The decision to adopt a child is a very personal one and often comes after a long period of consideration. Regardless of those personal reasons, know that you’re saving a life by following this path. Unfortunately for those who’ve made the final decision to take this route, the waiting will only continue after reaching out to an adoption agency. While thousands of U.S. children currently await homes of their own, time it takes for this adoption to take place can stretch over a period of years. This is no fault of your own; adoption is simply a drawn-out process with safeguards to ensure the child is going to a safe, nurturing and capable home. While prospective parents can advertise their desire to adopt in hopes of cutting down on the waiting a game, a skilled family law attorney such as Melissa Potter Sanford can help guide you through the process of adding a loved one to your clan.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 427,910 children were in foster care in 2015. Additional figures from 2015, the year with the most recent statistics available, 53,549 children who had an average age of about 8 years old were adopted with assistance from a child welfare agency. Federal statistics show that 22 percent — or just shy of 96,000 children in foster care — had spent between one and five months in protective services.
According to Melissa Potter Sanford, and evidenced by the figures above, there is clearly no shortage of children in need. However, adults who come to request the service of a family law attorney must recognize that there are many stumbling blocks on the way to a successful adoption. During the process, which could take as many as five years, adoption agency social workers will conduct multiple home visits, look for a child on your behalf based off of preferences you’ve voiced, arrange meetings and help to finalize the process if all goes well. The purpose of retaining a family law attorney for this journey is to help ease the burden of associated paperwork incurred by the process and direct you seamlessly thanks to their professional knowledge of the subject.