When you're adopting, it can take years before an infant becomes available for placement, particularly for parents looking to adopt a Caucasian newborn. But for parents open to adopting a child from another race, the wait is often much shorter. The number of black, Hispanic, Asian and biracial children available for adoption is greater than the number of families waiting to adopt them, according to Raymond W. Godwin, an attorney in South Carolina who handles trans-racial adoptions.
Consider what you have to offer a child from another race or ethnic group. Evaluate your motives to determine if you are certain that a trans-racial adoption is right for you and your family. You will need a support system of family and friends who are open to and supportive of trans-racial adoption. In addition, Child Welfare Information Gateway points out that it's important to surround yourself and your adopted child with strong role models from his own racial group.
Contact an attorney who specializes in adoption law in your state. Adoption can be a confusing and time-consuming process so it's best to have someone with experience guide you through the process. If you are interested in trans-racial adoption, an attorney often can refer you to a public or private adoption service agency that offers programs for adopting minority children.
Attend agency orientations to learn more about how the adoption process works. The American Pregnancy Associations suggests attending orientation sessions offered by more than one agency. Like any other service, it’s important to compare adoption agencies before choosing one. Ask each agency how many minority children it has placed with adoptive families.
Start the evaluation and approval process by completing and submitting an application. Agree to a criminal background check. You will need to provide financial and medical information in addition to giving employer and personal references as part of the background check.
Discuss with the social worker assigned to your case the reasons why you want you are interested in trans-racial adoption. The social worker will develop an adoptive family profile by asking you questions about what you feel you have to offer a child, particularly whether you can provide a loving, nurturing and safe home environment. You must show that you can help a minority child develop a sense of identity by exposing her to the values, history and cultural customs and traditions related to her ethnicity and race.
Complete a home study. A social worker will visit your home several times during the initial process to determine your eligibility as an adoptive parent. Once you receive approval to adopt and the agency finds a match, it will place a child in your home.
Submit an adoption application to the court. Adoption laws vary by state. Generally, a child must reside with you in your home for a specified period of time before the court will accept your application to adopt. A social worker will monitor the placement.
Wait to receive notice of the adoption hearing. The social workers involved in your adoption case will submit their reports to the court before you are granted legal custody of the child and the adoption is finalized.