Being a parent is life-changing. For some, it’s the most anticipated milestone of life. For others, it’s a task and a burden that one should ‘recover’ from.
However, some people who naturally conceive children aren’t cut out to become parents. This is why the concept of adoption exists and is made legal globally.
Adoption is an enduring commitment for would-be parents. The process alone for getting approval and securing an adoption is tedious in itself.
In the U.S., for example, it’s necessary to choose an adoption agency and be surveyed by a social worker.
From there, prospective parents will be required to attend several classes to learn about the basics of adoption, foster care, gain insight on the benefits of adoptive parenting, and receive further information about the process.
This is also a time where future parents can reflect on their feelings toward adoption.
How To Prepare For Adoption
If you’re considering adopting or fostering a child, research should be done first to see what choices you have, what requirements are needed, and how much the costs are, among other considerations.
This article brushes up on a few ways to prepare for adoption.
It’s necessary to assess and question why you want to adopt a child and parent them. Is it to fill a void in your life?
Is it because of societal pressure to have a child by the time someone is of a certain age? Is it via pressure from family?
Whatever the reason, an adopted child should never bear the brunt of such pressure, especially if it comes from external factors. Thus, do a self-assessment first.
Another important thing to look at is the cost involved in the process. There are standard fees, but it still depends on your chosen agency or adoption professional’s policies and packages.
There are self-assessment tools online that might help future adoptive parents weigh in on their prospects.
These tools point to different adoption programs and agencies available in different states or cities, such as the choice to engage in international or domestic adoption, private adoption, or foster care, among others.
2. Decide What Type Of Child You’re Ready To Parent
The decision to adopt a child isn’t easy to make, but this is only the first step in the process of adoption and foster care.
Even if you’re already set to adopt a child and bring them into your home, there are still several factors to consider in the adoption process. One of these factors is to determine what type of child you’re able, ready, and willing to parent.
Some of the questions you can use as definitive guides in your decision-making are:
- What age range, background, or ethnicity are you willing to take care of and bring into your community and home?
- Do you want to adopt a newborn child?
- Are there behavioral, physical, mental, or emotional disabilities you’re not prepared to handle?
- Are you open to foster occasional close contact with your adopted child’s existing relatives?
These are only the most preliminary questions one should ponder as they undergo the process of choosing a child.
Remember that introducing a child into your home comes with the effort of adjusting them into your lifestyle and home life, and vice versa.
3. Research Adoption Agencies
Researching about your chosen agency is important, especially if you’ve never tried adopting or fostering before.
In fact, even if you haven’t, brushing up on your research on adoption agencies in your area is excellent preparation for adoption.
Read local newspapers or pamphlets, network with other parents in your area, and join an adoption support group.
There are two options when working with agencies. You can choose between a private agency like Adoptions from the Heart and a public one available in your area.
It’s also necessary to understand that not all adoption agencies offer the same services and have the same costs.
Be sure to inquire these adoption agencies and professionals about the whole package and structure of the process and what you’re getting for your payment since some agencies charge separate fees for other services.
This will be the cornerstone of your adoption process, as they will be the ones guiding you through every step of the way and helping you overcome legal hurdles and due processes.
4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
After completing the whole adoption process, it’s time to take your baby home. Gear up for a whole different lifestyle once you bring your adopted child home.
It might take a while for things to start to feel normal or go smoothly, but as mentioned above, the decision to adopt is a lifelong and serious commitment.
An adoptive parent might feel the need to overcompensate for time or material things, but this shouldn’t put you in a difficult position.
Pace things up and allow some breathing room for both you and the adoptive child to thrive.
Beware of ‘helicopter parenting.’ You might feel the need to do this type of parenting where parents micromanage every little bit about their kids and follow them around, like a helicopter.
Although, of course, this is only for the best, as adoptive parents might reason. But knowing when to step back is another thing to learn and master.
One way you can keep things paced is to spend some time discovering (or re-discovering) hobbies that might have been neglected or died down.
It could take your mind off the stress of worrying about your adoptive kid or trying to micromanage them in the household.
5. Reach Out To Adoptive Parents
No one can give future adoptive parents the most insightful advice other than fellow adoptive parents.
They’re the people who have been through the process you’ll be going through.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a local adopting or foster care social media group and engage in discussion with them.
In fact, they might even offer some advice not just on the legal process and paperwork involved, but also in being emotionally prepared for bringing a new child into your home, as well as some healthy parenting habits that one should incorporate.
Adoption is a commitment that requires hundreds of hours of time, work, and effort.
This is why it’s crucial that future adoptive parents must do research on the adoption process, interact with fellow adoptive parents, carefully choose what child they’re able to parent, and be ready for a lifetime of wonderful years with their new adopted kid.
This may not seem like much, but it doesn’t hurt to seek advice here and there while you’re in the process of getting approved for your adopted child and becoming a dream parent.