Are you thinking about adoption?

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WARWICK-So, you think you would like to adopt a child but don't know where to start. One of the best ways is to first ask people who have already been through the process. They have been there and done that. While no two experiences are exactly alike, prospective adoptive parents can get a sense of how much time and red tape they will go through in order to bring a child into their home. Many organizations have comprehensive websites to at least get you started. At, an entire Beginner's Guide to Adoption can be downloaded. In addition, for information on domestic adoptions check out these websites: (National Adoption Center), (Adopt US Kids), (Adopt America Network), (North American Council for Adoptable Children), and (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse). The National Adoption Day site has a section called "Debunking the myths: The facts about foster care adoption." Here, common questions are answered regarding adoption through the foster care system. For example, red tape. Some people are hesitant to adopt because they've heard there is too much red tape and bureaucracy involved in adopting from the foster care program. According to the website, that is no longer true, thanks to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, which ensures that children in foster care who cannot be reunited with their birth parents are freed up for adoption as quickly as possible and placed with permanent families. Another myth is that adoptive parents must be like "Ozzie and Harriet." Adoptive parents do not have to be rich, married, own a home or be of a certain age. One-third of all adoptions from the foster care program are by single parents. "Patience, a good sense of humor, a love of children, and the commitment to be a good parents are the most important characteristics." The biggest myth, according to the website? Children in foster care have too much "baggage." Just like any children, foster children have enormous potential, says the website, when given love, patience, and a stable environment.