Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Steps of the Process

Here are what we understand to be the steps in the process of infant adoption through Catholic Charities:

1. Fill out and send in an "Interest Inventory."  This basically serves the purpose of determining whether we meet the initial qualifications to apply to adopt through CC (i.e. how long we've been married, our income, whether we've been convicted of crimes other than minor traffic violations, etc, etc....)   We completed this paperwork and sent it in in early January, as shown in the timeline to the right.

2. Fill out and send in the actual Application paperwork and fee ($170). We are waiting to receive the application paperwork in the mail, hopefully today. It was mailed yesterday.

3. Once our application and background checks are approved, we start the home study process.  This will involve extensive interviews with us as a couple, with us as individuals, and probably with Jerusha and Jo, who live with us.  They will put together a (long!) document that details our individual histories, the way we were parented, our current relationships with our siblings and our parents, the history and health of our marriage, our parenting style, and LOTS of other things. (We went through a home study already when we began doing foster care in 2008.)  We will owe a $1,300 fee at the beginning of this process.  I've been told that the completion of the home study usually occurs around the 3 month mark from when a couple initially applies.

4. While our home study is being completed, we will be working on our "family profile." This will most likely be in the form of a binder that will be full of information about our family (both serious and fun), pictures of our family, our home, of Jo and Jerusha, of us with our extended families, etc, etc.  This will also include a "Dear Birth Mom" letter that will be read by a birth mom who is looking at our family profile as she considers possible adoptive families for her baby.

5. Once our profile and our home study are complete, we will be an official "waiting couple."  At this point, the waiting REALLY begins....waiting to be chosen by a birth mother for her baby.

6. We will be matched with a birth mom, who likely will be approaching her due date.  This is where the specific details of how things will happen can vary a TON.  We know that we will need to obtain an attorney to handle our side of the legal work, which will be an additional cost (not sure how much yet).  We also know that there may be specific costs (for which we'll be responsible) associated with medical care for the baby while in the hospital, etc, etc.

7. The baby will be born and most likely within a few days, will be placed in our home.  Final placement fee will be due at this time (likely around $10,000).  There will be, I believe, 3 months of follow up visits with a CC case worker before....

8. Finalization of the adoption occurs.  

These steps are DEFINITELY subject to revision as we learn more details and get further into the process.  :)
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