Few decisions in life are more impactful than the choice to adopt a child. It is a life-changing action for both you and your family, as well as the potential adoptee, and it will mean major ramifications for everyone involved.
It is absolutely essential that you carefully consider whether or not adoption is appropriate for you before attempting to pursue this drastic change in your life. Below we have detailed three vital question that every person considering adopting a child should ask themselves first.
What is my motivation?
Choosing to adopt a child is a momentous decision, the gravity of which you probably will not be able to truly comprehend until after you have completed the adoption. It is a decision that absolutely cannot be made lightly.
When you begin to consider whether or not adoption may be right for you and your family, you must conduct a great deal of introspection. Be completely honest with yourself about your motivations for wanting to adopt. Perhaps you and your spouse are unable to conceive but you still want to raise a child. On the other hand, perhaps your marriage is failing and you believe that bringing a child into your lives may help improve the situation.
Ensure that you have reasonable motivations for wanting to adopt that are fair to both you and the child. And if you cannot tell which of the two scenarios above is a reasonable motivation for adoption, then adoption is probably not for you.
Do I have the necessary resources?
The resources it takes to raise a child are eye-popping. But not only must you ensure that you are financially stable enough to take on the economic burden inherent in adoption, but you should also consider whether you have the human resources available to you.
You've probably heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” For most people, it is extremely important that they have a significant support structure in place to help them raise their adoptive child. Certainly, there are single parents out there who are prepared to take on the massive task of raising a child completely on their own, but there is no doubt that raising a child without a supportive network of friends and loved ones to assist you will be incredibly difficult.
Ask yourself if you have the financial resources to afford raising a child. If you do, then ask yourself if you have the human resources to assist you. If you do not have a reliable support system, then ask yourself if you are truly prepared to raise this child on your own, and if it will be in the best interests of the child. We are not saying you cannot do it alone, or that it will always be a negative thing for the child—simply that you must carefully consider whether or not you will be able to devote the appropriate time, love, and attention to the child.
What kind of adoption is right for me?
There are numerous ways to adopt a child, and many different considerations every would-be parent must think about before pursuing an adoption. Do you want to adopt a child from the United States, or would you prefer an international adoption? Would you like to adopt a newborn infant from a mother whose background and medical history you know, or would you prefer to adopt an older child with unknown parents who is currently living in foster care? You must consider whether or not you are comfortable with adopting a child with special needs or a child of a different ethnicity than you.
Every case has unique considerations, and every choice has its own unique ramifications. Make sure you are fully aware of what you can expect from each type of adoption.
There are few things more admirable than providing a home to a child in need. Adoption is a beautiful thing, but it is also a massive, life-changing choice. Make sure you ask yourself the questions above, and be honest with yourself about the answers. A skilled adoption attorney can help you weigh all of the appropriate considerations when it comes to potentially adopting a child. If reside in North Carolina and you are considering adoption, please contact the NC Adoption Law Center today.