5 Questions You Have About Adoption But Are Too Scared to Ask

Most adoptive parents wonder these now and again.

Meghan Rivard March 15, 2016

There is no set path in the adoption journey; it will have many twists and turns for all involved. And the journey will differ for each adoptive family, with many questions and uncertainties arising during the process. I know I had many questions and difficult feelings during our adoption journey. And as an adoption social worker, I have encountered similar feelings and questions in others.

Should I be feeling this way?
1. Should I be feeling this way?

Once placement has occurred and you are holding your infant child or you have just met your older child for the first time, what feelings should you be feeling? Personally, I felt blessed and extremely happy, but I also felt guilty. I was exhilarated to have her in my arms, but I also felt sad because I knew the grief that the birth parents were bearing. They placed her with us and gave us the greatest gift anyone could give.

What is next?
2. What is next?

There are many steps in the adoption process: paperwork, meetings, background checks, medical checks, more paperwork, and then more meetings. International adoption often requires more than one visit which requires additional time and finances. However, your social worker is there to help you complete the steps in your adoption process.

Can I take any more?
3. Can I take any more?

Before our daughter’s adoption, we had a disruption: the expectant mother we were matched with decided to parent her child. While you know that is always a possibility, you will be faced with an empty nursery and it will feel like the death of your child. There may be setbacks in your adoption and you may question how many setbacks you can endure. Believe me, I know how hard the wait is, but have faith and hope that it will happen.

Will I bond with my child?
4. Will I bond with my child?

No matter the age of the child, he or she will experience a loss. Even infants adopted as newborns experience a sense of loss. But older children in orphanages or foster care most likely will have experienced more loss or trauma, so you may wonder if your child will be able to bond with you. There are many resources available to help you with the bonding experience. It is important to remember that bonding is a lifelong process and will not happen overnight.

What if my family doesn't accept the child?
5. What if my family doesn't accept the child?

Ideally, everyone who adopts has a loving support system and a family who will open their hearts and arms to any child. But of course, we don’t live in an ideal world. But remember, you have been fortunate to have a child placed with you, a child that is now your child and he or she comes first in getting your unconditional love and support. Also, if needed, there are many adoption support groups that you can join, either in person or online.

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!

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