In the United States, each state offers unique avenues to becoming an adoptive parent. Washington is not unique in having its own guidelines. If you are looking forward to adopting a child, understanding these guidelines will help you acclimate to the process much quicker. Here are a few things you should do before you complete your adoption application:
1. Know who can adopt.
In Washington, single individuals and couples may adopt. You do not have to own a home to adopt, and you do not have to be a parent already. Race, ethnicity, marital status, appearance and religion are not determining factors. Adoption through the foster care system is considered relatively affordable; however, private adoption agencies do charge higher fees.
2. Compile necessary documents.
These documents may include a reference letter from an employer as well as personal references. Evidence of no criminal record and proof of age are also required. You will be asked to show verification of your income. At this point, you will undergo a criminal background check as well.
3. Undergo pre-service training and orientation.
Whether you intend to adopt a child or provide foster care for one, you must undergo a special training course. The course covers topics that most foster and adoptive parents will face. The courses are free and provide 30 hours of training total. The orientation is the shortest of the sessions at just three hours. Upon completion of the courses, you will receive a certificate that shows that you are prepared to adopt.
4. Meet with the caseworker.
You may meet with several caseworkers over the course of the adoption process. Each child is typically assigned a caseworker with whom you will meet to discuss the case. Additional caseworkers may come in to your home for the home study or interviews, depending on availability. The key is to establish a good relationship with your caseworker so that they can do their best to create a welcoming atmosphere for everybody involved.
5. Complete a home study.
An adoption home study may involve up to six months of observation, during which the caseworker will look over the daily life and routines of you or your family. The caseworker may come to a conclusion regarding which type of child you would be most capable of parenting, as well as oversee your neighborhood and home to ensure that it is a safe place to raise a child. For many, this may seem invasive. On the other hand, approval of the caseworker means that you are ready to adopt.
Thousands of children are in the foster care and adoption system. Your choice to adopt can be a wonderful decision, and learning the steps early on can help you move through the process quickly. For more information on adoptions, contact a company like A Chosen Child.