Is Something Missing? 6 Things You Should Know When You Adopt

two parents and two children standing on beach, facing the water

Today, family units come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Adoption has become an ever more significant initiative as major world issues escalate the number of children who are in need of a loving, stable home to have any chance at a bright future. Despite the deeply altruistic intentions of adoption, the reality is sometimes far more complicated than it may seem. Below are 6 enormously important things to ruminate; outside of the obvious logistics of navigating agencies, rules and regulations.

Costs & Wait Times

Though making a child’s dream come true and giving them a loving family is something that is ultimately priceless, for those considering adoption being well aware of the fees associated with the process is imperative. The average cost for a domestic private adoption is $15,000 to $20,000. Based on state laws and personal decision-making, the birth mother’s expenses can add another $10,000 or more, dependent on a case by case basis. In the case of international adoption, costs can range from $7,000 to upwards of $75,000. Wait times can also vary greatly. One of the best way to adopt when working with limited resources is to adopt within the Foster Care system. These adoptions are anywhere from no cost to around $2,500, and tend to happen more quickly than domestic or international adoptions through a private attorney or agency.

Home Studies

If you are considering adoption, you must be fully ready to lay all of your personal information on the shelf. According to A Child’s Dream, A Home Study, or Family Profile, is a document created by a social worker as on of the last steps in the adoption process. You’ll have to describe in detail your family and home life, as well as a lot of other personal lifestyle information. Though this may seem intimidating, the process is not meant to scrutinize, and is helpful not only as a protective measure for a child but can also provide an opportunity to learn more about adoption.

Attachment

Being one of the utmost vital organic processes in most animals for survival, Attachment constructs a lifelong effect on a child. An insecure attachment can easily create a chasm in a much wanted adoption. Concerning the development of a parent-child bond, the process is the driver in the safety and security of the child. How well a child’s needs are met the first year will greatly influence Attachment. Some great resources to get going with are John Bowlby & Attachment Theory by Jeromy Holmes (1993) and Give them Roots, Then Let Them Fly by The Attachment Center at Evergreen (1995).

Adoption Medicine

One specialized service for adoptive families that isn’t widely known is adoptive medicine. A doctor who is in this field has a good working knowledge of the conditions a child has faced abroad, as well as a more wary eye for uncommon illnesses. After you adopt, you can opt to find a physician who specializes in this area. For adopted children, these doctors are an excellent response to the fact that they often have received very little earlier care and have no family history or medical records. These physicians also often aid in pre-adoption counseling.

Open vs. Closed

Something to be aware of is whether you have a strong preference between an open or closed adoption, and if so, which. There is room for varying levels of contact with your child’s birth family, from none at all to consistent and open contact. Before you adopt, you should know what you’re comfortable with.

Be Honest With Yourself

Before you start the process of becoming an expert on the adoption process, it’s detrimental to know what your feelings are on all the different aspects of adoption. When making such a life changing decision, not only for you but for a child, it’s important to have full disclosure so that as little as possible will be unexpected and there is no room for resentment down the road.

The long road to bringing an adopted child into your family can easily feel overwhelming and even discouraging. It’s important to remember the exact reasons you want to adopt. Despite the challenges at hand when it comes to adoption, it is one of the most beautiful anthropomorphic concepts in existence, and for many, every step of the journey is well worth the reward.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents considering adoption.

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