Growing Your Family: 4 Factors to Think About as You Consider Adoption
The decision to adopt a young child is not one that should be made frivolously. Adding a new family member is a serious responsibility; you must be prepared for all the ways that your life will change. Regardless of the child’s age, each one will come with their own set of unique challenges. However, they will also no doubt bring with them delight and a sense of wonder.
First, you will need to establish trust and build a real rapport with them. Consider these factors as you get ready to pursue this possibility.
The Child’s Age
Every age group is going to differ. Older children will be further along on their developmental journeys. If you opt for an infant, then you’re going to have to deal with teething, midnight feedings, and perhaps incessant crying as well. If it’s a toddler, you must be sure that your home has been checked with an eye toward safety. You don’t want your rapidly-growing charge to injure themselves. For older children, you’ll need to have plenty of money in your food budget as they speed into puberty.
The Child’s Psychological State
Kids who are in the system waiting for adoption are often coming from difficult backgrounds. If you choose an infant, then they probably will not remember past hardships. If the child is older, though, and has been through several foster families, they may be distrustful of you at first.
It’s going to take patience if you want to win them over. You might have to deal with some acting out, either at home or school. Still, as an adult, you must be the one to set the example. Never raise your voice or strike your newly-adopted charge.
Do They Have Any Siblings?
If children in the system have siblings, it’s highly likely that they will want to be adopted together. They’ll rely on each other for support, and since their parents aren’t in the picture, it’s only right that they remain close.
If one of the siblings seems like the perfect fit for your family, you might have to consider taking on another, or possibly several more. Adopting two or three kids at once will be even more of an adjustment for you than just one. Is that going to be more than you can handle?
The new addition may be so uneasy in their new surroundings that they may try to run away. They might steal things, take food from dinner and hide it, or other activities of which you do not approve.
Part of this might be testing you to see how you’re going to react. Will you continue to be patient and kind, or will you lose your temper and scream at them? You should remember the situation from which this child is coming. Things have not been easy for them.
It is often helpful to retain legal counsel as you go through the adoption proceedings. When you do so, don’t just type “adoption lawyers” into a search engine. Be sure to locate a law firm that has experience with these sorts of situations, and research them thoroughly before you commit to one.