Adoption is a big deal. And understandably, it’s not a decision that you should just rush into. It requires some careful thought and consideration, and it’s a milestone that you should really mull over.
After all, it’s not exactly something you can just back out of. The wrong choice will not just affect you, but also the child or children involved.
So to make sure that you’re taking the right steps and that you’ve considered all angles, ask yourself the following questions first before making a decision:
Why do I want to adopt?
Everyone has their own reasons for adoption. You might want to work on adopting a stepchild or you might want to get a foster son or daughter of your own. Regardless, you should always remember that adoption isn’t about you; it’s about the child.
If you’re looking to adopt to make your life or relationship complete, you might not be emotionally ready to deal with the child’s inevitable needs and demands.
So examine your motivations first, and think about why you really want to adopt a child. You don’t want to end up resentful or worse, you don’t want to make the child feel like they owe you something after all your hard work. The wrong reasons might make these situations more likely.
Can I handle it financially?
It can’t be helped that the adoption process comes with some costs, and you should be prepared to shoulder these. Typically, the agency will give you a list of expenses so you can prepare accordingly.
If you’re adopting out of foster care, it might be more manageable as you are likely to receive a monthly stipend and adequate medical and dental healthcare.
You would still be bringing another human being into your home though, and that can be expensive. There are many possible costs to take into account: travel arrangements, medical needs, therapy, education, and other everyday expenses.
So make sure that you sit down and consult your budget, if needed. It’s a noble thing to want to adopt, but you have to make sure that you’re prepared to do so.
Can I commit to providing a stable home environment?
Like finances, your house and living conditions should be in order too. Adoption agencies usually do a thorough investigation of potential candidates, and you should be prepared to let them inside your home and convince them that it’s good enough for a child.
Don’t worry about not having the traditional family structure as well. You might be a single parent, in a same-sex relationship, or be older than usual, and that would be more than okay.
The idea that there has to be a husband and wife present to provide a stable environment is definitely a misconception. In fact, research has shown that only less than half of children in the United States live in traditional households.
How will it affect the people in my family?
And lastly, think about how adding another person might affect the current members of your household.
This is a great opportunity to communicate with your family and have the necessary conversations. It’s important that you’re on the same page with regards to the adoption. You don’t want a child to come into a divided household. He or she already has enough to worry about.