You have considered adoption for some time now, but you, your spouse, your partner, or your children have not felt ready. They may have emotional qualms or financial restrictions. They may also feel that they do not know how to accept and nurture a new family member.
However, once you have overcome each of your family’s obstacles, you can peruse the checklist below to decide if you are ready to take the next step. If you find that you are prepared to adopt, call a family law attorney in your area to begin the process.
1. You Want to Adopt a New Family Member
The most important sign that you have become emotionally prepared for adoption is that you want to adopt. However, make sure that you want to adopt for the right reasons. You should do it because you genuinely want to nurture and care for another human being. You must not adopt to fill a hole in your life, to satisfy some incorrect sense of responsibility, or to cement a relationship with a loved one.
Every child deserves to feel wanted. Therefore, if you decide to adopt, make sure you want the child for the child’s sake.
2. Other Members of Your Family Want to Adopt
If you want to adopt and the other members of your family do not, then the adoption may drive a rift between you-especially if the disagreement exists between you and your spouse or partner. Before you can adopt, every person in your family must agree on the change. This way, when the new child joins your family, everyone present will feel happy to meet him or her.
3. Your Marriage or Other Intimate Relationship Is Stable
Perhaps you frequently quarrel with your spouse or partner. Or perhaps you only have a casual or occasional relationship with this other person. You must either fix the issues in your relationship or end the relationship so your interpersonal interactions have stability. Children need stability to feel safe and loved in a family, so try to find stability one way or another before adopting.
4. You Can Handle the Lifelong Responsibility
When you adopt, you will not only raise that child for 18 years. You will build a relationship that lasts a lifetime, and you may have to help this child support himself or herself far into adulthood. If you are not prepared to give another person that kind of commitment, wait until you are. Do not assume the commitment will suddenly appear after the child joins your family.
5. You Can Handle the Additional Financial Obligations
You need a steady income, little debt (and no unnecessary debt), and stable expenses before you add another person to your household. You will have to support this new person for decades. Additionally, adoption fees often cost thousands of dollars. Make sure your budget can sustain these expenses.
6. You Are Willing to Wait for This Opportunity
The adoption process can take months or years. As a result, you cannot go into the process expecting ease and relaxation. You may have to fight for your right to adopt a child. Luckily, you can hire a lawyer to help you.
7. You and Your Family Can Adapt to the Lifestyle Changes
The new child will need a room, clothes, access to extracurricular activities, time with friends, and extra love and attention during the adjustment period. If you and your family cannot supply these things, consider waiting until you can.
8. You Have Some Parental Training
If you already have children, you can cross this step off of your list. However, if you do not know how to nurture and raise a child, acquire some basic training before you adopt a little one into your life.
If you still do not know if you are ready to adopt, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Your attorney can help you make your decision, and then he or she can guide you through the fees and the paperwork until you successfully adopt.