How to Adopt Through a State Agency: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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In the United States, there are thousands of children in need of a “forever home.” Behind each child’s smile is a story that is often tragic. Thankfully, there are people who feel a calling to give them a place to call home, but there is a complicated process to follow first. Each state has slightly different adoption laws, but all of them have agencies that handle the children who are up for adoption. People who choose to open their hearts and doors to a child in need—and are eligible—may do it through a state agency with less trouble than you may think.

Steps

  1. 1
    Do the proper research to begin the process. All state agencies encourage prospective parents to attend informational meetings where they can speak to successful adoptive parents and learn more about what it takes. Even though it is something worth admiring, simply wanting to adopt a child is only one piece of the puzzle—potential adoptive parents also have plenty of guidelines to meet, depending on the state they live in. Rather than find yourself feeling let down halfway into the process, you can get a rough idea of whether you are ready before hand.
  2. 2
    If the research you conducted didn’t discourage you enough to give up, you are ready for the next step. Contacting your local adoption agency is the best starting point. Some states require applicants to attend lengthy trainings and orientation sessions before anything else can be done. Florida, for example, requires a 10-week training course before they even consider doing a “home study” for approval. The people at the agency in your state should be able to clarify exactly how you can initiate the process.
  3. 3
    Once the first few steps have been completed, the goal is to get the initial approval of a caseworker. That individual will come into your home, examine your finances, conduct thorough background checks, and interview you at length. Without a positive, approved home study, you will not be eligible to adopt at all. If you are approved, it will include a recommendation of what age group you might be best suited for, and how many children you might be able to handle. Once you get the green light, the work of finding the right child begins.
  4. 4
    At this point, prospective adoptive parents can see the finish line. Approval has taken place, and now a beautiful soul is soon going to join the family. A counselor or caseworker will now work with the family to find the perfect match based on the findings of the case study. According to Adopt US Kids, your home study will become available to the caseworkers of children waiting to be adopted. They can contact hopeful families with more information about certain children. Families either accept or withdraw interest in a particular child.
  5. 5
    Once a child has been placed with you through a state agency, the family is in the home stretch. There will be a period of supervision where a caseworker is required to visit the family, speak with the child, and keep records of how well things are going. The length of supervised placement varies depending upon the state you live in. These records are presented to a judge during a final hearing. If all goes well, a judge can finalize the adoption. The child will then be the full and complete legal and financial responsibility of the adoptive parents, and legal documents can be filed to change the child’s name to match the new family.

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