Howard Magazine - Page 43 - The changing face of Adoption (2)

Howard Magazine
- Page 43
The changing face of Adoption (2)
their individual needs and preferences. Applicants state whether or not they will accept specific circumstances, such as a child of a different race, a prematurely born infant, a child with a particular health problem, a child born in a different state, or a set of twins.

In domestic infant adoption, birth parents choose the adoptive family and voluntarily give up their parental rights. In Maryland, birth parents have 30 days to change their mind. However, the rules vary widely from state to state. Unlike past practice, adoptions now are usually open, which means the birth family and the adoptive family may stay in touch through letters, emails or phone calls.

As newbie parents who had a lot to learn, we wanted to start out with a newborn.

Both adoptions took about nine months, the same duration as a pregnancy. The first time, the home study, which involves paperwork and home visits from the adoption agency, took three months, and we were in the waiting pool for six months.

But the hardest part was not the waiting. It was the uncertainty — not knowing how long the wait would be, not knowing if a placement might fall through, not knowing anything about the baby or the birth parents until we got a call from our agency. The situation felt unsure and unpredictable until we got to see and hold our sons.

We told our agency, Adoptions Together, that we were willing to do an in-state or out-of-state adoption. An out-of-state adoption can be more complex (because state laws vary widely) and slightly more