So, you’ve successfully navigated the adoption process, and now, finally, your child is home. Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone in your journey! Yet, as the initial excitement settles, a new chapter begins—one filled with practical considerations and steps to ensure a smooth transition for both you and your newly expanded family. Today we’ll explore the 9 essential post-adoption steps: from pediatrician visits to navigating insurance, tax credits, and the importance of support networks, we’ll cover the tangible aspects of post-adoption life!
Step 1: Schedule Your First Pediatrician Visit
After bringing your child home, schedule a visit to the pediatrician. Beyond routine immunizations, this visit is crucial for transracial adoptions. For example, Mongolian spots, similar to bruises, may appear above the baby’s bottom. Documenting these spots ensures a clear record and safeguards against unfounded accusations. Additionally, this visit provides insights into your child’s developmental progress and ensures they’re hitting important milestones.
Step 2: Add Your Child to Health Insurance
Contrary to common belief, your adoption doesn’t need to be finalized before adding your child to health insurance. Reach out to the right contacts, including your agency or attorney, if needed. Add your child as a beneficiary! Extend this coverage to life insurance and promptly update your will, designating chosen guardians. You’ll often choose guardians during the home study process, so use this opportunity to add them to your Will.
Step 3: Seek Early Intervention Resources
Regardless of your child’s developmental stage, early intervention resources are invaluable. From birth to age three, these resources provide continuous support, bridging the gap between pediatrician visits and offering guidance to navigate parenthood effectively. I treasured when our early intervention case worker came because she made me feel so good as a parent, and made me feel that I was doing everything right. They’re not only there to help your child and make sure they’re right on target, but also to help you as a parent.
Step 4: Explore Adoption Tax Credits with Your CPA
Consult your CPA about federal and state adoption tax credits. The federal tax credit is significant, and you might also qualify for a state tax credit. Being informed about these credits can ease the financial aspects of the adoption journey.
Step 5: Ensure U.S. Citizenship for Internationally Adopted Children
If you’ve adopted internationally, securing your child’s U.S. citizenship is paramount. Obtain the necessary certificates promptly.
Step 6: Obtain Your Child’s Social Security Number and Card
Securing your child’s Social Security Number is a critical post-adoption step. Typically linked to the adoption’s finalization, obtaining this number is often delayed until the process is complete. In domestic adoptions, if you have a close relationship with the birth mother, she might receive the child’s Social Security card, expediting the process. However, this isn’t always the case. If the birth mother doesn’t have the card, and it’s tax time, you may need to apply for a W7A number—an essential tax identification number for your child.
Step 7: Consult Your Attorney for Adoption Finalization
A crucial step in the adoption process is finalization. Ensure you’ve discussed all necessary steps with your attorney, paving the way for the legal completion of your adoption journey.
Step 8: Inform Your Home City Agency About Adoption
Keeping your home study agency in the loop is essential. Whether you have a potential match or a confirmed placement, early communication allows for smoother coordination of paperwork, especially if interstate compact (ICPC) is involved.
Step 9: Join a Support Group
Building connections with other adopting families is invaluable. Joining a support group provides a network of understanding individuals who can offer guidance, share experiences, and support you through every stage of your child’s growth. Speaking of support groups, we have one that meets every third Wednesday at 7 pm via Zoom, you can register here.
The post-adoption journey is a dynamic and evolving process, marked by steps that go beyond the initial joy of bringing your child home. From pediatrician visits to navigating insurance, tax credits, and building a robust support network, these practical considerations are pivotal in shaping a secure foundation for your family’s future. As you embark on this new chapter, remember that each step is a testament to your commitment as a parent. Embrace the challenges, and celebrate the milestones! You can watch the full video on this topic here.
This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Our services are not financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content. Adoption & Beyond, Inc. owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.