Agreeing to adopt a friend's baby is a wonderful act of love and self-giving. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few steps you will need to know to complete the process. It will take time, patience, and money, but it's worth the sacrifice. The joy you will bring the baby--and your friend--is priceless!
Discuss the details of the arrangement with your friend. There are many issues to consider, and it is helpful to have some kind of plan before you begin the official process. There are many questions that need to be answered. Who will pay for the process? How often will the child be allowed to see your friend, the birth mother? Also, you will need to make sure that the father of the child is willing to give up his parental rights.
Get your finances in order. Adoption, even when private, usually costs between £6,500 to £9,750, though this can vary greatly. Be sure to budget for the costs that come with bringing a child into your home. You may need to purchase items such as clothing, bedroom furniture and toys.
Hire an attorney to handle the legal aspects of the adoption. It is best to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling adoptions. You can find an attorney by looking in the yellow pages, contacting a local adoption agency or by doing a search on the Internet.
Complete a home study. Before your friend's baby can live with you, the state has to make sure your living situation is suitable. A social worker will inspect your home and may do several interviews with you. You will most likely have to provide information concerning your finances, physical health and employment history. A background check will have to be performed on all adults living in your home.
Wait for the process to be finalised. The home study can take two months or more, and the baby cannot be placed until the study has been completed. Then your friend (and the father) will sign the papers that terminate their rights to the child, at which time the baby can be placed in your home. There will be a waiting period of about six months before the adoption is finalised by a judge.
Remember that your friend will have a certain amount of time to change her mind after she has signed over her rights to the child. This period varies greatly, but can be 3 days or more. Be sure to consider the emotional aspects that will come along with raising a friends baby. It may be difficult for your friend to see you parenting the child she bore. Problems may arise if she does not like your style of parenting. Although she cannot legally do anything, your friendship could be destroyed.