As soon as ten to fifteen years ago, almost all adoption agencies had some very strict criteria about who could adopt a baby. . . and about who could not adopt. Typically, you were expected to be a heterosexual married couple, under the age of 40, and meet high financial income requirements. If you didn't fall within the “cookie cutter" family image that they were looking for, you wouldn't be able to domestically adopt a child.
Currently, the number of progressive adoption agencies that have more liberal adoption standards has been increasing steadily to reflect the needs and changes within our society. In fact, when you work with any adoption professional, whether it be with an adoption attorney, adoption facilitator, or an adoption agency, you will notice that there is a big difference in their approach.
When you are choosing the type of adoption professional to work with, you will want to take the time to interview the different options before making your decision, particularly if you are a single individual looking to adopt, someone over the age of 40, or in a relationship that some might consider to be alternative. Not only are there differences among the various types of adoption professionals, but no two agencies or professionals within the same category will operate in the same manner, either. It's important that you are comfortable with your adoption professional and that they are willing to help you adopt according to your unique lifestyle.
You may be surprised to learn that some professionals will only work with people who are under a certain age, while others have no age limits at all. You maybe didn't realize that some adoption professionals will only work with people who are of a certain religions affiliation, either. In some cases, you'll notice that an adoption professional does not openly announce his or her restrictions, but they seem to take a very judgmental approach.
Adoption is already a confusing and stressful process, there is no reason to work with anyone who is going to make it even more stressful. There is no reason to work with any professional who may make you feel judged or intimidated - simply find someone else who is more open to different adoption scenarios. Not all families need to resemble Leave it to Beaver or the Cosby Show to offer a loving and safe environment for an adopted child.
No matter what your personal circumstances, if you are 45 years old, or unmarried for example - if you can offer an adopted child love and safety, fulfill their basic needs, and provide for their ongoing financial needs, there is an adoption professional out there who will be willing to help you find your child. Interviewing a few different adoption professionals to learn about their criteria for people who are eligible to adopt will ensure that the professional you decide to work with has your best interests in mind and will work with you to fulfill your personal adoption plan.
Cindy Simonson is a respected adoption professional and writes about child adoption at InfantAdoptionCoach.com For the past thirteen years she has been helping people successfully adopt the child of their dreams.