Adoption is one of the biggest commitments a person can make in their lifetime. It is also a tedious and often more complicated process than many anticipate it to be. Before making such a big decision, it is important to understand the adoption process and what becoming an adoptive parent entails.
As a guide, there are necessary questions to ask yourself to gauge how prepared you are for adoption. These questions allow you to reflect on your current lifestyle, financial situation, and emotional capacity regarding adopting a child.
Adoption is an often emotional process fraught with many financial and legal challenges. Here are important things to ask yourself to see if this is the right path for you now.
1. Why do you want to adopt a child?
Giving a home to a child is no matter to be taken lightly. It is important to make an honest assessment of your reasons for wanting to adopt a child.
These reasons firstly give you insight into your readiness for it. Remember that adopting a child does not mean “saving” them. Knowing this helps you raise a child without letting them feel like they owe you for adopting them.
Assessing also allows you to know which method of adoption is most suitable for you—from the child’s age to how many children you are capable of taking in.
Many free resources online provide additional information about adopting, such as the Child Welfare Information Gateway by the U.S. government. You may also approach firms specializing in family law for legal guidance and assistance should you decide to push through the process.
2. Are you financially prepared to raise a child?
Some forms of adoption, such as international adoption, usually cost $40,000, as travel costs and citizenship arrangements are involved. The cost of private adoptions through agencies also ranges from $20,000 to $45,000.
The process of adoption is expensive in itself, but you must consider that adopting a child puts their upbringing in your responsibility. This means accounting for their meals, clothes, tuition fees, and more into your monthly budget.
Reviewing your financial situation helps you see if you can provide a dignified life for the child or children you will be adopting.
3. Do you have a support system for the adoption process?
This appears like a trivial aspect of adoption, but knowing your family’s, your partner’s, and your friends’ disposition towards your desire to adopt also helps you decide.
As part of the adoption process, prospective parents must participate in a home study to ensure that the adoptive child ends up in a safe and suitable home. Aside from health records, financial records, and employment history, your caseworker will look into your close relationships to accomplish their final recommendations.
4. Would you consider adopting a child of a different race than you?
Transracial adoption is not a unique concept, but it often requires much more preparation than usual. You need to be well-informed about racism, inequality, and the issues that your child may face as they grow up. It also necessitates an examination of your own beliefs about race.
When you adopt a child of a different race, your multicultural family can easily be seen as “different.” Look at your community, too, and see if they have persons of different racial backgrounds that they can be exposed to.
Learn about the race of your adoptive child so that you can have sensitive and positive conversations with them about their ethnicity. Especially if the child you are adopting is a little older, you should also seek to integrate their culture into your family traditions.
5. Are you struggling with notions of an ideal family?
There are many opportunities when single individuals and same-sex couples face discrimination in adopting children. However, the simple fact is that it is very much legal for single parents and same-sex couples to adopt a child.
The legal preparations for adoption do not vary for single parents and same-sex couples. All prospective parents must go through home studies, pay the same expenses, and go through waiting periods when they adopt.
Should LGBTQIA+ couples have reservations about working with just any agency, they may also approach recognized agencies to ensure a comfortable adoption experience or speak with lawyers to assist them in the process of adoption.
Adoption is a long process, but you can be prepared for this commitment with the right mindset and the appropriate preparations.