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7 Things You Should Know Before Adopting A Child

By S.A. Nickerson

Adoption can be difficult. It can be expensive. It can be emotionally trying and physically draining. But it surely is noble, and well worth the time, money, and effort it takes to succeed at child adoption. To that end, here are the 7 tips that any person thinking of baby adoption should know.

First, know the truth about agency adoptions. These can occur domestically in the United States or your other Western home country, or they can happen in international adoption as well. Agency adoptions occur through a local public agency, or via a licensed private agency.

These agency adoptions differ significantly from independent adoptions, so it's essential to know these differences. Independent adoptions occur usually without an adoption agency, sometimes when the prospective parents connect with the biological mother and agree to the infant adoption. In many of these cases, attorneys act as the go-between, but in some international adoptions, such as in China and Guatemala, the prospective parents do much of the legwork themselves.

Each case of child adoption is unique-most importantly, because adoptions vary depending on the laws of the state where the adoption is taking place, or the country. Different states and countries, for instance, may require an attorney as an intermediary, while others may require strictly adoption agency involvement in the process. Know the laws of your state, or country. If you plan to adopt across state lines, know both states' policies toward adoption.

When you are fully informed about your local or international requirements, weigh all of the available options, and the risks for each one. For example, agency adoptions, depending on where you're adopting, may be the safest because an adoption agency provides oversight and protection against fraud. On the other hand, having a facilitator or outside individual act as a go-between provides almost no safety net, especially in an international adoption, where even state and federal laws can't protect you.

With international adoptions, though, state and federal laws can stop you-an important thing to remember There are federal laws that regulate international adoption. These mainly are in place to protect the child, so be sure that you are familiar with them.

As the sixth rule to know for adoptions, it makes sense then to be familiar with the laws of the foreign country in which you are adopting. Just as the U.S. government has rules that need to be adhered to, so will a China, a Guatemala, or a Vietnam. China, for instance, now limits single-parent adoptions and only allows adoption agencies that have follow-up policies. And the Marshall Islands no longer allows international adoption at all.

And the seventh, and probably most important, tip is to never lose sight of why you're adopting. The process of child adoption can be so tough that, sometimes, prospective parents get desperate, dispirited, and even drastic. Don't. Keep in mind your dream of a family, of becoming a loving parent to a needy child. And never lose sight, or hope, during the long process of adoption.

About The Author

This article about adoption is submitted by S.A. Nickerson, writing for

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