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What are the first steps to adopting internationally

You have done your homework, you have researched all the options and you have decided to take the big step to become adoptive parents. What do you do now?


So you have told your closest family and a few friends and now you want to take the first official steps that are going to change your life forever...


Watch out!!!


You are now stepping out from being an autonomous individua,l into being a member of the state.  If you see things this way it might be easier to understand how the whole process works.


You are now putting yourself forward to permanently care for one of the world's children in need and you therefore need to be 'assessed' to see if this child will be better off with you then with its own parents, or the institution that is caring for him or her.


To be assessed, a qualified social worker will set about doing a Home Study, which means that over a period of time, approximately 6 to 9 months, she will interview you in your home to get a 'feel' of what kind of parent you will be.  A problem arises because there are no 'fixed' rules regarding this, each social services or voluntary adoption agency is very different and each social worker is very different.  What is important for one, may not be important for another.  


So you start the process by joining International Adoption Guide, reading the information in the member only area, find out who is your local adoption agency,  take a deep breath and make that first important phone call.


When you make that first call to the social worker/local authorities, you must be confident, know where you are wanting to adopt from, and be assertive as to when you want to begin your Home Study. From  the start you must be prepared to be the Puppet  Master.


Do not fall into the emotional trap of believing your future is in someone else's hands.  This is your adoption, and it is only in your and your child's long-term interest, that you are doing this adoption.  Others take a role in the process, but they are only there to facilitate and then they take a back step and disappear altogether. So remember, you are the one who is pulling the strings and ensuring that whole show comes off and runs smoothly.


Fortitude is the key word.  If you don't have this trait at the beginning of the process, you most certainly will by the end - along with resilience, robustness and strength!



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