Whether you are a birth mother, an adoptive family, an adoptee, or just have an interest in the field of adoption, Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri is here to help! We love providing information and resources to ensure you are well informed to make the best decisions for you and your family or educate you and advocate adoption.
- Research and learn. Read books and magazines. Visit Websites. Talk to other parents – adoptive parents or birth parents. Meet with adoptive parents and their children and birth parents. Join adoptive parent and birth parent support groups. Don’t be afraid to talk about adoption with others nor hide adoption.
- Find professionals – agencies, attorneys and other adoption experts – in your area. Attend informational meetings held by public and private agencies. Ask for brochures and handouts. Talk with social workers, attorneys, facilitators, agency representatives. Screen any agency or attorney you think you might use. Check references.
- Do some soul searching. Decide whether you want an infant or older child, boy or girl, domestic or foreign-born child. Usually, more specific requests will take longer. Consider whether you open or closed adoption, younger or older children, or whether you can handle a special needs child. Think about whether you want an open relationship with the birth parents. Decide whether you want an independent non-agency adoption, a public agency adoption or a private agency adoption.
- Finance. Determine the cost of the type of adoption you seek. Draw upon savings, grants, and loans from church groups, friends and family. Check out our list of grants and loans.
- Research the law. If adopting domestically, research state laws. If adopting internationally, investigate the eligibility requirements of target countries and U.S. State Department regulations.
- Complete a home study. Gather multiple notarized copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, medical exams, financial statements (including the last three years’ tax returns, photographs of you and your home, a written autobiography, employment records, criminal clearance documents, fingerprints, three letters of reference, a report on your home with deed, and (possibly) a psychological evaluation, and, in international adoptions, INS documents, passports, and copies of State Department laws in English and in the language of the country you have chosen to adopt from. Prepare for an interview by a social worker or agency.
- Carefully consider any child you might adopt. Explore the child’s medical history and social and emotional background. Ask a pediatrician’s advice about what to expect.
- Use post-adoption services. Once the adoption is complete, join an adoptive families support group. If the adoption is international or interracial, seek support groups for help with birth culture. If the child has special needs, seek supplemental medical or counseling services.