It all begins with one question - "Am I ready to be a parent?"
Adoption is the permanent addition of a baby, toddler, or older child to your family. This means you are that child's legal, forever parent, as if you gave birth to the child. You become responsible emotionally, physically, financially and legally for this child.
Are you ready for this responsibility?
- Do you have the emotional capability to parent a child that may have in some cases, emotional issues? Be aware that sometimes these emotional needs may not surface until several years after the adoption has been finalized.
- Are you ready for the "long haul," meaning that you are this child's parent until the age of 18 and beyond. Yes, this means through the teen years too!
- Are you ready to help the child cope with his grief and loss issues over birth family? This is also relevant with infant adoption. Babies grieve too.
- If you already have children in your home, are they ready for an addition to the family? It's important that all members of the family be a part of the decision to adopt.
If you are adopting due to infertility issues
- How are you coping with infertility?
- Have you grieved your loss?
- Do you understand that completing an adoption, or if the adoption falls through, may bring these issues to the surface again?
Age of the adoptive parent, does it matter?
- Ask your doctor for his/her opinion on your decision to parent.
- Think of your strength and agility, would an older child be a better option for your family?
- Know that some international adoption programs have a limit on the adoptive parent's age.
- Consider the age of the child. An infant may not be the best choice for an older adoptive parent.
What are the physical limitations of your environment?
- Is your home large enough?
- Do you have enough bedrooms to accommodate a child?
- How about your vehicle?
- Do you need to fence your yard to accommodate a younger child's play space?