Adoption has many benefits for families and children. If you decide to adopt, you’re opening your heart and home to a child in need. You’re growing a family that you always wanted, fulfilling a need you’ve had.

Adoption, despite all its benefits, has the potential to take a long time to complete. It may be expensive and has the potential to fall though, leaving potential parents blindsided and heartbroken. Still, despite the drawbacks, if you’re ready to bring a child home, adoption could be a good fit for you.

In many cases, the children available through the Department of Social Services (DSS) come from situations they can’t return to. Their parents may have passed away or be incarcerated. Regardless of their pasts, they need homes that are supportive and caring in the future. Children up for adoption need a permanent family, and you’ll obtain the same rights as if this child was born into your family.

While cost is prohibitive for some families, there are options to help bring the cost down. For instance, if you’re happy with fostering a child first, the foster-to-adopt programs may reduce the costs to you or even eliminate the costs, helping you bring home your child sooner and for less money. The trouble with fostering children is that they could return to their original families, but many do end up becoming adoptable. Children in this situation may be marked “at risk,” which means that you can foster the children and that the state is taking steps to terminate the parental rights. If the child becomes legally free, you can adopt him or her immediately.

Source: Maryland Department of Human Services, “What is adoption?,” accessed Feb. 28, 2018