Growing my family through adoption has been a life-changing and rewarding experience. But it was not a decision my wife and I came to without substantial planning and careful thought. If you are considering building or growing your family through adoption, you have surely spent more than a handful of sleepless nights in conversation with your spouse and countless hours online doing research.
And yet, you probably still aren’t sure if you are prepared.
It’s a common concern – and a reasonable one. In fact, if you show me someone who takes a leap of faith like this feeling fully prepared, I’ll show you someone who’s not nearly prepared enough.
There are countless resources online and off to help you make informed decisions throughout your adoption journey. One of the best, and simplest, is a quiz compiled by the resource website adoption.com. I suggest that you make two copies of the questions below. Answer them privately and ask your spouse to do the same. Then compare your answers and use them as the foundation for a series of open and honest discussions.
After those discussions, I cordially invite you to schedule a visit with me to learn more about what I learned from my family’s experience and how I may assist you in your journey.
Here’s the quiz. Please try not to be intimidated by its length, these are thirty very important questions that will create a valuable foundation for many of the decisions you’ll face as you build your family.
1. Why do you want to adopt?
2. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how badly do you want to adopt?
3. Who is the driver of wanting this adoption? Will this cause conflict?
4. Will this driver/driven dynamic cause conflict in your relationship?
5. What age child would you prefer to adopt? (Underline the preferred age, and circle all ages you would be willing to consider.)
6. How firm are you on the age selected above?
7. Which of the following racial heritages would you be willing to consider in an adoptive child? (Select all that apply)
8. Which gender would you prefer in your child?
9. Would you consider twins?
10. Do you feel you are stable in your relationship as a couple without having children?
11. Which friends and family members would you want to tell about your adoption plans? Which would be supportive and which would not?
12. What level of openness are you willing to consider with birthparents?
14. Would you be willing to comply with specific birth family requests regarding child rearing (such as religious instruction, name or schooling)?
15. Where would you be willing to go to adopt? (Select all that apply)
16. How much time will you take off work during and after the adoption?
17. How much money would you be willing to spend on an adoption?
18. How much economic hardship would that cause?
19. When and how do you feel children should be told they’re adopted?
20. Would you support/assist your child if he/she wanted to find, contact or have a relationship with his/her birthparents?
21. Many adoptive parents have ‘dry runs’ before they actually adopt. How would you handle an adoption that matched with you but did not end up placing?
22. Will you or your spouse (partner) change your workload outside the home after the adoption?
23. What do you feel you could contribute to a child?
24. What aspects of childrearing are so important to you that you would find it difficult to compromise (such as discipline, religion, schooling, stay-at-home parenting, etc.)?
25. Are you ready to love an adopted child as much as one you gave birth to biologically?
26. Would you prefer to continue with infertility treatment before seriously pursuing adoption? If so, why?
27. Deep down do you feel like you are being forced to adopt if you want to have children, adoption as a means to build a family is “second best,” or that adoption is your “last resort” if you want to be able to have children? (If you answered yes to any of these points, there is a very good chance that you have some significant unresolved issues relating to infertility that you might find beneficial to address and resolve prior to adopting.)
28. What is the ideal adoption situation for you?
29. Ideally, how many children would you like?
30. How long are you willing to wait to adopt?