So You’ve Decided to Adopt

Now that you’ve made your decision and you’ve decided to adopt from the foster care program, I’ll bet you have a lot of questions:

I’ve decided to adopt. How do I get started?  Where do I find an agency? Where do I get an application? How long will it take? Will I lose out on a child if things don’t go quickly? How many children are available for adoption?

Before you start the “formal process,” you need to begin the emotional process. This is the time for heavy-duty soul-searching.

The state social workers should provide you with information regarding behaviors and disabilities that children in foster care may have once you’ve decided to adopt. Deciding how much you’re willing to work with, and deal with, is vital to your success in adopting. If you are adopting as a couple, fill the pages out, and answer the questions listed above separately, and see where you agree and disagree. Agreeing on key points will be crucial later when you are reading a child’s profile. Parenting a special needs child can be hard on the best relationships. If you are not in agreement on what issues you can handle, or how you will handle them, you will be headed down a very rocky road.

Children who are being adopted from foster care are usually considered special needs children. For purposes of adoption, special needs children are often considered to be:

  1. Older children, generally over the age of two, but the age varies from state to state
  2. A child who is a member of a racial minority.
  3. Members of a sibling group of two or more children
  4. Children with a physical or mental disability
  5. Children with an emotional disturbance
  6. Children with a recognized high risk of physical or mental disease
  7. Children who possess any combination of the above factors or conditions

It is natural to think that love and stability will help or “cure” a child, but the sad fact is, that most of these children have been emotionally damaged in some way, so it’s important to  examine your heart and make sure you are ready to cope with this hard reality once you’ve decided to adopt.

 

 

Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime.