Having a child is the most rewarding experience that life has to offer. The joy is immense and completely worth the effort. When you decide to bring a child into your family, you may feel overwhelmed, eager and excited.
While this is a great thing, it is important for you to stop for a moment and consider the commitments that you be will required to make. Adopting a child requires investments in terms of finances, time and energy and also entail a great deal of responsibility that you not only need to be willing to take, but will have to project to the adopting agencies.
When trying to figure out whether adoption is right for you, here are some considerations that will help you be sure:
- Your reason for adopting
It goes without saying that your primary reason for adopting is that you want a child in your life. However, each family's reason for adoption is significantly deeper than this. You may be trying to conceive and facing difficulty, be medically unfit to conceive or simply wish to adopt to complete your family.
All these reasons will give you the necessary drive and motivation to step into a lengthy, expensive and sometimes stressful procedure to make it through the unique challenges of being an adoptive parent.
However, if you have experienced a miscarriage or are struggling with infertility, you may need to take a step back and make peace with your situation before you start the pre-adoption research. Also, if you're in a difficult relationship, think twice about the negative impact that it may have on your adopted child. Are you willing to keep the safety, happiness and needs of the child above yours? If the answer is yes, adoption may be the right choice for you.
- Commitments of adoption
As mentioned above, the adoption procedure can be expensive, depending on the type and procedures involved. An adoption can cost up to 50,000 USD. This cost varies significantly for different adoption options such as adopting via a foster care centers which is relatively inexpensive or going for an international adoption which could cost even more. The entire process requires extensive paper work, interviews, traveling and may take up anywhere between a few months to over a year. You may want to explore various financing methods and support options like loans, credit cards, adoption tax credit and employer's assistance to make it work.
Moreover, on average raising a child costs around 12000 - 15000 USD each year. It is also important to know that once you bring your child home, your manner of living will change immensely. Your life like any parent's life will begin to revolve around your child.
If you are doubtful about making such a commitment or don't feel too enthusiastic about it, you may want to wait until you're ready. On the other hand, an eagerness to make these commitments and embrace a new and unexpected lifestyle is a sign that you are ready to adopt. To get a better idea, you can also take parenting classes or talk to adoptive families about their experiences.
- Caring for someone else's born
The idea of adopting and caring for a child that isn't your flesh and blood may mean different things to different people. You may find the thought strange or difficult, or may look forward to it. Even though you will not experience pregnancy or go through labor, it is important to know that once your child comes home he/she is yours to look after.
We meet our partners and forge an everlasting bond with them even though they are unrelated to us, similarly, there is no reason for you to be doubtful about whether you'll love your adopted child like your own.
However should you have the slightest apprehension, it's better to wait and explore your feelings further before you begin the adoption process.
- Your child's age
Another important consideration is the age of your child and whether you are eager to bring home a child with special needs. You may be of the view that adopting a new born will allow you to experience the joys of raising a child through his/her early years.
Or you may feel that looking after an infant will be too demanding and therefore you wish to adopt an older child. Caring for a special child can be extremely rewarding but at the same time it will require routine medical examinations. All these prospects have unique demands and you should see what suits you best.
- The type of adoption
While adopting, you can consider local or international adoption. For an international adoption, you will need to contact a private adoption agency. Whereas, for adopting locally you can contact a private agency, social services or adoption attorneys and facilitators.
You will also need to decide whether an open, semi-open or a closed adoption would work best for you. In the case of closed adoptions, the birth parents and adoptive parents never meet one another.
However, these days most adoptions are either semi-open or open, whereby, the adoptive parents meet and get to know each other prior to the adoption. After the adoption, the adoptive parents may frequently update the birth parents about the well-being of their child or the birth parents may be a huge part of their child's life. The degree of interaction will depend upon the discretion of the parties involved.
Adoption is a fulfilling, joyful experience that also comes with its own set of challenges. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to learn more about the process involved. You can research, talk to adoptive parents or talk to a counselor to help you get started.