There are many ways to create a family, and you may consider adoption as the best option for you and your spouse. Adoption requires much trust, planning, and time, but it can also bring immense joy. If you have never adopted before, consider these 5 tips from adoptive parents.
While adoption is not a “traditional” way to bring a child into your home, it should still be celebrated traditionally. Don’t let anyone convince you that your child is not your “real child” or that you are not “real parents”. If someone asks to throw you a baby shower, gladly accept. Send out birth announcements, and ask friends and family to be at your home when you bring the baby home for the first time. All of these celebrations will honor your new life moving forward.
Save a LOT of Money
Adoption can turn into a lengthy process that requires much more money than you expected. A good rule of thumb is to save 2-3 times the amount of money you were told to save. Depending on where you adopt your child from, it can cost $1,000 (through foster care) or $25,000 (through a non-profit agency). Reduce stress and only start the adoption process once you have ample cash available for emergencies.
Respect Your Child’s Origins
If you want to adopt a child from a different country, remember to respect their birthplace and cultural heritage. Create cultural ties by celebrating holidays and teaching them about their home country’s traditions. When the child is old enough, you may consider taking them back to their country of origin so they can witness it firsthand.
Your Child Will Have Questions
Once your child is old enough to understand that they are adopted, they will inevitably have questions. Be open and answer any questions about the adoption process, what their birth mother was like, and why you decided to adopt. As your child gets older, they may fantasize about their “real parents” and be angry at you.
Hire a Lawyer
You need an advocate to help you navigate the complicated world of adoption. With legal documents and procedures galore, it’s best to hire an adoption lawyer for assistance. They can help you file the right papers, represent you in court if necessary, and apprise you of changing adoption laws.
As you prepare to bring a new child into your family, know that you are not alone. Build your support network and lean on them during hard times. And better yet, celebrate with them when the time comes.