Why do people perceive that it is difficult to adopt? Is it true? What aspects are difficult? Is adopting difficult for everyone or just some people. Why does this perception exist?
There are lots of reasons that the perception or notion that adopting is difficult may exist. Some of these reasons may include:
- Adoption was not always openly discussed.
- In the past, most adoptions were closed and unfortunately so were conversations about adoption as well as education surrounding adoption. Lack of education can breed incorrect information.
- Adopting is more common than the general public realizes.
- Studies show the following:
- 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption. This means that they, themselves, a family member or a close friend has been adopted, has adopted a child or has placed a child for adoption. (Evan B. Donaldson Institute, 1997)
- It is estimated that about 1 million children in the United States live with adoptive parents. (Stolley, 1993- Statistics on Adoption in the United States Kathy S. Stolley, The Future of Children, Vol. 3, No. 1, Adoption (Spring, 1993), pp. 26-42)
- Someone may have had a difficult time adopting and that situation is openly discussed more so than the positive situations that have occurred.
- There may lots and lots of reasons people believe that adopting is difficult, but that does not mean it is true.
Some aspects that may appear to give credence to the notion that adoption is difficult, however we will counterbalance these aspects.
1. Adoption can be expensive for a family wanting to adopt.
a. Yes, but there are ways to bring down the expense; you may qualify for:
i. Adoption Grants
ii. Tax Credit
iii. Financial gifts from family members
iv. Fund Raisers
2. The “Waiting Game.”
a. After enrolling in a domestic adoption program we will have an indefinite wait. Waiting can be difficult. There is no end marker for being chosen; it could go on indefinitely. We don’t know for sure that we will ever get chosen and there is no guarantee that we will be chosen.
i. Check with your agency has a special list for families who have waited longer than others for situations where the birth parents don’t want to choose a family. This way you will have a backup plan in the event you do not get chosen as quickly as you would like to.
ii. Have an independent party review your adoption profile and give you suggestions and feedback.
iii. Consider enrolling with more than one agency (if your agency allows this) so all of your eggs are not in one basket.
iv. Lastly, don’t make your entire life, day after day about adoption. Make adoption one part of your life, but have other areas and activities you can focus on.
2. The adoption process seems long and overwhelming.
a. There are so many steps; completing a home study, creating an adoption profile book, choosing an adoption agency, and then being matched with a birth mother, waiting for adoption papers to be signed, then waiting for the adoption finalization.
i. This is an adoption journey, a period of time in your life where there will be seasons. Much like an actual pregnancy. There will be hills and valleys, but hopefully the journey will be as fulfilling as the outcome!
ii. Work closely with your adoption agency. Have them explain the process and create a checklist and you will feel like you are more in control if you have the step by step list.
iii. Talk with other families in the adoption process. See if there is a support group with the agency you are with or a group chat to create a sense of community.
iv. Reach out to families who have previously adopted and ask for tips and recommendations of how they navigated their adoption journey. Basically a “Do’s and Don’ts’s List”.
Just like any other process, education is paramount. Learn everything you can about adoption before beginning. Doing your own research will help increase your confidence in your adoption choices. Your confidence level will greatly impact your level of happiness throughout the duration of your journey. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!
The Donna K. Evans Foundation is located at 8433 N. Black Canyon Highway Building 6, Suite 158, Phoenix, AZ 85021. Learn more about us at https://www.dkefoundation.com/get-involved/ (602) 595-8592 or: firstname.lastname@example.org