The decision to adopt a child is a lifelong commitment. Literally, the moment you bring a child into your home to raise as your own, your life will never be the same.
Adoption and raising a child comes with many joys and stresses. As such, parents will want to weigh these factors carefully before moving forward with the adoption process. One way to fully consider your decision is to think about the following questions:
Why have you decided to adopt?
It's important to know the reason why you plan to adopt a child. According to one pediatrician, the only valid reason to adopt is because you are excited to raise and care for a child.
Have you sufficiently grieved your infertility?
Parents who can't have children due to infertility should consider whether they've truly left their infertility woes behind. Before moving ahead with adoption be sure that you're no longer grieving and have fully accepted the fact that you can't have a child of your own.
Can you handle the responsibility?
Being a parent is not easy. It's a huge responsibility and there are no guarantees that you'll have an easy time of it. In many cases adopted children mesh well with their new families, but in other cases, the adopted child has a hard time adjusting. Just the same, the adoptive parents may have a hard time adjusting to their new lifestyle.
What kind of child do you want to adopt?
If you ignore the truth about your adoption preferences, it could affect your happiness as an adoptive parent. As such, you should answer the following three questions truthfully -- so you know exactly what kind of child you're looking for -- before you move ahead with adoption:
- Do you have an age preference?
- Do you have an ethnic background preference?
- Do you want a U.S. adoption or an international adoption?
How long can you wait?
The average time it takes to adopt a child born in the United States is three to 24 months. A foster care child adoption takes two to 12 months. An international adoption could take as many as five years. Are you willing to wait this long?
Can you afford it?
Adopting a child can cost as much as $40,000 in some cases. Be sure that you're familiar with the costs with your particular adoption, and don't go outside your budget.
By answering the above questions honestly, Alaska residents will have a better feeling about whether they're ready for adoption -- and what kind of adoption they hope to have. In addition to answering and thinking about these issues, prospective adoptive parents may also want to learn as much as they can about adoption law.