It’s normal to have lots of questions about adoption. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions we see and answered them below.
Adoption is a subject that is often negatively misrepresented in the media and in everyday interactions with others. Story after story illustrates the happy, healthy families that have been built through adoption. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may help you get started writing your success story.
How many orphans in the United States are available to be adopted?
The United States foster care system has over 100,000 orphans ready for their forever home. Each year, there are more than 20,000 U.S. based infants who are placed for adoption.
Is it possible for me to love an adopted child the way I love a biological child?
Many prospective adoptive parents have this worry. It is clear by the testimonials from families of adoption that adopted children are loved in the same manner as biological children. Remember, love for a child is not about blood, it is about love.
Is adoption expensive?
While there are a great number of variables that can contribute to the cost of an adoption, it is certainly true that the process can be quite expensive. Even so, families do not need to be wealthy or have substantial funds tucked away in savings in order to provide a child with a forever home.
Many families require financial help when trying to adopt a child. There are a number of programs and organizations in place to help these families. Pure Gift of God provides matching grants to help families make their dream a reality.
Other programs that help families offset the costs of adoption include:
- Federal and State tax credits
- Foster care subsidies
- Employer-provided adoption fee benefits
- Reduced agency fees based on income or ability to pay
- U.S. Armed Forces reimbursements for adoption costs
- Adoption aid grants
- Low-interest loans
Can we adopt a child from a different race or ethnicity from ours?
Yes. The law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on race or ethnicity of the child or the adoptive parents. There are, however, some special circumstances when adopting a Native American child.
Do all children in foster care have special needs?
The majority of children in foster care, through no fault of their own, have had the unfortunate experience of being removed from their family’s home due to abuse or neglect. The special needs of a child might include: being
an older child, a child with a sibling that must be placed in the same home, having medical conditions, physical limitations, and mental or emotional disabilities. A child specified as a special needs child may qualify for adoption assistance. Please note: Children that require special education are included in a different category than special needs.
Is it possible for me to adopt the child I am currently fostering?
While more than half of all children in the United States foster care system return to their birth families, there are many children who cannot return to their biological parents. Of the thousands of children who are adopted
from foster care each year, more than half are adopted by their non-relative foster parents.
What happens when there are siblings involved?
Siblings are generally placed together to help provide continuity in both of the children’s lives as well as prevent additional separation trauma.
Can I adopt a child I know personally?
When a child is removed from their home they are placed into the U.S foster care system. If / when the child becomes available for adoption, a caseworker will often explore the possibility of placing the child with an adult that is already in the child’s life.
Is it possible to adopt a child or sibling group from another state?
Currently, there are more than 100,000 children in foster care who are waiting for their forever family. Children are regularly adopted into a family from a different state than the child.
Once the birth parents have been legally terminated and the adoption is complete, can a birth relative take a child back?
In a domestic infant adoption, the birth mom signs the relinquishment letter after the child is born. Once the court has approved the letter, it becomes irrevocable. Adoption from foster care is a legally binding agreement that is not finalized until the rights of the birth parents have been legally terminated by a court of law.
Can older parents adopt children?
Many people believe that in order to be eligible to adopt, prospective adoptive parents must be of childbearing age. While requirements differ between adoption programs, older parents and/or empty-nesters often adopt children. In fact, many international adoption programs allow infant or toddler adoption if the prospective parents are 55 at the time of their application.
For more information on the requirements currently necessary to adopt internationally, contact a reputable agency to discuss what programs they offer. Used with kind permission from HowToAdopt.org. Edited.