BCFS Health and Human Services RSD is a nonprofit organization that works with local, regional, and national entities to provide care for children. This includes children in foster care and kids that are available for adoption. The organization has provided guidance to thousands of prospective parents who want to bring a new child into their homes and hearts through an adoption. Through this work, the organization has seen parents ask some repeated questions and go through some of the same emotions as they prepare for an adoption. To help parents conquer this journey, the organization offers advice for parents who want to learn more about the adoption process.
A first step recommended by RSD is for parents to consider why exactly they want to adopt a child. Parents should engage in self-reflection where they talk about their reasons for starting a family and asking themselves if they’re emotionally prepared to raise a child. Parents can discuss how a child will impact their social lives, relationship with each other, and their financial status. Perhaps the parents will want to move out of an urban environment into the suburbs or a rural area after the adoption. Or they’ll consider relocating closer to other family members such as siblings or their own parents so they can develop a local support network.
RSD says there are a few pathways to adoption. There are adoption agencies and private attorneys, the latter of which can conduct “independent adoptions.” Agency adoptions are the most common and are ideal for parents that want some guidance and assistance for the procedural and paperwork aspects of an adoption. There’s a considerable amount of “red tape” that goes with an adoption, and an experienced agency or attorney can offer invaluable insights and assistance to parents. Many children are adopted out of the foster care system. RSD’s expert staff understands the unique challenges with foster care adoptions and advises parents to learn more about the unique challenges that can come with a foster child. To complete such an adoption, parents need to complete additional mandated training and certifications that provides them with some tools they’ll need to properly acclimate a foster child to a new setting.
RSD encourages parents to decide on the characteristics of their preferred child before they begin the adoption process. Will the parents only adopt an infant or toddler? Are teenage kids an option? What about sibling pairs? Narrowing down this list helps parents be on the same page and provides the adoption agency or lawyer with needed context so they can focus on children that are the proper fit for the parents.