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Adoption is a feasible option that can be considered by anyone who wants to become a parent. Adoption can take place within your own country by a public agency or by a private arrangement, or internationally through private agencies. Most adoption agencies state that they do not rule out cancer survivors as potential parents. But agencies often require a letter from your doctor stating that you are free of cancer and can expect a healthy lifespan and a good quality of life. Some agencies or countries require a period of being off treatment and free of cancer before allowing a cancer survivor to apply for adoption. Five years seems to be the average length of time.

There is a lot of paperwork to complete during the adoption process, and at times it can seem overwhelming. Many couples find it helpful to attend adoption or parenting classes before their adoption. These classes can help you understand the adoption process and allow you to meet other couples in similar situations. The adoption process takes a different length of time depending upon the type of adoption you choose. Most adoptions can be completed in 1 to 2 years. There are many agencies (local, national, and international) that can help you adopt a child. Some agencies specialize in placing children with special needs, older children, or siblings. Costs also vary greatly, from about $3,000 (for a public agency, special needs adoption) up to as much as $40,000 (for an international adoption including travel costs).

You may be able to find an agency that has experience working with cancer survivors. Some discrimination clearly does occur both in domestic and international adoption. Yet, most cancer survivors who want to adopt a baby manage to do so.

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