I value self-sufficiency very highly. I have had multiple periods of my life in which I chose to be more stressed or to have my schedule even more packed, rather than offloading responsibilities or tasks to others. To be clear: I am not advocating for this personality trait or behavior. I am very aware that it has led to me to mess up some things or drop the ball.

However, I always assumed that the self-sufficiency was worth it. Relying on myself to take care of things gave me a certain peace of mind. I knew that no matter what, my work would align with my expectations.

I recently discovered an area in which my philosophy certainly does not work: adoptions.

A person cannot really “wing it” when it comes to adopting children. And that is because the adoption process requires a lot of hoops to jump through, including extensive background checks. These background checks dig deep into your life, including your criminal record and any other indicators of potential instability for the child you are seeking to adopt.

Additional, financial security is considered. That is not to say that only rich people can adopt children (though, the process is expensive). But rather, that adoption agencies want to ensure the children’s needs are met and that they do not go without important things that could affect the children’s success.

The most extensive aspect that most people do not know about before embarking on the adoption process, though, is the home study. As Maynard Law Firm describes on their website about adoptions in Fort Worth, the home study is akin to an extended interview.

Caseworkers go to your home and interview about meeting the needs of the child you are hoping to adopt, they look at your personality traits, and they discuss potential strengths and weaknesses.

This can be intimidating, to say the least. That is why I would recommend hiring effective legal counsel for the process. An adoption lawyer can walk you through the different steps of the adoption process, including deciding the nature of the adoption — open or closed — and other steps, like deciding on domestic or international adoption.

The laws, rules, and regulations around the adoption process are simply too complex to understand on your own. As I said, I value self-sufficiency. But on this issue that is both life-changing and difficult, the necessity for expertise cannot be overstated.

Caseworkers are not out to “get you” or make things more difficult than necessary — they just want the children they oversee to go home to a loving and capable family.

But the criteria for deciding those concerns requires knowledge of the adoption process’ norms and customs, knowledge that you likely do not have. So if you want to have a successful, efficient, and transparent adoption process, it is in your best interest to hire an adoption lawyer with experience adopting domestically and internationally, as well as in closed and open adoptions.