Many couples that are unable to conceive turn to adoption to grow their families. How does one choose which child they want to adopt?
The process of adoption can be lengthy and expensive. The first step is to take a realistic look at your budget and the expectations you have for your family. Do you want to adopt from America or overseas? Do you want to choose a child from a developing nation in order to give him or her a better life? Is it important for you to have a child that resembles you and your partner physically? Are you open to adopting a child with special needs? The answers to these questions will go a long way in determining which child you choose to adopt since the time frame and budget required to engage in the process can vary significantly with these options.
After you determine the cultural location and physical capabilities of the child you want to adopt, the next step is to find an adoption agency that specializes in that area. This part of your family planning is very important. While there are many reputable, helpful agencies to choose from, there are also some whose motives are less than pure. Although not common, there have been instances of foreign children being taken from their homes and “sold” into the cross cultural adoption process. Check all references and available business information very carefully when selecting the agency you wish to work with.
Once you find the agency you want to work with, a case worker will review individual children with you. Some parents giving up their children for adoption may wish to have contact with the child. Is that something you are open to? Some prefer to cut off contact completely. How would you handle this if your child asked about their birth parents later on in life? Think about the long term possibilities as you examine the photos and case histories of each child.
Family background may be important if choosing and older child. Sometimes issues such as religion or alcoholism come into play, disrupting the family balance. While it is nice to think that when the child enters your home a loving, caring family is instantly born, that is not always the case. All families created from birth parents or adoptive parents, require time, patience and energy to bond with their children. When a child of adoption enters the home, this bonding process can take even longer. If the child is older and been raised with a set of values that oppose the adoptive parents' views, bonding can be difficult and strained.
Adoption is a wonderful process that creates families and brings together children in need of parents with parents in need of children. It is often a rewarding experience that significantly changes the lives of all involved for the better. It is important to remember, however, that due to the significance of this decision, one must weigh all possible outcomes and scenarios before selecting the child that will call you mom or dad.
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