So you’re considering adoption, but are you ready to adopt? Adoption is an incredibly rewarding, positive experience for both adopted children and their new parents. However the adoption process, to make sure that the adoption is right for both the adoptive parents and the child, can also be lengthy and complicated.
Even though you may want to adopt and feel like you’re ready to welcome a new child into your home, choosing to adopt also means committing to the complicated process of adoption. This means heavy paperwork, pre-adoption educational classes, financial and time commitments, and more. It can create a lot of stress for hopeful adoptive parents, and can even cause them to give up on the process entirely.
Additionally, while you may be fully committed to completing the adoption process in the beginning, sometimes life can get in the way. It is generally recommended not to begin the adoption process if you are expecting a major life change, such as a change in a relationship or a career.
If you are seriously considering adoption, we encourage you to assess whether or not you are currently able and willing to begin this journey. While the staff at Adoption STAR is dedicated to helping you through the steps of adoption, the majority of the work will fall upon you, the adoptive parents. Ultimately you must decide whether or not you are able to complete your adoption journey at this time.
Still unsure about whether or not you should begin the adoption process? Many Adoption STAR clients begin it, but never complete their paperwork or finish all of the requirements. Below are some of the most commonly cited reasons for being unable to finish.
If you are going through one or multiple of the situations listed below, we recommend that you consider whether or not adoption is right for you at this time.
1. IF YOU ARE UNDERGOING A SIGNIFICANT LIFE CHANGE, INCLUDING JOB, EDUCATION, OR LOCATION CHANGES. THESE INCLUDE:
Getting a PhD or similar.
Like adoption, achieving a higher degree or being enrolled in a university full-time is a complicated journey. It also may include a possible career or location change when you complete it. Both your education and the adoption process are long, work-intensive financial commitments, and we recommend you wait to begin trying to adopt until after you finish your education.
Changing your job or career.
Job changes often involve a lot of uncertainty, which will add additional stress while you are trying to navigate the adoption process. Wait until you have a stable work and financial situation before beginning your adoption journey.
Considering a move out of state.
One required part of the adoption process is a home study, and this must be conducted by your state of residence. Requirements in home study vary by state, so a move out of state would significantly complicate this step. Additionally, an out-of-state move can add stress to your life that may be difficult to handle while trying to adopt.
2. IF YOU ARE GOING THROUGH A RELATIONSHIP CHANGE, SUCH AS:
Balancing a major relationship change like a marriage with the adoption process can be overwhelming. Additionally, while you and your partner may be confident in wanting to adopt now, many things can change after marriage. Make sure that when you choose to adopt, you are able to provide a child with the most important thing: a safe, loving family.
Single and entering a new relationship.
The adoption process can be difficult for any relationship, and more so for a recent one. While you may be committed to the adoption journey, your new partner may not. If you choose to adopt with a partner, it is important to make sure the decision is a mutual one. You don’t ever want to feel forced to choose one thing over the other, so make sure your relationship status is stable (whether single or in a couple) before beginning the adoption process.
Fixing a relationship or marriage.
A new child is not a solution for a troubled relationship. Remember that the most important part about adoption is providing a safe and stable home for a child. Make sure that your relationship is stable, and both partners are on the same page about adoption, before you begin the process.
Taking care of a parent or close family member who is ill.
It can be time consuming and draining to have to care for an ill or elderly family member. It can be difficult to balance both this and preparing for a new child, so we recommend you wait until you can make adoption your priority before beginning this process.
3. IF YOU ARE EXPECTING OR CURRENTLY FACING A CHANGE IN YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION, INCLUDING:
Not being financially ready for adoption.
Depending on what type of adoption you choose, the adoption process can be expensive. Every type of adoption costs some money, so make sure you are aware of the costs before you begin and are stable in your financial situation before you start the process.
Buying a house or other large investment.
Committing to a long-term financial contract can place a lot of strain on your time and resources. This, and the choice to adopt, are both big life decisions. It is important that you are able to commit both financially and with your time before choosing to adopt.
4. IF YOUR MOTIVATIONS BEHIND WANTING TO ADOPT ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Wanting to give your child a sibling because they want a sibling.
Is your reason behind adoption solely motivated by your child’s desire for a sibling? While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, also think through your own personal motivations behind the adoption. Are you, the parents, prepared to welcome a new child into your home and provide for them?
Not being sure you want to parent.
Perhaps everyone around you seems to be having children or you feel pressured to become a parent, and you feel like this is the next logical “step.” Does parenthood seem like an obligation, or a “box” you need to check off? Think deeply about whether or not you want to be a parent, and make sure this is clear before you begin your adoption journey.
If you’re hesitant, or think that now may not be the best time to begin your adoption process, remember that this can always change. Choosing to adopt is not a choice to rush into, but adoption will always be a choice available to you in the future. You can always wait to begin the process until you are ready for it, and can provide the most stable, loving home for your new child.
Are you unsure about whether or not you are ready to begin your adoption journey? Our adoption professionals are happy to help! Call Adoption STAR at 1-800-691-3300 to learn more about what this process requires and discuss whether you are ready to adopt at this time.