#1 YOUR MOTIVE
One of the biggest things you need to consider when thinking about adoption is the reasons you want to adopt and what are your goals in doing so? You may feel that you need a child to make your life or your relationship complete, but you also need to be aware that the child has needs as well, and these should become of primary importance. What is going to happen when the child’s needs conflict with yours? How will the introduction of this new life affect the other people in the family? Do you have enough support systems to the new situation work? Are you prepared for the emotional demands as well as the physical costs involved with raising a child? Be honest with yourself about what you can handle in an adoptive placement — for example, dealing with the child’s medical needs, the challenges of adopting siblings, or adopting a child from another culture or race.
#2 FINANCIAL COSTS
Adoption can be quite expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are adopting privately, through an attorney, or adopting a child from another country, the costs can but do not have to be, high.
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, adopting a healthy newborn or baby through a private agency or from another country can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000. Some agencies use a sliding scale based on income. Working with an attorney without an agency can have similar costs.
Something to consider to help with the financial costs of adoption includes grants and loans. Some opportunities available can be found at HelpUsAdopt.org. There are also employers who offer adoption benefits or assistance programs so you should talk to your employer to see if they offer these programs. You can also benefit and possibly qualify for the adoption tax credit.
#3 ARE YOU PREPARED FOR ALL THE EMOTIONS?
The adoption process can be lengthy and complicated. This depends on many factors such as whether or not you are adopting domestically or internationally, whether you only want a healthy Caucasian infant, or are open to all races and ethnic backgrounds, and if you are open to older children or children with disabilities. The more flexible you are, the larger the adoption pool, and the shorter the waiting time.
In any case, a figure that adoption will require time, patience, and emotional and psychological support, as there are ups and downs in the process. It is important to remember that adoption is a concurrent plan that has a wide range of emotions for all involved from grief to joy. It may be helpful to seek out counseling before, during, and after adoption.
#4 YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Have you ever heard the phrase it takes a village? Well, it takes a village to adopt a child. It is important to consider what support systems you have in place. You won’t only need support from family and friends you will need support from some professionals.
Burlington can help with many adoption steps. We are licensed by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources and serve all 55 counties in the state of WV. Some of the ways we help are:
- Home Study Preparation
- Adoptive Parent Training
- Domestic Newborn Placements
- Post-Placement and Post-Adoption Services
- Counseling and support services to both birth parents and adult adoptees
#5 CAN YOU HAVE PATIENCE?
With every adoption, there are periods of adjustment, bonding, and growing attachment. It takes time to get to the point where you make the parental bond with your child and the child identifies you as their parent. It also takes time for your child to adjust to new surroundings and for you to adjust to having a child in your home. So be patient; use this time to learn to be a family and recognize that some children (and their parents) adjust quickly, while others need more time.
READY TO START THE ADOPTION PROCESS? CONTACT BURLINGTON TODAY!
At Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Inc., we help all families – no matter the marital status, sex, religion, or race in the adoption process in finding their forever child. Although there is a lot to consider and prepare for, Burlington will be there to help you every step of the way. We are rooting for you and your family and can’t wait to help you create your forever family.
For more information about adoption or birth parent counseling, please fill out this form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our Charleston social worker, Jennifer Brown, at 304-720-1904 or email@example.com, or our Keyser social worker, Patty Leasure, at 304-788-5384 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“For I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11