“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother”- Oprah Winfrey
Becoming a mother is a wonderful and life- changing experience that every single woman should live at some point of her life. Being a mother comes with great challenges as well as rewards, no matter if you are considering the idea of getting pregnant or start an adoption process. Furthermore, it will be key for you to be aware of the fact that even though there will be some bumps in the road on your path to building a family, at the end of the day having someone to love for the rest of your life, makes it all worth it.
Researches have shown that more than 120,000 children are adopted in the U.S. each year; providing them with the opportunities to getting stable in loving homes, that they might not otherwise have had. Moreover, studies show that adoptive mothers report more happiness in their families when the adoptive relationships share similar likes and personality; this is certainly an advantage, however I would like to share some key tips that you need to know before you take the final decision to adopt.
It is all about your future child, not about you
This is perhaps the most important aspect you must keep in mind. There are various reasons, besides infertility, that have probably lead you to adopt; I may include compassion, or to avoid contributing with the overpopulation of the world, maybe you want to avoid passing on inheritable disease or any health concern about pregnancy and childbirth, in this post I am not going to discuss what has made you take such important choice, but my ultimate purpose is to contribute in your adopting making- decision process. So, once you have decided to start an adoption route, your main goal must be to ensure that the best outcome possible is secured for the child you are aiming to adopt. From that moment and on, you will need to deal with the fact that adoption might look different than you imagined to be, but remember that keeping your focus on the child’s best interest has to be the most important matter in your adoption process as well as in your life as an adoptive mom.
Educate yourself before to adopt will be essential
Most adoption agencies will require you to take their pre- adoption education guidelines, however it would be even better if you do far more than is required. Fortunately, today Internet offers, you a wide range of options to enrich your adoption preparation process; you can take online courses, watch videos that are available on websites who provide future adoptive parents with empowering information about such important life- changing decision, not to mention writings made by adults adoptees who can share with you what it is like to grow up as an adopted person. To my mind, one of the best ways to be informed regarding adoption is by speaking with adoptive parents, they have been parenting for a while and thus they can give you the most practical advice on both your future parenting and decisions you should take before to placement.
Deciding on keeping in touch with your child’s biological family is not something to be taken lightly
In relation with this crucial aspect in any adoption process, you need to know that birth mothers have probably come from all walks of life, and the only thing other people can assume about them is that, for one reason or another, they decided their child would be better off being raise by someone else. This is why there are two ways to address adoption when it comes to deciding on keeping in touch with the biological family. Closed adoption stands that both adoptive and birth parents agree on the fact that birth parents should remain anonymous. On the other hand, open adoption occurs when the adoptees meet and sometimes stay in touch with their birth parents, more specifically with the birth mother; this type of adoption is becoming more and more common. In any case you might hire a adoption expert (maybe a lawyer) who can help you explore your options, pros and cons before you decide on any of the two ways I have mentioned above.
Challenges do not end once you take your child home
Ok, you have gone through a lengthy and complicated process which required a lot of time, patience and emotional support; now you have become an adoptive mom, this means that you have just made a lifelong commitment to another person. There will be a moment during your parenthood where you will remember those complicated and annoying requirements, and they will seem just the easiest part of the process, because parenting will be actually the most challenging part of adoption; you will need to have very clear in your mind the fact that you have adopted a child in order to provide him/her with a life that will have as much opportunities and good quality as possible. You will do a lot of things for your child as a parent, but it will be really important to make the distinction between believing you’re saving child versus adopting a child; what I am trying to make clear is that you should not get confused by that issue of gratitude this new member of your family has brought to your life, strive to never make your adopted child feel like you saved him/her from their previous circumstances. Instead of this, you may always let your child know how much better your life is because he/she is in it, rather than the other way around.