As an adoptive family, what can we do to speed up the adoption process?
“How long will it take to adopt?” is the golden question. Our adoption coordinators wish they had that answer for all of our adoptive families. But, unfortunately, no one can really answer that question. There are many variables involved in the waiting period.
Before you begin the adoption process, you need to be sure you are emotionally ready to deal with many different situations. Be aware that, on occasion, adoption can happen very quickly. Primarily you want to ask if you are indeed emotionally ready to welcome a child into your family right now. You may find yourselves in a “drop in the lap” adoption where a birth mother chooses you the day she gives birth, and you need to run to the hospital only days or weeks after your home study is complete. Other adoptive families wait a couple of years for the right match to come along. Nobody knows what the adoption process has in store. Faith that the right match will happen at the right time is very important.
“What do we do to create the fastest adoption process?” is generally the next question. Generally, families that are more receptive to adopting a child regardless of race will be quickest to match. They will be presented to more birth parents and have more opportunities to be chosen. Opening up the age range can also result in a faster adoption. Being open to birth mother contact is another variable that can help a family match more quickly. More and more birth mothers are seeking families that are open to letters and photos, emails, or even an annual visit in the form of a picnic or day at the beach with the child and the adoptive family. Adoptive parents should openly and honestly discuss what they are willing to commit to for future birth mother contact. Reading about and speaking with others about their open adoption will help.
In some cases, birth mothers will report cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, or narcotic usage prior to learning about the pregnancy. Thankfully, most women will stop using any of these substances once the pregnancy is a certainty. Unfortunately, a few may continue substance usage throughout a pregnancy. Adoptive families should learn about the effects and risks of various substances and decide what they are open to considering.
In most Lifetime adoptions, the birth parents select the adoptive family from an adoption profile or their Lifetime website containing letters, photos, preferences, and videos. This is a critical step in the adoption process. For example, if you are only open to a newborn and a birth mother decides to place her six-month-old for adoption, she may not consider you. Perhaps a birth mother used a substance at the beginning of her pregnancy and then stopped. If you are not open to any substances having been used, an adoption coordinator wouldn’t present you as a family she may choose.
It is important to really think about what is truly important when listing your preferences. Be honest with your adoption coordinators and with yourselves. Don’t think of these preferences as a wish list but more of a list of what is truly important to you when bringing home a baby. Perhaps race is an issue that is important to you because you live in an area that lacks diversity, and you do not feel you could provide access to role models of the baby’s race or exposure to information on their heritage. That is valid. If you want to list a gender preference, you might want to give that more thought. Is that really going to matter? One may think they have a preference, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. A friend of mine delivered five boys. She kept praying for a girl and yet out popped a boy. I guarantee that today she would not change a thing. She loves her pack of boys.
Another way to achieve the fastest adoption process is to be ready and open to receiving the professional recommendations of your adoption coordinators. You may get advice to change your profile, photos, or video. These recommendations are not criticisms. Your adoption coordinator listens to comments from birth mothers, knows what birth mothers we currently have, and what they are looking for. Your coordinators are looking out for you and trying to help you achieve your adoption dreams as soon as possible.
Finally, simply follow the steps that we request of you as a Lifetime family. There is nothing difficult, but families need to follow the proven program if they want to adopt safely and successfully. At times, families have started our program but failed to submit profiles, start their home study, or return our calls when presenting birth mother situations to them. Our program is proven to work, safely and successfully, and has been working since 1986. Check out some of our adoption success stories. We are proudly building families, but families need to also do their part as well in order to speed up the adoption process.
If you are interested in adoption and have not filled out our free online application, do it today. We are here to answer all of your questions and provide the information you need.
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