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The most important thing to ask yourself is “what are my expectations”. This may seem like a broad statement, but it is important to understand that adoption is a very emotional process and thus can be very challenging. Going into the process with unreasonable expectations most often will lead to disappointment.

Statistically, half of all domestic adoptions fail. Nine months is a long time for birthparents and their families to think about the situation they are in. The opportunity is high to reconsider choices they have made regarding something so important as a child. As harsh as it sounds, for adoptive parents many things are out of your control and you really should expect that failure is a very real possibility.

Additionally, you should think about what to expect from your adoption agency. Adoption is a very diverse industry. State laws are vastly different, state licensing requirements are equally unique, and most states don’t even require that a company be licensed to facilitate an adoption. What all this means is, each agency works in very different ways. You will want to fully understand an agency’s process and the services they are providing before you move forward. Carefully read an agency’s contract, it is the best way to understand the services they provide.

You should also think about your adoption budget. Typical budget items are homestudy and post placement fees, agency fees, and legal fees. Dependent on which agency you use, some of these fees are included in a “package” price or some agencies will offer these services in an al-a-carte style format. You will also need to consider if you budget for birthmother living expenses. This expenditure varies widely and can be one of the most unpredictable. Travel expenses are another budgeting consideration.