Many kinds of adoption are available to you as prospective parents. You can consider a domestic infant, a waiting child in foster care, or a child abroad.
Describes an adoption where only non-identifying social and medical information is exchanged between parties to an adoption through the agency or intermediary. There is no direct, ongoing relationship between the birth parents and adoptive parents.
Describes a range of practices that involve the exchange of information and contact between adoptive parents and biological parents. It usually includes all relationships shy of full disclosure of identifying information (full names and addresses) and direct continuing contact between the parties after the adoption.
Describes an adoption where identifying information has been exchanged between the birth parents and the adoptive parents and they have established a direct, ongoing relationship.
The most misunderstood component of adoption is the notion that birth parents are abandoning their baby. This problem is further complicated by inappropriate language used when speaking about adoption. Phrases like “giving up” or “giving away” a baby are commonly used. Birth parents that choose to provide parents for a child through adoption are in no way “giving up or giving away” their child. In fact, they are giving something to their child. Adoption gives a child a home, two parents, a future, and the opportunity to pursue all that God intended him/her to be.
In the past, our society has made birth parents (particularly birth mothers) feel regret and shame for their choices. Our culture has made these heroic women feel like they have abandoned their babies and been irresponsible for getting out of their duty as parents. Instead of being irresponsible, these women and men have chosen to face their circumstances realistically. Birth parents are heroines for their children. They love their babies so much that they make the parenting choice to put the baby’s needs first. They recognize their own limitations and rather than focusing on their personal desires, they focus on what is best for their babies. All people in the adoption triangle benefit from the choice. The baby gets a loving, stable, two-parent home. The parents receive the privilege of rearing a long-awaited child. The birth parents have their lives redeemed until a future time when they are able to provide the necessities for a baby. Adoption is a sacrificial, loving, and thoughtful parenting choice.
Birth parents that choose to work with licensed adoption professionals will not be financially charged to place a child for adoption.
Prospective adoptive parents need to understand that adoption costs vary greatly and depend on what type of adoption you choose to pursue (domestic infant, foster care, international). Adoption can cost $15,000 to $30,000 or more (depending on the agency and circumstances), but credits, reimbursements, and other benefits can make your adoption affordable.
For more information on costs and how to finance an adoption please visit the following sites:
What Adoption Really Costs
The results of Adoptive Families’ 2005 cost survey.
Resources from AdoptiveFamilies.com
State Tax Credits
Several states have tax credits for adoptive families, sometimes restricted to those adopting from that state’s public child welfare system. Contact your state adoption unit for more information. Information for Texas residents here.
Special Needs Adoption
Children with special needs may qualify for a subsidy to help parents pay for ongoing needs.
Nonrecurring Adoption Expense Reimbursement
Families who adopt from the public system may be eligible for reimbursement of adoption-related expenses, such as home study, travel, and attorney costs.
Active-duty personnel are reimbursed for one-time adoption costs, whether adopting an infant, a waiting child, or an International child.
More employers are offering adoption benefits for employees. Check with your employer to see what is available to you and visit the following sites to learn more about lobbying for these benefits:
AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org and BenefitsGuides.com.
Signing relinquishment papers releases all rights and responsibilities of the birth parents. Once signed, the documents are binding. Relinquishment is permanent.
Check with your state to determine what legal rights you have as a birth father. Most states require that the birth father be given the opportunity to express his desire to parent or to relinquish. If an adoption plan is created, he is able to sign his relinquishment paper prior to the baby’s birth.
First, have patience and proceed with realistic expectations. Searching for a birth parent is not something to be done on a whim. It is something to be done after much prayer, thought, consideration have taken place. One must consider the many lives that will be affected by this search.
Second, read several resources on adoption and searching for birth parents. It is always good to learn from other people’s experiences. It is crucial that you realize you must be ready to accept whatever it is you find before commencing with a search. You must be ready to find your finest fantasy, your worst nightmare, and all that lies between.