Making the decision to adopt a child and introduce someone new into your family is a really big deal. There is going to be a great deal of excitement, as well as some anxiety. Before the new child comes into your home, you want to take a deep breath and carefully review all the steps and procedures and make sure that you are really ready. Here are 7 things adoptive parents need to know before their new child comes home.
1. Birth Parent Rights
Before you start the process, you need to clarify if this is going to be a closed or open adoption. In the past, most adoptions were closed with all of the files sealed, and the adopted child was unable to learn anything about their biological parents. Today, many families are starting to favor an open adoption. Open adoptions are set up in such a way that there is communication between both the biological parents and the adoptive parents. It is going to be up to you, the adoptive parents, to decide how much of this information will eventually be passed on to your child and how much contact the birth family has a right to have to your child.
2. The Importance of an Agency
You do not want to go through an adoption your own. This usually is a scam. When you make the decision to adopt a child you will want to use an agency that specializes in adoptions. Before signing any contracts you want to make sure that the agency is properly licensed and accredited.
3. Honesty is Key
When you are filling out the application you have to be very honest. The agency will be doing an extensive background check. If they find any discrepancies they could refuse to allow you to adopt a child.
4. The Best Resource is Other Parents
The world is full of other parents who have decided to adopt their children. These people are an invaluable source of information. It is in your best interest to talk to them and learn from their mistakes. Not only will they be able to help you prepare for the actual adoption process, but since their children are going to be older than yours, you will be able to learn how the entire family deals with the psychology of the adopted child.
5. The Process is Never Quick
You cannot be in a hurry to adopt a child. The agency wants to make sure that any child they place is going to a home where they will not only be loved, but also well cared for. They will have an extensive screening process that can take months or even years. You are going to have to simply take a deep breath and relax. Eventually, you will be approved and then you will be one step closer to adopting a new child.
6. The Special Needs Aspect
The world is full of children that have special needs. These little ones are looking for parents that will love them. It is tempting to say yes to adopting a special needs child, but before agreeing you need to be realistic. Not all parents have the personality that these children need. Before agreeing to a special needs child, you should spend time talking to parents who have children with physical and cognitive disabilities and learn about what daily problems they face. You should also become a volunteer with an organization where you will have a great deal of contact with people with special needs. This is the only way you will truly know if you are up to the challenge.
7. It's Okay to Ask Questions
Do not be afraid to ask questions. The more questions you ask, the better able you will be to handle any situation that is going to arrive during the process.
Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. If you are an adoptive mom, what tips would you share with another family considering adoption?
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