Adopting a child is exciting and needs to be thoroughly considered before making this lifelong commitment. When it comes to adoption, what do you imagine it being like? The situation could look very different if you’re adopting an unknown child versus adopting your niece or nephew. Depending on the circumstances, you should be mentally and emotionally ready for anything to happen during and after the adoption. Let’s discuss four questions you should ask yourself before beginning the adoption process:
“What are my expectations about the adoption process?”
There are a great many misconceptions out there about how the adoption process works. Thanks to fictional media portrayals and the fact that the real life high-profile adoptions we hear about are viewed through a very narrow filter, many people do not realize how complex and challenging it can be to adopt. It is essential that you are honest with yourself—and your attorney—about your expectations with regard to things like cost, length of time, and the likelihood of accomplishing your adoption goals. This way, your attorney or someone else more familiar with the nuances and challenges inherent in the adoption process can properly adjust your expectations so there is less chance you will be surprised or disappointed.
“What if the child asks about their biological parents?”
This can be a touchy subject no matter what the adoption scenario looks like. You need to have a plan in place for determining when and how this conversation takes place. Maybe you want to wait until the child is of a certain age before you discuss their adoption with them. Some parents choose to never tell their children that they are adopted, and if that’s the route you decide to take, also prepare yourself for questions that might arise later on in their life.
“Am I financially and emotionally prepared?”
It takes more than just money to be able to provide for a child, although you need to make sure you are capable of supporting an additional person. Take a full inventory of your emotional capacity as well as your general lifestyle. If you work 80 hours a week, you might not be physically present for your child as much as you should be. Parenting any child, biological or adopted, brings along a new set of challenges that you need to be ready to tackle. Having a strong support system in place is also beneficial for addressing tough parenting times.
“What kind of adoption do I want?”
Utah provides multiple ways to adopt a child, from private adoptions to foster care options. Some people choose an international adoption, which will have a completely different set of requirements. Remember that each type of adoption will come with its own set of benefits, so be sure to choose the right option for you and your family.
If you are going through the adoption process or just have questions regarding this important decision, please reach out to Topham Family Law. Our goal is to provide for the best needs of children, and can help you make decisions accordingly.