Choosing to adopt is a life-changing decision, which means you need to make sure that you’re prepared for every possible eventuality. Here are some things to consider beforehand…
There’s no underestimating how monumental a decision to adopt is. Whether you’re a single parent, or a couple who is looking to grow your family, adoption will permanently change your life. So, for that reason, you need to be sure that you’re making the right decision.
There are plenty of considerations you need to make if you want to adopt. These range from seemingly trivial decisions, such as how you’ll decorate your adopted child’s room, to the more serious, such as choosing the right family law solicitor to work with.
In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at eight things you should consider before you choose to adopt. This way, you can be sure that you’re making the right decision – both for yourself and any children you choose to bring into your family.
8 Things to Keep in Mind When Adopting
Pursuing Alternative Fertility Options
Many couples who are struggling to conceive jump to the conclusion that the only option available to them is adoption. This certainly isn’t the case!
There are countless alternative fertility options available to couples who have fertility problems. These range from medicines to surgical procedures, depending on the specific issue at hand. Even if you’re not in a relationship and you still want a child, you can explore potential options, such as egg donation.
To find out more, it’s certainly worth speaking to your doctor, who can then refer you to a fertility specialist.
Understand the Law Surrounding Adoption
If you’re considering adoption, then you need to make sure that you get to grips with the law surrounding it before you go any further. While this piece of advice isn’t here to put you off in any way, it should certainly be noted that there are lots of legalities surrounding the procedure. Many of these can trip up anyone who isn’t properly informed.
When making an application, you need to make sure that you have certain legal documents readily available, as well as factual information about you and your household. You also need to keep in mind the fact that you’ll undergo a police check to ensure you don’t have any prior convictions that would prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent.
When an adopted child reaches the age of 18, they are legally entitled to look for their birth family and make contact if they wish. This is usually done online via a tracing agency such as Bond Rees, or even via social networks. Children under 18 may also attempt to contact birth families using these channels.
An experienced family law solicitor who specialises in adoption law should be able to give you all the advice you need if you’re ready to get the adoption process underway.
Get to Grips with the Timescales
Patience is key when it comes to adoption. Many prospective adoptive parents aren’t ready for the fact that the process can be very long-winded and tedious. This is especially so if there is no set timeframe for being matched with an appropriate child.
Some people may be lucky enough to wait just weeks – others may be forced to wait for years. If you’re able to get to grips with the timescales involved, the adoption process should be that much easier.
Decide on the Age of Child You Want to Adopt
As you’ll probably already be aware, you’ll have to make a decision on the age of the child you want to adopt. Babies and toddlers are understandably adopted very quickly, as parents will often want to raise the child with their values from a young age.
This means that the competition for younger children is much higher among adopting parents, increasing the time it might take to find a suitable child. This is also in contrast to the fact that the majority of children in need of adopting are between the ages of nine and 20.
Many Children Waiting to be Adopted Have Siblings
If you’re thinking about adopting a single child, you may encounter some difficulties. Many children who are waiting to be adopted have siblings, which means they would likely be adopted together.
It may be daunting for first-time parents to adopt siblings, but it can also make the experience much easier. Children with siblings are likely to be much less intimidated and can settle in much easier.
Consider How Your Pre-Existing Family Feels
When you’re thinking about adoption, you need to remember that it’s a decision that will affect your whole family. It’s not just you and your partner who will be involved in looking after the child – the rest of your family may be as well.
You also need to consider how any pre-existing children you have may be affected by your decision. The last thing you’ll want is for your children to be negatively affected by a dramatic change to your family dynamic.
How the Relationship with the Child’s Biological Parents Will Work
Adoptive children will naturally want to know more about their biological parents, or even want to keep in contact with them. That’s something you’ll inevitably have to deal with at one point or another. So, you need to pay close attention to how the relationship with the child’s biological parents will work.
Research from Adoption UK found that 58 percent of adoptive families felt that contact with the biological family had been a destabilising factor in their family. So, you’ll need to carefully assess the situation and be prepared to make tricky decisions.
Prepare for an Adjustment Period
There’s always going to be an adjustment period where you – the adoptive family – and a newly adopted child get used to the brand-new circumstances. This adjustment period may be rather difficult but, if you’re prepared for it, it will certainly help to smooth things out.
You need to remember that, just because you might be experiencing difficulties during the adoption process, it certainly doesn’t mean that you’ve made the wrong decision.
Are You Interested in Adopting?
In this post, we’ve covered eight things you will need to consider if you’re thinking about adopting. It may seem like an overwhelming prospect at first, but with the right amount of research and preparation, you will be in a position to provide a loving home for any child.
Are you thinking about adopting, or have you adopted in the past? If so, feel free to leave a comment with your own pieces of advice that you think other parents should be aware of.