Becoming an adoptive parent is life-changing for you and the child or children you welcome into your life. The process of adoption is detailed and takes time to complete, and so this is what you need to know…
6 Must Know Things About Adoption
#1 Be prepared to share and talk with many professionals
When you decide to adopt, you are effectively asking to love and nurture children who may not have had the easiest start in life. They can be traumatised with difficult and complex behaviour patterns and need.
For this reason, an adoption agency needs to be sure that you have what it takes. This isn’t about trying out your ‘parenting style’ or checking out your ‘parenting skills’ but getting to know you.
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#2 Eyes wide open
Every adoption process starts the same way and moves along a similar path;
- Initial enquiry – you will want to find out more about the process, what’s involved as well as understand the children who are waiting for adoption. It is important that you come to the process of adoption with your eyes wide open.
- Home study – during this next step, you will work with a social worker to build a picture of you, your life, who you are, what you like to do and the child or children you would like to adopt.
#3 Don’t rush
Adoptive parents can be impatient to welcome a child into their lives, something that is perfectly understandable. But it is important that you are fully prepared for adoption.
Preparation training gives you the chance to explore further the issues around adoption in a group setting. You will meet other potential adopters too, and you’ll have the chance to discuss the different faces of adoption, what they mean and how you will rise to meet these challenges and opportunities.
#4 Formalising your application
You are now quite far into the adoption process having made your initial enquiry, worked with social workers at home and completed your preparation training course.
You will have a much better idea of the adoption process, the kinds of children waiting for adoption and the children you would feel most confident in adopting.
It is important to understand at this point that the more specific you are about the child or children you wish to adopt, the longer you may be waiting.
And deciding on the age and/or gender of the child you would like to adopt is something you do as part of the formal adoption application process, often referred to as Stage 2.
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#5 The final step… meeting The Approval Panel
The Approval Panel is a group of 14 people who are part of the final approval process. It is unusual for them, at this late stage of the adoption application process, to refuse an application.
They review all the information as part of your application pack, will meet you at a pre-scheduled meeting and may ask a few questions about you. This sounds daunting, but it isn’t meant to be!
#6 The most important step
The adoption application process is full on. It takes a lot of time and nervous energy, as well as committing to and attending a training course.
Once approved, you are placed on a list of potential adoptive parents. This means, that when a child matching your approval status is looking for their forever home, you are ‘matched’.
This process can happen quickly, or it can take several months. It is hard to adjust simply because you have had so many people involved, so many questions to answer and forms to fill in than once approved, it feels that it ‘all goes quiet’.
But it hasn’t. Your social worker is working hard behind the scenes constantly monitoring the child in need of adoptive parents and whether you can provide the home they need.
The day when you become a family will happen! And what a day that will be.
Adopters for Adoption work hard to match children with their adoptive and loving parents. If you are considering adoption, find out more by talking to their great team.