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Can DH and I get everything started even if we dont know when we are going to adopt?
I know they do home studies and I think some classes, but I was not sure if those things expired to where you have to do them over again.
Yes they do expire and I think they also ask for a commitment date too - I don't think you can say your not sure when you'll be ready - they will probably tell you to start the paperwork at that time (when you are ready). They seem to need to know your extremely ready and willing - I guess they know it's a hard road sometimes and not for the faint of heart - so if your not 120% ready, they might send you off til you are ready.
I know I had a friend that was adopting and her husband wasn't 100% on board - he was sort of like, yeah, I "think" I want to adopt - we'll see if the right child comes along and just sort of wasn't excited about it and they turned them away - they told them to come back when both were jumping up and down over it. She was puzzled because they were going to be paying for the service and yet they turned them away.
They do expire unfortunately, but you could be gathering things like copies of your birth and marriage certificates. I wouldn't start with the real stuff until you're ready to really get started. You certainly don't want to have to do any of it twice!
The classes in Alabama do not expire. If we decided to wait, we'd only have to redo our application and such. We wouldn't have to do the classes over. Depends on if you want to do private adoption or do adoption through your local foster care system. Call and ask whoever you are looking at.