Posted by: eacadoption | 12/29/2010

Deciding to Adopt

If you are approaching adoption for the first time, congratulations on taking the best first step possible: Learning as much as you can about adoption, both as a legal process and a lifelong family commitment.  Children who need families range from newborns to teens. For whatever reason, they are unable to be raised by their biological parents, and they both need and deserve loving, committed, permanent families.

Every year, millions of people choose to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons. There are thousands of reasons for choosing to adopt: Some people have simply always wanted to adopt for as long as they can remember; some come to adoption because they are unable to carry a pregnancy to term; some have family connections which bring them an adoption opportunity, e.g., stepparent or relative adoption, and others may choose to add to their families through adoption for other reasons.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Adopting parents have found that exploring the following questions has helped them to feel more prepared for the joys and challenges of raising their children.

General Adoption Themes

  • How do I feel about not being genetically related to my child?
  • How do I see myself talking about adoption with my child?
  • How will I help my child to understand his/her “pre-placement background,” when there is little information, abandonment, or a difficult history?
  • Am I prepared to maintain my child’s positive identification with his/her origins and culture?
  • Am I open to dealing with birthparent issues, which are just as relevant and important in international adoption, as they are in domestic adoption?

Transracial Adoption

  • Do I have family and/or close friends of other racial, cultural, or ethnic groups? If not how can I develop such relationships?
  • Am I willing to move to another community, change schools or join appropriate organizations to find adult mentors and peers of my child’s race and culture, if necessary?
  • How do I feel about meeting the specific needs my child will have in developing self-identity and esteem?
  • How do I imagine supporting my child when he/she experiences racial prejudice and discrimination?
  • Can I accept the reality that adopting a child of color will mean our family becomes a family of color?

Orphanage Issues

  • Am I willing to learn the details of daily life in the orphanage in order to provide a gradual transition for my child from that routine to a new one in my home?
  • How comfortable am I with the fact that children living in an orphanage are at risk for developmental delays and emotional issues?
  • Am I prepared to deal with the coping behaviors my child used to survive in the orphanage?
  • How will I deal with the adjustments my child will face when he/she enters a family, e.g. learning to accept affection and nurturing, and trusting that there will be enough food?
  • Am I willing to seek help for my family if adjustment is difficult? Do I attach any stigma to my child receiving specialized educational services?

Single Parent Adoption

  • Do I feel confident about being the sole decision-maker for my child?
  • Am I ready to ask for help? Emotional? Financial? Physical? Respite? Who among my family and friends would be there for me in a real emergency? To help with an ongoing challenge?
  • Have I come to terms with my decision to forego or postpone pregnancy and marriage as a way of becoming a parent?
  • Does work offer me the flexibility I will need to care for a sick child, to attend school events, and to spend as much time at home with my child as I would want to?
  • How will my current and future relationships be affected by the fact that I am a parent?
  • Am I able to provide strong role models of the opposite sex for my child?

Toddler Adoption

  • Have I resolved my loss of the experience of parenting an infant?
  • Am I committed to incorporating my child’s past while building a foundation of security and trust for the future?
  • How can I help my child overcome previous trauma, bond with his/her new family, and adapt to a new lifestyle?
  • Am I resilient enough to understand initial rejection, yet simultaneously focus on attaching with my child?
  • Do I have the necessary time and stamina to parent a toddler who has just arrived from an institution or foster care?
  • Am I realistic enough to deal with the fact that any physical, cognitive, and emotional delays of my child cannot simply be loved away?

To learn more about international adoption or to speak to our social worker to see if international adoption is right for you, you can always reach us at 866-586-5656 to speak to one of our consultants or visit us at http://eaci.com.

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