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How to Know When You Are Ready to Adopt

How to know when you're ready to adopt

Why am I adopting? What are my expectations? Am I eligible to adopt? Am I prepared to adopt? These are common questions we receive when individuals are exploring adoption as a means to grow their families. Knowing when you are ready to adopt is a process that should take ample amounts of time, preparation, and prayer. There are a number of resources available to support you in your exploration, and as a first tangible step, we recommend reading “The Connected Child” by Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross along with Wendy Lyons Sunshine.

As you begin to consider adoption as a means to building your family, think through and recognize the unique set of circumstances and influences that led you to this place. In that space of praying, evaluating, and waiting, it is incredibly important to consider what motivations, hopes, fears, and expectations are bearing on your decision. Facing these issues, challenges, and hopes honestly will help steer you in the right direction on how to move forward.

It is helpful to enter into this journey with realistic expectations about adoption, a full understanding of the adoption process, and an openness to learn about and embrace the needs of your future child. Understanding these components will allow you to more effectively care for your child in their journey.

  • Pray about your decision. Ask if this is the right path for you or if there are other important ways you are uniquely gifted to care for waiting children.
  • Explore your motivation for pursuing adoption and how your own history could impact your parenting. Understanding the “why” in this decision will allow you to more effectively meet the needs of your child as you move forward.
  • Spend time thinking through your expectations for adoption as well as for your future child. Are these expectations realistic? How will these expectations affect your future child? These are important elements to wrestle with as both could impact the way your child views his or her value and identity.
  • Seek wise counsel from your pastor, trusted friends within your community, and other parents who have adopted and/or provided foster care. An integral aspect of adoption is having a strong support community around you for balancing the demands of life and finding space for rest.
  • Consider and explore other questions like, How will adoption impact my marriage? How will adoption impact my life as a single adult? and How will adoption impact my family?

Knowing when you are ready to adopt is a process that involves time, research, preparation, and prayer. As shared earlier, facing these issues, potential challenges, and hopes honestly will help steer you in the right direction on how to move forward. For some, it may lead to the addition of a long-awaited child through adoption. For others, it may be the open door needed to find a different way to care for the needs of waiting children. As you continue to explore whether you are ready to adopt, we invite you to visit Show Hope’s HowToAdopt.org, a free online resource with answers, insight, and guidance for the adoption journey.

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