People opt for adoption for a lot of reasons. Some people resort to adopting a child due to fertility issues. Some decide to adopt because they don’t want to give birth or have married quite late. Some people also choose to adopt special needs children, refugees, or children in foster care for philanthropic reasons.
Are you looking to adopt due to one of the reasons mentioned, as a single parent, or for reasons of your own? Then you need to consider a number of things if you want to adopt a child, be it public or private adoption.
First, and most importantly, you must ensure that you’ll love the child just like your biological child.
1. Ensure That You Can Love a Child Who’s Not Biologically Yours
Before you adopt a child, ask yourself if you’ll be able to love them the way you would love your biological child. Make sure you’re clear about your motivations and are mentally prepared to face the challenges ahead.
If you want to raise a special needs child, prepare mentally and financially to take care of them with love and proper care. You can also talk to other parents who have adopted children to understand the experience and challenges.
2. Decide Whether You Want a Public or Private Adoption
When deciding on adoption, you need to determine if you want a private or public adoption.
Public or Foster Adoption
Public adoption is your best option if you’re willing to adopt an older child. These usually happen through foster care agencies with connections severed from the biological family most of the time.
The foster care agency will study your home before proceeding to sign adoption papers. They will observe you for a few months after adoption to ensure that you’re treating the adopted child well.
Private or Independent Adoption
Private or independent adoption takes place directly between the biological and adoptive parents. This is a very common adoption choice in many states in the US, such as Florida, Georgia, California, Washington, etc., and you can even adopt a baby.
Let’s say that you and your partner are high-net-worth individuals who are residents in one of these states, or you’re a high-net-worth person willing to be a single parent. You can contact an Atlanta high net worth adoption firm and adopt a child directly from a family.
3. Get Your Finances in Order
However you choose to adopt, you will need to ensure that you have your finances in order.
Raising a child takes a lot of money and resources, and there are bound to be many unexpected expenses as the child grows up. Besides that, you need to ensure quality education for your child, which doesn’t come cheap.
4. Check the Child’s Background
The child you’re willing to adopt may have a family history of health issues or may have come from an abusive family.
Before you adopt the child, do a thorough check on these matters. Think about the needs of the child and their previous foster home experiences. These will help you to understand them better and raise them properly.
If you suspect the child came from an abusive family but they aren’t opening up about it, you can help them with resources such as books on abuse for young children. They’ll express certain things non-verbally, so you have to be attentive to what they’re communicating.
5. Decide on a Closed or Open Adoption
A closed adoption is when you don’t want the biological parents or any biological relative to have any connection with your adopted child. Open adoption is when you adopt a child but let the birth parents have regular contact with them.
Before you adopt a child, choose if you want them to be still connected to their biological family or not. Staying connected to them can have both benefits and drawbacks, depending on the situation.
6. Prepare Your Home for Your Adopted Child
After you have decided on the adoption process and chosen the child you want to adopt with a thorough background search, it’s time to prepare your home for them.
Of course, you’ll need to prepare a room for the child, but you also need to make sure that your house feels homey and friendly. A lot of it depends on the chemistry between you and your partner and with anyone else in the family.
You need to ensure that your child is safe and secure in your house in every way possible. You can even build a study or playroom with books to help them become brave or learn to paint, or educational books that will take them on a journey to a different dimension!
7. Decide on an Agency or Lawyer
Once you’ve decided whether you want an open or closed adoption, you can decide on the type of agency you want. An independent adoption agency will help you get an open adoption, whereas a foster care agency can help with a closed adoption.
8. Prepare Your Paperwork
Your lawyer will help you prepare the paperwork according to your needs, your adopted child, and the biological family. The paperwork will have all the conditions of the adoption, along with the names of all the involved parties.
9. Be Patient
Getting the child you want to adopt isn’t an easy task. One thing you must have throughout this entire process is patience. The procedures can be lengthy and daunting, but necessary to ensure you are fully prepared for the road ahead.
It can take time to build a connection with the child, and if they come with a traumatic history, you’ll need to be very patient with them.
There are a lot of delicate subjects that you may need to talk about or deal with. You must handle these things carefully, as raising a child, no matter how old they are, can be a challenging job. It’s gratifying, though, at the end of the day!
10. Ensure You’re in Good Health
The last but definitely not the least thing to ensure is that you’re in good health. Raising a child, whether adoptive or biological, takes a lot of physical and mental effort. You’ll need to be present for them all the time, for school events, for studies, for fun times, for bedtimes, etc.
If you adopt an older child, understand that they may come with trauma. Seeing you in chronic bad health, or losing you due to health problems can affect them negatively, and they may spiral back.
Adoptive children may have already lost their biological parents in some way. You have to ensure they don’t lose you due to health reasons.
Adopting a child is a challenge in itself while raising them is another. From deciding what kind of child you want to adopt to visiting public or private adoption agencies, it can take time. The legal process can be lengthy following building a relationship with the new member.
If you’re planning to adopt a child, you need to consider these ten things listed as a minimum and many more. However adopting is very admirable, and we hope you have a smooth adoption process and happy family life.