Though not necessary to become an adoptive family, housing a foster child prior to permanent adoption is a natural progression. Many families, in both Ohio and across the country, foster children for several years before making the decision to legally adopt. However, it is a misconception that if you foster a child you will eventually be offered the chance to adopt them.
There are many considerations to take when making the decision to place a child up for private adoption. Birth parents often have a flood of questions about how the process works, and how much involvement they will have in the process.
In honor of November as National Adoption Awareness month, we have been talking about the elements of adoption. In our last blog post, we discussed the homestudy. Once that element has been satisfied, an adoptive family can then move on to the next phase, which is matching.
Any individual or family who has ever considered adoption has most likely heard of a homestudy. On television and in movies, it is often portrayed as just a simple visit to make sure a house is clean. In reality it is much more than that, and is arguably the most essential element used by professionals to determine adoptive suitability. The homestudy is not only a tool for determining suitable living conditions for a child, but also forces an adoptive family to look within. Doing so allows them to make sure that adoption is a correct fit for the family as a whole.
When prospective parents in Ohio envision adopting a child, they may be envisioning bringing home a newborn infant. However, there are many older children who are in need of a permanent home and parents, especially teenagers. In fact, currently in the United States, nearly 12,500 children in need of adoptive parents are between the ages of 15 and 17.
All children in Ohio deserve to have a loving, stable and nurturing environment in which to grow. That is why adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences parents in Ohio can have. However, there is a process potential parents in Ohio must go through in order to adopt a child.
Many people in Ohio dream of one day becoming parents. While some people will conceive naturally and give birth to a child of their own, others may decide that adopting a child is the right choice for them. That being said, the road through adoption is fraught with twists and turns. There are many steps that must be taken, which can be complicated, confusing and sometimes frustrating. However, once one makes it through the adoption process, they may find that being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences of their life.
As well-intentioned as a couple may be in making the decision to adopt, it is not an easy process. Laws vary throughout the United States, but here in Ohio, anyone except a separated couple may adopt. This includes an unmarried single person or married couple, gay or straight, has the right to adopt. For children twelve years of age or older, the child must also provide consent to the adoption.
According to data provided by Smart Stepfamilies, 40 percent of married couples in the United States are step-couples, meaning at least one partner has a child or children from a previous marriage or relationship. Naturally, over time, stepparents form a bond with their stepchildren, oftentimes considering themselves to be a parent despite the fact that the child may already have two natural parents.