Adopting a child is a big step. It is like bringing home a readymade bundle of joy. However, the process of welcoming a child means a lifelong commitment. This involves many transitions. One may have a certain fears or anxieties over the procedures involved; the child’s adjustment into your home and household, problems that may arise years down the road, etc. A careful, reasoned approach can ease the stress and difficulty of the transition — for both the child and her new family.So in this article we talk about How to prepare for adoption with lots of tips for prospective parents.
How to prepare for adoption process?
Here are some tips for the pre – adoption preparation:
Step 1: Questions to ask yourself:
Take an honest look at your beliefs on adoption. Judge your ability to accept full – time parenting of someone who is not actually your flesh and blood.
Do you have the qualities of patience and perseverance? Do you get flustered when caught up in tricky situations of life? Do you have the flexibility required to face all odds as well as the strength to be consistent?
Are you financially sound in order to cover the medical and educational expenses and needs of an additional member? If yes, then can you handle a lifelong commitment?
If you are single and wish to adopt then think of your future plans about your career, marriage, etc. Take the family support into consideration especially because you would be a single parent and may need the support of your immediate family in certain situations of emergencies and otherwise.
Aspects that are important for one to think about from the child’s point of view would also be:
what are your expectations about the child, the age and gender that you have in mind. Will you be able to accept a child even if he or she turns out to be much different than your expectations?
Any person who is adopting a child should not look upon the act of adoption as a favour/ charity/ social welfare. Consider adoption only if you wish to enjoy the joy of parenting a child.
Keep questioning yourself. You may even make a diary and note down your thoughts on adoption and the thinking process that you are going through. This may help you think more logically and systematically.
Step 2: Preparing yourself and your family for the adoption:
Prepare your family
Prepare yourself and your family. Share your decision and your anxieties with family members and friends. You may have to answer questions like why you wish to adopt, why from an adoption agency, etc. Make sure you have thought over all these aspects so that you are able to give simple, logical and rational answers to all the questions and queries that your family members and/ or may ask. This will help you in answering their questions and dealing with their anxieties and/ or insecurities and put your adoption plan well to them.
Prepare your older child
If you already have an older child/ sibling in the home, be sure to include them in the adoption process so they are not taken by surprise and do not feel rejected or anxious over the home coming of a new sibling. Speak to you child about what is adoption so that the child is clear in his/ her concepts and knows that adoption is forever. Talk to the child about what is adoption, why adoption in your case. (For example: you may be going in for an adoption of a child of the opposite sex of your older child, secondary infertility in certain cases, etc). Make sure you use appropriate positive terminology when you do so.
If you are a Single Parent?
In case you are single and are planning to adopt, then speak to your family about your decision. Their support would be very important as you would be adopting as a single parent and may need the support of your immediate family in certain situations of emergencies and otherwise too. If you are staying all alone, then explore possibilities of whether any of your family members or relatives can come and stay with you especially in the initial phase after the arrival of the baby home. This shall be very helpful as both the baby and you would be new to each other and it shall take time for you to adapt to the new routine along with the child’s day – to – day chores. Having someone to help shall help you have someone to help you with your initial phase of learning to handle the baby, take care of the feeds, etc and also take care of yourself too.
The above also goes for those who plan to adopt as a couple as well.
Step 3: Preparation of the home, post adoption aspects, etc:
After you have finalized your decision, spoken to your family members, comes the stage of finalizing your adoption agency, preparing your documents for registering with the agency that you have finalized and simultaneously preparing your home for the new child. We shall be talking about the details on finalizing the adoption agency for the adoption and documentation in our next article.
Simultaneously as you do your documentations work for the adoption, one would need to think of the post adoption aspects as well. Take the following into consideration while doing so:
- If one is working, then you would need to find out the maternity leave policy of the company/ firm that you work for. Fortunately today we do have a lot of firms/ companies who have officially sanctioned leave for adoption. In few cases, this is leave is even applicable for a shorter term for the male employees who adopt.
- In case the company does not have sanctioned an adoption leave, then you would need to plan the details of the leave that you would take for the initial phase after the arrival of the baby. Speak to your HR about the same in advance so that it is not a last minute surprise intimation for them too.
- If you are considering that you would resume work after the adoption leave, then explore the details about who would take care of your child during your absence from home for work. Would it be one of your family members? Or you would have to use the services offered by the local crèche in your area (near your home or office)? Visit the crèche, see the arrangements, speak to person running the crèche about the timings and other detail, speak to the other parents who maybe sending their children to that crèche so that you would get to know the first hand experiences about the quality of the service provided by the crèche.
- You may also want to take care of a few arrangements at home like planning the rearrangement of the furniture or you may want to go in for the long awaited renovation plan that has been on your cards before the arrival of the child.
One may go through phases of fear or anxiety while preparing yourself for the adoption but do not allow them to defeat you. Maintain a positive outlook and keep the end goal in mind at all times. This shall help you work towards your adoption and a brighter future with your child who shall come home in adoption some time in future. Also remember the phase of anxiety is a temporary phase and towards the end of that phase is the arrival of the child home is the most rewarding one.
Next up coming article: Finalizing the adoption agency to adopt from and the documentation involved.
Previous article – Adoption – A joy beyond imagination
Article by Deepali Kulkarni
Deepali has a BA in sociology from Pune University; Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai); PG Diploma in School Psychology from Janana Prabodhini Institute of Psychology. She has the experience of working in the field of Family & Child Welfare since the last 15 yrs. She is currently a freelancer with 3 different adoption agencies. She is an adoptive parent herself.