How Do We Adopt a Baby?

Adoption is a family building option available to those who are unable to have a biological child or otherwise want to grow their family through adoption. As popular as adoption has become, it can still be difficult to know how to get started or what to expect during the process. Here are answers for some of the most commonly-asked questions about "how do we adopt a baby".

What’s the First Step to adopt a baby?

If you’re considering adoption, the first thing you should do is educate yourself. It’s always helpful to know as much as possible about the likely obstacles (and opportunities) you may encounter when you’re preparing to adopt a baby. To this end, you can:

  • Read a variety of blogs and informational sites but make sure they are reliable sources of information. This will help you understand the different types of adoption such as private, agency or international and can give you access to first-hand accounts of other adoptive parents. Don’t be afraid to make use of your local library or book store, too, as there are many great books about adoption.
  • Join a local support group for adoptive and prospective adoptive parents such as Families for Private Adoption. Doing so can give you a strong support system for the ups and downs of the adoption process.
  • Talk with an experienced local adoption attorney to determine your best options. From newborn adoptions to international adoptions and adoptions of older children or with special needs, every adoption is different. Professional advice from an experienced adoption attorney can help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of adopting a child.

Arming yourself with knowledge and a support system can be the key to ensuring that you not only know how to adopt a baby, but also that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Baby?

The cost to adopt a baby can vary widely depending on the type of adoption process you pursue. A private domestic adoption, for example, can cost between $15,000 up to $30,000 especially if you’re paying for the birth mother’s medical and/or living expenses during the pregnancy. An international adoption, on the other hand, can cost up to $40,000, which is similar to a domestic agency adoption. . Your income level is also an important consideration, as there are some tax breaks for families who fall into certain tax brackets. T There are many factors to consider when figuring the cost to adopt a baby and an adoption attorney can refer you to reliable information regarding current costs factors in adoption.

How Long Will the Adoption Process Take?

Like cost, the length of the wait between initiating and completing the adoption process can vary widely. Completing a home study, which is required for all adoptions, can take up to six months to complete, After that is completed, adoptions can happen very quickly, or they can take years. The length of time depends on various factors, such as what your preferences are in the child you want to adopt as well as your comfort level with the birth mother’s situation. International adoptions often have a more predictable timetable than domestic adoptions. Whether you adopt a baby or an older child can also impact your wait. Regardless of the type of adoption you pursue, it’s important to be prepared for the journey which requires patience and persistence. Having the healthy outlook of “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” is essential to getting through the process and reaping the reward of adding another precious member to your family.

An Experienced Adoption Attorney Can Help

Getting started on adopting a child can be intimidating particularly if you do not know where to start!. Working with an experienced attorney can give you the peace of mind of knowing that someone is standing by you during this important time in your life. At Jennifer Fairfax Family Formation Law Offices, we’re experienced, knowledgeable and ready to guide you through the adoption process from intake to finalization

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax