Here is a list of the Top 11 Things to Know When Considering Private Adoption.

1. We advise you to first get the word out to family, friends, and others that you are considering adoption and if they have anyone they would recommend. While considering adoption seek professional help to help you know all the legal aspects of adoption ahead of time. This will both greatly increase your approval for adoption as well as move toward a speedier process. Also, be sure to verify the pregnancy if going through a paid facilitator for the adoption.

2. International adoption in Kentucky: Often the most important thing when considering international adoption is going through an agency that is familiar with the adoption laws of each country. With so many countries to adopt from and each with different laws and regulations, it’s important to have the right agency working with you. Depending on the age of the child you’re wanting to adopt will also depend on what countries you will be able to adopt from. Also, keep in mind different countries will allot different lengths of time one must remain in the country after adoption as well as the age of the adoptees that are allowed to adopt. Contact us if you have any further questions or inquiries on international adoption.

3. Adoption of special needs and older children: All these children are placed through the Special Needs Adoption Program. Many of these children have physical, emotional or other disabilities as well as difficulty being adopted due to the child's age. These children are most often in Foster homes awaiting an adoptive family. If you’re looking to adoptive an older or special needs child the process begins with a 10 meetings series that helps the adoptee understand the child's needs and how to meet them. Always seek an experienced attorney when considering adoption and to answer any questions or to start the adoptive process.

4. How strong representation will help you in the adoption process: Have and retain an experienced adoption attorney to represent the family throughout the entire process. The birth mother or father will have their own separate attorney if they want one and generally is paid by the adoptive parents. Ask your attorney to help with this.

5. Eligibility to adopt in Kentucky: One must be a resident of Kentucky and 18 years of age or older. The adoptee(s) can be single, married, widowed, or divorced. If your home also has stepchildren, adopted, foster kids, birth children or even adult children in the home this does not disqualify one from adoption. Adoptees that are working, retired, stay-at-home parent, working mother or father, are all permitted for adoption.

6. Expenses of birth parents: All adoption-related expenses of the birth parents are allowed to be paid by the adoptive parents. These expenses typically included legal expenses, prenatal expenses, counseling expenses, travel expenses, temporary living expenses, medical expenses, and all other expenses reasonably related to the adoption during and after the pregnancy. Adoptive parents should know that this money paid is considered charity and does not hold contingency on the decision of the birth parent to place the child. All expenses must be finalized through court before any arrangements are to be made. Always consult an experienced legal attorney to help in these matters.

7. Openness after the pregnancy: The adoptive parents will need to decide how open of a relationship they will want after the adoption process. Parties can always choose to have a closed or semi-closed adoption if wanted, however, private adoptions are often the most open through increased contact between the birthmother and adoptive parents. Have your attorney help in this matter so the adoptive party does not place promises of openness on the birth mother as open adoption agreements are not enforceable in Kentucky.

8. How multi-state adoptions work: Adoptions involving children born in another state may involve the other state's laws as well and will require ICPC approval. Until ICPC approval is obtained, adoptive parents may not travel to their home state with the child until that is completed. Seek your attorney for help and with questions in the ICPC approval process.

9. Indian Child Welfare Act and how it may play a role in the adoption: The Indian Child Welfare Act applies to the adoption and overrides state adoption laws if the child is a member of an Indian tribe, or is up for membership through the biological parent who is a tribe member. If this is the case it is advised to find an attorney with experience in adoptions involving the Indian Child Welfare Act.

10. We hope this article helps you through your own adoption process. If you have any questions, need any help, or are considering adoption please let us know.  Contact us at (502) 383-1550 or schedule a consultation.