Toddler adoption is one of the many types of domestic infant adoptions available to prospective parents. Adopting a toddler means adopting an older child, often between the ages of one and four years old.
That makes it different from international infant adoption, which usually takes place when infants are around six months or younger. It’s different than foster care adoption, which frequently involves infants, but also may allow parents to adopt children who are over five years old.
So if you’re interested in adopting your very own baby, keep reading on for more information about how to adopt toddlers!
Getting The Adoption Process Started
First things first: If you think that adopting an older child is too much work, then you’ll want to know that most experts agree that toddler adoption really isn’t too difficult if you know the process. But you should be ready to jump in with both feet if you decide to take the plunge because adopting a toddler is no walk in the park.
When it comes to toddlers, one of the best places to look for birth mothers is at your local hospital. The nice thing about looking through infant adoption listings is that all you have to do is go online or check out an adoption magazine and find available hopeful adoptive parents who are hoping to adopt newborns.
You can then simply contact them via phone or email. But unfortunately not every pregnant woman chooses adoption, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t able to connect with someone immediately.
The best ways to find a toddler to adopt is through a private agency or through the internet. There are many websites that offer to connect parents with potential birth mothers who are looking for adoptive homes for their children.
The Adoption Exchange Program
A very recommended website is The Adoption Exchange, which offers a free search service to parents and pregnant women who want to find information on adopting babies.
In order to make the process go as smoothly as possible, you should contact your local social services office and inquire about what steps need to be done in order for you to become a legal parent of a toddler. You can then get started on finding a lawyer that will help you navigate through the process of adoption while giving you valuable advice along the way.
Believe it or not, some toddlers are also in the foster care system. Thus, this is another way to go about adopting them. Keep in mind that the process might take longer than adoption through agencies or other parents; however, if you are interested in becoming a foster-to-adopt parent (whereby the child would only be yours legally after you adopt him/her), then starting off as a foster family will help an agency better determine your suitability for taking care of children.
Generally, each state has different laws regarding adoption. Some states require potential adoptive parents to wait until the birth mother delivers her baby before she makes any decisions regarding who should be able to adopt it. Other states allow for pregnant mothers to place their babies under the custody of an adoptive parent within hours or days after they are born, so in fact, you’ll be getting a newborn baby and not a toddler.
Each state has its own rules regarding the adoption of toddlers so it is best to check with an agency in your state to know which requirements some of which are financial that you need to fulfill and what is the procedure. You can also speak with a family lawyer or public attorney for help with this matter.