It has been said by many that it takes a village to raise a child. I had no idea the meaning of that phrase until I had a child of my own. And for us, it took another village: the adoptive village. The village of social workers, the court system, and birth parents. Not that it is a bad thing; it was just an extra village in our process to becoming parents. But what if the village is getting smaller and smaller because fewer and fewer children are being adopted? What can we do to make sure that our village stays strong?
1. Educate yourself.
Know your state’s requirements for adoption. Know the process. Know if your state’s adoption rates are low, high, or remain the same. Keep up-to-date with news regarding adoption not only in your state, but also in your country. Not sure where to get your information from? Check out your state’s legislation for detailed information. Want an endless amount of information at your fingertips? Check out Adoption.com for a wide variety of information ranging from how to find an adoption agency to post-adoption information.
2. Educate others.
There are many misconceptions about adoption out there. It’s too expensive. It’s too hard. It’s too complicated. I can’t do it. I am not strong enough. No one will “choose” me. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Educate those around you and correct those misconceptions. Is it hard? Yes. It is worth it? Yes, yes, yes. Have you heard someone use the language “given up” when talking about adoption? Politely educate them on the proper language to use when talking about adoption. No one was given up. Someone was given a life.
3. Adopt from foster care.
It may seem like a big and daunting task to become a foster parent. And it is. There is no way around it. But you are changing a child’s life. Foster care’s goal is not adoption but rather unification with the birth family. And that is sometimes a hard concept to come to grips with. But there are situations where reunification just is not possible, and that’s where adoption steps in. It may not save adoption as a whole, but it will save a child’s life. And will probably change yours!
4. Join an organization.
I don’t know if you live in a small town or a large city, but no matter where you live, there is bound to be an opportunity for you to join an organization affiliated with adoption. For us, it is part of our church. They have foster care and adoption groups that meet that can talk about parenting, adoption, foster care, or anything related to the both. This is where we can share news about our adoptions or keep each other informed about adoption law changes. I know in larger cities there are other organizations you can become a part of with the intentions of staying informed about adoption.
5. Become an advocate.
Adoption has been near and dear to my heart for as long as I can remember. We have several adopted children in our extended family, and we are familiar with adoption terminology and procedures. After we adopted our son in 2014, I would share our story with anyone who would listen. I started a blog about our open adoption relationship with our son’s birth mom. I share tips, articles, and questions on all of my social media sites! I will attend conferences, seminars, readings, podcasts, etc., just to keep in the adoption loop. Don’t think because you are only one person that you can’t change the world!
Are you ready to pursue a domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with a compassionate, experienced adoption professional who can help get you started on the journey of a lifetime.