After Infertility, Adoption is An Option
Following the pain of infertility, adoption may appeal to you to help you build your family. If you are interested in adopting, start the process early on. Finalizing an adoption can take years.
Start with legal counsel for adoption
After an agonizing experience with infertility, adoption attorneys can help calm your anxieties, protect your rights, and educate you about the different adoption options. Working with a knowledgeable lawyer streamlines the adoption process and may help speed up the process.
An adoption lawyer can teach you about state laws and adoption costs, and help you find other adoption resources.
Working with a lawyer may be expensive, but it is worth the investment. Just make sure you understand all the fees involved in the adoption process before you hire an attorney.
Decide on a public or private agency
After facing numerous treatment options for infertility, it may seem like there are few adoption options. One choice you will have to make is deciding whether to work with a public or private agency or to work independently.
If you choose to work with a public or private agency, only seek state-monitored, licensed agencies. These public or private agencies can provide a variety of services for you, including counseling and post-adoption services.
Public agencies receive funding from state, county and/or federal sources, which lowers the cost of adoption. Private agencies receive funding from private donors such as religious groups or service organizations, and are also funded by fees paid by adopting families.
When choosing an agency, do your homework. Find out if other families been satisfied with services received from the agency. Check the Better Business Bureau and state licensing board to make sure the adoption agency’s reputation is impeccable.
Selecting an independent adoption may require a shorter waiting period.
With an independent adoption, an attorney guides you in adopting a child without agency restrictions that may hold up the process. With an independent adoption, birth parents are found through networking with friends, family or other adopting couples. You may also consider advertising in newspapers or online.
If you choose to go this path, be sure to work with an experienced attorney that specializes in independent adoption.
Do you want an international adoption?
Adopting a child from a foreign nation may be right for you. International adoptions are less common than domestic adoptions, and account for less than 20 percent of the adoptions in the U.S.
Certain agencies specialize in international adoption, but you may also choose to work independently if you desire. Some U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations do apply when adopting internationally. Since 2000, children adopted internationally are allowed to become US citizens as long as one of their parents is a citizen of the United States.
Do you want an open or closed adoption?
Following all the negative stress of infertility, adoption gives you new hope of finally having a family. Still, it’s important to talk with the agency about open and closed adoption to see which type is best for your situation.
Open adoption occurs when a couple chooses to meet the birth parents, and/or shares pictures and personal information with them. Closed adoption is when you choose to know very little about the birth parents.
Foster care adoption
For couples of all ages, including those struggling with infertility, adoption from foster care agencies is an important option and one that may take less time. This type of adoption works well for families willing to adopt an older child.
Adopting a child from a foster care agency may cost you very little, and sometimes nothing at all. Hundreds of thousands of children live in foster care in the US.
Do your homework for adoption
Even if you’ve had doors close with infertility, adoption can open doors again and give you hope for a life filled with children. Once you begin the adoption process, be prepared for home visits by social workers, medical exams, classes, counseling and other required procedures.
Contact different adoption agencies and find out how their process works. Be aware that some adoption agencies only work with couples that are married and heterosexual. Other agencies may have religious requirements of adoptive parents.
In addition, after you’ve paid all the costs to treat infertility, adoption costs may also be pricey. You may be asked to pay for legal fees, as well as living expenses and/or medical expenses for the birth mother of your adopted child.
Still, most adoptive parents would agree, that after undergoing the stress associated with infertility, adoption becomes the right choice.Sources
- American Fertility Association: Independent Adoption as an Option.
- Foster Care Adoption Today.
- American Society of Reproductive Medicine: Adoption: A Guide for Patients.
- Johnson, P. from International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc.
- Guides to Adoption: Credentials and Qualifications.