Deciding to Adopt a Child: Questions Prospective Adoptive Parents Should Consider

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There are as many reasons for choosing adoptions as there are families. While many couples choose to adopt after struggling with fertility problems, other families do so out of a desire to help needy children. Some may decide to adopt after the death of a biological child. In recent years, it has become more common for singles to adopt as single parents.

Prior to consulting with an or adoption attorney, families should consider think about the implications of adoption carefully and consider working with an adoption or family counselor to address any emotional or lifestyle issues prior to beginning the adoption home study process or paying agency fees.

Family Lifestyle and Adoption

Finances: Is the family able to pay their bills every month and cover basic expenses such as housing, food, healthcare, and transportation? Does the adoptive family have money enough money saved to cover daily expenses in the event of a major illness or job loss?

Relationship: Do the prospective adoptive parents have a strong relationship? Is the couple able to communicate effectively and disagree without arguing?

Support system: Does the family have a support system in place to help them care for the adopted child?

Existing children: If the family already has children, do they feel comfortable in their role as parents? How do the existing children feel about having an adopted sibling?

Emotional health: Do both partners feel emotionally equipped to care for an adopted child who might have special needs? Are the adoptive parents able to remain calm in stressful situations?

Health: Does one or both adoptive parents have any medical problems that may impact the child’s lifestyle?

Parenting an Adopted Child

Education and discipline: Do both parents have similar views on parenting, including how the adopted child will be disciplined and educated?

Views on adoption: How do the prospective adoptive parents feel about raising a child that will not be related to them by blood? How will the adoptive parents react if they have difficulty bonding with their child?

Respecting the adopted child’s past: It is important for adopted children understand of their origins and culture. Are the adoptive parents willing to learn about their child’s culture and take part in activities that will help the adoptee appreciate her origins?

Birthparents: Are the adoptive parents willing to answer questions about the child’s birth family? How will the family feel if their older adopted child wants to find her birth parents? Does the family have ideas about how they will make their adopted child continue to feel like a part of the family if she begins to question her identity?

Questions about the adoption process: Does the family feel prepared to discuss the adoption with friends and family? Is the family prepared to answer the child’s questions about her birth family and the circumstances of her adoption as she gets old enough to understand the meaning of adoption?

Potential Difficulties in Adopting a Child

Post-adoption counseling: Is the family and adoption counseling if they have any difficulties bonding with the child or regret their decision to adopt? Are the adoptive parents willing to speak candidly with a therapist about the family’s problems?

Dedication: Are both adoptive parents committed to caring for the adopted child no matter what difficulties they may encounter? Does the family understand that adopting a child is a permanent decision and that children cannot be returned to the agency or orphanage once the adoption finalized?

Characteristics of Strong Adoptive Families

Effective adoptive families are open-minded, reliable, patient, flexible, committed and empathetic. They have gas strong family and community support systems and can communicate their feelings well, both with their adopted child and counselors and social workers.

Strong adoptive families are also willing to answer the difficult questions about adoption and not feel overwhelmed if they cannot find easy answers. They, instead, focus their energy on coming up with solutions that will help them provide the best home possible for their adopted child.

Strong adoptive families are also willing to answer the difficult questions about adoption and not feel overwhelmed if they cannot find easy answers. They, instead, focus their energy on coming up with solutions that will help them provide the best home possible for their adopted child.

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