We should be transparent right out of the gate: Adopting a child is no small task. Common fears and misconceptions are there for a reason, likely because those who feel a prompt to adopt a child are often without answers to their many questions. How long is the process? How does it all work? Is there really a need for adoption in my city or state? Much like the traditional route of parenthood, there is much to be learned as the journey unfolds, and we’re never really ready – and that’s perfectly fine. Given it’s National Adoption Awareness Month, we wanted to take a moment to address common fears and misconceptions of adoption.
“We don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to adoption.”
Whether your concern is where to start with the adoption process or you wonder where you’ll turn to find the answers after all is said and done, fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Luckily, there are plenty who have gone before you and want to offer their support through the entire process. If you’re not ready to talk with anybody in person just yet, Caring for Kids, a local adoption/foster agency, has done a great job answering a number of questions right on their website. We suggest that you start by visiting their page on Becoming an Adoptive Parent, and be sure to contact them directly if you have additional questions. It might be great to know that post-placement, adoptive families are assigned a social worker who is available to the family as needed. Social workers complete home visits with all family members one week after placement, one month after placement, and then monthly until finalization. So that families are never without the support that they need, social workers can also offer referrals for post-adoption support groups for parents of adoptive children.
“It’s not really a local need.”
Adoption is indeed a global need, and children all around the world are looking for a permanent place to call home. But as true as it is for children around the globe, it’s true for kids in our very own neighborhood. A quick survey of our state and counties shows that much work still needs to be done locally. More than 15,500 children are in the custody of Ohio’s children’s service agencies, a 23 percent increase over 2016. That means an additional 1,000 children are in the system compared to the year before. More than 2,500 children are in the permanent custody of a public agency in Ohio, waiting to be adopted. At any given time, approximately 500 kids in Summit and Cuyahoga County need to be adopted.
“Adoption is too expensive.”
The average cost for a couple to adopt a child varies depending on which route the family chooses to take. For a private adoption, costs range from $15,000 to $20,000. Adopting a child out of a public program may vary slightly, but generally, fees are nominal, if any cost at all. We’d also encourage you to explore the foster-to-adopt route, as this will not only help lower the costs associated with adoption but also help solve the problem of overcrowded foster homes in our area. Just recently, 30 referrals for foster care from Cuyahoga County had to be turned down in one day because of the lack of foster homes available. If you feel that money is the only thing standing between you and adoption or the foster-to-adopt process, we are willing to discuss financially supporting you through adoption. While we cannot guarantee financial support, our church family has intentionally set aside funds to help families wishing to adopt a child. Email email@example.com to see if CCC can assist you in the process.
There’s No Fear in Adoption
You know that prompt to adopt that was mentioned earlier? If you’re a believer, you may have the prompt because you know and have experienced adoption firsthand. As a believer, you’re adopted by God into his beautiful family. Paul shares the following life-changing truth in the book of Romans:
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Ro 8:15–17).