You stand at the edge of one the biggest decisions you've ever had to make. This decision could end a chapter of your life and begin an entirely new one with different joys and challenges. But are you ready for it?
The simple answer to this question is that if you feel ready to adopt, then you are ready. However, you should consider several other factors before you call your lawyer and start the paperwork. You may feel emotionally and mentally ready, but what about physically, financially, or professionally? Have a look at the considerations below before you finalize your decision.
Signs You're Ready to Adopt
1. You've made the decision for the right reasons.
The right reasons depend on your individual circumstances. They should make you so motivated that your desire to adopt becomes a need. They should motivate you to want to care for a child for the next 18+ years. Good reasons to adopt include:
The inability to conceive — Just make sure you resolve any grief or other emotions you feel associated with this before you adopt. You don't want to think of your adopted child as a "second best" option.
The love of children — If you love children and you want nothing more than to experience parenthood, then you should definitely consider adoption. Prepare yourself for a long but worthwhile learning experience as you nurture and love your adopted child.
The desire to start a family — Remember to always have love and new relationships in mind when you adopt.
However, you shouldn't adopt if you plan to use the adoption to heal a fractured relationship, fill up emotional emptiness, or do your social duty. You shouldn't use your adopted child as a tool to accomplish something else. You should adopt for the sake of adopting and creating a loving family. Children don't need the pressure of coming to a family who need them to fix something.
2. You can change your life to accommodate a child.
Have a good look at your schedule. Do you fill it to the brim with errands and obligations? Could you give some of those obligations up to care for a child? Children deserve love and attention, which means you have to devote the better part of your day to nurturing them. If you can't adjust your job, your schooling, or your hobbies to accommodate for this, then you probably shouldn't adopt.
3. You're in good health.
You don't have to have the ultimate diet and fitness routine to adopt, but your health should allow you to safely sacrifice sleep for your child. Your health should also allow you to live long enough to completely raise the child, which could take 18 to 25 years.
4. You have a stable relationship/family life.
Every child deserves to go into a functional, loving family. A dysfunctional family can't give children the support they need as they grow and develop. The fighting will not help their psychological health and if your family breaks apart, an adopted child may blame themself and may assume that it was their job to hold the family together.
5. Your spouse or partner also feels ready.
Both of you need to want to adopt before you actually start the adoption process. If your partner doesn't feel as strongly as you do, the new child may likely notice. Your child may sense that you love him or her more than your spouse or partner does and that may lead to psychological problems later. Your child deserves love from both of you, so make sure you and your partner are united in your desire to pursue adoption..
6. Your current finances can support child-rearing.
It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise a child. If you barely have the financial health to take care of your own finances, you probably can't afford to raise a child. Adoption orders are granted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The cost will vary depending on a number of factors, including whether the adoption is contested or uncontested, the location of the birth parents, the age of the child and whether it is a relative or non-relative adoption.
7. You can handle an adopted child's medical and psychological needs.
All children need medical and psychological support as they grow, but adopted children have the added element of not living with their biological parents. They may wonder why, and they may struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Don't take this personally—they'll still love you as their parents, but they'll want to know where they biologically came from as well.
If, after reading the list above, you still feel ready to adopt, Valerie M. Little can help you navigate your adoption through the court system by preparing the necessary paperwork and appearing in court to get any orders required to facilitate the final adoption order. Call or schedule an appointment today.