For both birth parents and adoptive parents, the adoption process can be emotional and daunting. There is a bounty of information concerning the length of the process, the resources available to birth mothers, and even how much it costs.
To help you navigate the ocean of available information, we’ve debunked eight common myths about the adoption process.
MYTH: It will take years for the adoption to finalize.
Indiana is an adoption-friendly state, which means it is less taxing to finalize an adoption in Indiana than in many other states. While the process usually takes more than six months to finalize, in Indiana, the process can take as little as four months, especially with private placement.
MYTH: I can’t adopt my neighbor’s child or a child from someone I know personally or professionally.
Not true. If you’re adopting a baby, it’s not uncommon for the birth parents to choose a family member or friend to adopt their child. There is comfort for them in knowing who will adopt their child. In addition, if you’re adopting a child through a foster care placement, the Department of Child Services (DCS) will first consider relatives. The DCS explores these relationships before any others and considers what would be the best solution for the child. When you adopt an older child with whom you already share a sense of trust and a relationship, the transition can be easier for the child.
MYTH: I’m single. I can’t adopt, can I?
Single individuals absolutely can adopt. You will go through the same process, including the paperwork and the background check. This post about the adoption process gives you an idea of what sorts of documentation you will need in your application, and what to expect during the home study.
MYTH: Open adoption is a form of co-parenting.
An open adoption is not a form of co-parenting. Open adoption can be an informal or formalized agreement between the adoptive parents and the birth parents and can be included as part of the adoption decree. An open adoption provides the birth parents with the opportunity to receive updates and photographs about the child from the adoptive parents. An open adoption provides flexibility and varying levels of involvement and, depending on what both sets of parents are comfortable with, birth parents may be able to attend birthday parties or baptisms.
MYTH: As the birth mother, I have no control over who adopts my child.
Unless you, the birth mother, are in the Child in Need of Services process, you have a lot of control over what happens to your child. If you are working with an agency, you will be able to view adoption profile books, also known as family books. The books will help you learn more about prospective families and help you envision the life your child will have. You also will select the family that your child is placed with.
MYTH: I’m the birth mother, and I’ll be left with no support after the adoption is finalized.
If you work with an adoption agency, the agency may provide follow-up care and counseling. As a birth mother, you made the brave choice to place your child—a piece of yourself—with another family, and you may need time to grieve. Thankfully, there are counselors to help you. In Lafayette, adoption support centers like Gifts of Grace are very committed to helping birth moms through the emotional process.
MYTH: Adopting a newborn is easier than adopting an older child.
Whether you are adopting a newborn or a teenager, the legal process is the same. And, as with any adoption, remember that it takes time to develop trust, form a bond, and learn about each other.
MYTH: I can’t afford to adopt a child.
Adoption doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag. The cost can be minimized when doing a private placement or working with an agency. While you will have to pay for agency fees, court and state fees, and any necessary traveling out of state or out of country, attorneys fees can be as low as $1,500 – $2,000. The ultimate attorney fee will be related to the complexity of the adoption.
While the adoption process can be challenging and variable, remember that your family is investing in a future filled with love, warmth, and joy.
To learn more about the adoption process, contact Cara Putman at 765-742-9066.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.