Have you been thinking about adopting a child? If so, that is one of the most wonderful and selfless things that you could ever do. As a matter of fact, according to AdoptUsKids.org, there are approximately 250,000 children who enter into the foster care system on an annual basis and more than half of them remain in the system once they do. This means that there are 125,000 children each year who find themselves needing a safe and loving home environment.
However, because adopting a child is such a big responsibility, before you start to seriously consider it, we have provided you with a list of five things that we think you should keep in mind before committing to the adoption process:
It can take a really long time to finalize. Although there are a lot of children who need homes, adoption is not as simple as meeting a child and taking them home the next day or even the next week. There is quite a bit of red tape and fine print that must be addressed and sometimes that can take several months up to even a couple of years. So, if you want to adopt a child, one of the main things to consider is that it will require a lot of patience on your part.
Adoptions can sometimes fall through at the last minute. If you’ve ever seen a movie where someone was close to bringing their adopted child home, only to find out that the adoption didn’t full go through, that is not a myth. Many adoption agencies allow the birth mother a certain amount of time to make sure if giving her child up is what she really wants to do and the reality is that sometimes, she changes her mind about the adoption altogether. Also, there are times when the birth father of the child contests the adoption. This means that sometimes the adoption process can be filled with rejection and unexpected disappointments. You must be prepared for that.
There can tend to be hidden fees. As with many things in life, something else that you want to keep in mind is that adoption agencies oftentimes come with hidden fees. For instance, when it comes to domestic adoptions, sometimes the potential adoptive parents are not made aware ahead of time that they are expected to be responsible for the birth mother’s living and medical expenses during her pregnancy and labor and delivery and that can add up to be a pretty costly undertaking. There’s definitely no room for assumption when it comes to addressing adoption fees before officially signing on the dotted line.
The child may have some serious health issues. This especially applies if you are adopting a child from overseas. Unfortunately, there are some agencies that do not do enough thorough research into a child’s background and medical history before passing them on to their adoptive parents. That is why some people prefer to start off with being a foster parent through an agency such as Xcel2000 Fostering and then apply to adopt a child that they have come to personally know over time. However, if you do decide to go with an international adoption, make sure to ask a doctor to review the information that the adoption agency provides on the child so that they can help you to find a pediatrician on the American Academy of Pediatrics website who specializes in international adoptions. (Yes, there are some that do.)
You may need to take some baby classes. When a woman is birthing a baby, there tends to be many classes that cater to getting her ready for bringing her baby home. This isn’t always the case when the mom is an adoptive mother. Therefore, make sure to ask your adoption agency, local hospitals and even online mommy forums about any classes and courses that might be available so that you can be as prepared as possible for when your new family addition arrives to your home.