The adoption process can be daunting and scary for a lot of people. Whether you’re just now starting to look at adoption or have been considering it for years, it’s important to know that you and your family are ready for the change.
If you’re wondering whether adoption is the right option for you to expand your family, these questions can help you decide if you’re ready to adopt.
1. Why do I want to adopt?
It’s important to remember that adoption is for the benefit of the child, not for your own personal gain. Take the time to work through the exact reasons you want to adopt and examine if they will create a good environment for a child in your family.
2. What kind of child am I prepared for?
As you begin to look at agencies and different children that might be a good fit for your family, it’s important to know your limitations in what you and your family can handle. Things like physical or mental disabilities are a reality for many children, so ask yourself whether you can handle these kinds of challenges. Other considerations may be age, background, or gender of the child.
3. Do I have community and support around me?
The saying “it takes a village” is true for anyone raising a child, but especially so for people adopting. With such a long process, it’s important that you feel supported by friends, family, or neighbors. Having this community can also help your child feel a sense of support when they enter a new family.
4. Am I prepared for specific behavioral challenges?
Adoption begins with a loss for the child you are adopting, which can create strong feelings of grief. These emotions may lead to your child acting out more than other kids. Knowing the reasons for this behavior can help, but you also need to ensure you are ready to handle these specific issues.
5. Am I okay with all different kinds of adoption plans?
The relationship that biological parents want with their kid is often out of your control. Both open and closed adoptions can work for different situations and families, so take the time to think about what kind of adoption plans you can handle and how you navigate them.
6. Will I be comfortable with a child who looks different from me?
Having a child that looks different from you can lead to questions from strangers, teachers, or your child. Especially in an interracial adoption, make sure you are ready to help your child embrace their identity and culture that may be different from yours. Be prepared for difficult conversations and make sure you are ready to give this kind of support.
Adoption is a beautiful process that enriches the lives of many children and families around the world. However, it is also complicated and messy at times and not a decision anyone should take lightly. These questions can help you begin to fully understand if you’re ready to adopt.
This article was written exclusively for Love What Matters by Anna Steingruber. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.
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