The happiest days of a family often involve the arrival of a new member. It makes no difference whether a mother gives birth to a biological child or whether a child is brought into the family through adoption. Just as each family is different, the reasons for the adoption and processes involved are unique. Many embrace the concept of adoption, but it takes a lot of work, preparation and thought for the parent to do it right.
Is it the right time?
The process for adoption through an agency internationally or domestically will often take years. The timing will often be unclear (and delays are common), but parents and siblings should start by having many discussions regarding the topics below and others unique to the family:
- Do the parent(s) have an extended support system to help?
- Is the family ready to bring someone else (who perhaps does not look like them) into their home?
- What are your expectations for yourself, the child and other family members?
- How badly do you want to adopt?
- Why do you choose to adopt?
- What approach to adoption works for our family?
Tradition versus today
Traditional adoption used to mean that a child was often brought into the family as an infant. Some children would not even know that they were adopted until they reached a certain age. These days it is a much more fluid concept where the adoption can involve a foster child, stepchild, grandchild, adult child, a child from outside the country or some other background.
Many legal issues to address
Agencies thoroughly vet parents these days. This means extensive background checks, home visits by caseworkers, compulsory classes, and a lot of paperwork. An experienced adoption attorney can be a helpful guide in gathering the necessary information, filling out the paperwork and addressing issues that present themselves, such as a biological parent not willingly giving up their parental rights. Nevertheless, no matter how hard the process is, welcoming this person into a loving home is well worth it in the end.