There is a great deal of literature about what to expect when adopting. While it can be informative, very little of it can really prepare you for what it is like to adopt your first child. Adoption is an adventure, but the process to get to the adoption point can be just as much of an adventure. Don’t get discouraged as you set down this path! Below are just a few of the things you really should know about adopting your first child.
You Will Need a Home Study
One of the most important parts of the adoption process is ensuring your home is safe enough for the new addition to your family. You will have to have a home study performed, which will partially consist of an inspection of your home and partially consist of an inspection of your fitness as an adoptive parent.
This process is lengthy, intrusive, and often infuriating, but it is a necessity for those who wish to adopt. It helps any potential adoption agency know that you are financial, mentally, and physically able to take care of a new child. Though this can take some time it will feel great once you get this first big step out of the way and are cleared for a future child!
The Legal Requirements
It’s always important to remember that adoption is a legal process and thus requires the help of an attorney, like Johnson/Turner Legal. You may have to deal with issues like the termination of the birth parents’ rights or mandatory state waiting periods before the adoption can be finalized. You should also be prepared to deal with various state agencies during the lead-up to adoption, especially if you choose to adopt a child out of the foster system.
Adoption Can Be Traumatic
No matter what the situation, adoption will always have an element of trauma to it. Even if you are adopting an infant, that child will have a part of his or her life at a distance. You will have to work as a parent to make sure your child not only feels loved but that he or she is able to deal with the trauma related to adoption in a healthy manner. These issues may not crop up during your child’s early years, but they will eventually have to be dealt with.
It Is a Major Life Change
Adopting a child carries with it all the same burdens and joys as having a biological child, but with an extra weight. Your life is going to change forever in ways that you will not understand. Your child will have special challenges and you will not always have the answers. You will sometimes see your child and be struck by the realization that you don’t have all the answers about his or her past. This can be a scary process and finding a good support structure is a necessity.
Adoption can and should be a wonderful process. You should, however, be willing to look at it in a realistic manner. The more you prepare now, the more smoothly the process will go for all involved.