Adoption is an amazing experience. Not only does your new child bless you enormously, but you impact that child’s life forever. Nothing about adoption is easy, however, especially if you’ve never been a parent before. These tips will help you to work through and embrace the difficulties of adoption.
Prepare Yourself for a Long Process
Educate yourself about the different types of adoption and what they entail. You’ll have to sign papers, go through a home study, hire an adoption attorney, and visit various adoption services and children or their birth parents. Some agencies try to complete your family within a year, whereas others have long waiting lists to adopt children. Meanwhile, do whatever any expectant parents would do: prepare yourself for your new child.
Budget for Your Child
Adoption is expensive. Adoption.com offers these estimates: “Domestic newborn adoptions (through both agencies and attorneys) generally cost between $20,000 and $40,000. Most international adoptions cost more than $35,000. Foster care adoptions generally cost little or no money.
Be Adaptable and Ready for Change
There is absolutely no way to be completely prepared for your child. Life is unpredictable, and things won’t turn out as you anticipate. You may not be matched with the child you imagined. According to the Adoption Support Center in Indiana, however, “You will get the child you are meant to raise.” Whichever child is chosen for your home, you will ultimately develop a close and loving bond.
Don’t Expect your Child to Immediately Thrive in his New Lifestyle
Many infants have been exposed to alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes inside the womb, while older children are sometimes traumatized by mistreatment. Many adopted children are institutionalized, meaning they suffer from a lack of positive social interaction in the institution in which they have been raised. It may take time to adjust.
Don’t Treat your Adopted Child Differently
There will naturally be an adjustment period during which your new child will need some special treatment. Over the long haul, however, don’t treat your adopted child differently than you would a biological child.
Consider Telling your Child they were Adopted
Remember those movies in which the protagonist was adopted as a baby, then deliriously shocked in adulthood when his parents first announced it? Although this may be an exaggerated example, keeping your child’s past a secret can result in distrust and secrecy in your relationship. Don’t feel badly if your child questions you regarding his biological parents or anything that happened prior to his life with you. Curiosity is natural.
Adoptive parents have reported feeling as bonded with their adopted children as they do with their biological children, and most say they have been positively impacted by having their adopted children in their lives. The experience of raising an adopted child is a beautiful one. You will find that, while sometimes challenging, adoption is well worth every effort.