In the U.S., around 135,000 children are adopted every year! Are you hoping to become the lucky parent of an adoptee this year?
The adoption process isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile. It requires investment and devotion, however, the result is perfect.
We’re here to talk all about preparing for your adoption. Read on to learn more.
Find the Right Adoption Agency
If you want to adopt a child, there are a few ways to go about it. You could do a private adoption if you happen to connect with someone who is looking for a parent for their child (but in that case, make sure to still look into adoption lawyers as even private adoptions are tricky).
You could also adopt from foster care. This is the most affordable option, but the goal of foster care is almost always reunification, and children in that vulnerable position need to live with adults who will support their best interests. If you’re committed to adopting an infant, that won’t be the right choice for you.
Most people go through adoption agencies. They help match pregnant women with hopeful adoptive parents and ease the adoption process.
There are many agencies to choose from. Look for success stories from both adoptive parents and birth parents. Ask about their adoption costs and parent eligibility requirements.
Prepare for a Home Study
Once you’re “in” with an adoption agency, you’ll have to go through a home study (that you’ll pay for) and adoption assessment. During this study, a social worker will visit your home and evaluate both the home itself and your family (or just you if you’re adopting alone).
Don’t try to hide things. Be honest about anything that may be “questionable” to the social worker.
Clean your home and make sure that it’s obvious that you have space for a child. You will likely not be matched with a child for several years, but the social worker wants to know that you’re ready.
Be Patient, But Prepared
As we mentioned, it can take years to find a good adoption match. The more particular you are about your adoptive child, the longer it will take.
Adoption agencies do their best to pair children with the right families. If, for example, a child is available, but they have special needs, the agency may opt to place that child with a family that can support those needs, even if they weren’t “first on the list.”
You should still stay prepared, however. No one can really tell when your day will come. You don’t need to go out and buy diapers just yet, but act as though a baby is always on the way.
Understand How to Parent an Adoptee
Once you’ve committed to adopting a child, make sure you prepare yourself for actually parenting them.
Adoption is tricky. Many adoptees experience trauma, even if they’re placed with their adoptive families from birth. Being an adoptee often includes identity crisis, confusion, and feelings of grief and inadequacy.
It may help you to read books written by adoptees and work with a family therapist who has experience with them. A family therapist can also help you during the uncertain waiting period.
The Adoption Process Can Be Long and Complicated
For most people, the adoption process isn’t easy. At the end of it all, however, you’ll be able to welcome a brand new family member into your home. In other words, it’s worth it.
Good luck with your adoption journey.
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