The thought of adopting can be overwhelming. Who do I talk to? Who can I trust? How much does it cost? How long does it take? Many questions cross your mind when you are considering adoption. The good news is that the answers aren’t far away…and neither is your child.
Tell your friends and family you are interested in adopting. Their support is important – and without a doubt, some of them have adopted. Ask questions. Share your fears. Listen to their experiences. Find out about their journey and keep an open mind. There is no right or wrong way to adopt. The possible roads to your child are about as countless as google search results for “adoption.”
Adoption in Kansas
More good news! Kansas is a great place to adopt. A biological mother may sign her consent to adoption 12 hours after birth, shortening the waiting time at the hospital. A consent is final upon signature in Kansas. There is no revocation period. Finally, an adoption can be finalized immediately which means we typically finalize an adoption in 2-3 weeks. These are just a few reasons that make Kansas a great place to adopt.
Your Adoption Team
Understanding the role of agencies, facilitators and attorneys is key. Just like anything, there are pros and cons to working with agencies, facilitators or attorneys. There are great agencies and…not so great agencies. Kansas law does not require that you work with an agency. Before signing up with anyone, do diligent research. Talk to many different groups. Do not go to a seminar and write a check on the spot. Understand the fee structure, how matches are made, how many matches they complete a year, what a ‘failed’ adoption looks like financially, who will be your contact person, who is in charge, etc. Talk to adoption attorneys. Get their take on things. Find someone you connect with. Adoption is a BIG deal. It will be stressful. It is imperative you trust the people that form your team.
Cost of Adoption
The total cost of an adoption varies greatly. Some factors that can impact the cost: how the match was made, the birth mother’s needs during pregnancy, whether an agency was involved, the birth father’s status, whether the child has any Indian heritage, does the mother live out of state? I am finalizing an adoption next week where the total cost of the adoption is less than $13,000. I have seen adoptions that cost over $40,000. Determining the budget you are comfortable with will be an important step in your journey. It will impact what matches you are considered for and who will make up your adoption team. Finally, don’t forget about the Adoption Tax Credit!
We’ve all heard adopting can take years. Don’t believe it. Some families’ journeys may take years, but yours doesn’t have to. My favorite call to make to an adoptive couple is not only to let them know that they have been chosen by a birth mother, but that the baby is waiting for them at the hospital. In my experience, we typically match families within a year and some are matched the day we receive their paperwork. The matching process is very much dependent on the facts and situations that surround the birth mother and potential child. You must do what is right for your family, but the more open-minded you are, the quicker you will have a baby in your arms.
Becoming a parent is scary no matter how you arrive at parenthood. Adoption is no different. The risks and JOY are real.
We say adoption is like a rollercoaster. If your goal is becoming a parent, it can be the best ride you will ever get on.
Megan Monsour is an attorney with Martin Pringle Law Firm. Her practice is devoted to adoption, assisted reproductive technology (ART) and child permanency litigation. She is committed to helping individuals and families realize their dreams of building a family. Megan represents both adoptive families and biological parents in their adoption journey and in a variety of other matters as well, including contested adoptions, foster care adoptions, step-parent adoptions, relative adoption, same sex and second parent adoptions. Additionally, she represents intended parents and carriers in surrogacy agreements. Megan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and has been recognized by Kansas and Missouri Super Lawyers as a Rising Star since 2011.
For more information on Martin Pringle’s adoption & surrogacy practice, please visit their website.
Disclosure : Thank you to Martin Pringle Law Firm for sponsoring this post and to Attorney Megan Monsour for sharing her expertise with our community of moms.