Thinking of adopting a child? It can be a blissful, worthwhile experience – but it can also be a baffling, exasperating journey. It’s a process that will affect your life, the people around you (most especially your immediate family) and, of course, the life of the adopted child. And since it is a lifelong commitment, it is important that you know how to prepare. Here are a few tips before you start the process:
Spend time alone with your thoughts
There are tons of options on which child you may want to adopt. Evaluate whether you want an infant or older child, boy or girl, domestic or foreign-born child. Also, decide whether you want an open relationship with the birth parents. These essential decisions help you a lot in the early process of adoption.
Seek professionals in your area (agencies and other adoption experts)
There is information available to you through public and private agencies’ handouts and brochures; you may also want to research online. Communicate with facilitators, social workers and agency representatives for further facts and figures.
Consider attending pre-adoption counseling
One of the most important ways of preparing for adoption is to make the transition easier, and that is where pre-adoption counseling comes in. The more informed you are of your own process, the more emotionally prepared you will be to parent your future child.
Make use of post-adoption services
Reaching out to available support groups for adoptive families can play a huge role once adoption is complete. Talking to people undergoing the same situation as you will help you gain more insights.
Prepare for the child’s healthcare needs
This is an essential part of preparing for adoption. Once the adoption process is over, you may request the addition of your child to your health insurance plan with your provider. Furthermore, there’s a time outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period when you can sign up for health insurance for you and the entire family. You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’ve had certain life events; adopting a child falls in this category. Depending on your Special Enrollment Period type, you may have 60 days before or 60 days following the event to enroll in a plan, so plan accordingly.
Pour in a lot of love and patience
The adoption experience doesn’t stop when the legal process is over. Being an adoptive parent is a continuous journey that requires a lot of time and patience and emotional and psychological support. But as many would say, when you love what you do, everything gets easier.