Before taking the first step in the adoption process, you may be asking yourself some questions. Now, these questions aren't always easy to answer, but they're a critical part of the process. Not only will you likely be asked these questions as you work through the adoption, but it helps to have a clear understanding of what your responses would be before you even start the process of adopting a child. These are the questions that help you ready yourself for the next step – and they take a deep look at whether or not it's right for you to adopt a child at this time.
These are the questions to consider:
Why do you want to adopt? For some families, the answer to this question is easy. For others, it's difficult. But in any case, this is one of the most important questions you need to have the answer to before entering into an adoption. Understand your reasons – do you feel secure with them? Comfortable with them? Sure of them? If you need help, consult with an adoption coach who can help you bring the answer into focus.
Are you prepared emotionally for adoption? Adoption can be one of the most challenging emotional experiences a family goes through – are you ready for the emotional stress that it may cause you? Are you ready for the emotional commitment of raising a child? The chance that the bonding process may not go smoothly? That the child may have had a rough start? Of forming a new and unique type of family? Do you FEEL ready for this and all that comes with it?
Are you prepared financially for adoption? Finances play a critical part in the adoption process as well. Review your family finances and plan how you will support your child as well as the cost of adoption. Be mindful of the costs of support services, counseling, and resources that may also come with the adoption process, before, during, and after your child comes home. Consulting with a family coach will assist you in answering these questions.
Are you prepared spiritually for adoption? Adopting a child is a spiritual journey. To answer this question, you may need to seek the assistance of a spiritual leader or an adoption coach who can help you work through the questions you have about adoption and your spirituality. Parenting is a life-changing event. How are you preparing for this major change in your life? Make sure you are ready!
Are you prepared socially for adoption? Not everyone knows how to handle the social challenges surrounding adoption. While adoption is intensely personal, one should not forget that it can impact one's life socially. Do you feel prepared to talk about adopting a child? How will you react to the responses of others as you go through the process? Are you prepared to deal with social stigmas, misconceptions, and opinions regarding adoption?
Are you prepared for the commitment of adoption and parenthood? This is a lifetime commitment – one of the most significant decisions you will make. Do you feel ready for this? Are you ready to be a parent? Are you ready to take on everything that comes along with raising a child, both the good and the bad? For couples, GIFT also offers the Prepare/Enrich online inventory for those considering adoption. Find your areas of strength, identify your areas of challenge and create unity as a couple and as a new family.
Do you have a support network to guide you through the adoption process? Having a strong support network of family, friends, partners, and even adoption coaches can help you move through the adoption process feeling strong, sure, and prepared. Seek the assistance of those who you know will support you on this journey. Look into choosing an adoption coach who can provide support at every stage of the adoption: the pre-adoption, adoption, and post-adoption phases.
Are you prepared for the unique relationship you will form with your child? Forming a relationship with an adopted child poses inherent challenges, ranging from the time it takes to the thoughts and feelings surrounding it. You may encounter distrust, doubt, confusion, lost sense of identity, and everything in between on the road to forming a bond with your adopted child. Are you prepared for this to take time? For there to be speed bumps on the road to a strong family foundation? Do you know that this relationship will be different from any other relationship you've ever formed in your life? Are you aware of this challenge for your other family members?
Is your family prepared for this special relationship? Talk to your family about the adoption process. Are they ready for the same commitments that you are? Are they supportive? Are they aware of the challenges that may lie ahead?
What child is right for you? This is something to think about before working with any adoption agency. Have an idea of what type of child you want. A specific gender? Age? Ethnic background? Social background? Do you want a special needs child? Have an idea of what you want in a child and work with your agency on finding the appropriate match.
Are you ready to be honest, open, and 100% transparent throughout the adoption process? You will be asked questions that will be difficult to answer. You will need to open your homes, your past, and your financial picture throughout the adoption process. Are you prepared for this?
Are you ready for pre-adoption and post-adoption counseling? Most adoption agencies require families to do pre-adoption counseling and post-adoption counseling – this is something you need to commit to in order to successfully facilitate an adoption. If you're working with an adoption coach already in the pre-adoption process, you may want to investigate continuing working with the same coach at every step of the way. For example, with GIFT, we offer adoption coaching at every stage of the adoption process and we can stay with you from start to finish.
What kind of adoption do you want? Open or closed is a decision you'll need to make. Educate yourself on the differences between the two and the challenges associated with each.
Have you done your research on the adoption process? There are many resources out there about the adoption process and there is no shortage of answers to questions on the hows and what to expect, so be sure to take time to do the research on it and get to know what you're getting into. If you have questions still or want additional guidance, GIFT Family Services offers pre-adoption counseling and pre-adoption coaching for adoptive parents or foster carers seeking assistance that goes beyond what can be found in a search or a trip to the library.
If you need help answer these pre-adoption questions, or if you want assistance in answering others as you begin the journey, let GIFT Family Services help with our pre-adoption counseling and pre-adoption coaching options. We can help you through the adoption process from deciding whether or not it's right for you to post-adoption counseling as you take your first steps as a new family.
Contact us to discuss pre-adoption coaching options that may be right for you.