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Adopting a Baby: What are the First Steps?

Adopting a baby is a long process, full of twists and turns and unexpected hurdles. It can be hard to navigate when you’re first starting out. “What age do I want to adopt and how do I decide?” “What agency should I go to?” “How do I choose a birth mother?” “What is a home study?” These are some of the questions you’re sure to have.

So what are the first steps? We’re going to go over the first few things in on your list to get you started on your adoption journey.

Finding an Agency 

First things first, you’ll need to find an adoption professional to help you. In the state of Nevada, adoption must go through an agency. Finding the right agency for you depends on what you are looking for, particularly when it comes to experience. A good way to figure this out is to write down a list of preferences and priorities for your adoption journey. Take the list with you to different meetings with various agencies, and see which ones check off the most on your list. This will help you see which agency best fits what you are looking for.

Your connection with your adoption agent is extremely important throughout this process. Adoption is a journey. It is not easy and it is not quick. You will spend copious amounts of time with your adoption agent, so it’s essential that you feel a sense of trust with them. Determining the connection between you and an agency means meeting them in person before deciding to start the process with their agency. At Adoption Choices of Nevada, we encourage and welcome all couples or people looking into adoption to come and meet with our staff, ask questions, and get to know them better. You are going on an incredibly personal and emotional journey, so it is essential that you feel entirely comfortable with your team.

We handle all kinds of adoptions, and have more than 15 years of experience under our belt. We are welcoming of all families and persons that are looking to adopt. For more information on what Adoption Choices of Nevada offers, click here.

Application and Meeting Requirements

Once you select the agency, you will need to submit an application for adoption. This application will consist mostly of general information about yourself so that the adoption agency can determine if you are eligible. They will need to know your age, your state of health, your financial situation and your marital status, among other things. Every state has different requirements for who is eligible to adopt. At Adoption Choices of Nevada, we do not base your eligibility on marital status or sexual orientation.

Along with the application, you will be required to take 30 hours of courses about adoption. These courses will consist of general knowledge on child welfare. They will prepare you for the adoption process and parenthood. The application and education process can be started before or after you have completed your home study.

The Home Study 

If you’re not aware yet of what the home study is and how it works, you will be soon. It is the most important part of the adoption process. Every adoptive family must partake in a home study in order to adopt.

A home study is a process by which the state overviews a variety of factors about your life that will determine your fitness to adopt. Some of the factors include income, home life, and criminal background. It is a long process but with the help of your adoption agency you will easily be able to navigate your way through the procedure. For your home study, here are some things you should expect:

  • Required copies of W2 and other relevant financial records
  • Five references: up to three can be from family, the rest must be unrelated
  • Fingerprints and background checks, as per state and federal laws
  • Interviews by social worker of everyone living in your current home, including other children
  • Multiple visits by social worker

It is also important to note that in the state of Nevada, if you and your partner are married and looking to adopt, you must be married for more than two years before you can be approved. Likewise, if you are unmarried, only one parent may adopt the child. After the adoption is finalized, the second parent can begin the adoption process.

Adoption Choices of Nevada has some useful resources to help guide you around the legal requirements.

Setting Up a Profile 

Creating an adoption profile can be intimidating. You want to show off your best traits without making yourself seem arrogant. You want to highlight the positives, but not give the illusion of perfection. It’s a happy medium that can be hard to find. Birth mothers are looking for a lot in an adoptive family for their child, just like you are with adopting a baby. If you need some help creating your profile, here is a guide to help you figure out what birth mothers are looking for.

Once you’ve set up your profile, you will be added to the list of waiting families. Getting up to this point has felt long and hard. There is a lot of work to be done just to get to this point. But this is just the beginning. Now it is time to wait for a match. Waiting can be the hardest part of adoption because of the uncertainty. But with half of the journey behind you, it can only get better from here.

Adoption Choices of Nevada

If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Devon Thornton

Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.

When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.

 

 

 

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Sources

“The Adoption Process in 10 Simple Steps.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies, adoptionnetwork.com/how-to-adopt-a-baby/adoption-process.

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