Starting a family or expanding one is a big decision. If you’re choosing to adopt a child, though, you may find that the decision requires even more thought than you had imagined. If you’re wondering if you’re ready to adopt, you’ll want to ask yourself the five questions below.
What Is Your Timetable?
The first thing you need to understand is that adoption is typically a lengthy process. It’s entirely possible that your adoption could be finalized in just a few months, but it’s just as likely that you may spend years working on this process. You need to know how soon you are willing to adopt and how long you’re willing to wait before you get started.
What Type of Adoption Do You Want?
You also need to ask yourself what kind of adoption you want. Are you looking at a domestic private adoption? If so, you’ll need to look at the financial impacts and wait times. Does an international adoption make more sense? If so, look into the requirements from various countries. You may even want to think about adopting from foster care, which tends to require a serious training commitment as well as the ability to comply with specific state standards.
What Are You Looking for in Child Adoption?
Think about what you’re looking for in child adoption. Are you looking to adopt your first child? Are you looking to bring another child into your family? What are your feelings about adopting a child with disabilities? What about a sibling group? These are all questions you’ll eventually need to answer, so it’s good to start formulating your response now. The more open you are to different types of children, the faster your adoption process is likely to go.
What Can You Afford?
Adoption can be expensive, especially if you choose a private adoption. How much money are you willing to put into this process? It’s not just a matter of agency fees that you’ll need to think about. The cost of legal fees, preparing your home for a child, and even potentially supporting a birth mother can all play a role in your adoption. As such, you need to think about what you can realistically afford to do.
What Changes Are You Willing to Make?
Finally, take a look at your life today. What are you willing to change? Are you willing to give up your free time? Are you willing to give up a room in your home? Can you change your work schedule? What are you willing to do to put the child first and what are the things you can’t change? These are tough questions, but they must be answered. You can’t wait until you’ve invited a child into your home to figure out the specifics.
Are You Willing to Educate Yourself and Your Child?
When you adopt a child from another culture into your home, you need to remember that you will need to unlearn and relearn many concepts around life. Cultural background and heritage has a HUGE impact on the growth of a child. Will you take the time to learn and make exceptions to the child’s needs? Will you take the time to diversify your outlook and help your child understand themselves better? Will you expose them to the culture they came from and the one they are in, equally?
Adopting is rewarding, but it is never simple. Be prepared to answer some tough questions and to think a great deal about what adoption means to you. Only after you can come up with honest answers will you know whether or not you are ready to adopt.