10 Things You Should Know About Adoption
There are many ways we can establish a family. First, there is the old-fashioned way—marrying, having children, spending hours selecting cute baby names, etc. Adoption isn’t the first choice usually.
However, adopting is increasingly becoming a mainstream choice for many couples and single parents for starting a family.
Naturally, adopting a child can be a very joyous, meaningful, and, of course, spiritual experience for childless couples and single parents, but the process can be tiring and complimented.
Not to mention, the whole thing can significantly affect you and the life of the adopted child.
According to statistics, around 135,000 children are reportedly being adopted In the United States every year. This includes kids from private domestic agencies, foster care, family members, and other countries.
In fact, the United States adopts more children than any other nation. In 2001, 1.5 million children were adopted in the United States, which represents 2.5 percent of all U.S. children.
“Adoption is a lifelong commitment to another person,” mentions Laura Lamminen, who works as the lead psychologist at the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas.
“Prospective adoptive parents should weigh out all of the positives along with the challenges that come with adopting a child before following through,” she says.
Below are ten things you need to know before you prepare for adoption:
10 Things You Should Know Before You Adopt
1.Cost of Domestic and International Adoptions
Whether you want to adopt someone at home or abroad entirely lie with you. But, remember that the costs of domestic adoptions are usually less and also complicated.
To give you an idea, domestic adoptions costs around $20,000 to $25,000. Whereas international adoptions will set you back around $25,000 to $35,000. Depending on travel expenses and other related fees. (Source: http://buildingyourfamily.com/)
2.Lawyers and Agencies
The adoption process of domestic and international adoptions also varies. In case of domestic adoptions, an agency or lawyer is involved.
Meanwhile, for international adoptions, you should take assistance from a private, nonprofit agency that will partner with the organization of the child’s host country. In the case of private adoption, you can either consult an agency or a lawyer or both. Whatever suits your requirements and circumstances.
More than 500,000 of U.S. children are in foster care, and among them, only 129,000 are eligible for adoption. Although the mission of foster care is to take care of the child until they’re old enough as per law to return to their biological parents, that isn’t always possible.
In those circumstances, it is found that the foster parents adopt the child and legally becomes his or her official parents.
Adopting a child from foster care comes with many additional benefits that include low fees, government assistance, and government-sponsored subsidies. If you like this idea, just contact a public agency and complete the required application.
When you adopt a child from a foreign country or adopted someone whose cultural background is vastly different than yours or your family, your family becomes multicultural or multiracial.
Unless you and the entire family accepts and adopts the culture or heritage of your adopted child, the child may feel alienated physically and psychologically. So, before you take steps to adopt someone outside your culture or language, ask yourself if this is the right path for you.
It’s normal for you to feel overwhelmed at first to finally get the chance to take your adopted child home after you’re done with the process.
You may also face some common issues. Such as feelings of jealousy. Or conflicts from your own children (if any), your new child finding it difficult to cope with his or her new family. Or the adopted child is experiencing emotional issues because he is adopted, and so on.
So, instead of getting stressed out, we suggest you tread lightly and seek external assistance to help you cope. You can contact your agency, or take post-adopting services, such as counseling, workshops, and so on.
6. Adoption Should Not Be Taken Lightly
Adopting will hugely impact your personal life, your family, and in the life of the child. It should never be taken lightly. If you’re thinking of adopting someone, you should take your time and think long and hard about the process and its impact.
Assure yourself by asking yourself questions such as, “Why do I want to adopt a child? Will adopting a child impact my family? Am I emotionally capable of supporting the child? Are my home environment and personal finances stable to take care of the child?”
7. A “Traditional” Home Isn’t a Prerequisite for Adoption
Most people hold the notion you need to be married before you can adopt a child. But that is a common misconception. In 2014, according to Pew Research Center report, it had been revealed that less than half of all U.S. children were brought up in a traditional family.
The long-held structure of a traditional American family is changing, so is the adoption process. Single parents, same-sex parents, and even older parents over the age of 55 are now eligible for adoptions.
8. Unconditional Love Is a Must When You Adopt
Some parents keep preaching that they’re “saving” a child by adopting. But there is a distinction between when you say “saving” a child and adopting a child as gratitude is the key underlying denominator.
Parents do a lot for their kids, and it is expected that want some form of appreciation from them. But you should never ask it from your adopted as if you’ve “rescued” him or her from their previous ordeals. Instead, tell them that yours and your family’s life has become much better he is in it.
9. Patience and Perseverance Is a Virtue in Adoptions
The whole process is undoubtedly lengthy and complicated, but it also requires plenty of patience, time, emotional and psychological support. Adoption relies on so many factors, and there are lots of unexpected ups and downs in the process.
It’s not uncommon to see potential parents finding everything to be on track, only to find the next day that their application has been bogged down by paperwork or dismissed by the court.
10. Not all biological parents are unworthy.
It’s a mistaken belief to think of all biological parents who give up a child for adoption, or foster care is unfit or unworthy parents. Most folks assume that the biological parents have given their child for adoption because they’ve decided their child would be well-taken care off is raised by someone else.
But that’s just half of the story. There are stories about biological parents who admitted to their kids later in life that they only decided to put them up for adoption and foster care because of dire financial circumstances, being emotionally and physically unavailable, sicknesses, etc. And just because they loved them.
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