Adopting a child into your family is an incredibly emotional process that requires a great deal of time. There will undoubtedly be days where you question your aptitude, which is yet another reason why the proceedings are so extensive. The truth is, adoption is not black and white. Many grey areas can play into each situation that can easily take a toll on adoptive parents if they have not done their due diligence. While it will be well worth the effort once you have a baby in your arms, it is essential to prepare yourself for what’s to come. Here are a few ways you can develop your mindset and get your life ready for adoption.
The first step in adopting a child is to find an agency in your area that aligns with your needs. There are many options to choose from, all of which do things a little differently. Take your time in discovering the distinctions between your possibilities to help narrow down your list. You may even make a list of pros and cons to tangibly see what you are working with and what each alternative offers. This is a huge decision, so it doesn’t hurt to speak with all of your final choices to get a better understanding of what to expect.
Take Advantage of Resources
Once you have finalized a decision about your adoption agency, they should provide you with many resources to assist you in coming to terms with the next steps. These resources may include information about financial assistance, adoption training and more about the approval process. Because you took your time in finding a trustworthy agency that works well with your family, it will be a no-brainer to follow up with every recommendation that will encourage a smooth transition.
Talk with Your Family
It can be nerve-wracking to talk with your close friends and family about your decision to adopt, but it is crucial to have a strong support system while you endure this process. It takes a village to adopt a child. Everyone from the birth mother to the friends of the adoptive parents plays a role in the process, and you will need to have someone (or a whole group of someones) to depend on and trust with your emotions. If you already have kids at home, it is imperative to talk with them about what adoption means and how it may differ from their expectations of getting a sibling—adoption is unique because it gives you the means to gain a child overnight!
Before you walk into an adoption situation, you know it will be time-consuming. Still, it is hard to fathom how much a setback along the way can affect you until you are in the moment. There is no shame in seeking pre-adoption counseling (actually, it’s recommended) to guide you through the process. It is also beneficial to join an adoption support group to talk with other families who can relate to your feelings. This type of support gives you a place to freely speak about your troubles with people who can provide sound advice based on experience. It is challenging to manage your emotions during such a volatile time. Having individuals to rely on who have felt your pain is a great way to deal with the difficult days and keep an optimistic mindset.
Ready the Home
As a part of your home study, a social worker will visit your place to ensure a suitable living situation for the adoptive child. As you move further along in the process, you will need to start thinking about sleeping arrangements, clothing, and food preparation for your newest addition. Some situations can provide more information in terms of the sex of the child and other needs, but you don’t want to be worried about making these changes as the delivery date approaches. Your agency will also help you with things around your home and offer remedies for any challenges that arise.
Hire a Lawyer
It is recommended to hire an adoption attorney to help finalize the adoption and handle the legal side of things with the courts. You are better off letting a professional take the reigns on the legality of your adoption to ensure everything is completed in a timely manner and to avoid any major issues going forward. It is smart to take every avenue possible to make certain every detail is handled by the book and in the best interest of your child.
Families who choose to adopt are giving a second chance to a child who may not have gotten the best first try. While adoption is by no means an easy undertaking, there is nothing quite like the feeling of expanding your family in such an honorable way. You may be surprised by how your choice to adopt will give you a fresh perspective on life, even more so when you take the steps to make it easier on your family.
featured image: SarahX Sharp via Unsplash