It is often very difficult for couples to decide that they are going to adopt. To some couples, it's a sign that they are giving up on the long struggle to have their own child. For others, it's a sad realization that they may never have their own, biological heir. Adoption is a very exciting and rewarding experience - but it is very important to make sure that you are heading into it for the right reasons, before committing to take a child into your life.
Adopting After Infertility
If you've decided to adopt after years of fertility treatments, you need to truly consider this decision. You had your heart set on having your own child. Now, you need to make sure that both you and your partner are ready for the issues that adoption may entail, and that you are ready to welcome this person into your lives. Some people decide to look into adoption while still undergoing fertility treatments. It is very important, if you do this, to realize that you are committing to taking in a needy person - even if your fertility treatments work. Are you ready to have both an adopted child and your own child? Should you wait to look into adoption until you've given up completely on your fertility treatments? These are all important questions to consider.
If you are considering adoption, you and your partner will have to decide where you draw your line. Will you only accept a child that has the same skin color that you have? Will you take in someone from another country? Will you only take a girl? A boy? What about if the child has some special needs? How do you feel about adopting a child that has extra issues of some sort - and which types of issues do you feel that you could handle? Physical? Emotional? Mental? These are all very important questions that any adoption agency will ask you to consider. Coming to the adoption agency with these answers in place will make your initial meetings go more smoothly and more quickly. These are not questions to be taken lightly - but ones to consider at great length.
You'll also want to think about the age of the child that you are willing to accept. Will you only accept a baby, which can cause a longer wait than an older child? If so, keep in mind that with an international adoption, you may not see the child until he is six months old or older. If you were given the chance to adopt a child, but were told that he had an older sibling who needed to be adopted as well, would you take them both? Certainly, it is understandable that most people want a baby when they are looking to adopt. You'll need to decide where you draw your line with the age you'll accept and how you'll feel as you integrate a child of this age into your home.
Evaluate Your Pocketbook
Finally, consider how much money you are willing to spend on the adoption. This may sound strange - but it's a fact about the adoption process. Sometimes, you'll be able to find a young woman who is willing to give up her unborn baby if you can cover all of her medical expenses. Other times, you'll need to factor in travel expenses to a foreign country and other lengthy and expensive legal issues in obtaining the child. These are all important issues and ones that you'll need to think about before meeting with your adoption agency or lawyer.
Write It All Down
Before going to meet with an adoption agency or lawyer, write down all of your requests, limitations, goals and ultimatums. Be as clear as possible with your expectations, your time limits, your monetary abilities and your hopes. The more clear that you are with your goals, the more the agency or lawyer will understand where you stand and the easier it will be able for them to help you to reach these goals.
Make sure, before starting the adoption process, that you are completely comfortable with this decision. This may not be how you envisioned your family looking when you were a child, or even when you got married. However, this is your reality and one that can turn out to be a wonderful situation. Most people who have adopted will tell you that they simply can't imagine how they ever lived without this person in their lives - and that this person is the child that was meant to be with them. Hold this idea in your heart as you start on this exciting, although admittedly scary, experience.