Expanding your family through adoption can be a life changing, fulfilling experience. While many families and couples look to adoption for various reasons, it is important to take many things into consideration before going ahead with the adoption process to ensure that you are prepared for whatever may come your way.
Adoption Takes Time And Money
While adoption is a wonderful thing to consider, it is a long process. Being matched to a child can take months or years, and you will find yourself filling out piles of paperwork, spending thousands of dollars and undergoing intense scrutiny to make sure you will make a suitable parent.
A social worker will come to your home to ensure it is safe and suitable for a child, and you may find yourself having to spend time and money traveling. Parenting any child is expensive and takes serious commitment. If you are unsure of whether you can handle these changes, it is best to come to that realization now.
Know What You Want
it is important to decide which type of adoption you want to have--international or domestic. Domestic adoption can be done through social services, private agencies, attorneys, facilitators and other third parties. International adoptions are typically done through private agencies.
Another thing you will have to determine is what kind of adoption you want. Open and semi-open adoptions allow you to have various amounts of personal information about the birth family; you may also have the option to contact one another. Closed adoptions will mean you never meet the birth parent, and you will have limited information about the baby's family.
Know what you are looking for in the child you want to adopt--what age, what gender, what race or culture. Do you want a special needs child? Age is a key factor for most parents. A majority will opt to adopt babies or young children, but some will find older children to be a better fit because their demands are not as high as an infant's. Figure out of if you are prepared to have a multi-racial family in which you are able to acknowledge your child's different race or culture and let them learn about their heritage.
Expect the Unexpected
The process of adoption does not always go the way you planned. You might find yourself having to resubmit the same forms time and again or find the process frequently gets delayed. This means that you will have to wait even longer than expected. Changes are not just limited to the adoption process—once you have your child, try to be prepared for any surprises. Things are not often what they may seem, and health problems seem to be a common issue adoptive families encounter. While you may not have been prepared for health problems to arise, make sure you can accept and handle them as they come your way.
Dynamics Will Change
Any new addition to a family will alter its dynamics. If you become a multi-racial family, it is important for your family to recognize those differences instead of depriving the adopted child of his or her heritage. While all children are different regardless of their origins, these differences can become amplified when it comes to sibling rivalry. You will need to learn how to recognize the differences between you and your adopted child and find ways to acknowledge or address them.
If your family ends up feeling somewhat socially isolated or different, seek out other adoptive families who can understand these unique issues and offer support. Be prepared for people to absentmindedly ask you or your family questions pertaining to your adopted child and take it as an opportunity to educate them about adoption.
If you would like to learn more about the adoption process, then try this link.