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I Think I’m Ready to Adopt - What’s Next?

Ask yourself the following questions

Domestic versus International
– there are many factors to consider-what age child do you want, how long do you want to wait for a child, what do you prefer the child to look like. For example, if you are looking for a Caucasian infant, then the wait is usually longer with a domestic adoption-possible 2 or more years. African American and biracial children tend be available faster.  International children can be available sooner, may tend to have more developmental delays and may be at higher health risk as they are usually coming from orphanages.

Open versus Closed Adoption – Do you feel comfortable having a relationship with the birthmother or birthparent’s?  Do you envision yourself having them in both you and your child’s life in the future?   Domestic adoptions sometimes have open relationships. It is rare that an international adoption has an open relationship.  (Don’t beat yourself up on this question-this is a very personal decision. Go with what you feel most comfortable with. I know of adoptive families with both situations and the vast majority are doing incredibly well).

Features of the child – would you prefer that your child have your eye or hair color?  Would you like them to have the same color skin as you or is that not a factor to you? Are you prepared to how your family and friends may react? (This is a very personal question, of which I struggled with a lot.  Go to a park, fast food restaurant, etc. and watch families together. How do you envision your family? Some people feel much more comfortable knowing their child is not labeled “adopted”.  Still other people, do not really care.)

Sex of the child – do you want a boy or a girl?  Or does it not matter to you? It is estimated that about 2/3 of all adoptive parents want a girl.  Therefore, more boys are available. If you have a partner or other children, ask them what they would prefer?  (As I already had two older children (1 girl and 1 boy), before my husband and I adopted, it did not really matter to me if we got a boy or a girl. However, once we asked our older kids what they would like, they had definite opinions.  In our case, we took a family vote.)

 


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