November is National Adoption Month: Top 10 Adoption FAQs

In November 3, 2016

Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? Promotion of adoption awareness began in 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis announced Adoption Week to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care in the state.  National Adoption Week was first instituted by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and expanded to National Adoption Month by President Bill Clinton in 1995.

This awareness campaign helps bring to light answers to frequently asked questions about adoption.  If you are still curious to learn more, here are the top 10 adoption FAQs to help you better understand the adoption process.

  1. Who can adopt a child? Adoptions are open toe a large group of people, more than most potential adopters first realize. Most potential adoptive parents are between the ages of 25-50 years and are eligible to adopt regardless of religious affiliation,, gender, income level, relationship status, etc.. Potential adopters will be required to pass criminal background checks, home checks, and provide proof of United States citizenship. For specific information on the laws within your state, you can search online for the adoption laws and requirements.
  2. Is it possible to foster before adopting a child? Yes, there are programs in place that allow you to first foster a child before adopting. While the ultimate goal is to permanently place a child with a loving family, adoption agencies and state agencies also understand that new families will also want to make sure the fit is right for them. You can learn more about one of these programs here.
  3. If I adopt a child, can the biological parents take that child back? No, when a child is legally adopted the birth parents have to give up their legal parental rights. There have been some cases regarding Native American children which have challenged this law, but these cases are extremely rare.
  4. Can I adopt any child? You can adopt children of all ages, races, genders, and ability levels.
  5. 5. How do I get a birth certificate for an adopted child? When you adopt a child, you will get an amended birth certificate that will contain all of the information found on the original birth certificate except for the birth parents names.
  6. How do I get a Social Security number for my adopted child? If your child does not have a social security number already, as is often the case  with infant adoptions, you can apply for one when you apply for your baby’s amended birth certificate and the social security office will send the cards in the mail. Your adoption agency will be able to support you in this process.
  7. How much does it cost to adopt? Adoption costs vary from agency to agency.. Adoption costs can range from as little as a few hundred dollars upwards to as much as $30,000.
  8. Are there any financial assistance programs to help offset the cost of adoption? There are programs to assist adoptive parents of children with special needs, but for adoptive parents of other children, programs can be limited. In certain situations,  government agencies may offer assistance with  legal and/or medical expenses. In addition,  some employers offer their employees paid time off during the adoption process.
  9. How long does the adoption process take? There are many factors that determine how long the adoption process might take to complete, but the average time to complete the adoption process in the United States is approximately one year. for
  10. Can I adopt a child from another state? Yes! As an applicant, you will be required to meet the requirements of both states during the application process (the state where you reside, and the state from where the child is being adopted) . This type of  adoption may also take longer  since both states will need to file the proper paperwork and take the correct steps to ensure the child is going to a safe and loving home.

These adoption FAQs will help you better understand the adoption process. Now during National Adoption Month 2016, you can help other families understand how adoption works within the United States. To learn more about adoption in your state, you can start with an online search for adoption agencies in your area.

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