Knowing What You’re Getting Into With an Adoption
Many couples consider adoption because they cannot have children of their own, or they believe there are enough children in the world who don’t have parents or a place to call home. Whatever their reason, adoption is a respectable decision, although not an easy one. The adoption process, while full of hope, is not an easy one and will test the patience, values, and relationships between couples that go through it. While the ultimate goal in adoption is to provide a home for a child who does not have one, it can be a long road full of disappointment and heartache. But hopefully in the end it will be a story of love and coming home.
If you are interested in adoption, the first thing you’ll want to do is contact an adoption agency or adoption lawyer to help you in the process. In some states you need both an adoption agency and lawyer to get the process completed. You’ll want to ask about the specific laws in your state. Because adoption is actually a legal process, most people cannot navigate the adoption waters on their own. Having a qualified individual helping you along the way will be a tremendous comfort. If you do go with an adoption agency, be sure of their practices and always protect yourself first and foremost. Many people fail to sign a contract and get things in writing, only to end up losing money and find themselves with less money and still no child. Never, ever give an agency or individual money without doing a background check, contacting the better business bureau and checking their references. It may be tempting to give someone money to help put a child you’re your arms, but you should always check out the agencies track record before you put any trust in them.
Most agencies will help walk you through the stages of adoption from deciding if you are really ready for adoption, what expectations you have of the child from its sex, age, and physical characteristics. The agency will also set up meetings with couples who want to give their children up for adoption, walk through the placement process and termination of the biological parents’ rights, and post adoption placement steps. Adoption is a huge undertaking, but with the right agency it doesn’t have to be a mind-boggling task. So, when you search for an agency that is just right for you, don’t settle for one that doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies and distinct feeling that they will support you 100% throughout the adoption endeavor.
In addition to arming yourself with the people you need to get the adoption process rolling and completed properly, you need financial backing. The adoption process includes legal fees, travel expenses, and payment to an adoption agency or lawyer and will cost you tens of thousands of dollars on the conservative side. It really is an expensive process no matter how you go about it. Adoption is complicated, which makes it expensive, but in the end when you lay eyes on your child you would be willing to jump through the hoops and pay the money all over again.
When you get into the adoption process you’ll quickly learn that you might not be able to get a child next month, or even next year. Sometimes the adoption process takes a very long time, especially if you want a baby or very young child. Many times with a new baby adoptions will fall through, so you need to be prepared that the first possible adoption may not actually happen. Your adoption agency will be able to give you the particulars about how often adoptions fall through, and if contracts have been signed. Ultimately, you are adopting someone else’s child, and if it falls through, it should be a celebration for that child, that their biological parents decided to keep them. Your adoption agency will help you prepare for the chance that your adoption, no matter how sound it seems, may fall through.
Because adoption tends to take a long time when you have specifics about age, sex, or nationality an international adoption may be for you. Many times international adoptions can be done much more quickly because there are so many children waiting to be adopted other countries will expedite the process to get the children into homes and make room for others who are just coming into the system. It’s always a good idea to think about all of your options ahead of time.
If you are looking to adopt a child and do not have specifics regarding sex, age, or nationality then chances are the adoption process will be completed much more quickly. As long as you have a clean criminal record, hold a steady job, and appear to be a stable individual there is a child out there that would love to be a part of your family. How picky you are will often determine how long the placement process takes. A good portion of people adopting want a newborn baby, and there just are not as many newborns available so these hopeful parents are essentially put on a waiting list. Many agencies also consider newborn adoptions the highest risk because many biological parents back out of the adoption once the baby has been born.
It’s important to realize that once an adoption is complete it's still very much a part of who you are. No matter who you are, the process is life altering and many agencies recommend therapy during the initial bonding stages to help the whole family adjust to their new life together. While many families anticipate the experience of bringing their adopted child home, it can be difficult to adjust once the adoption is a reality.
Being open to the whole process and letting things come as they may will determine how well you get through the whole adoption process. Having faith there is a child out there that is meant to become a part of your family will get you through the selection process, the placement process, and the revocation of the biological parents rights without sweating it too much. Adoption is a beautiful thing, but it is also complicated and trying. Going into the process with a good attitude will make the most trying adoption less stressful and make the homecoming of your new child even more joyous.