Calista Flockhart did it. Angelina Jolie and Dianne Keaton did it twice. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise did it, and so did Hugh Jackman. And front-runner Mia Farrow did it ten times! No, we're not talking about marriage. We're talking about adoption.
November is National Adoption Month, which means now is a better time than ever to consider adopting your very own cupcake! There are a thousand great reasons to adopt. There are the heroic reasons: Sharon Osborne adopted a friend's son after his mother died of cancer. Angelina Jolie adopted her daughter Zahara after both her parents died of AIDS. And Mia Farrow heroically adopted a crack baby, two blind children, and one with cerebral palsy, to give them a chance at a good life. Michelle Pfeiffer adopted after stating publicly she would never find anyone to have kids with, and lesbian Rosie O'Donnell adopted with her partner to become a poster mom for gay parenting. Whatever the reason, with 119, 000 children in foster care in the U.S. alone, there are still plenty of cupcakes out there who deserve a great home.
So whether you're unable to have kids, aren't in a serious relationship, or have both of the above and just want to do something really great for a needy child, here's a few tips on what to expect if you are thinking of adopting.
The first step to adoption is the initial interview. This is basically a time to ask questions about the adoption process, voice concerns you might have about adopting a child, and discuss your reasons for wanting to adopt. If your reasons seem feasible and you decide to proceed, you fill out an application form, in which you provide references and authorize background checks, medical-checkups, health history and criminal history checks. If everything checks out, the adoption agency then usually requires about two or three "referee" interviews, in which friends recommend you as a parent with written and verbal references. If all goes well, you will then enter the 'familiarization' process, which includes workshops about parenting and the issues involved with adopting children. A social worker also visits your home about six times for a "home study." Based on all this information, an assessment report, known as "Form F" is compiled and sent to an adoption agency. An adoption panel of six to 10 members-social workers, medical advisors, management representative and at least three other members review your application. If the adoption committee approves your application, the agency will begin looking for a child for you. At this point, you can discuss preferences like age, religion and cultural background. After a potential child is selected, the "introduction period" begins, in which you visit your cupcake-to-be at their foster home. This period can last from a week to a month. If the match works, you can take your little cupcake home with you, though the adoption will not become legal until at least three months after the child moves in. After that time, an adoption order can be applied for, establishing you as the child's legal parent. Congratulations to you and Cupcake! Some information taken from: handbag.com "Family Matters"