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Think an adoption agency will turn you down? Think again

Some people who want to adopt a child rule themselves out before they even consult an adoption agency. However, factors that too many people assume disqualify them from becoming adoptive parents aren't always deal-breakers. We'll look at four of those here — and the reality

Age

Obviously, there has to be some consideration of age and whether the parents will likely be around to rear the adopted child into adulthood. Health is also a consideration.

Some agencies do set age limits, but not all. An agency's decision can also depend on the age of the child. For example, a couple with adult biological children may have the patience, experience and financial stability to take on a teenager when younger parents lack these skill sets and resources.

Finances

Adoption agencies look at prospective adoptive parents' finances make sure they can take on the additional expenses involved in adding to their family without financial strain.

Adoption costs can vary significantly. However, the average fee to foster a child is considerably lower than the average adoption fee, and foster families often turn into adoptive ones.

Marital status

Being single is generally not a disqualifying factor in adoptions. However, single people sometimes wait longer to get a child than married couples. Agencies look at whether a person can provide a stable, loving home. Therefore, if a prospective parent is divorced, the agency will likely want to know why the marriage ended. Some agencies are more accepting of single applicants (gay and straight) than others.

Disability

There are a lot of misconceptions about disability. A prospective parent may be concerned that the agency will only see the wheelchair, for example, and not understand that he or she can still take good care of a child.

As one official with an adoption agency points out, disabled people can be a good fit for disabled children because they likely already have handicap-accessible homes. Further, they may better understand the challenges a handicapped child faces.

Of course, disabled parents can take care of non-disabled kids as well. In fact, however, over 6 percent of parents with minor children have a disability. There are resources available for disabled people who want to adopt children.

If you're interested in adopting, it's a good idea to consult with an Arizona family law attorney experienced with our state's adoption laws. Legal guidance helps the process go more smoothly for everyone.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "4 common misperceptions about adopting — and why they shouldn’t stop you," Alison Bowen, accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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