8 Thoughts Adoptive Parents Have During the Adoption Process
Whether you’re still considering adoption to build your family or are already involved in the process, it’s natural to have many thoughts, questions and concerns. Maybe you have a question you haven’t been able to find an answer to, or maybe you have a concern that you just can't seem to shake. You’re not alone. All adoptive parents have similar thoughts during their journeys; it’s a sign that you’re invested in and excited for this family-building process. Don’t believe us? Here is a list of the most common thoughts adoptive families have along the way.
1. “Is adoption right for me?”When an adoptive family is considering adoption, their reasons can range from something as simple as just wanting to start a family to a more complex situation like the fear of passing on genetic disorders to a biological child. Each adoption is special and unique, and every family will have a different reason for pursuing adoption. There will be moments along the way where you may question your choice, especially when challenges arise. Remember that you’re not alone in asking this question — but think back on the reasons why you chose adoption in the first place to find the answer you’re looking for.
2. “I don’t know how I’ll love an adopted child as much as a biological one.”If you worry that you may not be able to love an adopted child as much as a biological son or daughter, you are not alone. This is a common concern adoptive families face when considering adoption. Through natural bonding activites, you will create an inseparable love for your child. Every aspect of caring for your baby — from feeding to putting your child to bed — develops attachment and support. In many situations, the moment adoptive parents hold their baby for the first time, the bond is instantly created. Rest assured — you can and will love your adopted child equally as much as a biological child.
3. “Adoption is so expensive!”We’re not going to lie: Adoption can cost a lot. But it’s important to understand the costs involved — and what they mean for you. Adoption is expensive because of all the professionals and services you need: attorneys, social workers, physicians, government administrators, adoption specialists, counselors and more. Paperwork, consultation, marketing and legal representation all take time and cost money. Although adoptions can be expensive, find peace of mind in knowing you get what you pay for. All of the fees associated with adoption are in place to ensure you, a prospective birth mother and a child are protected legally and ethically.
4. “We’ve been waiting forever! Will a prospective birth mother ever choose us?”Waiting to be chosen by a prospective birth mother is often the most stressful and frustrating portion of the adoption experience. Different factors — such as the type of adoption, whether you are working with a local or national agency, and your professional’s marketing approach — can all add to or decrease your wait time. It can be hard to believe, but studies have shown that more than 60 percent of families are selected by a prospective birth mother in the first year of their journey. Although there are times where the matching process may seem endless, stay positive, discuss strategies with your adoption professional and know that, with some patience, a prospective birth mother will eventually choose you.
5. “Open adoption is scary! How can I be expected to ‘share’ my kid?”Open adoption is a new concept to many adoptive families. You may have concerns about confusing or upsetting your child, the birth parent(s) changing their mind and wanting her child back, or the realities of co-parenting. These are all normal fears — but they are all unfounded. Your adoption professional will explain the actual process of open adoption to you. This kind of relationship is strongly encouraged, as there are numerous benefits to choosing an open adoption. Open adoption isn't nearly as scary as you may think, and in the long run, may end up being one of the best decisions you have made.
6. “I can’t believe how similar we are to the prospective birth parents!”Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about parents who place children for adoption — that they are careless teenagers, are suffering from addiction, or live in poverty. So, adoptive families are surprised to find out birth parents actually come from various walks of life and have many things in common with them — including the same love of the child being placed for adoption. In addition, when a prospective birth mother selects an adoptive family to place her child with, she often has many characteristics and qualities that she is looking for. Oftentimes, these qualities may be similar to the traits she possesses herself! Remember that prospective birth parents will pick a family based on the connection they feel. They want to pick a family they can best relate with and, in many situations, those families are very like them.
7. “What if the prospective birth mother changes her mind?”There is always a possibility that an expectant mother may change her mind before placing her child. This is completely within her rights, and it’s important that you respect those rights when you start the adoption process. (However, note that after a revocation period has passed, a birth parent has no legal rights to “reclaim” their child.) Although this can be devastating and completely change your adoption plan, a disruption does not mean your adoption journey is over. It just means the right opportunity is still waiting for you. You will need to support an expectant mother, whatever path she chooses, in order to be an ethical and respectful adoptive parent.
8. “I can’t believe how much I love this baby already!”Providing love and support for your child is exactly what makes adoption so special. Early on, adoptive families may have doubts or concerns of their abilities as parents and the emotional attachment they will have with their adopted child. In most situations, once they get the call that they have been matched or get to hold their child, love takes over, and a lifelong bond is instantly formed. Many adoptive parents admit to not realizing how quickly this love would occur — but are so happy that it did.
---Although there will be many emotional ups and downs along the way, adoption professionals are here to support you — and to reassure you of the joy adoption can bring for both you and a child. If you are considering private infant adoption, contact a professional today. They will be more than happy to help you find the best path for you.