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20 Things You Should do before you Apply To Adopt

20 things you can do to prepare to apply to adopt, or while waiting for your assessment/home study to begin.

Adoption is a challenging process throughout and you will benefit from preparing as much as possible while awaiting the start of the home study/assessment.

  1. Learn about adoption and children’s experience of trauma. (our course and resources list will help!)
  2. Review the book list, and read a range of recommended texts. Take note to refer to later and as it will help you retain what you read.
  3. Learn what adult adoptees say they needed from their adopters.
  4. Consistently build your emotional readiness
    Further develop your communication skills
    Spend time nurturing your relationship with the key people in your life
    Build on your parenting skills (even if you have children)
    If you have limited experience of caring for non-related children, volunteer at a school, nursery, church group etc.
  5. Consider what are your expectations and boundaries when you have contact with your child’s birth family.
  6. Review the adoption requirements. Do you meet them all? Do you need to build your skills/change the house.
  7. What are your expectations of adoption? If you have a partner do they have the same expectations?
  8. Create/build your support network in preparation for adoption. Who will you call on to:

• Offer parenting advice?
• Offload to?
• Provide babysitting/childcare?
• Have play dates with?
• Provide cultural support for transracial adopted children?

  1. Have you considered what would happen if you/or your partner:

• Could not care for the child temporarily?
• Were incapacitated/ill?
• Died?

What do you need to put in place as a result?

  1. Have you discussed adoption with your extended family? If not now is the time to do so.
  2. Have you discussed your plan to adopt with other children in the household? How are you going to make space for them, e.g. ‘date’ nights, regular respite for the adopted child (this MUST be fun for them too), trips away without the child.
  3. You need to consider how will your finances be effected?
  4. In the USA, how would you pay for adoption?
    Could you adopt from foster care?
    In the USA it currently costs around $43,000 to adopt a domestic ( 2020. This includes professional fees, medical expenses, insurance and professional services.

In the UK costs are likely to be around £600 – £1000. Charges include medical assessments, certificate costs and court fees.

  1. Choosing the adoption agency (see the guide in appendix). Compare your local options, and those slightly further away, where practical.
  2. Start collecting pictures, and text for the adoption profile.
  3. When preparing for the home study you will need to be able to evidence experience of caring for children, whether a parent or not. It is different to care for a child you are not related to/part of your family network.
  4. You will need to ensure that you have the following documents if applicable:

• Driver’s License
• Passport
• Birth certificates/adoption certificates
• Marriage/divorce certificate
• Proof of car insurance
• Pet records, health & behaviour
• Tax return/self-assessment
• Medical assessments
• Details of references
• Military discharge

  1. And you will be asked to provide personal, employer, references & previous partner and any birth/step/ adopted children will be interviewed.
  2. You will need to submit to the following checks and clearances:

• Criminal Background Checks/FBI/police/sex offender clearance
• References from health, education professionals, accounts etc. where applicable
• USA fostering license/UK approval to foster & adopt/permanence

  1. Each agency will provide slightly different training, but it is likely to include:

• Child Protection
• Cultural diversity/equality
• Caring for children with special needs/disability
• The impact of trauma on children
• Building strong relationships

Diveristy Adopt is providing a course “Give yourself the best start to adopting”. this is a course to help socially aware adopters to feel more confident being assessed and in the care of their new children.

Click here to register interest


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