Is Adoption Right For You?
By Rebecca M. Thomas
So you’ve been thinking about adopting a child. That’s great–right? But maybe you’re not sure what it really takes or if you’re even ready.
“Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of all parental rights from one person or couple to another person or couple. Adoptive parents have the same rights–and responsibilities–as parents whose children are born to them.”
National Council for Adoption
Adoption involves serious things for families to consider. A good first step in considering adoption is to carefully think through what adoption will mean to you and how having an adopted child may change your life.
To help you decide if you are ready to begin the adoption process, here’s a quick adoption readiness quiz for you to take. The statements below actually address many of the key issues parents will face when they have an adopted child.
Have you thought about these things?
- I can love a child not born to me.
- I will not regard my adopted child as a substitute for a biological child.
- I have come to terms with my/our infertility.
- My partner and I are in agreement–“on the same wavelength”–about our decision to adopt.
- I am not choosing adoption simply as an altruistic or humanitarian act.
- I can handle the anxiety associated with the flux and uncertainty of an adoption.
- I can manage unsolicited questions, advice, and feedback about my choice to adopt and about my child.
- I am willing to tell my adoption story many times when people ask me about my child.
- I can handle the fact that my child may not look like me or show any personality characteristics that resemble my own or those of my biological family.
- I am able to take the risk that my child may not turn out the way I envision.
- I will readily and openly discuss adoption with my child at an age-appropriate level.
- I will spend time gathering information about adoption in order to be well informed about the key aspects of adopting a child.
- I have the financial resources to commit to an adoption.
- I can take the necessary amount of time off from my work to adopt and spend time with my newly adopted child.
- I have/will take time to network with other adoptive families.
Did you answer, “Yes” to most of these statements? Have you discussed these kinds of things with your partner, and with your family? If so, you’re probably ready to begin gathering the necessary information that will lead you to the child of your dreams. And remember: It may not happen as you expected, but through the power of knowledge and a community of people sharing experiences you will find the child that is meant for you!