Where To Start With Adoption
December 12, 2017
One of the main questions we get with adoption is where to start. Good question! We had the same one at one point. Now, this is really up to you on where you think is best to start, but this is what worked for us and made us feel comfortable going into the adoption process.
1. Agency/Private: Find an agency or facts if you are going to go private. This is HUGE! There are so many great agencies out there but they need to be a right fit for you. We looked into about 4 different agencies and even sat down and talked to a few people about their experiences. That’s what sealed the deal for us. We wanted an agency with good reviews and that was sucking our money. We wanted one that was fast and we could work very closely with.
2. Home Study: The reason this one is second is because some agencies wont accept a home study unless it’s from one of their social workers. Home Studies aren’t cheap, so you don’t want to be forking out all this money then choose an agency who doesn’t recognize your home study. As soon as we picked our agency we called them up and asked them to send a social worker over for our home study. We knew it would be approved and that, again, we were working closely with the agency.
3. Paperwork: There are mountains and mountains of paperwork. I am not joking (even though I wish I was) So staying organized is a must! Our agency had a check list of everything we needed to be approved to adopt. It was so nice! If you’re agency doesn’t have one, then make one of your own, it will help a lot! I grabbed one of these accordion organizers to store all our documents in and then got a brand new planner to put all our important dates and reminders in. The Brilliant Life Planner is seriously perfect for keeping your adoption organized. It has a page for all your goals (ex: finish all paperwork by this date, have homestudy done by this date) and a section for reminders (ex: call agency about cost break down, go get finger prints done, grab a fire extinguisher) You need to be organized once you start the paperwork or you will feel like you are in over your head. I always made 2-3 extra copies of things and put them in our accordion organizer. I’ve actually had to grab some of those extra copies recently for adoption related things. Start your paperwork A.S.A.P. and be organized!
4. Fundraising: This should actually be in the works as you’re going throughout everything, but it should be going full throttle once your homestudy is approved. Then you are able to focus on raising funds and giving it your all (because it takes a lot of effort!) I’ll be doing a separate post on different ways to fundraise but make sure you know how to track fundraising (future taxes, not to be taxed on it now, etc.) Adoption isn’t cheap and people absolutely love bringing families together. So let them help!
I hope these few steps helped you feel not so overwhelmed on the beginning stages of adoption. Just take a deep breath and start at one item on your checklist and then go down from there. Taking on everything at the beginning will give you an ulcer! Trust me! It took me about a week to get through all our paperwork, I knew how much I could handle and I wanted our answers to be honest and thorough. Also, trust your gut. Only you know which agency will be best for you and how much your heart can handle.