Beginning the Adoption Process: International

After months of examining different agencies that represent and work with various countries, our family has honed in on adopting a young daughter from India. Like many other prospective parents, when choosing an agency, we picked the most recommended international agency that serves the country we prefer to adopt from. Make sense?

Once you pick the country, you begin a process that starts with laying out some serious bills. After talking the costs over with two other families that adopted from India, we’re thinking we need to save up a lump sum around $15,000 to initiate our home study and get the wheels turning. That will be about half of what we need to complete the international adoption withing two years or so.

A homestudy from your chosen adoption agency is a long and detailed document written by a social worker who will interview, at length, prospective adoptive families. (I’ve also heard the home study called a number of different things, and spelled differently so be careful and do your homework.)

Before those interviews can be scheduled, you are asked to provide a long list of documents: birth certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, proof of employment, proof of health insurance, tax forms, medical forms, references, and financial statements.

This all takes months, but it’s also beneficial for you as parents to begin emotionally preparing to add someone else into your home. Right now, my husband Darrin and I are beginning to make copies of our marriage certificates, employment checks, the works. This forces us to keep discussing our strategies, our foundation, our plans. But the fact that we’re both freelancers works against us because we don’t have paychecks.

Creating your worry-free home study is much easier if you designate one of you to be the point-person on all documents, and it helps to pick the most organized partner to initiate the adoption process, which is my husband. Darrin [see him cuddling our biological son Sam in photos above] keeps receipts neatly for years; he also wants to adopt a child more than me (he always has) so it falls to Darrin to set our timeline on completing a homestudy.

Hey Adoptive Parents! If your adoption homestudy took less than four months, can you give me some tips?

Your homestudy agency will supply you with all the specifics. But it’s a great place to start. Next up:  Weed out all the countries that won’t have you for potential parents so you won’t waste any more time dreaming of those kids (this happened to us), so tune in next time to The Adoption Diaries on!

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
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