Q: I’m a single woman, currently trying to conceive. I’ve just been told of a possible private adoption through a friend – a young couple is about 5 months pregnant and can’t afford another baby. Realizing there’s every chance this won’t go through, I’m still thinking about how I would go about adopting this child, if it does go through. I live in NC; will I have to have a home study before I could adopt? Would the fact that I’m actively trying to conceive affect the results of my home study? Thanks!
A: Yes, all states require a homestudy before you can adopt regardless whether you adopt through an agency or privately. If you are adopting privately, you will need to use an attorney. I strongly recommend using an attorney with lots of experience with adoptions. Try finding one through the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. If there is not a member attorney in your city, choose one in your state for you and your local attorney to consult with. Ask your attorney to recommend a homestudy provider. It usually takes a couple of months to complete, so you’ll want to get started soon.
You will likely be asked about your conception plans during the homestudy. Some agencies specifically require that you not be actively trying to conceive, but with private adoptions, it is up to the expectant parents to decide if this is a relevant factor. However, even though it may be possible to adopt while actively trying to get pregnant, it is not necessarily advisable. You need to seriously consider whether it is in this child’s best interest for you to try to have another child within the first couple of years. It takes time to adjust to parenting, working out the work/life/childcare balance, etc. This child deserves your undivided time and attention at the beginning. If you were successful in your conception plans you could end up with two kids very close in age. Some people can pull this off, but in my opinion, it takes lots of support, help, and money. If the thought of not conceiving a biological child within the next several years is too difficult, you may want to reconsider whether you should adopt at this time.
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