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Parents-to-Be Planning: Is Adoption Right for Your Family?

Parents-to-Be Planning Is Adoption Right for Your FamilyAdoption has become a very popular way to build a family in the United States, with more than 125,000 children placed in new families per year. This is a wise and wonderful trend, but if you are seeking to adopt, there are some factors to consider.

Adoption Takes More Time Than a Pregnancy
Nine months seems too long to wait to bring a biological child home, but adoptions can sometimes take much longer. Potential adoptive parents may wait years for a chance to adopt since intense scrutiny and endless paperwork is the adoptive gestational norm. In light of these difficult, but not insurmountable factors, some soul-searching needs to be done.
Here are questions to ask yourself:

Why do I Want to Adopt?
Is the adoptive child a replacement for a lost child or difficulty conceiving a biological child? Is the adoptive child supposed to heal a relationship between you and your spouse? If either of these questions is answered in the affirmative, rethinking the pressure on an adoptive child to fulfill these needs may be necessary. Talk through your thinking together and make sure everyone is one the same page.

Can I Commit to Parenting?
The Motley Fool lists the expense of raising one child alone, to the age of 17 as somewhere between $140,000 to $290,000. Take a look at your budget and make sure you are ready for this type of financial burden. Are your work hours such that child-time takes priority? All parents say their entire lifestyle changed radically upon the birth or adoption of a child, so being prepared might involve a parenting class to give some oversight.

What Age do I Want to Adopt?
Although newborn adoptions are a high priority among adoptive families, older children may be considered by older parents, parents with siblings already within the family, and parents who wish to adopt through the foster care system. A single parent may find more success in an attempt to adopt an older child as well. You might also want the birth mother to have contact in your lives. It all depends on circumstances of birth and situation and places like A Child’s Dream can be a good go-between for both of you. All ages of children will have their special needs and assets so make sure you have considered age as a factor in your lives.
The adoption of a child, whether a newborn, toddler, or special needs, will involve an upheaval of planning, paperwork and expense. Scrutiny will continue even after the child arrives in the home. Preparation for this and other unknown variables such as the child’s mental and physical health must be discussed and understood before a child is adopted, as much as is possible. 


Armed with a realistic outlook, adoption can be a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to parent. If you are ready, it can be one of the most rewarding times in your life as well.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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