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Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Friday, December 30, 2016

We need to find ways to support adoption

What are the most common issues facing individuals and families during the adoption process?

Any parents fortunate enough to have met his or her child through adoption knows what a gift that child is. And likely, they also know the headaches involved in the process. If you are thinking about adopting, you may have a lot of questions and anxiety around what happens next. We hope this article will answer some of those questions and help alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling.

November was National Adoption month. As part of this month of developing awareness around adoption, a local paper posted an editorial about current issues surrounding adoption and how to change the conversation when it comes to many of those issues.

According to Gloria Hochman, director of communications for the National Adoption Center in Philadelphia, there are over 110,000 children in the U.S. foster care system that are hoping for adoption and over 2,500 children in Pennsylvania looking for their forever home. In addition, there are hundreds of thousands more children across the U.S. and internationally that are in need of adoption. 

Everyone’s adoption process can look different, depending on whether they are adopting a child through a private process, publicly through foster care, or internationally. Some people opt for an open adoption, while others believe that a closed adoption would be best for their family situation.

Regardless of what avenue you choose to adopt through, there are some common issues that prospective adoptive parents face. These issues can include:

  1. High Costs – adoptions can cost between $0 to $50,000, depending on the type of adoption chosen. County Foster/Adoption programs usually run between $0 to $1,000, while adoptions through non-profit agencies or privately with attorneys top the higher range. Many employers offer paid family leave for adoptive parents and adoption assistance programs. State and federal subsidies are also offered, along with federal tax credits for adoptive parents.
  2. Long Wait Times – families seeking to adopt have likely already waited far too long to bring a child into their lives. The adoption process can add months or years to that wait time. Typically, the time frame to adopt a healthy infant can be 2-7 years.
  3. Paperwork and Home Studies – Whether you are going the public or private route, your journey will be filled with paperwork and interviews, including in-depth background checks.
  4. Birth Mother Changes Her Mind – Few things are as heartbreaking as having your adoption hopes dashed when a birth mother decides to parent the child herself. The law is on her side when it comes to changing her mind on adoption.
  5. Invasive Questions – the invasive questions do not stop at home studies and interviews. Family, friends and perfect strangers may ask inappropriate questions about how much your child cost, or whether you have “real” children of your own.

Thinking About Adopting?

If you are thinking about adopting a child, talk to an experienced adoption attorney about your options. Mr. Swavely has over 25 years of experience assisting families during the adoption process. Request a consultation or call today at (610) 816-6366.


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