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Should you adopt?

Well, the short answer is, “yep.”

But that is just not realistic. It’s not for everyone.I am very open about my experience with adoption and therfore have had many conversations with people considering it themselves. I will probably put together a FAQs post about foster care and adoption, so stay tuned for those.

As for the question, “Should you?”, I have known numerous couples who had talked about adopting, but simply were not on the same page. I think this is dangerous. I really do. I’m generalizing, of course, but it is very often the woman who is pushing to adopt, while the man is much less compelled (talking about hetero couples in this scenario, but let it be known that I am EXTREMELY supportive of non-traditional families, single parents, same sex couples, etc .I’ll talk more about that soon.)

I always wanted to adopt. I always was interested in foster care. After I brought it up with The Dad when Jorge was a baby, he was less than enthusiastic. Like many people, he was unsure. Would he love an adopted child as much as “his own” child? Would it put us deep in debt? Would they have problems we were not equipped for? But, he wanted to see what a biological son would look and be like…  and so on.

My normal route in a situation like this was to bargain and plead- yes, I’ll admit to that.

However, with something like adoption, this is absolutely not the path to victory.

In adoption, is not always an easy or gentle road, and having a partnership free from resentment is necessary. So, my only move was to share my feelings and the information I had. He offered to attend an informational meeting and start the process, if I agreed to a no expectations/no obligation sort of thing.

This resulted in our attendance to the required nine week class at the local junior college. Without any convincing from his wife, The Dad gathered enough information through that class to come to his own conclusion- he was 100% on board, and we were going to take this on as a team.

There would be many other opportunities for us to disagree along the way, such as what level of disability we would accept. This is why at each crossroads, you must communicate and be respectful of each other’s needs and hopes for THEIR child, as well as yours.

Here is a GREAT quiz that I grabbed from the blog, Adoptive Momma of 3.

I recommend taking it separately with your partner and then comparing notes as a first step.

  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?
    • Me (definitely)
    • Me (a little bit more than my spouse)
    • My spouse/partner (definitely)
    • My spouse/partner (a little bit more)
    • Both want to adopt about the same
  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.)
    • Newborn (under six months)
    • Infant (newborn to 2)
    • Preschooler (3 to 5)
    • Primary school (6 to 10)
    • Middle school (11 to 14)
    • High school (15 to 18)
  6. How firm are you on the age selected above?
  7. Which of the following disabilities would you be willing to consider in an adoptive child? (Select all that you would consider)
    • Drug exposed (occasional)
    • Deafness
    • Mild or medically correctable condition
    • No drugs or alcohol considered
    • Non-correctable (cerebral palsy, retardation etc.)
    • Alcohol exposed (occasional)
    • Alcohol exposed (frequent)
    • Smoking exposed
    • Emotional/mental disorders in family
    • Emotional/mental disorders in child
    • Premature birth
    • Multiple birth
    • Club foot
    • Cleft pallet or lip
    • Downs Syndrome
    • Epilepsy in child
    • Epilepsy in family
    • Blindness
    • Diabetes in child
    • Diabetes in family
    • Conceived through rape
    • Conceived through incest
    • Nothing known about father
    • Nothing known about mother
    • Sibling group
  8. Which of the following racial heritages would you be willing to consider in an adoptive child? (Select all that apply)
    • Any Child
    • Arab/Middle Eastern
    • Asian
    • African American
    • Caucasian
    • Caucasian/Asian
    • Caucasian/African American
    • European
    • Caucasian/Hispanic
    • Caucasian/Native American
    • Eastern European/Slavic/Russian
    • Hispanic or South/Central American
    • Mediterranean
    • Middle Eastern
    • Multi-Racial
    • Native American (American Indian)
    • Pacific Islander
  9. Which gender would you prefer in your child?
    • Girl
    • Boy
    • Either
  10. Would you consider twins?
    • Yes
    • No
  11. Do you feel you are stable in your relationship as a couple without having children?
  12. Which friends and family members would you want to tell about your adoption plans? Which would be supportive and which would not?
  13. What level of openness are you willing to consider with birthparents?
    • Completely open adoption
    • Open adoption with reasonable boundaries
    • Exchanging letters and photos only
    • Completely confidential adoption
  14. Would you be willing to comply with specific birth family requests regarding child rearing (such as religious instruction, name or schooling)?
    • Yes
    • No
  15. 15. Where would you be willing to go to adopt? (Select all that apply)
    • Only in our state
    • Neighboring states
    • Anywhere in US
    • International
  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?
    • As early as possible / preschool
    • Mid- to late-childhood
    • As adults
    • Only when they ask
    • Only when they find out
    • Never
    • Not sure
  20. Would you support/assist your child if he/she wanted to find, contact or have a relationship with his/her birthparents?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Don’t know
  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?
    • Yes, I will stay at home with the child
    • Yes, my spouse will stay at home with the child
    • I will reduce my work load to part time
    • My spouse will reduce his/her work load to part time
    • Will remain the same
    • Already stay-at-home
  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?
    • Yes
    • No
    • I think so
    • I don’t know
  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?
    • Up to six months
    • Six months to 1 year
    • 1 year to 2 years
    • 2 to 3 years
    • However long it takes
ENJOY this process- you have so much to look forward to, and if your story ends with an adoption, you will always look back at the journey that led to the creation of your family. Please share any outcomes from the quiz in the comments- I’d love to hear it!

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