I have known many couples and individuals who have chosen adoption as a way to create a family. How to get started on this journey? The first step is to make the decision to adopt. This is not always the easiest thing to do if you are still hoping to have your own biological child, or you have a limited amount of money to pursue the goal of having children. So this is a good place to start and get clear within yourself first and then within the couple (if you have a partner with whom you are wanting to create family). I always say to couples that you are single, until you have children!
The practical piece of becoming a parent and actually being a parent, providing for the emotional and physical needs of a child, becomes a very conscious intentional process when you choose to adopt. By clarifying your own needs and motivations to become a parent right at the beginning of the adoption process, by yourself, with your partner, or with the help of a professional therapist, can help clear the way for you to have a positive experience in adopting your child.
So, here are a few things to consider right at the start, to clear the way for a successful process to adopt:
- Be intentional in what you would like to happen. Plan and put action to your dreams.
- Be practical about becoming a parent. Know in your heart and mind and bank account that this is what you want to do!
- Delegate financial resources to the process of creating a family.
- Put a time limit on IVF and infertility treatments. Try to follow one path at a time.
- Don't wait to get the facts. Understand the rules and become informed. ie. If you are older parents to be, then gain understanding on age restrictions that may impact your choices ie. Research and plan for any age limit considerations in adoption process (International adoption / single parent adoption/domestic) Also, Some adoptions can take anywhere between 1-3 years, so allow for this time period in becoming parents.
- Clear the way and clarify your own needs and motivations to be a parent.
- Honestly evaluate your own emotional/ physical abilities; energy level; do you have the capacity to be 'selfless' at times? Do you know your limits?
- If you are in a partnership have a conversation about parenting. What would it be like? Will parenting tasks be shared? Are you both on the same page with adopting? What do you see as changing in your partnership? What do you want to preserve about the partnership? ie. date nights/adult time.