Many people who are planning to adopt will look at photolistings while they are searching for their child. Photolistings are an excellent tool for matching waiting children with loving parents. Learning how to use an adoption photolisting can help adoptive parents find the child that is right for their family.
Browse the many photolistings available. Remember to include both Internet sites and the booklets that many agencies distribute. There are many waiting children both in the United States and in many foreign countries.
Make a list of children who catch your interest and request more information about them. Usually you can do this by email, but often you can call and talk to a social worker by phone.
Inquire about the child. Ask for information on the child's medical and social history, personality, requirements for the country or state where the child resides and any other information that will help you to make a decision.
If the adoption is international or a private adoption, research the agency that is placing the child. Be sure that you agree with the agency's ethics and policies and that you will be comfortable using their services to adopt a child.
Go forward with the adoption of your child. Take the steps necessary to place the child on hold for your family. Act quickly to put together any required paperwork or to meet other requirements as most agencies want to place waiting children as quickly as possible. These children have waited long enough already.
Many of the children on photolistings are given the label "special needs." It's important to realize that in the adoption world, the term special needs is very broad. A child who is older than an infant, is of a minority race or is a boy (since most potential adoptive parents are interested in adopting girls) might be considered special needs. If you're looking for a very specific type of child, it may take longer to find a match. Try to be flexible about other children who may be right for your family, even if they don't fit into what you first had in mind.
Don't get too attached until you know all the details about the child and know that the child is available. Realize that everything may not be listed about the child's medical history or family background. Also, the child may have already been placed but not yet removed from the listing.