So, you’re thinking about adoption …
Determining whether to grow your family through adoption encompasses a lengthy process with numerous questions and factors to consider. Here are suggested first steps to beginning the adoption journey.
In considering adoption, think about the important aspects of the child’s life and your life that will be impacted by this decision (both the joys and challenges).
First, it is important to learn more about the needs of children who have been orphaned, the adoption process, personal motivations and expectations, and the resources available in moving forward in this journey.
There are millions of children around the world who have lost both parents. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 children in the foster care systems have had parental rights terminated and are waiting to enter loving, permanent families through adoption.
Globally, there are an estimated 140 million orphans who have lost one or both parents. And there are an estimated 15 million children who have lost both parents. (Read Show Hope’s white paper on its use of statistics about children who have been orphaned.)
Currently, there are more than 435,000 children in the U.S. foster care care system. Of those children, 125,000 have had parental rights terminated and are waiting to enter loving, permanent families through adoption.
From 1999 to 2018, a total of 275,891 children from around the world were welcomed into families in the U.S. through intercountry adoption. Currently, more children come home to the U.S. through intercountry adoption from China than from any other nation. And lastly, over the past two decades, intercountry adoption in the U.S. has decreased by 82% since its height in 2004.
Personal Motivations and Expectations
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. 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 consider motivations and expectations, begin thinking through the impact adoption will have on your marriage, your family, and your life as a single adult. You may even question: Am I eligible to adopt? Am I prepared to adopt? As more questions come to mind, visit HowToAdopt.org and its Commonly Asked Questions to learn more.
Determining whether to grow your family through adoption encompasses a lengthy process with numerous questions and factors to consider. From the first steps, the adoption process can feel overwhelming as various factors are considered, but there are a growing number of helpful resources—whether you are simply wanting to learn more or are ready to move forward with the adoption process.
“The Connected Child” by Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross and Wendy Lyons Sunshine
“The Connected Parent” by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Lisa Qualls With Emmelie Pickett
“Choosing to SEE” by Mary Beth Chapman
After examining the factors to consider in adoption, it is important to discover and learn more about the adoption process, costs involved, and common misconceptions. We encourage you to continue learning more by visiting HowToAdopt.org and its Adoption Basics section.