Perhaps, almost everyone would like to experience being a parent. This holds true especially for couples who have just been married and want to start a family of their own. Certain circumstances (including illnesses such as infertility) often hamper the goal.
One option is adoption. However, the concept is not as easy as it seems. Some might see adoption as simply taking a child and raising it. To be on the safe side, however, it pays to have the process done through legal means. This article gives a rundown on what steps a person must undertake to legally adopt a child. Not only that, but it also gives a basic view on what adoption is, as well as the qualifications which a person who plans to adopt must have.
What is Adoption?
Broken down into its simplest definition, adoption is the process wherein the rights to being a parent/s are turned over by an individual or couple to another individual or couple. By doing so, the adoptive individual or couple assumes responsibility for the child. This includes caring for the child’s physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being.
Adoption can take many forms. The most common type in which people opt for is what is termed as “closed adoption”. In this type of adoption, the biological and adoptive parents have no knowledge about each other. The former simply hands the child over to an adopting organization. The organization will then be the one to decide who gets to adopt the child. However, as studies show, this type of adoption is slowly waning in popularity. The main reason why? The biological parents (particularly the mother) are now clamoring for the rights to have some power over who gets to keep their child.
What are the qualifications to be considered as an Adoptive Parent/s?
Each country, as well as the different locations within, have different requirements in order to be deemed fit for becoming adoptive parents. For western countries (specifically the US), the following list below shows what an individual needs to possess to be considered as adoptive parents
With regards to the age, potential adoptive parents must be 21 years or older. As for the cut-off age (the age limit up to which someone can adopt), there is currently no limit.
Concerning the medical history requirements, potential adoptive parents must be relatively healthy. In the case of a couple, at least one must be physically healthy. The rest of the adoptive family must also be in the pink of health.
Emotional stability is also a must-have in any prospective parents. Thus, they should be vouched as emotionally and mentally ready to take on the task of raising an adopted child. This is also applicable to the rest of the adoptive family.
The adoptive parents must also be financially ready to provide for the needs of the child they are going to adopt. This applies even when they are still in the process of legalizing the adoption. This being said, the mentioned must have the means to meet any expenses that may occur along the way.
What are the Steps to Legally Adopting a Child?
Step One: Decide on whether you are truly ready or eligible to adopt. For couples who are unable to have a baby of their own, it is recommended that they exhaust all possible methods before resorting to adoption. As for single individuals, they must honestly evaluate themselves as to whether they can responsibly take care of the child.
Step Two: Do your research regarding your potential adoptive child. It is best for would-be parents to know about their prospective adoptive child. By doing this, you stand a better chance of adopting a child legally.
Step Three: Find a trusted adopting organization and work side by side with it. The adoption process can sometimes be confusing. This being said, it is better to seek someone who knows it inside and out so you can be guided properly.
Step Four: Gather all the necessary papers. This step is vital for the success or failure of your adoption process. In case there is a hitch along the way, having the said papers will help a lot in clearing it.
Step Five: Finalize the adoption. In case you are declared fit to adopt, don’t delay. Make a final choice as to which child you would include in your family. After this, sign all the needed documents and check to see that you have missed none. Also, make sure that you have followed all that is needed to adopt your child. This step is important to ensure that your child is now yours to keep legally.
It’s an easy process by any means, but knowing you’ll be giving a child the home they deserve can be gratifying.