Adoption Facts and Tips for Prospective Parents
This November marks the 19th annual observation of National Adoption Month. Celebrate by learning several relevant facts about adoption:
-According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, more than 400,000 kids were in the U.S. foster care system in 2013.
-That year, children who were adopted with public agency involvement spent an average of 12 months in care.
-The average age of a child at the time of adoption through a public agency in 2013 was six years old.
-The largest adoptive parent group consists of couples who have been married for three or more years.
-Infertility is a motivating factor in 95% of adoptions.
-The average age range of individuals looking to adopt in the U.S. spans from the late-30’s to mid-40’s.
-International adoption is on the decline in the U.S., according to CNN, which reported 8,668 international adoptions in 2012, down from a peak of 22,884 in 2004.
Are you thinking about providing a permanent home for a child in need of a loving parent? Try these five tips before you apply to adopt:
Do Your Homework. Adoption laws in the U.S. vary from one state to another. Stay current on changing trends and common terms. For instance, there are two basic types of adoption: open and closed. A closed adoption is one in which the identities of the parties involved are withheld. In an open adoption, certain information is shared.
Know What You Want. Domestic or international, boy or girl, younger or older, open adoption or closed? Try to make these decisions prior to applying to adopt.
Find the Right Agency or Service. The trick to having a successful adoption is to find an agency or service that works for you and falls within your budget. Public, state-run agencies typically have lower costs, where private agencies can sometimes charge a great deal.
Be Ready to Wait. Adoption time frames can vary from a few months to five years, or even more. Adoption agencies can estimate the length of your wait, but the process may take more or less time than anticipated.
Don’t Subscribe to Myths. Adopted children often grow up to be happy adults. In a study that followed 881 adopted adolescents and their adoptive families over four years, the adopted kids scored higher in caring and social competency than their non-adopted peers.
Have you adopted a child, or are you thinking about it? Share an interesting tidbit from your experience below!