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OTHER ITA SITES:
Adoption: Making Sure You're Ready
Adopting a child of any age is a very difficult, long process, and it should be an equally well-thought-out personal consideration -- whether you will be a single parent, want to adopt a child outside of your native country, or are already in a marriage with your biological children.
Here are some of the things you will need to ponder to be able to make a fully informed, satisfying decision for both the child or children and yourself and your family.
For example, do you feel that it's possible to love an adopted child as much as a birth child? What if this is an infertility issue, yet you haven't given up hope that one day your family may produce a biological child? How will this interfere, if at all, with your feelings toward your adoptive child, should this happen?
One red flag should be obvious, but often isn't: Make absolutely certain that, if you have a partner, he or she does not have any mixed feelings about adopting, and really would prefer to have birth children. Make sure you and your partner have thoroughly discussed what you believe it will be like to raise an adopted child.
And even if you "sometimes" have these same feelings, that's another really important thing to consider; you should most likely give this more thought if you are having any doubts at all. Maybe you've always dreamed of adopting, even if you had birth children. Do you still feel that way? What about your extended family? Will they support your decision, and if not, will that matter to you?
Another, more obvious red flag is, are you in a position to financially afford to adopt and raise this child?
Financial preparedness is just one aspect; are you also emotionally prepared to be a parent, for either the first time or in the case of an additional child? And do you worry about adopting a child who may have serious emotional and/or physical problems, either now or in the future?
Another, last thing, is something many people don't think about: Are you adopting out of "guilt," or do you believe that adoption is a good thing because it saves a child from a difficult life?
There are a lot of questions associated with adoption, but they are all for the benefit of, first, the child; and second, you and your family or lifestyle. If the two don't connect in a way you find satisfying, it may be time to seriously reconsider your decision or put it off for another day. It's that important.
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