5 Questions to Ask If You Are Considering Adoption

/contact/ This is a guest post from our partner Diane Hogan. She is an adoptive parent twice over, adoption and education expert, and President of A Step Ahead Adoption Services.

Are you a family who want to start or build your family and don’t know if adoption is right for you? If so, you have probably been on the Internet looking at all the choices, options and decisions you would need to make to just take the first step into adoption. Hopefully this article will help you understand your choices, fine tune your options and guide your decision-making process.

There are 3 primary paths to adopting a child – domestic (US) adoption, international adoption and/or foster-to-adoption. How do you know which path is best for you? Consider the child you see coming into your home and ask yourself these 5 simple questions:

1) What age is this child? Most domestic adoptions are newborn-to-1 year of age placements; most international adoptions are toddler-thru-school aged; most foster-to-adoption placements are 1-year to 18-years of age (after 18, most children “age out” of the foster care system).

2) What race or races of child can you consider? In domestic adoption, you have children of all colors of the rainbow and racial combinations; however, the least placed race (in the US) is Asian. For foster-to-adoption, again all the possible racial combinations of children are eagerly awaiting their forever families. International adoptions, you have to be country-specific, thus you will be defining race(s) upon selecting a country. To get an overview of options in this area, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/adoption-process.html

3) What timeframe are you considering? Most domestic (US) adoptions can occur in 1-year or less unless you are gender-specific and then that could take up to 2 years. International adoptions are country-specific and will be dependent on how well your US agency or attorney is connected with the foreign country’s embassy, orphanages and laws. Generally speaking allow a minimum of 2 years for the process. For foster-to-adoption, you would need to be able and willing to foster a child until they are eligible for the adoption rolls. That process is often 1-2 years depending on your county’s policy for a birth parents time to attempt reunification – the goal of the foster system.

4) Are you gender-specific? If so, then focus more on international or foster-to-adoption because it is much easier to select a boy or girl, or both! In domestic adoption, you become dependent on a gender-defining ultra sound or waiting for a born baby.

5) Do you have a budget defined? Most domestic and international adoptions are running $30,000 -$50,000 for the cost of preparing, adopting and traveling. Foster-to-adoption is more affordable as you may only be asked to pay for legal fees and travel. Remember, we currently do have an adoption tax credit that may assist you after you adopt. For more information, see: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

Still confused? Feel free to send us an email or give us a call. We provide adoption education, guidance, support and resource referrals for many various aspects of adoption. If you are a family desiring a domestic adoption or adoption education, we have consultants across the US to talk with you and discuss the process of domestic adoption. If you are considering an international or foster program, we can connect you with agencies speializing in the programs you are interested in.

Diane Hogan is an adoptive mom of two “babies” (now respectively 21 years of age and 18 years of age). Along with her husband she adopted domestically and has two open adoptions. She hold BS and MA degrees in education. Worked for 20 years in public education (classroom teacher, curriculum developer, program specialist, teacher trainer). Besides her two children, she is most proud of her 2-years or remission from Hodgkins’ Lymphoma! Diane now owns/operates A Step Ahead Adoption Services for the last 16 years from Colorado Springs, CO. A Step Ahead Adoption Services (ASA), in the big picture, is a consulting services designed to help adoptive parents seeking a domestic adoption through an agency or attorney in the US. We educate, guide, support our client families who are seeking a domestic or international adoption. ASA also provides education for agencies and law firms that work in adoption. They can offer 1:1 classes, workshops and seminars. They have an extensive online adoption & parenting library for client families (over 80 documents), a prerecorded 20-minute class on the domestic adoption procedure and 45 short vignettes of interviews with adoptees, adoptive parents and an occupational therapist. Our ASA clients have access to all of those educational materials. ASA contracts with consultants who work for us across the US to support adoptive families and agencies. If you prefer to go international or foster-to-adopt, we will happily refer you to professionals in your area. ASA website is: www.astepaheadadoption.com .

If you would like your article posted as a guest on our blog, please contact us.

Mexico Hosting Program!

IAN is excited to announce a new hosting program with our Mexico program!

Joan recently returned from Mexico where she signed a contract with a specific Mexican State. This means that, in addition to families being able to adopt from Mexico using the National Registry track, IAN now has specific children we can advocate for and place for adoption. IAN currently has photo-listed eight Mexican children on Rainbow Kids .

What makes this news even more exciting is that these children are also available for hosting in the U.S.! Families interested in adopting a specific child can chose to host that child in the U.S. this winter during Christmas break! While the hosting program is not for the purpose of adoption, it does allow families to give the child the opportunity to visit America while also giving the family and child the opportunity to learn if they are a good match for each other, or advocate for your host child’s adoption in your community. In addition, because the first of the two required trips to Mexico is in order to meet and bond with the child, this first trip can be replaced by the hosting experience. While there is a fee for hosting the child, this fee is tax deductible and also saves the family the expense of traveling to Mexico for the first, generally longer, adoption trip. Hosting a child does not obligate you to adopt that child. This is a great opportunity to share your life with a child, and help them experience more of the world!

To learn more about adopting from Mexico or the hosting opportunity, please contact IAN today (info@internationaladoptionnet.org)!

Uganda Update

Please see below the latest update from the State Department concerning the new regulations from Uganda (found here- http://www.mglsd.go.ug/laws/ The%20Children%20Amendment% 20Act%202016.pdf (start page 32) and here http://www.mglsd.go.ug/laws/children%20act%20Chapter_59.pdf (start page 22)

These new regulations went into effect on June 2nd. The Laws were signed in May, but it had previously not been clear as to when it would go into effect, so some had hope that cases this summer would not be impacted. It seems now that this means any referrals made after June 2nd will need to abide by these new laws. IAN will keep its license in Uganda should a family want to adopt under these new regulations, however it seems that as things stand, it would be very difficult for any families living in the US to meet these standards. Here is a run down of the main things you need to know:

​A person who is not a citizen of Uganda may in exceptional

circumstances adopt a Ugandan child, if he or she—

(a) has stayed in Uganda for at least one

(b) has fostered the child for at least one year under the

supervision of a probation and social welfare officer;

(c) does not have a criminal record;

(d) has a recommendation concerning his or her suitability to adopt

a child from his or her country’s probation and welfare office or

other competent authority; and

(e) has satisfied the court that his or her country of origin will

respect and recognise the adoption order.

45. Restrictions and conditions.

(1) An adoption order may be granted to a sole applicant or jointly

to spouses where—

(a) the applicant or at least one of the joint applicants has attained

the age of twenty-five years and is at least twenty-one years older

than the child;

(b) in the case of an application by one of the spouses, the other has

consented to the adoption.

(2) The court may dispense with the consent required under

subsection (1)(b) if the spouse whose consent is required cannot be found or

is incapable of giving consent, or the spouses are separated and living apart

and the separation is likely to be permanent.

(3) An adoption order shall not be made in favour of a sole male

applicant in respect of a female child, or in favour of a sole female applicant

in respect of a male child, unless the court is satisfied that there are special

circumstances that justify, as an exceptional measure, the making of an

adoption order.

(4) The application shall not be considered unless the applicant has

fostered the child for a period of not less than thirty-six months under the

supervision of a probation and social welfare officer.

(5) The probation and social welfare officer shall be required to

submit a report to assist the court in considering the application; and the

court may, in addition, require some other person or the local authority to

make a report in respect of the adoption application.

(6) Except where the application is by spouses jointly, an adoption

order shall not be made authorising more than one person to adopt a child at

the same time.

The main thing is that these requirements used to be able to be waived by going through guardianship decrees and then finalizing the adoption in the US. However guardianship is no longer an option if you are not a Ugandan citizen under the new amendments, so these residency rules now apply to all international cases. Obviously we understand that most families can not move to Uganda for an extended time. The state department is updating its Uganda adoption information page, and as soon as we have any more information about how this is playing out, we will be sure to let you know.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Adoption < Adoption@state.gov >
Date: Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 7:48 AM
Subject: Notice: Uganda Announces Effective Date of June 2 for Amendments to the Children Act

Adoption Notice: Uganda

July 6, 2016

Notice: Uganda Announces Effective Date of June 2 for Amendments to the Children Act

As reported in the Department of State’s June 2 Adoption Alert , on May 20, 2016, the Ugandan president signed into law amendments to the Children Act. The full text of the amendments can be found on the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development’s website . Ugandan officials have informed us that these amendments went into effect on June 2.

If you have questions about your guardianship or adoption case, please write to adoption@state.gov . We also encourage you to work closely with your adoption service provider.

Ghana Humanitarian Projects

IAN is excited to share some news from one of our humanitarian partners! We have joined efforts with Springs of Hope International in Ghana, which works to provide support for orphanages and families in need. Springs of Hope and IAN are working to expand their efforts to reach those facing severe poverty. Recently, Springs of Hope Director Alfred Aidoo and his team held a clothing drive and were able to hand out much needed clothing items to many families in their community. He has shared some pictures with us!

We are excited to be partnering with Springs of Hope International and supporting them in their efforts to impact the community around them!