It’s time. You know your child, and now he or she is ready to be placed in your home. At this point, you need to get all the necessary documents in order, so the transition is smooth for both your child and your family.
Follow this list of necessary preparations
Contact your insurance company.
- Your child will be covered under your health insurance plan beginning on the date he or she is placed in your home. Find out what documents your insurance company requires for authentication, such as the adoption petition.
- Check for any exclusions in your health insurance policy relating to pre-existing conditions. If your child has special needs and is eligible for an adoption subsidy, he or she may be covered through Medicaid.
- Update wills and change beneficiary designations on life insurance policies as needed.
Obtain a copy of your child’s original birth certificate.
It may be difficult to get this document once the adoption is finalized, but without it, your child could have trouble getting passports and other important documents.
Prepare to get a new Social Security number and birth certificate.
Your child will need IDs that reflect a new last name and family situation. If your child already has a Social Security number, you may be able to keep the number and change his or her name by using a new birth certificate. Regardless of what you choose to do, your child must have a Social Security number for you to claim him or her as a dependent.
Line up services for your child and for yourself.
- Day care if you adopt a younger child — some states provide it
- School enrollment for older children
- Therapy, counseling, tutoring, or respite care options
- An adoptive parents’ support group
The most important thing to remember is to ask for what you need. Be an advocate for yourself and your child.
Make your house child-friendly.
First, prepare your child’s new room to show that the area belongs to him or her. Modify, reposition, or remove any household objects that could be dangerous.
Inform your other children of specific changes that will occur.
Tell them how their roles and lives may change for the better when their new sibling arrives. Be proactive, and prepare to help them through the transition.
Negotiate an adoption assistance agreement.
Parents who adopt eligible children with special needs from a public or private agency can receive federal or state benefits. Ask your agency about obtaining a subsidy and what steps you need to take. You must negotiate the subsidy before the adoption is finalized.