Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.
Many children with special needs need to be adopted
- Consider using one or more of the following to find a child to adopt:
- Private agencies — the wait may be up to 10 years, usually because prospective parents are looking for a newborn and/or Caucasian infant
- Public agencies — usually cheapest
- Independent — prospective adoptive parents deal directly with the birth mother, so is important learning about young adults and adoption.
- Networking Ensure your friends and associates know that you'd like to adopt and ask them to mention it to their friends and associates
- Advertising, e.g., newspapers
- Get help with the process, e.g.:
- Social worker, and/or,
- Adoption agency
- Be aware that many children available for adoption from many foreign countries may have problems adapting to adoptive parents and may have various health problems, learning difficulties, etc.
After finding a prospective child to adopt:
- Get as much information as you can about the child's background — to help determine if the child might be violent towards you, have learning difficulties, have health problems, etc.
- Be aware that adoptive parents can suffer from some depression similar to post-partum depression, due to the letdown from the anticipation and from being overwhelmed by the major changes in your daily routine
- Introduce the concept of adoption to the adopted child in a warm and supportive manner
- Keep assuring your adopted child that:
- He/she is not different from other kids
- He/she is secure and loved
- Ensure you have adequate term life insurance on you (the parents), especially incoming-producing parents (consider getting approx. five times the parents' annual income for the first child, plus an additional four times your income for each additional child or dependent, up to a maximum of approx. 12 times your income)
If your adopted child asks questions relating to his/her birth parents and adoption and is younger than approx. age 4:
- Listen to his/her question(s) carefully so you don't answer a question he/she didn't ask
- Take the time to answer his/her question(s) carefully but honestly, although not in too much detail