Adoptive parenthood, just like biological parenthood, can bring parents a lot of joy and a pretty decent amount of worry. Luckily, a lot of resources are available to parents facing concerns about the adoption process. There are so many questions future parents may have, and although it may seem like these questions are endless, many of them have answers. While every family is unique and every person involved in the adoption process may have different feelings and experiences, there are some general attitudes that come about when considering adoption. We have compiled a list of 10 concerns that parents may have when considering adoption as well as ways to address these concerns and resources to help parents along the way.
10 How Will The 'Grandparents' Feel?
A common worry is that Grandparents to adopted children may not feel like grandparents at first, or they may not love the adopted child at first sight, but kindness and reaffirming actions can make the family feel more like a family than not. Grandparents should also understand what building a bridge could mean with adoptive children of different ages. Even if your new family member isn't a baby, or isn't your biological child, that doesn't mean that your parents won't come to love them and feel like 'real' grandparents. Parents of adoptive children should make this as transparent as possible for grandparents and make sure you have lots of conversations about treating them just like any other grandchild, and whether or not they will be calling your parents 'grandma and grandpa' right away.
9 The Cost
Many parents-to-be who which to adopt children are often concerned about the cost of the entire adoption process. The truth is, the costs related to adoption vary and really depend on the type of adoption. Costs can range from $0 to $50,000 according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
In 2013 the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was created to help families cover the adoption costs, as well, so if you're concerned about whether or not your family may be financially ready for adoption, these resources can help and may even allow you to make a clearer decision.
8 Being The "Real" Parent
Parenting comes in many forms, yet parents are often concerned about how their adoptive children will see them, and whether or not they won't be considered as that child's "real parent." This is quite a concern, indeed. But being a child's biological parent isn't the only way to become a parent, consider what your definition of parenting is and why you want to become a parent in the first place, these truths are what you can tell your child should that feeling ever arise. It may be helpful to have a planned response ready to reassure yourself and your child of his or her placement in your heart.
7 Conception After Adoption
It is a very common concern for parents considering adoption to consider what they would do if they conceive after they adopt - would the adopted child be looked at as second best? Is adoption just a fall back plan because we weren't able to conceive naturally? If these are concerns for your family it may we wise to sit and talk with your partner and answer honestly how an adoptive child will fit into your lifestyle if you conceive a child later. But don't worry - although any child can experience jealousy over a new sibling, there's no reason for an adoptive child to feel 'second best' should this happen - as long as you are making sure they know how loved they really are.
6 Privacy and Intrusion
From family visits to financial declarations, there is a lot of information required in order to formally adopt a child. Parents may be concerned about these types of intrusions on their personal lives, especially if they hold top-tier jobs in a private sector or just wish to keep the fact that they are looking to adopt a secret from friends and family.
In order to truly process what sort of effect the adoption process will have on your family parents to be should discuss all avenues with their partners and divulge any fears. Different types of adoptions, like closed adoptions or adoptions out of courts, may be available to fit more private lifestyles as well.
5 How To Actually Adopt
There are so many agencies devoted to helping parents throughout the adoption process, which one do you choose? How can one agency or organization be trusted over the other? When choosing an adoption agency, parents should look out for an agency's track record and their values. It's not that newer agencies are not worth a try, but rather it can be safer to go with an agency that has great reviews. If parents are concerned about which organization to choose, try asking for references, agencies should be willing to provide these without a problem.
4 The Birth Parents
There are quite a few options concerning the amount of involvement the birth parents of adoptive children will have once children are formally adopted, it really just depends on what option feels right for your family. Also, you may be concerned about when your child is older and may want more answers about where he or she actually comes from. These concerns are completely normal, but should not deter parents from adopting since so many options are available. If parents are concerned about birth parents changing their mind, they should consider signing a legal, formal contract that will bide parents and ensure a seamless adoption.
3 Behavior and Development Issues
Studies have shown that adopted children, especially if they were adopted at an older age tend to show behavioral issues. If this happens to be the case with your family, pre-adoptive therapies and post therapies are recommened.
Laura Lamminen Ph.D. and lead psychologist says that adding that family therapy can help "strengthen attachments and relationships within the family milieu" during the adoption process. It could be nice to see a therapist occasionally just to allow everyone involved to consistently check in and make sure that the parents and adoptive child are all on the same page emotionally.
2 Culture, Transracial Families, and 'Other"
It is quite common for families to adopt children that come from different ethnic backgrounds than their adoptive parents. Parents may be concerned about how to deal with this sort of thing, and when that's the case, consider how a transracial family unit will affect your lifestyle and those around you. Consider what sort of emotional readiness you have to help your adoptive child feel like a part of the family even after he or she discovers his or her difference. Adoptive parents can use any situation of prejudice as a chance to stand up for your child and your family, which will help them develop the tools needed to problem-solve.
1 Genetic Obstacles
Often, when families adopt children, their family health history is unknown, this can cause concern for adoptive families especially down the road. Although this is a very serious concern, as no one wants their child to turn ill unexpectedly, The Child Welfare Gateway has resources for parents to help them cope with this concern and good healthcare benefits can help calm parents' worries. Things like allergy screening and genetic screening are options available to parents of adopted children, all one needs is decent insurance or the financial resources to pay for these types of tests. When in doubt having faith can be a great resource to help parents see through times of unsurety.