It’s safe to say that most people want to have children one way or another, even those that wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it. When people think of being parents, they’re usually thinking in biological terms: finding the right person to parent a child with and raising someone who is your own flesh and blood.
But there are other ways to become a parent – ways that are oftentimes more rewarding than the ‘standard procedure’. If you’re considering making an addition to your family, have you thought about adopting a child?
Without a doubt, every adoption completely alters the course of a child’s future, almost invariably for the better. Still, the process can be intimidating to some, and not every parent ends up being satisfied with the choice after everything is said and done. To help you make the right decision, here is a better look into the adoption process and what it means for the parents as well as the children.
The first decisions – the most important ones?
The first thing you think about should be whether an adoption is a good idea for you and your family. You might want it, but what about your partner? Equally as important, do your biological children want it? Make sure not to skip this part of the adoption process – you don’t want to feel as if you forced anyone to do anything. You won’t just be changing the life of the child you’re adopting, but also the lives of everyone else involved.
Moving on, consider where the ‘adoptee’ will come from. Is it going to be a child from a far-out corner of the world? Yes, the prospect is appealing – these children are usually those who need a better life the most. But bringing a child into a different culture can spell a lot of difficulties as he or she tries to integrate into a foreign world. It’s more than just the odd looks from bystanders you might receive – your child might grow up to feel like an alien in its surroundings, especially if you adopted past toddler age.
The nitty-gritty details
To adopt a child, you might want to connect with an adoption agency and see what they can do for you. These entities specialize in bringing the right parents together with the right children and will employ various means of finding the best match. In general, expect to have your home, living conditions and parenting potential closely scrutinized to maximize the efficiency of the process.
This is another reason why it pays to know where the child should be coming from. As appealing as they are, consider that many ‘international’ adoptions cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more just to bring the child to you. To make matters even more difficult, many children from impoverished zones will have pre-existing health conditions that will incur a lifetime of additional expenses you’ll have to be willing and able to deal with.
If this option is too costly for you, think about an adoption closer to home: foster care adoptions will usually cost nothing, and you might even find yourself eligible for monetary support from the state. The children in your city or state that are in foster care need a good life every bit as much as those from abroad do, and you shouldn’t overlook them on your way to becoming a foster parent.