Parents who are preparing for adoption are likely to be filled with nervous excitement. The process of adopting can seem intimidating and many may wonder whether they even qualify. Most adoptive parents take the time to ask themselves if they are truly ready before moving forward since raising another human being is a big deal. The best way to learn about adoption is to talk with an adoption specialist and lawyer for insight and to have their questions answered.
Where do I even begin with learning about adoption?
To prepare yourself for adoption, begin researching to ensure that this is going to be the right path for both you, your partner, and other family members living in the home. Consider the various types of adoption to decide what is the best fit, whether that is domestic infant adoption, foster care adoption, international adoption, transracial adoption, and embryo adoption.
Your lawyer can talk with you about the pros and cons of each scenario, and whether there are any legal steps you will have to take. You can even meet with expecting birth mothers and those who have adopted children in the past to hear what the experience was like through their perspective.
How do I know if I am emotionally ready?
If you are thinking about adoption due to infertility, you may need time to grieve and move past goals of having a biological child of your own. Don’t hesitate to seek out a counselor for infertility in your area for extra support. Talk with your partner about what you are hoping and expecting from adoption to ensure you are on the same page. Get yourself familiar with the adoption process and mentally prepare for any challenges ahead by talking with your lawyer about potential road bumps and what documentation you will need to complete. Then, start to get excited about the prospect of adoption just as if you were conceiving naturally!
What are the adoption requirements?
Your lawyer can talk with you about the requirements for adoption based on state law and whether you are eligible for adoption. Parents who may not fit the criteria exactly must not be discouraged, as certain agencies may review and assess applications on a case-by-case basis. Once you decide what agency you want to pursue adoption through, your lawyer can walk you through the paperwork to ensure everything is filled out completely and there aren’t any errors. While the laws for adoption can vary greatly by state, in general, adoptive parents have to be at least 18 years old and there is a set age difference requirement between parents and adopted children.
Are there any home preparations I can start working on?
Home inspections by the adoption agency are common, so prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to start preparing at home once they know they are eligible to go through the adoption process. Here are just a few examples of tasks you can start today:
- Have a bedroom or space designated for the child
- Purchase basic necessities such as bottles, clothing, and diapers
- Perform “nesting” activities such as building a nursery
- Prepare a travel bag in case you are called suddenly to meet your child