Navigating the Adoption Process


Find expert guidance and personal stories on navigating the adoption process—from choosing your adoption agency or team of professionals to completing the home study to surviving the wait as a hopeful adoptive parent.

A mother plays with her son through foster adoption on the beach and shares the adoption story behind the photo

The Story Behind the Cover Photo: “The Words I’ll Never Forget”

The Story Behind the Cover Photo: “The Words I’ll Never Forget”

“Looking back on this picture, I see a child who was confused, but yearning for what we all want and need: security, a family, and love. The picture is about hope.”

older-child-adoption-siblings-first-words-story-carpenter-field-flowers

“First Words”

We may not have heard our children’s very first words, but we’ve heard many others in our journey through infertility and foster adoption—and now, as family.

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How to photograph your adoption trip

How to Photograph Your Adoption Trip

Whether your adoption takes place in the US or abroad, its sure to involve travel to another city. Here's what you need to know to bring back memorable photographs and video footage of your adoption trip.

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A dad sings to his adopted child

10 Tips for Adoptive Parents

Step 1: "It is possible for many people to adopt children, babies and older kids." Read this, and other pearls of wisdom from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Adoption.

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A flower garden of tulips

“A Child’s Garden”

First I looked through the pages of Adoptive Families with a sense of duty. Then, the hope I felt looking at the made me realize, "I want to adopt a child."

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parents share best advice for those going through failed adoption match

Parent-to-Parent: How to Get Through a Failed Match or Placement?

We asked our readers what advice they would give to a hopeful adoptive parent who just had an adoption situation fall through. Read the answers.

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A young couple picks out adoption day gifts for their daughter.

Adoption Day Gifts From Russia, with Love

The mementos we gathered during our long adoption stay have meant a great deal to our daughter as she grows up.

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A mother feeds her child after following these 10 steps to adoption.

10 Steps to Adoption

Step 1: "Forget everything you've heard about how impossible or hard it is to adopt." Read this, and other pearls of wisdom from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Adoption.

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Two prospective adoptive parents listen to a phone call that they received a match.

“Where Were You When You Got The Call?”

It's the moment you'll never forget. Here adoptive parents share the story of the most desired of all adoption situations, that all-important phone call...

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hourglass and calendar to measure how long it takes to adopt, how to respond when people ask

How Do You Respond to “How Long Did It Take You to Adopt?”

We asked our readers: How do you respond when someone asks you how long it takes to adopt? Read the answers from adoptive parents.

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Author Lisa Emmerich and her husband with their three biological children and newborn son through domestic adoption

“Uncharted Territory”

Sometimes, you go somewhere expecting it to be totally different, and it ends up seeming familiar. I had that feeling as I led a group of students on a trip to China—and then again, back home, as we met an expectant mother.

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A woman looks into the distance and thinks about the stages of adoption

“My Journey Through the Stages of Adoption”

Much like the trimesters of pregnancy, I moved through phases of worry, disbelief, and pure joy while I waited to adopt.

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Should Adoptive Parents Be Able to Choose Gender?

Share Your Story: Choosing a Gender

We asked our readers: should adopting parents be allowed to choose gender? This is what real parents shared about their decisions.

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Announcing Adoption to Friends and Acquaintances

Share Your Story: Announcing Your Adoption

We asked our Reader Panel: Outside of your immediate family, who was the first person you told about your decision to adopt, and how did you tell them?

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Author Jessica Wagner with her family after her uncertain waits to adopt

“Waiting on a Dream”

Matched out of the blue with an expectant mother, we were told the next call might come within days. But as the wait stretched to weeks and then months, I despaired—would our dreams ever come true?

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