000. This is a significant amount of money, not to mention the recurring costs that come with raising a child. Be sure you are able to afford to take care of a child before applying.
Be Prepared for the Home Study
For both foster care and adoption, a home study will be conducted to deem your home and lifestyle fit for a child. Your foster care or adoption professional will work with you to assess your fitness to be a parental figure for a child in need. It will typically take anywhere from three to six months to complete the home study portion. A case worker will make a few visits to your home, you will need to provide proof of income and health insurance, get a medical exam, a criminal background check, and provide references to discuss your character.
BestCompaniesAZ reminds prospective adoptive or foster parents to make emotional considerations before beginning the journey. Fostering a child is a huge commitment that will take patience and sacrifice, and be stressful at times. Adoption is a lifelong commitment to love and care for another human being. Both are extremely rewarding paths and can bring so much joy, but they also come with struggle. Do you have the support system you need in place to help you raise or care for a child? Do you have a company that has the resources and benefits to support you during this time? Make an honest personal assessment of yourself, your situation and your emotional health. Are you ready to welcome a child into your family even if that means taking the focus off of yourself? Ask yourself questions such as this one when deciding if fostering or adoption is right for you.
There are plenty of other considerations to make and questions to ask when thinking about adopting or fostering a child. Hopefully, this has helped you begin your journey to discovering what path is right for you and your family.