Things to Consider Before Adopting a Baby
Being prepared can help to put you at ease
Photo courtesy of 279photo Studio/Shutterstock.com
Adoption is a big step for parents. For some couples in the Triangle area, it’s the only way they can have a baby. Other families are driven by a desire to give a little one a better life, even though they already have biological children.
Whatever the circumstances, you should be prepared for both the legal and financial considerations, and the practical and emotional arrangements that are necessary before the baby arrives. The adoption process can be both exciting and overwhelming so being prepared can help put you at ease.
Here are some of the things you need to consider early in the adoption process.
Adoption Can be Expensive
Families in North Carolina have to pay a number of fees. According to attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC, adopting a baby through a domestic agency in North Carolina can cost more than $41,000 on average. Your expenses may be higher or lower depending on your specific circumstances.
Costs can include:
- The potential birth mother’s hospital, medical and travel expenses associated with the pregnancy.
- The counseling services of a licensed professional for the birth mother.
- The mother’s living expenses during the pregnancy and for up to six weeks following the birth.
- The cost of legal services linked to the adoption.
- Costs associated with court, the home study, administrative expenses and travel.
Background Checks Will Be Conducted on All Adults in Your Home
The authorities need to ensure your home environment is safe for a baby. The home study process in North Carolina involves at least one interview with each adoptive parent and background checks inclusive of fingerprinting. The home study has to be completed or updated within 18 months before the placement of the baby.
The report will also include:
- Basic information about your age, race, nationality and religion.
- Family and marital history.
- Mental and physical health.
- Education and job history.
- Financial details.
- Reasons for wanting to adopt.
- Past incidents or accusations of domestic violence or mistreatment of children.
- Criminal history.
Biological Parents Can Revoke Consent
You’ll be ecstatic when the birth parents consent to you adopting their little one. However, you should note that in North Carolina, consent can be revoked within a week of signing. Consent is invalid if it is obtained through fraud or duress. Your adoption counselor will explain this to you in detail prior to the signing of the documents.
Before the baby comes to live with you, there are some things you will want to do with your partner. If this is your first baby, you will have to make a lot of adjustments. Even if you already have children, caring for a newborn again brings its own set of challenges. Let’s look at some of the things you will need to do.
Find a Pediatrician
It can be very helpful to locate a pediatrician before your adopted baby comes. If you already have young children, you will likely use the same doctor unless the new baby has specific health issues. If it’s your first time looking for a children’s doctor, ask people you trust for referrals. You can even ask your contacts at the adoption agency for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to visit some potential doctors ahead of time. You want a pediatrician you can trust and who makes you feel comfortable. Location and office hours should also be taken into consideration.
Look Into Childcare Options
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to spend every waking moment with your baby. You may be returning to work soon after he or she arrives. Even if you intend to stay at home, you may still need help at some point. Start looking at your options as early as possible. Look into varying daycare centers as well as relatives and friends.
Find out who is willing to give you a hand and how much different facilities cost. Some popular centers have waiting lists that can be several months long so you may have to get your name in early. Visit some of the facilities and meet some of the workers to see which one you’re most comfortable with.
Spend Time With Other Babies
If you don’t have children or you’ve never spent a lot of time with babies, you should get some experience under your belt while you wait. Getting used to the demands of a newborn will help to ensure you are ready for your own bundle of joy.
Offer to babysit for friends so you can get some practical experience with soothing, feeding and changing. You’ll feel a lot more competent and confident when your little one arrives.
Enjoy Alone Time and Quality Time With Your Partner
Babies place huge demands on your time. You will have many sleepless nights and early mornings. For the next 18 years, much of your time will revolve around your child. Take some time to relax, do things you love and rest. Go out with your partner and get yourself mentally ready for the next exciting phase of your life. Your baby will need you at your best.
Adoption is an exhilarating and fulfilling process but it can take a lot out of you. It helps to know what to expect. If you plan to adopt a baby, take note of the rigorous vetting process and the costs attached to this process. Also, keep in mind that your life is about to change significantly and you should make preparations as early as possible.
Andrea Cerny is a writer and content marketing strategist for Angel Adoption.