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Making the decision to adopt a baby is a big decision. You and your family members should ensure that you’re prepared for what is to come, not only with bringing the new child home but also with what’s going to happen during the adoption process.
There’s a chance your adoption story will vary a little bit from what another person experienced. Here are some important points to consider before you embark on the process.
Why do you want to adopt?
There are many reasons why a person might want to adopt a child. Maybe you realize that every child should have a loving family and want to help. Maybe you can’t have children of your own and have chosen adoption to grow your family. Taking a deep look at why you want to adopt might help you solidify the fact that you’re making the right choice. Those reasons might help you to push forward when the process gets tough.
Who do you want to adopt?
There are many different things to consider with this question. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a daughter so you can play dress-up, or maybe you want to take your son fishing. This is just the start of what you need to consider when you are making this decision. Here are some primary points you should consider when you think about who you want to adopt:
- Do you want a boy or a girl?
- Do you want a baby or an older child?
- Do you want a special needs child?
- Do you want a child of a specific race or ethnicity?
- Do you have any other criteria?
Going into the adoption with these questions answered can help you to find the child who will fit into your family. For some individuals, none of these points matter. They just know that they’ll know when they find the child who belongs with them.
What type of adoption do you want?
Adoptions are either open or closed. An open adoption means you’ll remain in contact with the birth family, even if only through your adoption agency. This can be as involved as having regular visits or as distant as just sharing periodic updates and pictures with them. Some adoptive parents prefer this since they’re more likely to get a comprehensive medical history if it’s ever necessary.
A closed adoption means you won’t know who the birth parents are. You will have limited information about them and won’t have to have any contact with them. Some adoptive parents prefer this option since there isn’t ever any need to communicate with the birth parents.
Can you commit to raising the child?
Adoption is a lifelong commitment. It doesn’t end if you go through a divorce or your circumstances change. Your adopted child is yours forever. You must be ready to deal with sleepless nights when they’re sick, handle the normal challenges that occur with having a child or teen and prepare them to become productive adults.
Are you prepared to help your child learn their heritage?
Adopted children might want to know about their heritage. If they’re the same race and ethnicity as you, this might be easy. If you adopt a child of another race or ethnicity, you should be prepared to handle questions that might come up about where they come from. Even things as simple as having themed dinners and helping them to research their heritage might be beneficial.
What kind of support system do you have?
While you don’t have to have a support system to adopt, it can certainly help. Think about your family and friends. How do you think they’ll react to your decision of adopting? Will they be willing to love your new child? Most people find the people around them are very supportive of their decision and will open their arms wide to welcome your adopted child.
Are you ready for the home study and adoption process?
There are many steps to the adoption process. One of these is the adoption home study, which involves a social worker coming to your home to see where an adoptive child will live. This is required by law and has several components. It’s a good idea to start the home study as soon as you make the decision to adopt. You’ll need to have a criminal background check, a medical evaluation, a look into your financial situation and interviews to determine if you can provide an adoptive child with a stable and loving home.
What plan do you have for addressing issues down the road?
There might be issues that come up during the adoption process or even once you have your child home. Coming up with a plan for addressing these can help you to feel more secure about everything. While you might not be able to make firm plans since every issue is different, you can at least decide that you’re going to go into every situation with a positive attitude and a willingness to do what it takes to help your family through it.
Gulf Coast Adoptions can answer your questions about adoption and get you started on the process. Fill out our contact form or call us at (850) 999-7977 to find out more about how we assist you through the process. We’ll be happy to work with you!