Establishing a Support System #4: Organizing All The Paperwork and Information.

When a family decides to adopt a child the paperwork and information we get along the way can become a mountain of clutter and a job in itself. From the moment we start the process we begin to collect documents and papers we may never be able to replace once the adoption is final.

The papers can be overwhelming for potential adoptive parents. Information from the agencies we investigate. Legal documents we are given, such as original birth certificates and social security numbers for children who have already been issued one. Background information about the birth family we may not be able to get later. Important contact names and phone numbers. As the process moves forward and by the time the adoption is final adoptive families accumulate more paperwork then we might even know what to do with.

If we are not organized from the beginning we may end up with documents scattered all over, filed here and there. Finding something later which ends up being important may be difficult and add frustration to our lives. Establishing a good support system includes managing the documents and information we receive.

Early in our adoption plan we devised an easy solution to this accumulation of papers. From the moment we decided adoption was how we would add children to our family we kept every single piece of paper we collected along the way. Even the information we thought would never apply to us in the future, phone numbers, logs of our conversations with details of who we spoke to. Training materials and support service letters. Because we had no idea what was important and what we might want to review in the future we kept everything.

Our original filing system was very easy we got a cardboard box from an office supply store and put everything in the box as we received it. By keeping all the information we collected in one place we were able to find anything we might not have understood was important when we received it. We knew where to look and as the process moved along we were able to sort the materials and develop a filing system.

A large amount of the paperwork we collected ended up not being important or needed but, the few times we wanted to review something we knew we had read or seen it was not a difficult task to find. By the time the adoptions were final we had a good idea of which paper work we needed to keep. We were able to finr what we wanted to copy for both of our children and which items needed to be kept forever and stored safely.

When the adoptions were final we were able to insure all the legal papers were separated, copied and ready to be put away. Much of this information is not obtainable once the adoption is final so it is important to keep it all in one place.

Point This series of articles will address establishing a support system for new adoptive parents and families.

Point Special Needs and Adoption-Related Terms:
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For more information about parenting special needs children you might want to visit the Special Needs Blog and the Mental Health Blog. Or visit my personal website.