There are several steps in adopting. A good agency, public or private , will walk you through those. The first step is the home visits and approval. Many places do require you to be a foster parent first. With babys it is more a legality with older children it is a good time to see if it is a good fit. There are many good adoption websites that expalin it all.
i think it may very from state to state. I live in georgia and adopted thru our local DFACS. i became a foster parent first because if you apply as an adoptive home only and want an infant your chances are very low. when a child is taken from the home they are placed in a foster home while the parents complete a case plan if the parents are unable to complete their case plan the foster parent is then asked if they are interested in adopting. if they are not then the child is taken to an adoptive home this may take several months to a year or more. I recieved my son at 3 days old his mother was given several opportunities to complete a case plan but was not willing to comply. I was able to adopt just 5 days shy of his second birthday. had i not been willing to be a foster parent he would not have been brought to my home first. the law here used to be that if you applied to be a foster family then you were not able to adopt the child in your home. of course this was not good for the child so our laws were changed. you really need to check on this if you are considering a DFACS adoption as it will save you and the child a tremendous amount of heartache
I am not sure about your situation, however, I think if it is a family member who is willingly relinquishing custody to you, then it will be straight-forward adoption. I think it would only be lawyers fees, is any....you should call the surrogate court in your county in your state. They will be able to give you the guidelines. Best of luck to you...Sounds like a blessing for the family all the way around!
i have a son who was adopted through a friend whose neice wanted to put him up for adoption. she knew us well and wanted her nephew to be as close to the family as possible so we went to the courthouse with the mother and she signed over custody right there to us. he lived with us and we hired a lawyer to file the adoption papers. it cost a few thousand for lawyer fees. depending on the area you may have to pay for a home study as well, but you do not need a ome study to take custody of a child. you can become a childs legal gardian without adoption and it does not cost hardly anything but just remember birth mom will still have rights to the child.
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