Find a friend, a lawyer, a caseworker, an online support group. Find someone who is there only to support you! So many times in adoption, the focus – as it rightly should be – is on the expectant parents and the baby. As an adoptive family, your job is to wait, and wait, and wait. As an adoptive couple, you need someone who is invested only in you: someone you can talk to, vent to, and ask questions of. This is essential.
For us, that trusted person was our lawyer. For our second adoption, we used an agency, but also retained a lawyer who was there just to represent us. This lawyer knew the adoption laws in the state where the baby was going to be born. He had seen many, many adoptions. He was able to look at all of the influencing factors of our situation, and was able to tell us what it could mean for us. He was the person we turned to when our caseworker didn’t know what to do when complications arose . . . he had already told us they might not know and what the law said. He was there when we were on our second week of ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children). He was even there when the birth father decided he might want to open his part of the adoption. Having someone we trusted and who was looking out for us was very valuable and something we wished we had found with our first adoption.
In our case, our trusted person was a lawyer, but your person doesn’t have to be someone you pay - just someone you trust and who can be there for you. The process isn’t always smooth and it isn’t always easy. Having someone else who can be your sounding board is powerful.
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