Frequently Asked Questions on Adoption
Are all adoptions really expensive?
Though cost can be a major factor for many adoptions, it’s not as big a concern in all situations. International and private adoptions tend to cost more due to the cost of lawyer and agency fees and usually range between $15,000 and $40,000. However, not all adoptions are this expensive. Adoption from foster care costs can range from $0 to $2,500. Regardless of which type of adoption you pursue, the US government provides a tax credit for each adopted child.
In addition, several different organizations offer grants or interest free loans to adoptive families. These include groups like:
America’s Christian Credit Union
Lifesong for Orphans
How long does an adoption take?
The average wait for a domestic adoption is less than two years. In a small percentage of scenarios, it can take longer (especially for an international adoption). Nearly all adoptions take 9 months to 1 year at a minimum.
Will the government always be watching over my shoulder?
The state government’s role in adoption is to help ensure that children are placed in loving homes that will be a good match for both the parents and the child. Families looking to adopt must complete a background check, training, and a home study to determine if they are able to provide a safe environment for additional children (this is true with international adoption as well). After a child is placed in the home, the government will still continue to check in on the family and write a post-placement report for the court. However, once the adoption is finalized, the government has no involvement in how you parent your children. At that point, parental rights are exactly the same as with a biological child.
How will a child we adopt affect our biological children?
A child who has lost one or both parents inevitably experiences trauma. While there is never a way to completely protect your family, gaining knowledge and understanding of the child you’re adopting will go a long way. Start investigating what community resources are available to you and have conversations with your children. Involving them in the process will help them adapt to the coming changes. Often, children already in the home can help other children adjust to the family.
Will I love a child I adopt as much as a biological child?
If you ask adoptive parents this question, they’ll probably smile as they remember the same question running through their minds. Then they’ll tell you how the instant they met their child, there was no denying that this child was a part of their family.
Can the birth parents come back and take the child?*
Once the parental rights have been terminated and all appeals have been exhausted, the biological parents have no ability to “take their children back.” Many foster parents open their home to a child with the hopes of adoption. In many cases, this is a child whose parental rights have been terminated. However, certain situations occur when a family takes in a child with a legal risk. This means they are taking the risk that the parental rights may not yet be terminated and the child will be returned to the birth family. However, families are aware of this risk before the child is placed in their home.
*special circumstances apply for Native American children
Don’t all kids in foster care have lots of problems?
The children in foster care have most likely experienced some form of trauma, some while they were still in the womb and others in birth or foster care families. However, educating yourself on the challenges you will face will better prepare you for the child who is coming into your home. Many times as we begin to dig deeper into the trauma of our adoptive children, issues, fears, and concerns from our own life surface. God often uses our honesty and brokenness to help heal our children.
Can I adopt a child from another state?
Yes, it is very possible to adopt a child currently living in a different state than you through a process called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) . However, it does require you to comply with the adoption requirements for both states. It could also add additional time to the process while the necessary steps are taken in both states. For more information on the process and requirements, visit the Children’s Bureau web site.
How do I learn more about intercountry adoption?
The Intercountry Adoption Journey (IAJ), is an 8-hour on-line Hague Compliant educational program offered by the National Council For Adoption (NCFA). This training is an interactive, comprehensive learning experience featuring in-depth information and insights to intercountry adoption from government and agency officials, adoption professionals, country specialists, medical and legal experts, and adoptive families. Overview and registration is located at www.hagueadoption.org. Certificates of completion are good for three years. Parents have 8 weeks to complete the course and technical support is available 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. More than 9,000 family members and adoption professionals have taken the course since it was launched in January of 2008. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. NCFA is a national nonprofit organization located in Alexandria, Virginia and is globally recognized for its adoption advocacy through education, research and legislative action. For more information; www.adoptioncouncil.org.