Things Nobody Tells You About Adoption
If you are planning on adopting a child, first off, congratulations and thank you because there are a lot of children who need a home. Adopting a child is one of the most selfless things a person can do. Many individuals won’t dedicate the time, resources and emotions to raising a child who doesn’t share their genes, so the fact that you’re willing to do that for a person to whom you aren’t related is incredible. Now that that is said, there are a lot of details of the adoption process, and the reality of raising a child you didn’t carry in your womb that nobody tells you about. Some of these can come as a bit of a shocker.
Going international is pricey
If you choose to adopt internationally, you could spend around $30,000. Adopting domestically could cost as little as $4,000. But whatever your agency says you will spend, put aside extra money, just in case.
It takes around three years to be approved
Being matched with a child, and then being approved to bring him home, takes an average of three years. It can take up to five years in some cases, or as little as four months.
Only heterosexual couples can adopt here
No Americans can adopt here
In 2012, Putin banned all Americans from adopting children from Russia. This law came as a serious blow to some parents who were already mid-way through the process of adopting a child from the country.
Single parents struggle to adopt here
In Mongolia, adoption agencies are hesitant to adopt children to single parents. Single fathers are not allowed to adopt there at all. Thailand has similar laws but limits the children single mothers can adopt to special needs children.
It’s getting more expensive for a reason
International adoption didn’t used to be so expensive, but many countries came to realize that foreigners were willing to pay hefty fees to get a child, and so they raised their prices, perhaps at the risk of finding fewer homes for orphans.
Sometimes there is no medical history available
Often times, adopting parents will not have access to the medical records of the child. This is because not even the agency has those records. This can be a large point of stress for parents, hoping to have some indication of the future health of their child.
You may not be totally accepted by the parenting community
Unfortunately, parents who birthed their children may not treat you like a “real parent” because you adopted. You might not find the solace in the parenting community that you’d hoped for.
If you adopt outside your race, you may face judgment
If you adopt outside of your race, you may encounter that other people of your baby’s same race judge you, or even disapprove of you, believing that you are “stealing” a child from them.
People ask too many questions
People are generally too nosy about your adoption process, and your child, and cross a lot of boundaries.
Educate yourself on your child’s country of origin
If you do adopt your child internationally, he will probably want to know about his culture and hometown. Educate yourself on your child’s original culture before he grows up and starts asking questions.
Your child may demand her “real” parents
At some point (usually the teenage years) your child might demand to meet her “real parents.” Hearing her say this will be very painful, but as she gets older, she will realize that you are her real parent, in all the ways that count.
Some kids run away to try to find their parents
Be aware that many adopted children run away from home to try to find their real parents. It’s better to give them some information on their parents than to risk this event.
You may feel you missed out by not having the child
No matter how much you adore your child, there is a good chance you will still, sometimes, wish you had carried a baby in your womb. It’s a natural feeling.
Meet other adoptive parents
There are plenty of support and social groups out there for parents who adopted their children! Join these. You can swap very useful tips, and feel surrounded by people dealing with the same struggles as yourself.