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Building A Family Through Adoption

Learn About Adoption and Fostering to Adopt

Adoption or fostering to adopt can be a thoughtful and loving choice to build a family while helping a child in need. There are many reasons why adoption can be a good option for singles and couples who want to have a child.  Let’s explore why people adopt and other considerations when you’re thinking about adoption.

Who Might Adopt or Foster a Child

Heterosexual couples who are infertile and have not had success with fertility treatment after several tries may turn to adoption to build a family.  Couples who are able to conceive and carry a child, but are concerned about passing down genetic disorders or diseases which are present in their biological family, may also choose to adopt.  Same-sex couples may decide to adopt, or foster to adopt, in order to have a family without using fertility treatment or a surrogate.  Sometimes women are born with conditions that prevent them from getting pregnant or safely carrying a child and do not want or can’t afford surrogacy. Some people who were adopted themselves choose to build or extend their family by adoption, carrying that love to a second generation.  Additionally, some decide to adopt an older child or a teenager they have fostered to permanently make them a part of their family.

What to Expect

Couples or singles who foster to adopt usually work with a public agency or a private agency in their state that has contracted to provide services.  Children in foster care range from toddlers to teenagers, and many have already experienced some form of trauma in their lifetime.  Foster parents undergo training to understand the effects of trauma and to help the children heal.  Fostering to adopt can take months to years, and the foster family must support efforts to reunite the child with the birth family if that is the court’s plan for the child.  Fostering to adopt allows the prospective parents to build a relationship with the child while providing a consistent home environment.  Adopting from foster care is affordable for many families, according to AdoptUSKids. Infant adoption is facilitated by attorneys or licensed private adoption agencies, which is known as independent adoption.  Some of these specialize in international adoptions, although fewer countries are permitting international adoption than in the past.  If considering an independent adoption, prospective parents should make sure to investigate the adoption agency with their state Attorney General’s department to find out if there have been complaints or legal action taken against the agency.  Here is some advice from childwelfare.gov on assessing adoption agencies. The costs of a private U.S. adoption vary from state to state and case to case, but generally range from $15,000 to $30,000, plus the cost of legal fees, the Adoption Home Study and Post-Placement/Adoption Supervisory Visits,  and the birth parent’s expenses.  Most international adoptions are done through adoption agencies.  In addition to the costs associated with domestic adoption, international adoptions also include U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service applications and travel to and from the baby’s birth country.  International adoption costs range from $30,000 to $80,000.

Emotional Aspects of Adoption

Before beginning the adoption process, a couple should be sure they are both in agreement and on board with building a family this way.  Some people have strong feelings about wanting only biological  children, while others are more open to having children who are not biologically related to them.  Adoption can take months or years, and sometimes adoptions fall through, so it is best to be prepared for a lengthy and rigorous process.  Despite the hurdles, every year thousands of families are made or added to through adoption.  If both heart and life can be open to a child in need of a family, adoption can be an emotionally satisfying solution for family-building.

Why Adoption Benefits Matter

A number of companies have begun offering inclusive family-building benefits that include adoption & surrogacy to demonstrate support for all employees.  WIN Family Services provides support and education for people who pursue adoption, including referrals to experienced adoption agencies and claim processing.  WIN’s adoption services make what can be a complicated and frustrating process simpler.  A complete video library on adoption is available on demand through our partner, Vesta, which features topics such as deciding if adoption is right for you, and how to finance the costs of adoption. Vesta also holds live webinars periodically to explain how to use the benefits.  Throughout the adoption process, WIN nurses and behavioral health specialists are available to provide emotional support and counseling.

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