If you've struggled to have your own children, adoption can be a great option to consider. This makes it possible for many children to get the home and family that they've always dreamed of. It's important to carefully think through this big decision, as it will greatly change your life. If you're thinking about adopting a child, here are four questions to think about.
Is Your Family Ready to Welcome This Change?
You want to make sure that your entire family is ready for this significant change. This isn't something that should only be discussed between you and your partner. Instead, think about the other children in your family, their own needs, and whether they will handle this change well. It's a good idea to have a family discussion to see how open everyone is to adoption. You want to make sure that you don't bring a child into your family if there are other issues that need to be addressed first.
How Will You Handle Your Child's Emotional Needs?
Many foster children and adopted children have extra emotional needs and trust issues. This is because many of these children have had rough upbringings (e.g. neglect, abuse, etc.). You need to think of a plan for how you will handle severe behavioral issues or mental illnesses such as depression. It can be worthwhile to invest in family therapy when you first bring a child into your family.
Do You Want an Open or Closed Adoption?
When you adopt, you can decide if you want an open or closed adoption. If you'd like the birth parents to have some part in your child's upbringing, open adoption may be right for you. If you want your child to be protected from the birth parents' past or volatile behavior and don't want contact, a closed adoption may be best. If you're not sure, an adoption counselor can help you better explore both options so that you know the pros and cons of each.
Have You Considered Fostering a Child First?
Before adopting, many families choose to go through the process of becoming foster parents. This can be a great way to get to know a child well before agreeing to adopt him or her. It can also serve as a way to introduce a new child to your home and family, to see how the experience goes. You can talk with a place like Our Children's Homestead to learn more about different foster experiences. There are many foster children out there who need a loving home. You may just find that you love your foster child so much that you want to give him or her a forever family.
Adopting a child can be a rewarding and life changing experience. Make sure that you consider the above so that you can make the best choice possible for your child and the rest of your family.