One third of Americans consider raising a child who is not biologically related to them but only 2 percent of those people have actually done so, according to data reported on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website. There are hundreds of thousands of children all over the world who are waiting for permanent families. It's just a matter of matching prospective parents with the infant, toddler or teen they're meant to adopt and raise in their family.
The adoption community has evolved over time. It's no longer a taboo topic, has expanded its borders internationally and enables millions of children in America to live in loving, permanent families. Nearly everyone over the age of 21 to 25 is eligible to apply for placement. There are a few hangups still for nontraditional adults that are gay, disabled, older or intend to be single parents. However, the doors have opened wider for even the hard-to-place parents. Processes differ from state to state and agency to agency, but every adopter will have to pass a home study as part of his or her application. Although it's not only for the rich and famous, a stable home-life and financial resources are certainly valued by adoption agencies. To take legal responsibility and raise a child is a huge undertaking that will change anyone's lifestyle. It's important to have the time, money and mindset for starting or expanding your family.
Prospective parents should be honest with themselves, be thorough with their research and carefully consider the method they want to approach, keeping in mind the age of the child one can imagine bringing into his or her family and any issues they can expect to encounter, such as birth mother expenses or special needs.
Older child placement occurs through public or international agencies. Domestically, children come from the foster care system. As of September 30, 2009, there were 423,773 children in U.S. foster care system. According to the July 2010 estimates by the Administration for Children & Families, about a quarter of those children in foster homes - 114, 556 - were waiting for permanent placement.
If you're a prospective parent seeking placement by a birth mother, an agency or attorney can facilitate these adoptions. However, the wait-time can vary per case and there is more collaborative work between the birth parents and adoptive family.
In the greater scheme of things, there's no right or wrong way to approach adoption. However, the process is simplified and demystified by thorough research and self-awareness.
See Also: petition to adopt
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Question about what age to adopt?
May 23, 2013, 2:46 pm
My husband and I are doing adoption only from the state so I'm not sure if this is the right place to post my question. First off, I'm 22 and my husband is 26. We put on our papers we want to adopt infant-5 years old but I'm wondering from your experiences what ages should we also consider? I have...Letter to Bio Parent/Child
May 23, 2013, 9:36 am
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Adopting adopted sons cousin
May 22, 2013, 3:01 pm
We've recently been presented with an opportunity to adopt my adopted sons younger cousin. She is not currently in the foster system but has become a hardship for her mother. My son is 6, his cousin 2, we see the family frequently, any thoughts on this and how to go about it the least expensive but...Meeting Bio Family Pos vs Neg?
May 23, 2013, 11:45 am
So I am trying to work through this in my head. Daisy's worker said that bio mom's sister, parents and older daughter that was raised by GP's are worried about Daisy and especially the sister, would probably love to talk with me or see her at some point, just to know she is doing well. I...