Is Adoption Right For Me?

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You may ask yourself, “Is adoption right for me?” The choice to adopt is never easy. If you choose to do it strictly to make a difference, love another human more than yourself, and give the child, hope for his or her future, adoption is for you. 

Taking care of a child is a huge responsibility, so be honest with yourself before making any decisions. In addition to being emotionally prepared for the process, you will also need to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the adopted child.

Adoption can be an enriching experience, but it is not without its challenges. You will need to ensure that you are prepared to handle the various stages of adoption, including legal proceedings and post-adoption adjustment. It is also essential to consider your support system and your resources. Adoption is not a quick decision option. There are things you need to consider before pulling the trigger to call the nearest adoption agency. 

What is your why?

Trust me; many people will feel they have the right to ask why you chose adoption. Though it isn’t a decision you should feel the need to discuss with every person you encounter, you should be honest with yourself and those closest to you.

Hero Status

Let’s get this one out of the way first – if you are going for the hero feels, adoption is not for you. Often, people assume they will have hero status by taking in an orphan. That is far from the truth! Often, from a child’s view, you are far from a hero (until they are old enough to grasp what you have done for them truly). If that is your mindset, you will be disappointed that your child doesn’t look at you as a hero. Children require far more than a hero that saves them from a potentially harmful situation.

Infertility

There are many reasons why a person or couple chooses to adopt. More often than not, that reason lies within us, literally. Though a person may be healthy, their bodies may not be able to either reproduce or carry a pregnancy to term. There are many reasons for infertility, and having a child biologically can become extremely expensive and mentally exhausting. Many people choose adoption when all other options have been exhausted, deemed unsafe, or are no longer an option.

Choosing to Adopt In Addition to Having Biological Children

Once a person or couple has a child or children biologically, they may decide that they have the kind of lifestyle and hearts that would like to bring a child into their home who is not biologically linked to them. Whether they grew up with the desire to adopt, feel that they are led to this calling, or have experienced adoption through a friend or family member and feel that they want to adopt too, whatever the reason, people who have children often adopt.

Medical Issues

Many people have a history of medical conditions that could potentially be passed down to biological children through their parents. Genetically inherited diseases such as Sickle Cell, Cystic Fibrosis, and Huntington’s Disease, to name a few, can be passed down to children through their parent’s genes. In addition to genetically inherited diseases, the mother’s health can become jeopardized should she become pregnant. Whether the issue arose during a previous pregnancy or was diagnosed and determined to create a danger, many women must choose not to become pregnant because they must protect their health, even their own life. You have to answer the question, “Is adoption right for me?”

Choose to Adopt Instead of Having Biological Children

Some people decide very early in life that they do not want to have biological children and want to adopt instead. There are many personal reasons for this decision – some feel that they do not want to go through a pregnancy, and some think that we should take care of the already existing children (overpopulation). In contrast, others may have a heart towards raising children who need a home and wouldn’t otherwise be given that opportunity (foster care or children of a family who may need a safe house).

Other Reasons

We are all different. Your preference and decision for adoption may not be the same reason as any of the “common reasons” I listed above. You are entitled to that reason. It is yours and yours alone (or your partner, if you are part of a couple). Whatever your reason for wanting to adopt, don’t try to fit it into a mold, be confident in your reason as long as it is moral and sound.

Are you ready for the emotional responsibility of adoption?

Before making a decision, it is vital to consider the emotional responsibilities of adoption. It is important to recognize that adoption can be a long process that requires patience and flexibility. There will be moments when you are ready to give up, maybe before you even begin, due to the daunting and stressful nature of the decisions and emotions surrounding adoption. Whether you choose to adopt a healthy infant at birth, an infant or child who is medically fragile or has special needs, a teenager, a sibling group, or a child from another country, please consider working with a therapist to help you navigate through this emotionally charged journey.

What age are you interested in adopting?

Now that you have thought through your why and the basics of preparedness, let’s talk about the next significant step – what age is right for you? First off, do you truly enjoy being around children of all ages? Babies grow up to be teenagers. So many people think of cute, cuddly babies but do not consider that they will grow up quickly! Do you want to keep the birth order of your current family? Do you want to raise a child who has already lived another life for a few years or even a teenager? Do you enjoy certain stages more than others? There are options based on the ages that you are interested in adopting that we will discuss next.

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What type of adoption are you interested in?

We have covered the why or reason for your decision to adopt, and you (and your significant other) have determined the age range for a child or children you would consider adopting. Before making any decisions, research different adoption options and speak with other adoptive families or organizations, such as an adoption agency, is a good idea. There are many considerations when deciding which direction you want to go in, and knowing your options is one of the best ways to make an educated decision.

  • Domestic Adoption – adoption at birth; often have a relationship with the birth mother and possibly father before the baby’s birth; can be opened (know and stay connected to the birth parents) or closed (the records are sealed until the baby reaches adulthood or permanently). This option is very popular as the family can experience all the things associated with birth, minus the pregnancy of the adoptive mother. There is a waiting period for the families, and sometimes, the infant remains in a foster home until the adoptive family can take them home.
  • International Adoption – adoption via another country; usually, the child is not an infant and often has medical needs, but not always. This option can become very costly as you will have the adoption fees, the cost of travel, and possibly remaining in the country of choice for weeks or even months as you await the child’s adoption papers and travel permissions.
  • USKids – a website geared to connect families with kids in the foster care system who are free to adopt. The child generally, but not always, has needs or is of an age that has caused them not to be adopted by their previous foster family, or the child is part of a sibling group, and an adoptive home has been difficult to find. You will need to be an approved home through your state’s DSS (foster care) program,
  • Foster Care – as a mother to a child who has adopted a child out of the foster care system, I caution you with all my cautionary might – do not, I repeat, do not set out to adopt a child through foster care. The goal of foster care is to give a parent or parents the time that they need to prepare themselves in a way that allows for their family to be reunified. As foster parents, our goal is to take care of the child in our care and support their parents as best as possible. If the parents are not able to make the changes that are necessary and a family member or friend can’t take the child in, then and only then will the current foster family be considered as an adoptive home. It is not an easy journey once this has been determined. If you are focused on rescuing children through adoption, I would caution you against this option.

Are you ready to commit?

Adopting a child is such a fantastic experience. Adoption definitely will add so much joy to your life. There will be painful moments along the way, just like there are with parenting a biological child. Adoption is a complete commitment. Be sure you are ready for it! Make sure you are adopting for the right reasons. Adoption is right for you if you are 100% committed to being the best parent you can be!

Are you prepared to handle the cost of adoption and the possible change in your work schedule?

You will also need to consider the financial side of adoption. Will you be able to care for your child, or will you need to make some career changes before deciding to go forward with adoption? Will you be able to take time off to stay at home with your child? Will you be able to afford child care when you return to work, or do you have a friend or family member who can take care of your baby/child? Children require a lot of love, but they also require plenty of money. With adoption, there are typically hefty fees through agencies. Ensure you check the details of any and all costs the agency may have. You do not want to struggle financially before the child sleeps the first night in your home. If finances look like they will be a problem, there are ways that you can work around this obstacle though they aren’t always guaranteed to aid with all the fees associated with adoption. A fundraiser, yard sale, or raffle are some options to help you raise money to help ease the financial burden of adoption. It is important to have your financial plan as you decide, “is adoption right for me?”

Are you prepared to push fear aside as you commit to your future child?

Don’t let fears of being a perfect parent stop you from adopting! There are no perfect parents out there. There is no perfect timing, no perfect financial situation. There is only “better” timing, “better” financial situation, and “better” parents. If you wait to be perfect, you will never adopt! Preparation and education are crucial but also having flexibility and patience are vital to the success of overcoming the fear associated with bringing a new child into your family, regardless of their age. Fear often keeps us from doing things we were created to do. If you feel that adoption is your path or calling, then conquer the fear with informed decisions and the support of your people. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your concerns and feelings but don’t allow fear to control you in this decision.

Have you considered taking parenting classes?

You will need to figure out ways to parent that best work for you and your child. Consider looking at parenting classes in your area if you are skittish about how you will do as a parent. You can go to a parenting class, or you can even take courses online. If classes aren’t for you, ask a friend who has children if you can come over to help them or ask a veteran parent to guide you. Being confident in parenting will motivate you to keep going and be a successful parent.

In closing,

Adoption is a huge commitment! It should not be taken lightly and requires a great deal of thought and preparation. Research your options thoroughly, create a solid financial plan, commit to being the best parent you can be, push fear aside, and consider taking parenting classes. Ultimately if done for the right reasons, adoption will bring joy into your life and into the life of a child in need. Be sure to take your time, seek counsel, and ask questions before deciding the answer to your question, “Is adoption right for me?”

3 Replies to “Is Adoption Right For Me?”

  1. Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

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