Adoption is a wonderful journey toward creating a family. Not only are you creating a family, but you’re providing a child with love and a safe place to call their own.
Though many of us often consider adoption or like the idea of adopting, there’s a few questions that you should ask yourself before moving forward with the process, whether it be domestic, international, or foster care adoption.
1) Am I ready to adopt?
Regardless of the type of adoption that you choose to go with, adopting a child can take time, money, and sometimes stress. Are you at a point in your life where you’re financially able to adopt a child and provide for them? Has there been any major upset in your life within the last 12 months that perhaps you need to take care of first – for instance, a health issue, a major move across the country, a divorce, etc.? Other things you need to consider when wondering if you are ready to adopt are things like patience, disciplining a child, cutting back on social time for yourself, if you have a good support system, etc.
Though no one is truly ready to have a child, it’s best to really take some time to think if you are in the right place in your life to truly commit to adopting a child and raising them.
2) What kind of child are you willing to adopt?
Buzzfeed created a video back in November 2015 that took three couples who were open to adoption and had them sit down and answer tough questions. These questions focused mostly on what kind of child they were willing to adopt. As the video went on, it became clear that many of the couples had never even considered these questions. Some of the questions were easy, while others were hard. Here’s just a quick look at some of the questions they were asked (and a few extra) that you would also have to consider when adopting a child:
- Boy of girl?
- Would you be willing to adopt an older child?
- Would you be willing to adopt siblings?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child with special needs?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child who had been abused in the past?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child that was of a different race than yours?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child that identified as LGBT?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child that spoke a different language?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child that was born premature?
- Would you be willing to adopt a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
Check the video out below and see if you are able to answer all of these questions.
3) Will your family accept an adopted child?
Whether it be your husband, wife, kids, or parents – how will your family react to you adopting a child? If you already have kids, will they accept an adopted sibling into your home? Is your parents going to accept and treat an adopted child as their grandchild? And if there is someone in your family who wouldn’t be comfortable with an adopted child – how will you handle it?
Make sure that you understand where your family stands before you move forward with the adoption process and how you are going to deal with their emotions or feelings if they are not okay with it.
4) Are you willing to take time off to bond with your adopted child?
It’s often quite natural for adopted parents to take time off when they first welcome their adopted child into their home to allow for a period of bonding between parent and child, regardless of the child’s age. Would you be willing to do this or are you able to do this? Many companies provide parental leave to people who have just had a child, however, not all companies provide that option for adopted parents. Is your company able to give you that time off?
5) Are you willing to take advantage of community resources or counseling if need be?
Not every adoption goes smoothly. There can be issues during the adoption process and some that arise later. It’s a reality. So you must ask yourself – are you open to getting counseling for you and your adopted child if need be? Furthermore, there might be questions and concerns following the adoption that you might not be completely prepared to handle, such as how to best raise a child of a different race or discovering that your child has a reading disability. Are you willing to take advantage of community resources or will you go looking for resources and assistance to best help your child?
6) Why am I adopting?
Adoption is a very special process that not everyone experiences and that’s because it is not for everyone and that is okay. So ask yourself – why do you want to adopt? You might need to ask yourself this many times before you make the decision to move forward with adoption. And each time you ask yourself, consider carefully. Perhaps even write your answers down on paper.
If the reason you want to adopt is because you want to help give a child a better life and you are willing to do whatever needs to be done to do that – well… then you’re probably going to be a great adoptive parent.