Is adoption right for your family?
One of the highest callings anyone could answer is to provide a loving home for a child who needs a family. According to Good Housekeeping, each year in the United States, approximately 135,000 children find homes through adoption, more than any other country. While adoption is common, it isn’t necessarily right for everyone.
Adopting a child should be a decision that involves everyone living in a home
From a single individual to large families, deciding to pursue adoption should be done with input from everyone living in a home into which a new family member may be introduced.
Getting everyone on board, before legal steps are taken to adopt, is important to assure the child enters a loving and welcoming home. It is important that both adults and children living under the same roof are aware of the challenges and changes to come and excited to be part of the adventure.
Can you pass requirements to adopt a child?
Adopting a child is not a simple process, and prospective parents rightly face a good bit of scrutiny before they can be approved. So, who can adopt? Laws vary by state, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, in general, any single adult or married couple may be eligible to adopt.
Key points relative to the histories of prospective parents that may have significant influence in the adoption process include, but are not limited to:
- Prior adoptions
- Arrest/criminal records, especially those involving children
- Civil actions in which prospective parent(s) may be involved
- Health/mental issues
- Treatment for drug or alcohol abuse
- History of homelessness
- Financial considerations
Having issues in any of the above noted areas does not necessarily mean an individual or a couple will never be able to adopt. If past problems have been sufficiently addressed, it’s possible some of those hurdles may be overcome.
The financial commitment of adopting a child
Adoption can be an expensive proposition, but you don’t have to be wealthy to consider taking on the responsibilities. In the same way you would prepare for a new arrival during a pregnancy, you should do some financial planning before beginning the adoption process. The biggest difference is that instead of hospital bills, you’ll be paying adoption fees.
According to federal government statistics, the costs range from a few hundred dollars for some domestic adoptions to as much as $50,000 if you are bringing a child into the U.S. from beyond our borders.
From a financial standpoint, that is just the beginning.
CNN Money reports that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 averages more than $230,000, and families should expect to spend between $12,350 and $14,000 per kid, per year.
Adoption is more popular than ever
Adoption has become very much a mainstream practice in America. Thanks to many wonderful child advocacy organizations, a vast network of foster homes and relaxation of once restrictive laws, U.S. citizens adopt more children than any other country on Earth.
The aforementioned Good Housekeeping article included a compendium of adoption statistics that show one out of every 25 U.S. families with children have an adopted child. Roughly 40 percent of adoptions are from the U.S. foster care system and more than 81 million Americans have considered adoption.
Only you can know if it is right for you. But, in this country alone there are more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption by a loving family.
LightStream helps families welcome new additions all the time. Whether it’s a biological or adoptive child, we are happy to make loans available for such joyous occasions!