Like foster care, there are a lot of misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes there’s not misconceptions, but a lack of knowledge altogether of the process.
If I want to adopt, where do I start? Is it going to cost me anything? How long is it going to take?
Before you can embrace the idea of adoption, you have to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into.
So here’s the facts:
- Domestic private adoption can cost around $20,000 or more. Those babies desperately need to be adopted, but not everyone can afford to pay that and not everyone is called to adopt privately. International adoptions cost even more than that and the process can take twice as long.
- Adopting from foster care in Arkansas is FREE. You do not pay for the background check, home study, training, etc…You’re required to get a physical and depending on your insurance that may cost, but nothing anywhere close to $20,000.
- You will probably not adopt an infant from through DCFS. Once a child or infant is taken by DCFS, the parents have 12-18 months (sometimes less or more time) to show they can take care of the child. So by the time parental rights are terminated and the child is put up for adoption, the infant that was taken into care is now a toddler.
- There are over 600 children who are waiting to be adopted. Rights have already been terminated and they’re just waiting to match up with a family.
- To adopt, your family has to go through the same process as a foster family. You also have to meet the same requirements.
- The process from the first informational meeting to the “open for adoption” day can take 6-9 months (sometimes a little longer depending on the situation). Once you’re open, the time it takes to be placed with a child depends on what you marked on your preference sheet. If you want a blue-eyed 5 year old little boy, your wait may be longer. If you’re open to different races, either gender, a wide age group, and even sibling groups, you’re wait may not be as long.
- They do not match a child to your family. They match your family to the child. The adoption specialist wants this to be a forever, loving unification that meets all of the child’s needs. Just because you think a child looks adorable on the Arkansas Heart Gallery and they like the same things as your family — they may not be a good fit from the other information the adoption specialist knows that you don’t.
- ALL children being adopted from foster care have baggage. Some have emotional issues that will require a little bit of counseling and love with minimal long term effects. Some have physical issues or developmental needs due to some form of abuse or drugs. ALL of them deserve love and ALL of them can receive healing through the love of the right family and Christ. As adults we all have baggage because of things that have happened in our past, we can’t hold what happened to these children against them.
- Once an adoption is finalized, the child is yours. Forever. All ties are cut from the biological family that had their rights terminated. A judge changes their last name and says that they are forever yours. There’s no turning back and no one can take them (unless the child is in danger of course).
If have any questions about adoption, message us on Facebook at The CALL in White County, or call Erica at 501-288-3197 or Leigh Ann at 501-259-8845.