There is no typical adoptive parent. Age-wise, many fall into the 30-40 range but can be younger and there has been a trend of much older. Most are married but there are also many single parents looking to adopt. Adoptive parents come from all different walks of life, rich – poor, famous – not famous, tall and short. There are relative adoptions and non relative adoptions. The reasons for adoption are varied but the number one reason is usually “infertility”, in fact about 95% of couples who look to adoption for family building are infertile.
There are many issues that you must work through before deciding to adopt. First and for-most, Is Adoption Right For You? If you are coming to adoption from infertility, have you resolved the emotional issues of not being able to have a biological child? Have you discussed the option of adoption thoroughly with your partner? Is adoption good enough for you? Here are a few thoughts to look at to assess your Adoption Readiness:
1. Why do you want to adopt a child?
2. How do your family members feel about adoption? If they are unsupported how will you protect your adopted child from negative feelings?
3. How financially secure is your family? How will you pay for the adoption?
4. How do you feel about birth parents? What role do you think they should have in your life?
5. How do you feel about a social worker prying into your life? How comfortable are you about sharing information about your finances and your marriage with a social worker?
6. Do you have a history such as a criminal history that might not allow you to adopt a child and how will you explain this to a social worker?
7. How important is it that a child looks like you?
8. If you have biological children, how will an adopted child fit into your family? Can you love an adopted child as deeply as you do your biological child?
9. How long are you willing to wait to adopt a child?
10. How will you handle a situation if an adoption falls through, such as the birth mom chooses to parent after the child is born?
11. How and when would you talk to your child about adoption and hi/her birth family?
12. Why would a child want to become a member of your family? What are your strengths as an adoptive parent?
13. Have you resolved your feelings about infertility?
A few more questions:
* If you are married is your marriage stable?
* Can you change your lifestyle to fit in a child?
* Are you healthy, physically and emotionally?
* Can you afford the costs associated with raising a child?
* What are the pros and cons of adopting?
Many of you will say..couples having biological children don’t have to answer all of these questions, why do we? Adoption puts you under a microscope, and as unfair as it may seem to some it really does protect the child in the end.There are a lot of great books available on adoption. Read some that talk about adoption dynamics and raising adopted children, along with the How to Adopt books. If you are not honest with yourself and your family, and adoption is not right for you,(and that’s okay) the child you bring into your home FOREVER is the one who is going to suffer. Screening helps to prevent this. If you are just starting on your journey, take some time and honestly decide whether adoption is right for you.