Bringing your child home and being able to call him or her your own is an unforgettable experience that changes your life forever. Adoption is an act of love that brings so much joy for the whole family. However, there are some things you should not forget once you take that first step towards adoption.
Here are some things you need to remember before and during the adoption process:
Do have a checklist of all requirements. This will prevent you from missing out on submitting key documents and not meeting their deadlines. Being able to provide the needed information and requirements on time (or even better, ahead of time) will help increase your chances of a successful and quick adoption. Your checklist should also include your state’s adoption regulations, as well as cost requirements during the adoption process.
Do prepare yourself emotionally and financially for the adoption process. The steps leading towards adoption may be likened to a roller coaster so you need to be emotionally ready for its ups and downs, twists and turns. Otherwise, the process may be more challenging at times. Carefully study your current standing financially and make the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the financial aspect of the adoption process and the prospect of adding another precious member to the family and to the family budget.
Do prepare yourself for becoming a parent. Are you considering an infant adoption? Will this be your first child? Even if it’s not, it is best to know about the basics of taking care of a child. Knowing the basics will help so you won’t feel overwhelmed when you welcome your child home. This includes knowing about the basic needs and stages of development of a child, how you can properly bathe, feed and care for him. You can also consider parenting seminars to help you become a more equipped parent.
Do educate others about adoption-appropriate language. Using appropriate language and teaching others to do the same helps others become more sensitive to your feelings, as well as to that of your child’s and the birthparents’. You are not the “adoptive parent”; you are simply your child’s parent. Friends and loved ones don’t have to differentiate between your “real” or “natural” children, as opposed to your “adopted children”. All of them are simply your children. Rather than suggesting that birthparents “put up their child for adoption” or “gave it away”, you can say that they chose adoption or made an adoption plan. By doing so, you are protecting your child from any hurtful words well-meaning people may say.
Do guard your child’s privacy. There will be a lot of questions coming from loved ones and friends. It may be tempting to divulge too much about the child’s background. However, it’s best to keep your child’s private history private. In due time, he will be the one to decide if he wants to share that part of his story. The general rule of thumb is to only divulge information that your child will already have known. Otherwise, stick to non-specific details when answering questions, especially to those who really don’t need to know.
Don’t go into it without experienced advice. We recommend that you work with a reputable and accredited adoption agency such as A Act of Love Adoptions. They have the experience and professional connections to guide you through the adoption process. You should also consult an attorney that is knowledgeable in adoption to go over any contracts before you sign the dotted line. If you will be completing an Interstate adoption, you will want to find an attorney that is well versed in Interstate adoption law and practices.
Don’t assume that working with an adoption agency is an automatic guarantee. The process of adoption has its ups and downs. One good thing to remember is that a reputable adoption agency will charge fees based on the services provided and not on based on any guarantee of a successful adoption. Although their experience about the adoption process and their network of birthparents will help increase the chances of an adoption going through, there are still a lot of factors involved such as your meeting of the legal requirements, how your expectations meet those of the birthparents’, etc. Be sure you understand what services an adoption professional can offer you and ask for references prior to applying.
Don’t pre-judge the birthmother. Sometimes it is easy to jump to conclusions about a birthparent that chooses adoption. However, there is a need to recognize that just because she chose adoption does not mean that she loved her child less than you do. Aim towards understanding the birthmother’s situation and love your potential birthmother since she is very much a part of your child.