Adopting a child will be one of the most important life-decisions you will ever make. Adoption can be a frustrating and time consuming process and is often fraught with disappointing challenges and broken dreams, but when the adoption finally goes through, it is an incredible reward for families who have been unable to have children of their own. The gift of a child is immeasurable and nobody knows this more then parents of adopted children.
The adoption process requires guidance and professional advice and the use of an adoption counselor or counseling service is highly recommended before problems and complications arise. Most adoption counselors are specially trained to have in-depth knowledge and experience in the adoption process and help families identify potential problem areas before they surface into insurmountable obstacles.
Adoption Clinics And Counselors
Parents that hope to adopt a child should be a good consumer and shop around for the best adoption center they can find. The qualifications for such clinics and counselors should not be taken lightly. Adoption counselors need to be able to effectively address and respond to the family’s emotional needs and legal questions. This requires counselors to be trained in the psychological impact of adoption on children and families and should be experienced in working with different types of parental needs and interests.
Children that are waiting to be adopted have sometimes suffered from emotional trauma and neglect. Some children have lost parents and siblings or have gone through a number of foster living arrangements that may have caused confusion, anger and suffering for the child. In these types of circumstances having an experienced adoption counselor by your side can be of immeasurable assistance.
Selecting An Adoption Service – Domestic And International Services
In selecting an adoption service the first consideration to determine is whether you wish to go outside the country to find your adopted child or restrict your search to the United States.
For those parents that live in the states, domestic adoption is definitely preferable and can be easier to complete then international ones. On the other hand, international adoptions, depending on the laws and policies of the foreign country can be a bit more problematic since it refers to the situation in which a child is born outside of the country but is brought into the country through expedited domestic immigration services working closely with adoption agencies and services from other countries. Language and custom barriers as it relates to foreign adoption can turn into protracted problems that can leave parents hoping to adopt frustrated and discouraged.
If you choose domestic adoption, the adopting parents must use an approved and state licensed adoption service. Don’t be reluctant to contact these agencies directly and ask about the types of children they place, their fee structure, and most importantly how the agency goes about qualifying, educating and preparing families and children for the adoption experience.
While privacy is absolutely essential between the parties this does not mean you cannot ask the adoption service for references. The good ones will have no problem in providing you with someone to speak with. Those agencies and adoption clinics that have been fined by the state or have had their license suspended or threatened to be revoked should be avoided.
While you will not need an attorney at the early stages it is advisable to ask the adoption service if they provide a list of attorneys and experts who are trained and familiar with the adoption process.
Closed Verses Open Adoption Services
There are two types of adoption approaches, closed adoptions and open adoptions. In closed adoption services there are no familial ties or communications between the birth family and the adopting family. In contrast, in open adoptions there is an open channel of communication between the birth parents and the adopting parents and which is facilitated and monitored by the adoption service.
The adopting family receives very little if any identifying information about the birth parents or the child before placement with the new family has been finalized. After placement the records are judicially sealed and will not be allowed to be unsealed until the adopted child reaches the age of majority. The adoption counselor will help you with determining which approach is right for your needs and circumstances.
In this scenario the adopting parents will have a relatively open line of communication through the adoption service acting as an intermediary between adopting parents and the child’s birth parents.
The type and quality of communication varies between the interested parties and may include an exchange of photographs, writing letters and making phone calls. Personal visits are sometimes allowed but are usually discouraged. Communication at this level can be a risky proposition because emotions often run high in birth parents especially if they are having second thoughts about the adoption arrangement.