How do you know when you’re ready for something? Is there a time that is more perfect than another? How will you know? What if you choose wrong? Or worse, miss your chance?
If you are wondering whether or not you are ready to adopt, you’ve probably asked yourself one or all of the above questions, along with countless others. But don’t worry. You are not alone. Many other prospective adoptive parents have wondered the same things, and Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is here to offer our guidance.
1. You Know You Can Love a Child Not Biologically Yours
Having your own children is a big deal to most parents. For some, it is the only way they want to build a family. When their own biology fails them, prospective parents will pursue gestational surrogacy so they can still have a child who they are genetically connected to.
When you are considering adoption, be sure to look inside yourself and see what you are okay with pursuing. Adoption is a blessing to hopeful parents who cannot have children of their own. It allows you to still become the parent you’ve wanted to be for years, but it cannot fulfill any lasting dreams of pregnancy or giving birth. To help you determine whether or not you are ready to adopt, think about if you welcomed an adopted child into your home. Could you still love and accept them despite their differing genetic makeup? Could you take them under your wing and call them yours?
2. You’ve Accepted Your Infertility and are Ready to Have a Family
Blood tests. Infertility treatments. Thousands and thousands of dollars. You’ve been through the loop and back again. The results are always the same. Your doctor has solemnly told you what you’ve always feared. There’s no chance you’ll be able to conceive. You will not be able to have a family biologically.
Infertility is not an easy thing to swallow. There is a natural period of grieving that many couples must go through before they can pursue other options. If you feel as though you’ve done this and fully moved past your wish of having a biologically family, your mind and heart will be open to other options. This, in turn, is a good sign that you are ready to adopt.
3. You and Your Partner / Spouse Agree on Adoption
Have you and your partner/spouse discussed adoption before? How do you each view it — individually and together? If you both line up, this is good news! Every child — adopted and not — deserves to be in a loving and functional family. Your child will need to know that his or her parents are supportive and happy together. This will help them develop feelings of safety, trust and confidence. So, if you both feel strongly about adoption and agree it’s how you want to build a family together, you are ready to adopt.
Being in a strong, healthy and committed relationship is very important when you are considering adoption. It’s imperative that you both are on the same page, and that you aren’t seeking to adopt to patch up a problem. Contrary to popular belief, having children or creating a family is not a permanent fix all. It does not magically end the fights and disagreements. Quite the opposite, actually.
4. You are Emotionally and Financially Prepared to Raise an Adopted Child
The adoption process is fraught with emotions and various expenses. Are you prepared for that? While you can never be perfectly stable when it comes to finances, there is a fine line between being barely able to afford your current lifestyle, much less an additional mouth to feed. Plus, there’s the adoption fees to think about, too, which can sometimes include birth mother expenses as well. Adoption may be the most cost-effective way to grow a family, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap.
Regarding the emotions, the adoption process can feel like an overwhelming roller coaster. Adjusting afterwards can be emotionally and mentally challenging as well. Not to mention anticipating any medical or psychological needs your child may have. Have you talked about this aspect of the adoption journey and how you’ll handle it? Do you have a plan in place? Getting both your finances and emotions prepped will greatly help you when seeking to know if you’re ready to adopt or not.
5. You are in Good Health
You are not required to be in pristine physical condition to adopt, so don’t worry about perfecting an ultimate diet or fitness routine. However, you should be in overall physical health. This will help you survive the sleep deprivation and potential missed meals during the first few weeks without too much concern.
If you have a medical or mental health condition, be sure to talk with your doctor and stay current on your treatment plan. For adoption agencies, if you are able to live long enough to raise your child to adulthood, they will be assured that you’re ready to adopt and that a child can be safely placed in your home.
6. You have Researched Adoption and Understand the Process
You’ve done your homework. Read books, researched articles online, talked to friends and family about adoption. Perhaps you’ve even attended an adoption seminar and looked up adoption agencies in your area. You’ve learned what the adoption process is and what it entails. How you’ll start with an application, complete a home study, wait to be matched, and then possibly get to meet with the prospective birth parents.
The adoption process can be daunting — physically, mentally and emotionally — so it’s important to know your level of commitment before jumping in. If it all makes sense to you, and feels as though it’s something you can handle, that’s a good indication that you are ready to adopt.
7. You Know It’ll be Worth It
It doesn’t matter what the adoption journey brings you. The ups or downs, the goods times or bad, or anything in between. You are prepared for the risks and rewards that adoption will bring you. It doesn’t even matter what your adopted child will present you with in the years to come. In your heart, you know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what you want to do. That it’ll be worth it to you. Adopting a child will forever change your life in the best way, and make you the parent you’ve always dreamed of.
If you feel this way, guess what? You are ready to adopt.
Bonus: You Just Know
As cheesy and as cliche as it is, there is truth behind the saying, “when you know you know.” It’s an innate gut feeling. An invisible light switch that flips on and gives you an overwhelming sense of peace and confidence. If you feel this way when considering adoption, that’s a very good sign you are ready to adopt.
Signs You’re Ready to Adopt
Do you feel ready? Do you want to be a parent, even if it means if your child isn’t biologically related to you? Are you and your partner/spouse on the same page when it comes to adoption? Then there you go! You are ready to adopt!
For your next step, give us a call and let us know what questions you have. We can’t wait to hear from you, and help you get started on your amazing journey towards adoption.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and a book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“5 Signs That You’re Ready to Adopt.” The Blog, Fort Worth Adoption, adoptionbp.com/5-signs-that-youre-ready-to-adopt/.
“Five Signs You Are Ready to Start the Adoption Process.” Considering Adoption, 21 Oct. 2019, consideringadoption.com/adoptive-family/five-signs-you-are-ready-to-start-the-adoption-process.
“How to Know When You’re Ready to Adopt.” Valerie M. Little Family Law, www.family-law.ca/b/how-to-know-when-youre-ready-to-adopt.