The decision to adopt is a life-changing decision that should not be taken lightly. Families have to consider many factors to make a well thought out decision. For some, the decision to adopt is one they embrace and makes their lives complete, but for others, it may not be the right fit.
Below are important questions you need to ask yourself and discuss as a family to determine if adoption is the right choice for you.
10 Questions to Help You Make Your Adoption Decision
1. Why do I want to adopt?
There are many reasons people pursue adoption. Some are struggling with infertility, while others are committed to providing a lifelong home and family for a child in need. Are you viewing adoption as an opportunity, or do you see it as having to settle for second-best? Is adopting your idea, or are you feeling pressured to do so by your partner or family? Thinking through these factors will help you better understand why you are considering adoption and if they are the right reasons.
2. Do you have the funds, time, and emotional capability to adopt?
Adoption is a lifelong commitment in many ways: financial, emotional, and time. Consider each of these carefully. If you have the financial capacity, for example, but are unsure you have the emotional energy, you need to be honest with yourself and wait until you have all the resources necessary.
3. What type of adoption do you want to pursue?
Domestic and international adoptions are very different. Learn about each one and the process it involves, as well as a financial commitment. Domestic adoptions can be pursued through a private agency or an adoption attorney/facilitator. International adoptions are usually completed using a private agency but can also be completed independently.
4. How do you feel about parenting a child of a different race?
Ask yourself how you feel about raising a child that looks different from you. Will you be comfortable with strangers staring or asking you if your child is adopted? Do you live in an area where other races feel accepted? Are you willing to make sure your child feels safe and free from prejudice, and to openly discuss racial inequality and address issues that arise? Are you able to talk about race and ethnicity with your kids so they will feel comfortable talking about these issues, and integrate their biological culture into your family traditions and cultures? Answering all of these questions will help you decide if adopting a child of a different race is a good fit for you.
5. Is my marriage or committed relationship ready for adoption?
Every child needs a stable and nourishing environment. Is your relationship healthy and able to withstand the stresses of parenting? If you are single, are you emotionally, financially, and mentally prepared for the stresses that single parenting involves?
6. Do you have a support system of family, friends, or others to help you on your adoption journey?
Support can come in many forms. Family and friends can help lighten your load and give you breaks so you have time to recharge. Connecting with support groups or friends who have adopted will give you emotional support when you are struggling with issues unique to raising an adopted child. In addition, will your family and friends be inclusive of your new child and accepting of their background or race?
7. What age are you interested in adopting?
Is it important for you to raise your adopted child from birth? Are you open to adopting an older child? Some people may prefer an older child, some an infant, and some have no preference at all.
8. Will you be comfortable talking with your child about their adoption story?
Think about how you will present this story to your child and discuss their adoption in day-to-day life. Will you feel comfortable answering your child’s questions, including tough questions about why their birth parent gave them up for adoption? Will you be comfortable talking about your child’s birth parents, or possibly helping your child learn more about them if they desire to when they are older? If your child is a different race, are you comfortable talking about their racial heritage and culture?
9. What level of contact would you prefer with the birth parents?
Adoptions can be open, semi-open, or closed. Do you want to know details about your child’s birth parent such as medical information or other life details? Do you want to be in contact with them during the pregnancy, or be at the hospital during the birth? Are you open to a continued relationship after adoption? This will help you decide what type of adoption you want to pursue.
10. Have you considered all people affected by the adoption in your decision?
Adoption affects many lives. Are you and your spouse in agreement that you both want to pursue adoption? Have you discussed it with your existing children to see what feelings they have about it and address them? Make sure to consider all who will be impacted by adoption.
The Adoption Decision
Adopting a child is a lifelong decision that changes lives in many wonderful ways, but it is not for everyone. It’s important to reflect on the questions above to make a well thought out decision that is right for you and your family. Adopttogether.org has more thought-provoking reading about the adoption decision.
If you would like to pursue adoption, consulting an experienced adoption attorney is your next step. The experienced attorneys the Law Office of Amanda Todd Daniels have years of experience and can walk you through your options and explain what the adoption process looks like. Call (662) 678-8009 and set up your free consultation today.