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November is National Adoption Month: The basics of adoption

November is National Adoption Month in the U.S. Adoption agencies in Colorado have been promoting adoption and explaining the adoption process to show that it isn't as complicated as many believe.

Many families involved in the adoption process say that it is a very rewarding experience and that there is no better feeling than providing a loving family for children. While the adoption process can seem complicated and take a long time, there are still 277 children in Colorado waiting to be placed in permanent homes.

Many different types of individuals are able to adopt. Qualifications to adopt in Colorado include being at least 21 years old and have a safe home. Qualified individuals can be single, married, divorced or widowed. It does not matter if individuals already have other children or if they don't have any parenting experience.

The adoption process is pretty straightforward for domestic adoptions. Most types of adoptions involve the following steps:

Attend an orientation: Orientation will explain the adoption process, what the parenting role involves, the role of adoption caseworkers and the legal procedures involved in the adoption process.

Application: Most applications are straightforward and easy to complete. Applicants are required to have a background check.

Training classes: Most counties require adoptive parents to attend training classes. Training covers a variety of issues, including the developmental states of children, as well as the challenges and rewards for adoptive families.

Home assessment: A home assessment or the "home study" involves an interview with a caseworker. The home assessment gathers information on the applicant's social history, communication and problem solving skills, parenting skills, family support network, and demographics.

Finding a child: Prospective parents learn about children waiting to be adopted. Prospective parents will then meet with the child several times. If it seems like a good fit, both the parent's and child's caseworkers determine if placing the child with the prospective adoptive parent' will be a good fit.

This is a brief summary of the adoption process in Colorado. A family law attorney who specializes in adoption can help answer more specific questions about the adoption process, including the legal aspects of adoption.

Source: CBS4, "150+ Children Join Forever Families On National Adoption Day," Nov. 16, 2012

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