Have you ever had the experience of looking at a blank piece of paper and not knowing what to write? In the beginning, that’s how many prospective adoptive parents feel. They’ve already decided they want to pursue adoption, but they just don’t know where to start. As an adoption agency, it’s our job to help you navigate the adoption process. Start with these three steps to turn that blank piece of paper into a beautiful family portrait:
Step One: Ask Questions
The first step in adopting is simply educating yourself about adoption. Learn as much as you can about the process. Ask questions. More importantly, find answers to those questions.
Be sure you’re the resources you’re using are credible. Read books and magazines about adoption. Feel free to read through all the information on this website. You might also check out the Creating a Family website. The site has many useful resources for anyone who wants to learn more about adoption.
As mentioned above, the important first step is to ask questions. Our ask and eat workshops are another great option for finding answers to your questions. During these workshops, we will provide you with a meal and explain the process for adoption, as well as answering any questions you may have about adoption. These workshops are also a great chance for you to connect with other local families who may be going through the process. If you live outside the Tupelo, Mississippi area, please contact our office and we’ll set up a one-on-one conversation with you and one of our staff members.
Step Two: Find an Agency
The next step will be deciding on an adoption agency. We recommend working with an agency as opposed to seeking a private adoption for several reasons. In addition to walking with you through every step of the adoption process, a well-organized agency also provides educational materials during and after your adoption. At New Beginnings, our staff fields questions from adoptive parents even after the adoption is completed. We also provide needed support for the birth mother. You’ll want to find an agency that supports your family and whose social workers care about you and make you feel comfortable through the process.
If you’re planning to adopt internationally, be sure your agency is Hague accredited. Ask the adoption agency for their current Hague certificate, and look for a letter of good standing from the State Department’s accreditation program.
Ask for references. While we work with many other caring and trustworthy agencies, some agencies are not always up front and may not process paperwork in a timely manner. You won’t know about the agency you are working with until you speak with couples who have adopted from the agency.
Step Three: Homestudy
Once you’ve chosen an adoption agency, the next step will be to complete a homestudy. Think of a home study as a conversation between you and the agency that is a part of the adoption process and that prepares you for parenting.
A home study typically includes evaluations of your marriage relationship, inspections of your residence, parenting ideals, medical history, employment verification, financial status and criminal background checks. At least one meeting will be at your home. During this meeting, the worker will not be doing a white glove inspection of your house, but rather they will want to make sure you have room for a child and are ready to be a parent.
If you have any questions about adoption or the adoption process, don’t hesitate to call us at 662.842.6752 in Mississippi or 615.378.7099 in Tennessee.