What basic information do I need to know about adoption?
Information helps you feel more in control when faced with complex
adoption and infertility decisions. First orient yourself with the following
basics about adoption.
- You can choose between many
types of adoption, including various combinations of independent, public or
private agency, domestic or international, and open or closed
- A small number of
adoption information Web sites can provide you with
detailed information. Start with the National Adoption Information
- The adoption process involves extended
waiting periods for information and processing, and ultimately bringing a child
- Some adoption agencies provide supportive services to help
adoptive families adjust to their new lives together.
What are the risks of adopting?
As with parenting
a biological child, raising an adopted child confronts you with a list of
unknowns. Physical, intellectual, and mental health issues can unfold over time
whether your child is biological or adopted.
Adoption poses its
own risks and concerns, such as the possibility that an adoption process may
not go through, unknowns about a child's genetic and health background, and
attachment and behavior issues related to separation or neglect. The birth
mother and father may have the legal right to change their minds about placing
their child for adoption. In some states, relinquishment is final as soon as
the legal papers are signed; and in other states, a period of time is allowed
for the birth parents to change their minds.
Are you ready to adopt?
As you prepare for this
- Spend time exploring adoption options, costs,
and timelines before you make a final decision to try or to discontinue
- Think and talk about
questions to consider about adoption.
aware that one of you may be ready to adopt long before the other. Some couples
report that it has taken months to years before they were both ready to start
the adoption process.
- Before proceeding with an adoption, allow yourselves time to
grieve your lost hopes for a biological child.
If you need more information, see the topic