The adoption process varies based on the type of adoption you are completing. Although we have included the following as general guidelines – due to the complexities of the adoption process – this is not an exhaustive list of the entire process.
STEP ONE: Getting Started
Complete the initial application on our website to indicate your interest in becoming an adoptive parent.
STEP TWO: Applicant To-Do list
After completing the initial application, you will be automatically registered for the adoptive parent online portal. Within the portal fill out the application for child placement and commence the “applicant to-do list”
Start gathering all of the applicant required documents and upload them to the portal.
STEP THREE: The Homestudy & Safety Audit
You will be contacted by an agency adoption assessor to complete a homestudy. A homestudy is an assessment of your family and your readiness to adopt. Your readiness to adopt is determined based on a comprehensive review of your life experiences, health, lifestyle, extended family relationships, attitudes, support system, values, beliefs, and other factors relating to the prospective adoption. This information is then summarized in an adoption homestudy report. Once the homestudy is completed the professional completing your homestudy will either approve or deny you to become an adoptive parent. The typical time frame to complete a homestudy is 3 months. Expedited homestudies are available for an additional fee. Expedited homestudies can be completed in 30 days.
The safety audit is not a “white glove inspection.” The safety audit is a basic inspection of the safety of your home. Most applicants do not have any problems passing this audit.
STEP FOUR: Prepare a Marketing Profile and Enter Into Contract Search Status
After you are approved to adopt you will work on your marketing profile. Your profile is a compilation of pictures and “mini journal entries” that enable birth parents to “get to know you.” Your marketing profile is very important because most birth parents utilize marketing profiles to choose adoptive parents. Your profile can be completed electronically or in a hard bound book.
STEP FIVE: Birth Parent Selection
The choice of an adoptive parent rests with the birth parents, and because we rely on their preferences during the adoption process (though we offer assistance when needed) we are unable to predict how long an adoptive family may be waiting.
We understand that a long wait for a child can be extremely emotional and frustrating. For those families struggling with a lengthy adoption process, we offer counseling support to help ease everyone through the waiting period.
Families are encouraged to create an outreach plan, with coaching available in a variety of forms, to help identify potential birth parents looking for prospective adoptive parents.
In rare instances, birth parents may ask that Brightside Adoption Connection choose the family for them. We do provide this assistance, and will choose the longest waiting family with a matching compatible profile.
STEP SIX: Placement!
When you are matched with a birth parent and the new baby is born, the baby can be placed with you and your family as soon as the birth parents indicate that they are ready to move forward. This can happen immediately at the hospital or at a later date.
In Ohio Birth Parents cannot relinquish parental rights until 72 hours after giving birth.
While this does pose some risk with adoptions, we still encourage immediate placement so that the infant is with the family who will be raising him or her as soon as possible.
STEP SEVEN: Post Placement and Finalization
The post placement period of the adoption process generally lasts for 6 months – depending on the state where the adoption is being finalized. Generally there is one post placement visit per month. An adoption assessor will visit to assess how you and your baby are adjusting to one another. Your adoption assessor is available for questions and support. Your assessor will guide you through all of the paperwork and visits that lead up to the court date that will make your adoption final and binding!
STEP EIGHT: Case Closure – The Final Step!
Congratulations on your successful adoption! At this point you will be done with all of your post placement visits and your adoption is final in court. You will be asked whether you want your file to be closed out or left open for future adoptions. Other than this document, you are no longer required to complete any other steps or visits as it pertains to your newly finalized adoption.
Our agency offers supportive assistance after your adoption has finalized. That means if you have any questions, or need any type or of support after your adoption has been finalized – no matter when it finalized – we are here for you 24/7 – at no additional cost.
Enjoy your new family!