From Adoption STAR’s perspective, pre-parenthood adoption education is a key element of adoption readiness.
As per our Adoptive Parent Services booklet:
“You have not even adopted and yet this is a critical time to help you explore who you are and how the decisions you make now will affect who you are as a parent. Pre-parenthood adoption education will give you the opportunity to discover your own strengths, examine the influences in your life, and speculate and dream about your future. Not everyone has thought seriously about themselves as potential parents, specifically potential adoptive parents.
Pre-parenthood adoption education allows you to take a look at the responsibilities of adoptive parenthood and the ways these responsibilities affect every aspect of your lifestyle. It introduces you to some basic principles of child development, and how you, as the parent, can begin sharing your child’s adoption story with him/her.
Pre-parenthood adoption education provides you an opportunity to think and learn about important aspects in adoption. It allows you to explore issues and areas of personal feelings when contemplating being an adoptive parent.”
One Adoption STAR client, a woman named Jennifer, had the following to say about the education that is a mandatory part of the Adoption STAR home study process:
“When we first heard that we would have to take classes, we thought of it as ‘something we HAD to do’ in order to adopt a child. Now we truly see the significance of the classes. They are great. Thanks for all the information!”
We don’t think Jennifer’s experience is atypical at all. Required education can seem like just another hoop to jump through in order to become approved as an adoptive parent. We sometimes find this feeling can be exacerbated for individuals or couples who have dealt with infertility issues. Regardless, after our clients adopt, they routinely tell us how much they appreciate the classes, how better prepared to parent they feel as a result of the taking the classes, or even something like this:
“How is it possible that people can have a baby without reading or taking classes on parenting? It seems illogical. Everyone should have to do it!”