Hopeful parents who decide they want to pursue adoption have more choices than ever before, and sometimes understanding how the adoption process works can be overwhelming. Every adoption is different, but they’re all similar when it comes to initial first steps. Here are some basic steps on how to get started on the adoption process.

Research, research, and more research.

This should be your number one step after deciding to adopt. Read up on the topic of adoption and everything that's involved in the adoption process. This doesn’t just include reading, it should include thorough research about adoption. Read books about adoption and consult different online resources before making any decisions. This is an important step, so take your time. You can even connect with other adoptive parents since they can be an amazing source of inspiration and information.

Choose the type of adoption.

You need to understand all the adoption options. From the moment you start your adoption research this is going to come up. Here are some questions you need to answer before applying for an adoption:

  • Do you want to adopt a newborn, a toddler, or an older child?
  • Do you want to adopt domestically or internationally?
  • Are you considering a private adoption through an adoption agency, or do you want to adopt from foster care?
  • Another important decision is what types of adoption you're open to. There are three types of an adoption: open, closed, and semi-open adoptions. Each type is different so your decision should be based on your family’s desires and needs.
  • There are also different types of LGBT adoption, so you need to identify the right type for your family.

Get your finances in order.

It’s no secret that adoptions can be costly. So, before applying think carefully about what do you want exactly since costs vary greatly for each adoption type. Organize your finances and try to find out how much are you going to spend on the adoption. Also, research adoption finance assistance options or try to organize some fun ways to raise the money for your adoption. There are ways to get some extra money for your adoption, so don’t let finances stand in your way.

Select an adoption agency or professional.

Selecting an adoption agency or adoption professional is important since you’re going to work with them during your entire adoption journey. Take as much time as you need, and research your options. When you set up interviews, ask a lot of questions to find out if they’re the perfect match for you.

Complete a home study.

After your application, this is the next important step. In order to adopt a baby, you must have a completed home study. Prepare yourself in advance in order to avoid the stress commonly associated with the home study process.

Wait for a connection.

After all the thinking and decision making, it’s time to sit down and wait. There are lots of things you can do to help get through the wait, but the best thing you can do is stay positive and be patient.