According to Women’s Day, there are more than 120,000 children in the United States who are adopted yearly. Since the adoption process can be lengthy, depending upon the type of adoption, you have to be prepared in every way – mentally, physically, financially and emotionally. You have to be certain that the adoption will be in the best interests of every member of your family and your prospective child.
The following are some things to consider before you begin an adoption journey.
Is Your Home Environment Stable and Loving? –
In order for children to develop good self esteem, according to Brummelman et. al., they need a loving environment. Brummelman and a team of international researchers found in a longitudinal study that children who are loved naturally develop self-esteem because they feel that they must be worthy since they are loved.
Children You Adopt Will Likely Have Suffered Trauma and May Have Special Needs –
According to Pediatrician Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD in an interview with Oprah Magazine, the reality of most all adoptions is that adopted children have, at the least, undergone trauma. Even babies that were separated from their mothers right after birth will have the received stress hormones from their mother during her pregnancy. Many adopted children have developmental delays, learning difficulties and even severe health issues. Some adopted children suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Dr. Trachtenberg suggests a full newborn blood screen workup and that prospective parents consult the American Academy of Pediatricians to find a specialist who can perform a pre-adoption examination.
This is not in any way to dissuade prospective parents but to begin an honest and frank discussion and evaluation of what your family can and cannot provide to a child who may have special needs. One has to keep in mind the best interests of the child at all times. With proper care, love and an enriched learning environment, adoptive children can flower.
Adoption Does Not Need to Be Expensive –
Women’s Day consulted with Laura Lamminen, Ph.D., who is the lead psychologist at the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Lamminen stated that private and international adoptions can easily cost in the five figures but that being a foster parent who is actively trying to adopt your foster child does not usually have a cost. In fact, while you are fostering, the state will be providing you a monthly stipend for the child’s support. According to Dr. Lamminen, most states continue to support their foster-to-adoption families after the adoption has been finalized with continuing medical and mental health services.
Seek an Adoption Support Group –
Women’s Day suggested that prospective adoptive parents get involved with local chapters of AdoptUSKids, the Child Welfare Information Gateway or bona fide and vetted Facebook adoption groups. These groups have a lot of resources, and the meetings will help you find others who can share their stories and ideas.
If you have a loving and stable home to offer a child, adoption is a wonderful blessing for families and children. You need to have your eyes wide open and discuss issues frankly and openly in your family and be prepared to know your limits, for your sake and the child’s. Also, it is key to have the support from others who have successfully navigated the journey through its uncertain and rougher shoals.