Adoption can be a beautiful, loving way to watch your family expand. Every child is precious and worthy of unconditional love, whether they are share your DNA or are placed in your life by another family who wants to give their birth child the best chance at a wonderful life.
If you are considering adoption, learning about various options and the basics of each opportunity can help you decide which route is the right path for your family to take.
Adopting a child from the foster care system has numerous benefits. As explained by the Children's Action Network, adopting through foster care is highly affordable. In fact, it can be essentially free, thanks to tax credits and other benefits. In some states, children and their families continue to receive state benefits such as monthly subsidies and health care even after adoption finalization. Older children, sibling groups, toddlers and even infants are waiting in foster care for their forever families.
If the idea of small children languishing in overcrowded orphanages pulls on your heartstrings, you may wish to consider international adoption. Start by finding an adoption agency that specializes in adoptions in the country from which you hope to find your child. They will be well versed in the laws, requirements, paperwork and other considerations that will affect your decision, such as the potential wait time, costs and travel times.
Also called confidential adoption, a closed adoption refers to a placement in which the birth and adoptive families have no direct contact. Some birth mothers choose closed adoptions because they seek closure, privacy and complete confidentiality. For instance, they may not want their family to learn about the pregnancy. Although you won't have identifying information about the birth family, you can learn helpful information from the adoption agency such as the birth parents' features, health and even their personalities.
Increasingly common, open adoptions simply mean that the birth families remain in contact with the adoptive family. Some agencies, like A Child's Dream, allow you to decide on the degree of "openness." Every open adoption situation is unique; the adoptive and birth parents can determine what openness means to them. For some, this means letters and pictures exchanged through the adoption agency. For others, birth families become extended family members who are included in holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Open adoption benefits all members of the adoption triad. Children grow up understanding that both their biological and adoptive parents have always loved them and wanted the best for them.
Determining which type of adoption is right for your family takes time, understanding and lots of soul searching, but when you make your decision, you can be sure that your life and your heart will soon be fuller than you ever imagined.