How do I adopt? What are the steps?

Congratulations - you are considering adoption, which means you are now asking yourself the proverbial question: How do I adopt

Here are some steps to get started in the adoption process:

1. Attend a free info session or call and schedule a free personal consultation with one of our staff. They will answer your how do I adopt questions and set you on the right path.

2. Submit your adoption application and start the adoption process.

One of the first decisions to make is whether to do a domestic or interantional adoption. Once you know your direction the next steps are:

The Home Study - NJ (New Jersey) and other states

The Home Study, required for Domestic and International adoptions and by all states, enables you to take a look at your readiness to parent, prepares you for parenting, and ensures you are meeting your state’s requirements. In the Home Study, you will:

1) meet with the Golden Cradle® professionals and

2) prepare required paperwork and reports. If you are planning an international adoption, you will also need to create a dossier and have an adoption service provider (ASP).

The Home Study: Interviews

You can expect to have several interviews with the Golden Cradle® professionals. If you are a couple, there will be at least one joint interview. Plus, there will be individual interviews with each partner. These interviews help you to develop a relationship with the Golden Cradle® professionals while enabling the Golden Cradle® professionals to help you determine what type of child best fits your needs. 

The Home Study: Paperwork and Reports

Paperwork and reports are needed for the adoption process. You can be assured that Golden Cradle® will be there, helping you find, collect and process these documents. The necessary documents are:

  • Autobiography for each person adopting
  • Medical Reports 
  • Financial Statements 
  • Five reference letters (2 Personal, 1 Neighbor, and 1 Employer per employed person) 
  • Criminal history clearances (fingerprinting - State and FBI) 
  • Child Abuse Registry Information forms for New Jersey 
  • Child Abuse History Record Checks for home state (if not NJ).

The Home Study: International Adoption

How do I adopt internationally, you might ask. Those seeking adoptions overseas will need to go through the Home Study process, plus you will need to prepare a dossier, which is a collection of paperwork specific to the requirements of the country in which the adoption will take place. This dossier must satisfy requirements for New Jersey, the adoption country, and the USCIS.

If you are doing a Hague adoption, you will need to go through the above steps, plus you must demonstrate that Hague requirements are met. Only a Hague Accredited adoption agency, like Golden Cradle®, can provide Hague Home Studies. 

Golden Cradle® is unique, as we are one of the few adoption agencies that specialize in Hague adoptions. We excel in meeting the Hague requirements in our Home Studies. Trust Golden Cradle®’s experience to lead and guide you through the preparation of these documents. The dossier is then sent to the country where it is translated and presented to the departments and agencies involved with the adoption.

If you are a resident or citizen of another country, Golden Cradle® also does outgoing international adoption (Hague Accredited). Look to Golden Cradle® to help you through this process, including organizing a Home Study approved by your country’s Central Authority.

Home Study for those living outside New Jersey

Golden Cradle® is licensed in New Jersey, so our Home Study meets the requirements of New Jersey. If you live in another state, we will gladly help arrange a Home Study that meets your state’s requirements as well.

The Educational Seminars

The educational seminars are presented by Golden Cradle®’s adoption professionals and guest speakers, including families who have adopted, birth mothers, and adult adoptees. This is where you can share experiences, ask questions, get your “how do I adopt” questions answered, and gain an understanding of adoption.  You can attend these seminars concurrently with the Home Study.

Finalization of the Adoption

The finalization of your adoption will most likely occur about 8 months after the adoption. New Jersey State regulations require at least four post-placement supervisory visits during this time.

Once the adoption is finalized, our After Adoption Services Department provides educational and counseling services to help meet any needs you might have.

Do you have any more “how do I adopt” questions?

Obviously, this is a lot to go through! But, it is well worth the effort. We know that this is a lot to absorb - so feel free to contact us with your “how do I adopt” questions or anything else you desire to know at any time.

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