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If you want to adopt a Caucasian infant, be prepared to wait at least a year from the time the home study is completed, and more frequently two to five years. It’s difficult to estimate the waiting period because birth parents usually select and interview the family they want for their child. Applicants wishing to adopt African-American infants may have a shorter wait — probably less than six months. If you want to adopt a child with special needs, you can review photolistings to learn more about waiting children who might be right for your family.
International adoptions may take a year or more, but the wait and the process will be somewhat more predictable. For any type of international adoption, even after a child is found you may have to wait weeks or months while final arrangements are made.
There are many factors that influence the cost of adoption. The average cost of adopting a child in the United States varies according to the type of placement:
- Public agency adoptions, where children are adopted from the foster care system, range from zero to $2,500.
- Private agency adoption ranges from $4,000 to $30,000 or more.
- Independent adoption ranges from $8,000 to $30,000 or more.
- Adopting a child from another country through either a private agency or an independent adoption ranges from $7,000 to $25,000 or more.
During the home study, you’ll be asked about:
- Personal and family background, including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what you learned from them
- Significant people in your lives
- Motivation to adopt
- Expectations for the child
- Feelings about infertility (if this is an issue)
- Parenting and integration of the child into your family
- Family environment
- Physical and health history
- Education, employment and finances, including insurance coverage and child-care plans if needed
- References and criminal background clearances
- The first step is to choose an attorney that you are comfortable with.
- When you contact our office, you will be invited to meet with an attorney and our staff members at no charge to you. You will learn how we approach independent adoption. We will go over our information package, which you can keep and take home with you. After meeting with us, you may decide if you wish to proceed with our office.
- If you wish to go forward with an adoption plan, we will ask you to complete our client information form, submit a picture and letter, a “snapfish” type of booklet and pay a retainer fee.
- You will need to obtain a home study by a licensed, master social worker. We will give you an outline of all the requirements needed and make suggestions as to whom should do the home study. We will explain the home study process with you. Many questions seem intrusive if you aren’t expecting them. These questions are necessary for the social worker’s evaluation of you as prospective adoptive parents. There are fingerprint checks, back ground checks, child abuse and neglect reports, and sex offender registry checks as well as letters of reference.
- Be prepared to wait. It is our hope that all our clients will adopt within one year.
- Typically, the child is placed with you at birth and the legal process begins. In Kansas, an adoption can be filed and finalized immediately after birth (if both birth parents sign consents); but must be final in not more than 60 days from the date of filing.
In Kansas, both parents do not have to consent to the adoption. In many cases, only the birth mother will sign a consent. If the birth father also signs a consent, then the adoption can be finalized immediately. Their consents are considered irrevocable upon signature.
If the birth father does not sign, his rights may be terminated involuntarily. In some cases, an attorney is appointed to represent the father. Once a consent is signed it is irrevocable and can only be challenged if the birth parent can prove by clear and convincing evidence it was not her/his free and voluntary act. Once the adoption has been finalized, the biological parents have no legal ties to the child.
Yes. Our attorney is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. We work with attorneys all over the United States. We have done many, many Interstate Adoptions. It will be necessary to file a request with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Both the “sending” and “receiving” states must approve the removal of the child from one state to the home state of the adopting parents. We encourage our clients to finalize in Kansas as our laws are very good. Some states will require that the adoption be finalized in the state where the child was born.
Under both state and federal assistance programs, adoptive parents of children with special needs are eligible for a one-time payment of non-recurring adoption expenses. Such expenses include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses.
A growing number of companies and government agencies are offering adoption benefits, which can include a financial reimbursement for legal expenses, agency fees, medical expenses, post adoption counseling, and other expenses, as well as paid or unpaid leave time and help finding resources and referrals. Check with your employer to find out your company’s policies.
Loans and travel assistance may also be available through banks or travel agencies. For more information on loans and grants, you may want to contact the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) at 800-470-6665 or www.nacac.org or contact the National Adoption Foundation.