Six Things That You Need to Think About
If You Want to Adopt a Child

See also: Humility

Adopting a child is a massive step for anyone, regardless of their age, salary, or experience of raising a child before. There are so many different reasons why people might be thinking about adopting, so many different living situations and relationships, but at the centre of it all is the decision to bring someone new into your family unit. There are so many children out there who need a home, and the number of adoptions has dropped since the beginning of the pandemic. You can provide a home for these kids in need.

Any parent, or anyone thinking about becoming a parent, will be more than familiar with the constant back and forth that can occur about whether they are prepared or not. And any parent will tell you that nothing can ever really prepare you for what it is like to bring a child into your home. But the more research you can do ahead of time, the better placed you will be to deal with everything that is going to come your way. So, here are a few things that you should be aware of as you dive into this thrilling and life-changing adventure.

It's Going to Take a Long Time

You might have heard some stories about people registering their interest in adopting a child and being set up with one in an incredibly short amount of time. But these are the exceptions to the rule. The process of adopting a child is a long one, generally speaking, and with very good reason. This is not a spur-of-the-moment decision, this is a huge commitment, and there is someone’s life in play. The reason why it takes such a long time is that the welfare of the child in question must be considered at each and every turn.

The Age Ranges May Surprise You

Something that you might hear a lot if you have been talking to people who have adopted babies or infants is that the process can be even longer. One of the biggest reasons for this is that a huge number of people who are looking at adopting have their hearts set on a baby that they can raise as their own from as close to day one as possible. However, the numbers show that most of the children who are in need of adoptive parents are considerably older. 39% are aged between 10 and 15, while 24% are 16 or older. The reasons why children need a new home can be extremely difficult, which brings us to our next point.

You’ll Need to Understand Their Background

This is so important for anyone considering adoption to remember. There is always going to be a reason why a child has been put up for adoption, and it may be because of violence or some other form of abuse or mistreatment. To ignore this fact would be deeply insensitive and reckless on the part of the adopters, so it is very important that you think seriously about whether you can provide the kind of home that someone who has been through that kind of experience needs.

There Will Be a Lot of Paperwork and Legal Steps

The length of the process has already been discussed, and one of the biggest factors in that time is the paperwork that you will need to go through. It’s not just about telling an adoption agency that you want to do this, and that you feel ready. You will need to go through an extensive background check that will demonstrate that you are going to provide the kind of home that the child needs.

Your financial records will be checked, as well as those of your partner. In the UK, for example, you’ll need to have a DBS check done (that’s a Disclosure and Barring Service check), which will check if you have a criminal record. There will also be several home visits, as well as at least three reference checks. Oh, and you’ll need to have a physical examination done as well to show that you are in good enough health to look after a child. All of this can feel overwhelming, and it can definitely help to have some legal advice.

If you are looking for legal aid solicitors with particular expertise in family law, National Legal Solicitors are here to help. They can assist with domestic and overseas adoptions, and they can guide you through the process to help you bring your new family member home as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

There Will Be a Period of Adjustment

Everyone will tell you that there’s going to be a long settling-in period when you adopt a child but that does not make it any less tough. You are going to have to work hard to be patient, and to remember just how disorienting this process is going to be for the child in question. They will be placing a huge amount of their trust in you, regardless of how old they are. But it’s also important to remember that this is going to be a major adjustment for you, even if you have had a child before, or already have children. This is a process that you are going through together, and you need to be there for each other.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

There are going to be days when it feels like the task that you have taken on is just too overwhelming to deal with. The waiting period can be lengthy, to say the least, and you may get close a number of different times before you get anywhere. You are going to feel like you are getting things wrong, or that there is a reason why it hasn’t worked out yet. And once you do adopt, there is the aforementioned adjustment period. So, ask for help when you need it. Reach out to people you know who have done this before, even if it’s on an online forum. Consider talking to a therapist about how hard you are finding it.

About the Author

Zoe has written and researched articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines, has a strong understanding of current business trends and a passion for entrepreneurism.