These days, there are many routes to parenthood including surrogacy, IVF, adoption, and fostering. Adoption in particular has become increasingly popular with one out of every three Americans having at least considered adoption[i]. Resources for prospective adoptive parents are commonly available both online and through social workers. There are many factors that anyone considering adoption should think about before beginning the process, starting with the three mentioned below:
Parents may need support, too
The adoption process is long and can be frustrating at times. Adoption agencies require a lot of paperwork including birth certificates, tax returns, and proof of employment. The process may also involve extensive background checks, interviews, and meetings. Many times, adopters experience unforeseen delays and changes. Overall, many parents find the process to be a roller-coaster of highs and lows. Adoptive parents need more than just patience to get to the finish line. They may need pre-adoption counselling, emotional support from friends and family members, as well as guidance from social workers or adoption lawyers.
Costs can vary significantly
While adoption can be very expensive, this isn’t necessarily true for all situations. International and some private adoptions may have high costs, but adopting a child from foster care can cost significantly less. However, there may be medical costs, travelling costs, and legal fees in some cases. Prospective parents can consult adoption specialists to get an idea of what kind of expenses they should prepare for.
New parents may also want to think of long-term costs such as a private school fees or college tuition. Once the adoption is final, parents may want to seek out some type of life insurance to ensure that their child is provided for if one or both parents pass on unexpectedly. Many new parents choose term life insurance policies so they are covered until their children are independent adults.
Adoption requires a lot of forethought and research
As with any other method of bringing a child into one’s life, adoption is a massive and life-changing decision that requires serious consideration. Parents considering adoption may want to ask themselves questions like why they want to adopt, how adoption will impact them and their family, and whether they can provide a stable and safe environment for the child. Prospective parents may try to seek pre-adoption counselling or regular therapy to ensure they are mentally prepared for the journey. It may also help to read books or watch educational videos on adoption from other adoptive parents or even from adults who were adopted as kids.
Adoption can be a journey with a joyous conclusion, but it’s important to prepare emotionally for the process and understand that it’s not always smooth sailing. Mental preparation, research, planning, and resilience can be important tools for adoptive parents.
Source: Northwestern Mutual
Contact: Don Klein, 1-800-323-7033
Name: Don Klein
Job Title: Assistant Director Field & National Grassroots Public Relations