Are you thinking about adoption but not sure what next steps to take? It’s helpful to think of adoption as a journey where there will be many ups and downs along the way. While the journey of adoption ultimately is about providing a home for a child who needs one, the process can involve a whole lot of waiting and questions—and a whole lot of paperwork. But it’s always important to remember throughout the process, that the end goal of adopting a child is well worth the journey. 

Here are eight steps to help you get started:

1.  Pray

If adoption is on your heart, pray for God to lead the way. Think and pray through where you want to adopt from, the age and sex of the child, how many, when the right time is, how it might affect other members of the family, etc. 

2.  Research 

Look at the adoption program offered locally or in the country you are interested in. The internet is a great place to start. There are many Christian adoption agencies out there. Along with this, find out about the time frame, necessary paperwork, restrictions the country may have (age, marital status, etc.) deadlines, and cost. You can gather paperwork from various agencies, and then make a decision.

3.  Find an Adoption Agency 

Seek an agency that provides adoption services for your desired domestic or international adoption.  

4.  Find a Local Agency 

You will need to work with a local agency to start the adoption process.  Even if you are considering an international adoption, you will probably need to work with a local agency in addition to the country agency. They will set up a home study and provide the necessary paperwork to the country agency. 

5.  Read Books and Agency Literature

Immerse yourself in what to expect the first month, second month, third month, etc. The more you educate yourself, the better prepared you will be when your child arrives.  

6.  Find On-Line Support 

Utilize on-line adoption support groups and blogs to learn all you can about adjustment and attachment issues, behavioral problems, grief, what other parents are going through and learning, etc. There is a lot of honest sharing out there and it will better equip you for the challenges you may face.

7.  Beware of Corrupt Agencies 

Unfortunately, there are agencies out there that are very bad. You want to find a solid, ethical agency that keeps on top of any corruption in the adoption process and provides regular honest communication. Ask for references from past families they have worked with. 

8.  Expect the Process to Take Time 

For the average person trying to adopt, it may take eight months to three years to get your child home. International adoption in underprivileged countries can be unpredictable, with unexpected delays, so patience is key.    

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