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.

Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: How to Cope with the Disappointment of Not Being Chosen by an Expectant Mother

Ask AF: How to Cope with the Disappointment of Not Being Chosen by an Expectant Mother

“Our adoption profile was shown to an expectant mother, and she selected a different family. We knew this was a possibility, of course, but feel disappointed. How to cope?” Readers offer advice.

An expectant mother and prospective adoptive mother meet and talk for the first time

Parents Share: The “Match Meeting” with an Expectant Mother

"Be yourself" and more real-life advice for the "match meeting" with an expectant mother.

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parent holding newborn baby's hand in the hospital after a "stork drop" last-minute adoption placement

Parents Share: Our Last-Minute “Stork Drop” Adoption

We asked, did you get "the call" that you'd been selected by a birth mother after the baby was already born? Parents respond with their experiences and been-there advice.

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author Nicci Rosted with her husband and newborn daughter through domestic adoption

“The Advice I Wish I’d Gotten While Waiting to Adopt”

Most prospective adoptive parents don’t get cards or baby showers, or even much excitement. It’s time to change that. Buying something for your hoped-for baby won’t ‘jinx’ your plan to adopt, and 11 more things I wish someone had told me during the wait.

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Parents Share: Deciding What Age Child to Adopt

From newborns to teens to sibling groups, adoptive parents share the thought process behind their age preferences when adopting.

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An adoption social worker uses her laptop while her daughter naps on the couch.

“For Their Children”

Years ago, when my son and I were at the kitchen table, a work-related call interrupted our conversation. He said sadly, "Mom, you spend more time helping people have children than you do with your own."

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“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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