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Many barriers to adoption may be overcome

Childless couples and single adults who want to adopt sometimes mistakenly believe that they would not qualify for an agency adoption because they are north of 50, have a disability, identify as gay or lesbian or for other reasons.

While it's true that some agencies may be reluctant to place babies or children with prospective parents in certain demographic groups, that doesn't apply to all agencies. Those who have a desire to adopt a child should not let go of the dream without exploring various pathways to parenthood.

For instance, a disabled parent may be the perfect choice for a developmentally or physically disabled child. That parent can provide a perspective for adjusting to life in a wheelchair that a non-disabled parent never would be able to.

Other prospective adoptive parents may feel that because they wouldn't be able to sock away a college fund for a child that they wouldn't be approved to adopt. Agencies do examine your finances and most will ask for a sample budget, but that is to ensure that your resources can adequately feed, clothe and house a child. Plenty of solidly middle-class individuals are approved as adoptive parents.

Agency adoptions can be expensive -- $41,532 is the average -- but are also only one path to parenthood. Many couples and single adults get approved as foster parents, and successful placements frequently lead to formalized adoptions.

Those who wish to be parents but don't want to languish on long lists waiting for infants may also want to consider adopting an older child or a teenager.

There are many different ways that foster and adoptive parents can enrich a child's life. Your Oklahoma family law attorney can help you navigate the legalities of fostering or adopting.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "4 common misperceptions about adopting — and why they shouldn’t stop you," Alison Bowen, accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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