If you and your partner are unable to have children on your own, adoption can be a very fulfilling and rewarding option. Providing a warm and loving home to a child can be one of the most selfless things that you can do.
Whether you’re adopting locally or internationally, bringing a baby into your home can be a time filled with joy but even this joy has both laughter and tears that you need to be aware of.
Going into the adoption process knowing the pros and cons will prepare you for what’s to come.
Fully Understanding the Adoption Process
Once you and your partner have decided to make what is no doubt a life-changing step in your lives, it’s imperative that you fully understand the adopting process.
The more you understand about the procedure, the better able you’ll be to manage it all when it comes to all the paperwork that you have to fill out, and the interviews you’ll have to sit through.
Keep in mind that the adoption process involves a lot of screening of both new parents.
The complexity of this is so that all parties in the adoption agreement are protected. Once you decide that adopting is for you, take some time to gather together as much information as you can find.
And then find an adoption agency with which you’re comfortable.
Ask as many questions as you need to so that you know exactly what you’re getting into, and what’s expected of you and the agency. The more you know the less anxiety you’ll experience.
What’s Best for You: Domestic or International Adoption?
One of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether you’re going adopt domestically or internationally. When you adopt domestically you may be able to opt for an open adoption where you’ll be able to have contact with the birth parents.
With international adoption, you won’t be able to have any contact at all. This may not matter to you but you might want to consider what the impact will be on your child as he or she gets older.
Many adopted children place a lot of importance on finding out as much information as they can about their birth parents. Another thing to know about international adoption is that you may not be able to adopt a newborn baby from foreign countries.
The reason for this is that by the time all the paperwork is completed your baby maybe six months or older. As well, many countries hold on to newborn babies and attempt adoption within their own borders before allowing a child to be adopted internationally.
Base your decision on what you feel is going to be best for your new family in the future.
The Emotional Highs and Lows of Adoption
Once you and your partner have gone through the emotions of not being able to have a baby of your own, the answer to adopting can seem like the ideal option.
However, it’s important to remember that bringing home your new baby is a lifelong responsibility. You’ll be responsible for your baby legally, financially, physically, and emotionally.
Make sure that you ask yourself if you’re ready for all this responsibility and change in your life. If you’re adopting because of infertility, where are you in the grieving process?
Have you coped fully with the emotions of not being able to have your own children?
When It All Falls Through
The waiting period for adopting a newborn baby can be anywhere from 2 to 5 years. And then even when you think that all the paperwork is in place there are still circumstances that can occur to take away your dream of bringing your new baby home.
Depending on where you live, the birth mother has a certain amount of time to make her final decision about giving her baby up for adoption.
Even when you’ve been matched with a birth mother and have been part of an open adoption process you still have to accept that it’s her legal right to change her mind.
Until all the requirements have been finalized in court the adoption is not yet legal and absolute.
Parenting Your Adopted Baby
The final and most important step in the entire adopting process is being parents to your adopted baby. This is the time that you’ve been waiting and dreaming for. It may take some time for you to adjust.
After all, you’ve gone from being childless to caring for a baby almost overnight. You may have had months to prepare for the day that you bring your baby home but there will still be some adjustments that you have to make.
Take advantage of the counseling services that most adoption agencies provide. Join an adoption support group so that you can talk and socialize with other families who are going through the same emotions and experiences that you are.
Most importantly, enjoy the laughter, tears, and surprises of being parents!