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Here’s an outline of what I have/hope to share about this month (more may get added or I may not get to them all, we’ll see what life brings!):
- how do you know if you’ve been called to adopt?
- how to get started (this post!)
- how long does the paperwork take?
- what if I don’t instantly love my adopted child?
- how to talk about adoption with your adoptive child
When we knew we wanted to start the adoption process it was hard for us to figure out how to actually get started. It involved a lot of searching the internet and doing our research. Because the adoption process is so different for every province/state/country I can’t give a complete step-by-step but I can try to give a general guide with some of our experiences thrown in that will hopefully be of help.
DOMESTIC ADOPTION VS INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
The first step is to figure out if you want to go the domestic or international adoption route.
For us, I knew I always wanted to adopt internationally so it was an easy decision. I also knew the traditional domestic adoption route was really long (around 10 years) and that helped to cross off that option.
APPLY TO SOCIAL SERVICES OR FIND AN AGENCY & CHOOSE A COUNTRY
Now here’s where things can start to vary.
At this point you’ll need to figure out locally if you need to apply to Social Services first or apply to an agency.
Our province doesn’t have any adoption agencies so we started by applying to Social Services and researching agencies in different provinces that would work with us.
If you are adopting internationally there are so many different country programs to look into, this may affect your decision as to which agency you use because most agencies only work with a few countries.
START YOUR HOME STUDY & PAPER GATHERING
So depending on where you live your home study will either be done through your agency or directly through Social Services. I know some places have crazy waiting times to get started with the home study. Thankfully there was no such wait here so we started pretty much as soon as we had our ducks in a row.
The country you are adopting from will determine what papers you all need to compile. Over time we had been with four agencies and three different countries and needed things like tuberculosis tests, Interpol checks, etc.
The difficult part here is that no place has the exact same process so you need to figure out what you need to do based on the location you live and where you are adopting from but I hope this was a bit helpful in pointing you in the right direction!
You can also check out our adoption timeline to get the full picture on our adoption.
If you are in Saskatchewan I wrote a post way back in 2012 with how to get started with adoption in Saskatchewan (it was intentional at all but it was on this exact day seven years ago that I wrote that post!)
If you have a suggestion for topic or question you would like me to address in this adoption awareness series let me know!