Many Jacksonville couples pursue adoption to complete their families, which is beneficial to both families as well as children in need of loving and nurturing homes. Because the process can be intimidating, offers the following information to ensure you make the best possible decisions for you and your new family.

The home study portion of an adoption is often the most stressful aspect. However, it is imperative to ensure a child is going to a loving and caring home capable of meeting all of his or her material needs. The home study involves a visit from a social worker, who will ask many deep, probing questions about multiple aspects of you and your spouse’s life. Additionally, you will also be asked to supply numerous documents and it is best to have these ready before they are due to be submitted.

While each situation is unique, requested documents can include birth and marriage certificates, employment verification, information on mortgages or leases, divorce decrees from past marriages, health insurance, and documents relating to any debt you have and how much. You will also need to consider the type of adoption you prefer.

An open adoption means that you will be able to have contact with the birth parents. The level of contact you are comfortable with is generally up to you and the birth parents, and it is important for all to set boundaries early on to prevent hurt feelings or confusion. You may also opt for a closed adoption. In this case, there would be no contact between you, your spouse, your adopted child, and the birth parent. Closed adoptions sometimes occur when a parent is deemed unfit or the baby was abandoned or surrendered. Your attorney or adoption professional can help you make these and other decisions related to bringing a new child into your home.