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Adopting? Here's some tips

If you are in the process of adopting a child, whether that child is the son or daughter of your spouse, is a single parent adoption or you are adopting together as a couple, it is a good idea to work closely with a family law attorney to avoid any of the pitfalls of a not-quite-legal adoption.

Below are some considerations to keep in mind as you go through the process.

-- Delve into the process and learn as much as you can about what it takes to adopt. Will you be doing an international adoption? That takes more money and a lot more red tape, so gird yourself for the long haul.

-- Seek out other adoptive parents and local groups that can provide you with information and resources.

-- Be honest about what you want. Realize that if you have your heart set on a Caucasian infant, you may wait longer than if you are willing to adopt an older child of color or one who may have some physical or mental challenges. If you don't feel that you are up to the task of caring for a disabled child, you should acknowledge that to yourself and the agencies you seek out.

-- Decide if you are willing to consider an open adoption where the birth mother will have some sort of relationship with you and the child. Be clear about your needs and expectations so there are no misunderstandings later.

-- Develop a financing plan. Find out how much the kind of adoption you want will cost, and investigate ways to fund your goal.

-- Make sure that whatever type of adoption you seek is within the bounds of state and federal laws (if adopting internationally). Work with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of adoption laws.

-- Prepare for a home study, and be prepared to have your life, finances, health, employment history and background carefully scrutinized.

Adoption can be a wonderful way to share your love with a deserving child. The better prepared you are for the process, the better the chances of having a good outcome for all.

Source: parents.com, "8 Tips on Adoption," Kelly King Alexander, accessed Oct. 30, 2015

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