The decision to adopt is a major one, it is a choice that impacts your life as well as the potential child you plan to welcome into your family. It is a highly personal and emotional journey that can take months or even years to see to fruition. With that in mind it is important that you are prepared for the steps that are involved in adoption. You must be aware of the process, the time and the investment that will be involved.
When starting the process it is important to do some introspection, asking yourself some very simple questions will help solidify the process in your own mind as well as your heart to see if you’re truly ready for the journey that is adoption.
If you’re ready to adopt you should ask yourself these questions:
- What are the details and legalities of adoption in my state? The process of adoption can be one that is not only legal but costly. If you’re not aware of the steps involved in adoption you should research, research and then research some more.
- Am I financially stable to provide in the long term for another member of the family? Consult with a financial advisor, you will want to discuss not only the upfront costs associated with adoption but you’ll also want to prepare a strategy for long term financial stability.
- Am I ready to provide a loving, lifelong home to a child in need? Adoption is a lifelong commitment to a needy child, their welfare should be of your first and foremost concern
- What sort of child am I willing to adopt? Are you looking for an infant? Would you be willing to take in an older child or a child of a different race? Would you be willing to provide for a special needs child?
- Do I want to go through an adoption agency or a private individual? There are benefits and cons to each method, with an agency you will be matched to a child that fits your household, agencies are designed to work for the child. Private adoptions mean that you will have to locate a birth mother on your own. This could work in your favor if you already know someone who is pregnant and willing to adopt.
- Do you want a closed or open adoption? A closed adoption is one where the parent’s birth records are sealed or the information is confidential, there may be many reasons for closed adoption. Open adoptions allow for information and contact between the birth and adoptive parents.
- Am I mentally prepared for the formal adoption process? Once you’ve decided to apply for the formal adoption process you must be mentally prepared for everything that follows. This includes background checks, checks into your financial and medical histories, home study or home visitations by a social worker and much more.
These questions, while simple, are important to assessing where you are in terms of the adoption process. Yes, the thought of wading through the regulations and legalities can be overwhelming however the reward of welcoming a child into your home far outweighs any of the potential negatives. If you’re considering adoption you’re doing right by asking yourself if you’re ready but the journey will be worth it in the end.