Knowing What You’re Getting In To With an Adoption
Many couples consider adoption because they cannot have children of their own, or they believe there are enough children in the world who don’t have parents or a place to call home. Whatever their reason, adoption is a respectable decision, although not an easy one. The adoption process, while full of hope, is not an easy one and will test the patience, values, and relationships between couples that go through it. While the ultimate goal in adoption is to provide a home for a child who does not have one, it can be a long road full of disappointment and heartache. But hopefully in the end it will be a story of love and coming home.
If you are interested in adoption, the first thing you’ll want to do is contact an adoption agency or adoption lawyer to help you in the process. In some states you need both an adoption agency and lawyer to get the process completed. You’ll want to ask about the specific laws in your state. Because adoption is actually a legal process, most people cannot navigate the adoption waters on their own. Having a qualified individual helping you along the way will be a tremendous comfort. If you do go with an adoption agency, be sure of their practices and always protect yourself first and foremost. Many people fail to sign a contract and get things in writing, only to end up losing money and find themselves with less money and still no child. Never, ever give an agency or individual money without doing a background check, contacting the better business bureau and checking their references. It may be tempting to give someone money to help put a child you’re your arms, but you should always check out the agencies track record before you put any trust in them.
Most agencies will help walk you through the stages of adoption from deciding if you are really ready for adoption, what expectations you have of the child from its sex, age, and physical characteristics. The agency will also set up meetings with couples who want to give their children up for adoption, walk through the placement process and termination of the biological parents’ rights, and post adoption placement steps. Adoption is a huge undertaking, but with the right agency it doesn’t have to be a mind-boggling task. So, when you search for an agency that is just right for you, don’t settle for one that doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies and distinct feeling that they will support you 100% throughout the adoption endeavor.
In addition to arming yourself with the people you need to get the adoption process rolling and completed properly, you need financial backing. The adoption process includes legal fees, travel expenses, and payment to an adoption agency or lawyer and will cost you tens of thousands of dollars on the conservative side. It really is an expensive process no matter how you go about it. Adoption is complicated, which makes it expensive, but in the end when you lay eyes on your child you would be willing to jump through the hoops and pay the money all over again.
When you get into the adoption process you’ll quickly learn that you might not be able to get a child next month, or even next year. Sometimes the adoption process takes a very long time, especially if you want a baby or very young child. Many times with a new baby adoptions will fall through, so you need to be prepared that the first possible adoption may not actually happen. Your adoption agency will be able to give you the particulars about how often adoptions fall through, and if contracts have been signed. Ultimately, you are adopting someone else’s child, and if it falls through, it should be a celebration for that child, that their biological parents decided to keep them. Your adoption agency will help you prepare for the chance that your adoption, no matter how sound it seems, may fall through.
Because adoption tends to take a long time when you have specifics about age, sex, or nationality an international adoption may be for you. Many times international adoptions can be done much more quickly because there are so many children waiting to be adopted other countries will expedite the process to get the children into homes and make room for others who are just coming into the system. It’s always a good idea to think about all of your options ahead of time.
If you are looking to adopt a child and do not have specifics regarding sex, age, or nationality then chances are the adoption process will be completed much more quickly. As long as you have a clean criminal record, hold a steady job, and appear to be a stable individual there is a child out there that would love to be a part of your family. How picky you are will often determine how long the placement process takes. A good portion of people adopting want a newborn baby, and there just are not as many newborns available so these hopeful parents are essentially put on a waiting list. Many agencies also consider newborn adoptions the highest risk because many biological parents back out of the adoption once the baby has been born.
It’s important to realize that once an adoption is complete it’s still very much a part of who you are. No matter who you are, the process is life altering and many agencies recommend therapy during the initial bonding stages to help the whole family adjust to their new life together. While many families anticipate the experience of bringing their adopted child home, it can be difficult to adjust once the adoption is a reality.
Being open to the whole process and letting things come as they may will determine how well you get through the whole adoption process. Having faith there is a child out there that is meant to become a part of your family will get you through the selection process, the placement process, and the revocation of the biological parents rights without sweating it too much. Adoption is a beautiful thing, but it is also complicated and trying. Going into the process with a good attitude will make the most trying adoption less stressful and make the homecoming of your new child even more joyous.
There are several types of adoptions including open, semi-closed, and closed. There has long been debate over whether open or closed adoptions are the best choice and many couples new to the adoption process are unaware of the differences and how they might affect their future child and their family life. However, future adoptive parents can make themselves aware of the differences and truly be able to make an informed decision when it comes to adoption.
An open adoption is when the birth parents and adoptive parents are introduced for the sake of creating a relationship before, during and after the adoption process. The two sets of parents may stay in touch after the baby is born through phone calls, written letters, email, or even visits if both the adoptive and natural parents are comfortable with this.
In general, open adoption is the preferred method because the birth and adoptive parents are known to the child and involved in the child’s life. This means the child grows up knowing who his biological parents are, why they gave him up for adoption, and the adoptive parents that so lovingly care for him. Researchers have studied the benefits and drawbacks to all types of adoptions and find open adoption to be best for the child simply because the child does not have to wonder where he came from or why he is in the situation. With open adoption the child will always know his roots and be able to ask any questions in order to clear up any confusion which results in a happier and healthier child with fewer psychological problems or emotional issues.
This is not to say with open adoptions the biological parents will be involved in the child’s life on a day to day basis, but rather to say that the biological parents will be available or involved as much as they wish and the adoptive parents allow. The best is for the child and adoptive parents to have an open and honest relationship with the biological parents, but not mix the parenting roles so as not to confuse the child.
Closed adoptions occur when the birth parents decide they do not want to have any contact with the adoptive parents or their child once it is given up for adoption. As a result, the entire process is confidential as well as the birth parents’ identities. The birth parents may also decline to receive any updates on the child in the form of photos or letters detailing the child’s progress.
With a closed adoption the adoptive child has no idea who his birth parents are or what his true biological roots are, not to mention why he was put up for adoption in the first place. As a result, the child will likely have emotional and psychological problems as a result of this. When children don’t know why they were put up for adoption all they can do is speculate and usually they imagine they were the problem, something was wrong with them or they were not good enough for the biological parents to want to keep them. This could not be farther from the truth, but little minds do a lot of thinking and if the answers are not clear to them their minds will create one. So, this is the drawback to closed adoptions, that is unless the child never knows he was adopted and this is not necessarily fair to the child either.
Closed adoption is really hard on the biological parents as well because they brought a child into the world and then never have any clue how the child is or what the child is doing. Of course, many potential adoptive parents believe if someone is willing to give their child up then they don’t have the right to be involved in their child’s life. However, if someone is giving their child up for adoption it could be due to many reasons and an open adoption allows them to take part in the child’s life as much as the adoptive parents determine. Sometimes this is a photo each year and sometimes it is actual outings. This is a very small reward to give someone who is giving you their child. A closed adoption does not allow this at all whereas with an open adoption the child will at least know who his birth parents are and may be able to decide when he is older if he wants to know them or not. Regardless, a closed adoption is likely to cause confusion and emotional problems for your child whereas an open adoption can help ease this confusion a bit.
Making the choice for an open or closed adoption is certainly a difficult process because many parents want a closed adoption so they do not have to worry about their child knowing their birth parents and one day losing the child to his birth parents. These fears are normal and understandable in adoptive parents, however for the well being of your child you should educate yourself on open and closed adoptions and see all the real benefits open adoption has for your child. Once you deal with your fears concerning open adoption you will realize you have nothing to worry about and will end up with a more balanced and well adjusted child than if you choose closed adoption.
Also, once you meet the birth parents this might calm your fears a bit and you may be able to be involved throughout the pregnancy. With an open adoption your child will know that his birth parents loved him but were simply unable to care for him due to age, financial status, or fear of being able to properly care for a child. When your child realizes his birth parents made the best possible choice for his well being by placing him with his adoptive parents he will not have the emotional issues that result when adopted children come to the conclusion they were not good enough to be loved by their birth parents. In many cases this is completely wrong, but studies show that adopted children frequently have these feelings regardless of the love their adoptive family gives them.
Because of your child it is important to realize he has a connection with his birth parents and has a right to know who they are, why the gave him up for adoption, and that he was loved. Bury your fears about open adoption and one day losing your child to the birth parents and choose open adoption in order to have the healthiest, happiest and most well adjusted child possible.
© Kir.org – All Rights Reserved.