Five Signs You’re Ready to Adopt a Child

child counting

Is adoption the right path for you? Once you begin to consider adoption, how can you be sure that you’re ready? It’s not a decision to make lightly, and will not only change the life of a child, but it’s sure to change your own life in a very big way. Here is some food for thought for prospective parents.

5: You have accepted the path.

It is important to come fully to terms with acceptance of this being your journey, in order to allow yourself to move forward on this path. It is normal to experience a period of grief after going through infertility and loss, or to decide to move on from holding out hope for meeting “the one” and having biological children. Sometimes one partner is ready to adopt while the other remains uncertain. All of this is normal and okay. Grief and letting go affects everyone differently. But it is important to take it at your own pace and to be honest with yourself and take the time to grieve your lost dreams before you take the next steps toward the adoption process. Grief isn’t something you want to rush through. It is important to reach acceptance so that you can fully commit to the adoption process and to loving the child you adopt just as much as you would have loved a biological child.

4: You are ready for the challenges ahead.

Parenthood is a lifelong commitment that changes you permanently. The adoption process can be a complicated and even difficult process, so you need to be committed from the very beginning. Your home study, your wait for the match and meeting the prospective birth parents can all be overwhelming — but they are exciting steps on the journey to becoming a parent. When you’re truly ready to become a family through adoption, you’re ready to face any difficulties ahead, because you know in your heart that it will all be worth it when you hold your child for the first time. Friends in Adoption’s team of professionals are here to support you at every step of the way, with comprehensive services and support before, during, and long after the adoption takes place.

3: You have the resources.

You’ll want to be sure that your finances are in order. The estimated cost of raising a child from birth to 17 years old is $233,610 or an average of $12,350 to $14,000 per year, reported CNN. Expenses include housing, food, diapers, toys, childcare, healthcare, clothes, activities, and eventually, college education. The cost of domestic adoption averages between $30,000 and $50,000, including the agency fee, home study fees, advertising and outreach fees, counseling fees, legal fees, telephone and travel expenses, and in some cases medical expenses. It’s not necessary to be wealthy to adopt and to raise a child, but it is important to plan ahead. You want to bring your child into a stable situation as you provide for them not only financially, but physically and emotionally. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you have the funds, time, stability, energy, support system and emotional capacity to care for a child not only as a baby, but for the rest of their life.

2: You’ve done the research.

Your ducks are in a row: You can pass a background check, everyone in the family is on board with the decision, you’re aware of the process and the challenges ahead and have spoken with adoption professionals to be fully educated. You’ve set your adoption goals and you have discussed parenting styles, hopes and dreams with your partner. You’ve learned the lingo, know the steps ahead of you, and are ready to embark on your journey to meet your child. Our Get Acquainted Workshop was created to make sure you know everything there is to know before you begin the adoption journey.

1: You want to be a parent

In truth, all parents wonder if they were ever really one hundred percent ready to be a parent. All parents question whether they know what they’re doing at all. Just like getting married or buying a house, the truth of the matter is, “it’s never the perfect time.” There will always be something holding you up, whether it’s feeling you should have more in your savings account or a nagging worry about not being good enough. But if you know in your heart that you just can’t wait to hear a little one running to your arms for a snuggle, looking up at you with their big eyes and calling you “Mom” or “Dad,” this is the most important sign of all.