How to Prepare for Adoption
If you’re considering adoption, knowing where to start can feel challenging. The process itself can be difficult to navigate, which makes assessing your emotional readiness even more important. So how will you know if you’re prepared to start the journey of adoption? What will you need to do to prepare for a child if you decide to adopt? Keep reading as we answer some of the most common questions about preparing for adoption.
Tips for Preparing for Adoption
Table of Contents
- What do I need to know before adopting?
- How stressful is the adoption process?
- What should you not do when adopting?
- What is the best age for adoption?
- Do you have a baby shower when you adopt?
- Steps to take before undergoing the adoption process
- How to prepare for adoption home study
- Make preparations for a new child in your home
What do I need to know before adopting?
There’s much to learn about adoption before you start the process. Before adopting or deciding to take the path of adoption, here are some things you should do to prepare:
- Research: To truly know that adoption is the right path for you, it will take some dedication to learn through research. Find out all you can learn about options that are available to you. This can include researching other parenting options, what adoption agencies are available for you to work with, and what is to be expected from the process.
- Seek perspective: Try to connect with others who have gone through the process. This can be through the lens of the adoptive parent or even the adopted child. Understand how they navigated the challenging process of adoption and what the transition into an adoptive family entailed. If you don’t know anyone who has gone through the process, you can research an online community or forum for those who have gone through adoption.
How stressful is the adoption process?
The adoption process comes with many important decisions, unexpected challenges, and sometimes disappointment with unmet expectations. This process can be filled with uncertainty, which unquestionably can take a mental toll. In addition, the time that needs to be invested during this process can be extensive. Adoptive parents spend countless hours researching options, determining eligibility for adoption, applying for adoption, and much more. All these factors can be stressful, which is why assessing your emotional readiness to go down the path of adoption is so important.
What should you not do when adopting?
- Don’t skip the research. With the complexities of the adoption process, researching can help you best prepare for what to expect.
- Don’t give up. There are bound to be hills to climb during the adoption process. While it can be exhausting at times, stay focused on your goal to grow your family.
- Don’t try to carry the weight alone. Support systems will be critical during this process. Seek support from loved ones or from a healthcare professional if you’re having trouble balancing the emotional weight of the adoption journey.
What is the best age for adoption?
There’s no one answer for the best age for adoption, as it’s ultimately up to what’s best for your family. Consider what you envisioned for adoption, if you have other children already (and what ages they are), and what you think is best for you and your family. At the end of the day, so long as you are willing to love and accept a child into your home, there is no best age.
Do you have a baby shower when you adopt?
Bringing a new child into your home is very special, and your loved ones will likely want to celebrate in some fashion during this exciting time. When adopting, you can certainly still have a baby shower. It may be best to wait until you know a little bit more about the child or baby you’ll be matched with. If doing so beforehand, you can always request that your guests keep the gifts generic to an age group. Some useful items to add to your registry if adopting a baby, especially if gender is unknown, are the Totebaby and Tushbaby to keep them (and you) safe, secure, and comfortable as you carry them and their necessities. The Pack can also come in handy when living life with a baby or young child, especially for quick trips out.
Steps to take before undergoing the adoption process:
1. Assess your emotional readiness for adoption
You can start to assess your emotional readiness for adoption by asking yourself these few questions:
- Do you and your partner or spouse both want to take the path of adoption?
- Do you have a support system?
- How do you handle your emotions when things get challenging?
There are many ways to assess emotional readiness, and your adoption agency may even request this assessment be done by a licensed professional.
2. Ensure you meet adoption requirements
Before deciding to adopt, you’ll need to ensure that you meet the adoption requirements for your state. Again, this is where it’s important to do your research. You can also inquire with adoption lawyers if something does not seem clear. Some common eligibility factors include age minimums, marital status, and any criminal charges on your record.
3. Create an adoption support system
Going through the adoption process can be a very testing time emotionally. Having friends and family for support will be instrumental to the adoption process and to adjusting to life with your new adopted child. Your adoption support system should support your decision to adopt and be willing to be there for you in trying times. Support systems may look different for everyone, including how big or small they are. In a world where we can be socially connected through the internet, finding an online support group may even be a part of your support system plan.
4. Create a financial plan to pay for the adoption
Adoption can come with many financial obligations. Before you decide to adopt, it’s important to create a financial plan to pay for the adoption. Some things you may need to financially prepare for include:
- Adoption agency fees
- Home study fees
- Legal assistance in the adoption process
- Application fees (including obtaining birth certificates, marriage certificates, and a background check)
- Travel expenses if adopting from outside of where you reside
- Preparing the house for a child (including clothes, car seats, and all nursery needs)
If you need financial assistance, there may be loan and grant options available for you to research.
How to prepare for adoption home study
A home study is typically required by law or mandated by the adoption agency. It’s a screening of your home and background to ensure that children are placed into suitable homes that are the right fit. You can expect an interview with the family, document checks, and a home inspection. You can prepare by:
- Having all requested documents ready: This may include IDs, birth certificates, pet immunization records, etc.
- Prepare your home: Childproof your home and ensure all alarms work.
- Prepare for interview questions: You may be asked why you want to adopt, what your childhood was like, and why you feel adoption is right for you.
Make preparations for a new child in your home
Once you’ve been approved for adoption or matched with a child, it will be time to prep your home for their arrival. Start by making a to-do list of everything you need to get done and purchase. If you’re having a baby shower or other celebration, consider making a registry for your friends and family to choose from. There are plenty of things to do to ensure your adopted baby or child feels welcomed into their new home. Don’t forget your Tushbaby hipseat carrier that will make bonding with your new baby a special and enjoyable experience. Here are some ways the Tushbaby can help you bond with your newly adopted child:
- Hold them longer/more often without back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Babywearing/physical contact causes the release of oxytocin, which is a hormone that can help you bond with your new little one.
- Is your child already a toddler? No problem. You can use the Tushbaby up to 3 years of age.
- Babywearing helps promote physical and emotional development for your adopted baby or child.
Take a look at other Tushbaby products that can be a great addition to preparing to adopt a child. From our portable Changing Pad to our Paci Pod, Tushbaby products are designed to help make parenting even more seamless.