“For years, Sarah and Jake have dreamed about having little children of their own, running about their house and experiencing the joys of being a parent. They have been preparing for years on what kind of parents they would make and in turn have been trying for quite a while. Unfortunately, they recently discovered that Sarah is infertile and their initial dreams were crushed. Luckily, a few months later Jake came across a blog by Your Law Firm about the option of adoption and the best ways to succeed if one chose to take that path.”
Adoption can seem very daunting and scary for someone who has never done it before. When attempting something new it is always important to be prepared and do the research beforehand to help prevent any challenges down the road. One young couple, Sarah and Jake, did this using many resources, including blog posts such as this one!
“Sarah and Jake heard how long and expensive the adoption process could be, but they didn’t have enough money because they were a young married couple. They had to make a point to sit down and plan to prepare financially, having read about the average costs of adoptions being anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000. Sarah and Jake set up a goal to meet that amount in one year. With this in mind, the two made a daily budget to help them save money. They also steadily deferred fun things like going on vacation and instead saved up that money for the potentially expensive adoption process. While this was difficult at first, they were told by doing this they would have financial peace which motivated them to make sacrifices.”
The first thing any couple should do when considering going through the adoption process is to take a look at their finances to see if they can even afford this and still be financially stable at the end. The reason this is the first step is because adoptions can take years to fully complete and there are many expenses to deal with along the way. No one wants to pay for all of those and then barely afford a good life for the child afterwards.
Parenting Styles and Plans
“Sarah and Jake saw the importance of sharing their goals and style of how they would want to raise a child with one another. Sarah shared how she would want to have a household with strict rules to help keep the child out of trouble and danger. Jake on the other hand believed that a child needs the freedom to make mistakes on their own and learn from them. After hearing how different their potential styles were, both spouses knew they had to compromise before starting the adoption.
After many conversations, they found a way to satisfy both of their ideas. They agreed it was good to have had this conversation early on instead of afterwards, to help decrease the chances of failing at raising the child and it all being a disaster. While they experienced some challenges, they had an overall much smoother experience.”
Talking through and knowing how you would raise a child and parent them is a very important conversation to sit down and have with a spouse before going through the adoption process. This is especially important for first-time adopters.
Adopting a Pre-teen Child (between 2 and 9)
If the child is already older, the couple might not have time to go through a trial-and-error parenting process. This might be different for infant adopters, but is important to consider nonetheless. Not to mention, this helps the couple themselves. By knowing how each one would potentially parent a child, the two can try to avoid conflicts that could cause issues later on after adopting the child.
Will the child be raised in a strict household or one with lax rules? Will each spouse have a main role in parenting or will they both do everything? These are just some of the questions spouses need to have before starting the process. No one wants to end up failing at raising a child they have adopted or failing the child itself.
How to decide on whether to tell a child they are adopted or not
“After reading the blog post from Your Law Firm, Sarah and Jake agreed there was a good point of preparing how to handle telling their potential child if they were adopted or not. Both were on the same page where they did believe the child should know they were adopted sooner rather than later, but after discussing it further they decided to wait until it seemed right.
After deciding when they would tell the child themselves, the couple also talked about what they would do if the situation occurred where the child found out beforehand. They saw the benefit in being prepared for a surprise situation such as this.
First, they sought out a counselor to talk about the effects of a child finding out they are adopted before the parents can tell them and how that affects the child emotionally and mentally. They also covered how best to handle dealing with questions from the child such as “Why didn’t you tell me? Why did my birth parents not want me? etc.”. The counselor gave them good advice and they left feeling prepared for the worst situation if it occurred. With the help of preparation and planning, when the time came to tell their child they were adopted the conversation went smoothly. Their child now felt even closer to the family.”
While many parents are stoked to be able to adopt a child and raise them as their own, many get so caught up in the excitement they never consider one of the biggest challenges that could occur. What if the child finds out they are adopted? Should the child even know? At what age should we tell them the truth? How do we handle it if they react badly? These are important questions to consider how potential parents would respond and act if these situations ever occur, which realistically they will at some point. It is best to talk about and plan for the situation now then to be caught off guard in the moment and mishandle it.
How to handle stress during the process
Now that you have fully prepared for what may come during the adoption process and are ready to start it, this would be your last step: knowing how to deal with stress along the way. This process will not be easy and will most likely come with some stressful situations. Here are some helpful tips to keep those stress levels down!
Communication is essential to any strong relationship, especially one that is about to undergo an adoption process. Being able to talk to your partner about whatever you are worried or stressed about while going through the adoption is healthy. It creates a tight trusting bond between spouses. Try not to keep things buried inside because sooner or later they will all come busting out at once.
Having a plan from the start, for as many outcomes as you can think of, will help reduce the stress level when they occur. This is because if you have a plan, you know you are prepared for the worst and don’t feel overwhelmed.
While distractions are generally seen as a negative, there are some positive ways to use them. If you and your partner are very stressed about something, but can’t do anything about it in the moment, consider doing something to get your mind off of the subject. Go see a movie or plan a date. Distractions like this in moderation will allow you to clear your head by doing something fun, and then you can revisit the challenge with a renewed focus.
Everyone wants to be a winner or to succeed at something they decide to do. This applies in adoptions as well. Parents want to succeed at raising an adopted child to be a happy and healthy person. This outcome is the best case scenario and the goal for any couple going through adoption processes. By following these helpful steps and suggestions above you will be more prepared to reach this goal!