Step #01 - Educate Yourself



'I CAN adopt.  Say that a few thousand times.  Why?  Two reasons . . . first because, in most cases, it's true and secondly because once you begin walking down that road, you will undoubtedly run into roadblocks, issues and setbacks that will make you question the truth of that statement many times.  So the question is not "can I adopt . . . the question is "should I adopt?

The reality is that everyone is called to help orphans.  Everyone.  For some that means a missions trip to build an orphanage, for some that means supporting organizations that advocate and provide for the needs of orphans, for some that means getting involved with foster care or an adoption/orphan care ministry, and for some it's giving financially to these things.

And there are those who are called to adopt.  Be careful though . . . don't stop reading now and say, "well, I am not called.  Maybe you're not.  But what if you are, and the very son or daughter that is waiting for you to read up on adoption and ask God what His plan is for you?  Give it some thought and prayer.

This is a general guide to adoption. Each country and state has their own set of regulations and requirements. In addition, this information may change at any time. For more information on specific adoption how to's please contact an adoption agency.

Let's face the facts, just thinking about adopting can be a daunting task! Fortunately, with a little planning, knowledge, organization and support the process of adoption is very doable.

So, let's get started!

The first thing to do is locate good information.  When considering and beginning an adoption the first thing that can be of great help is basic research on the topic. At this part of the process consider:

  • Reviewing the Adoption Guide, content and links on Precious.org, and register for a free membership with Precious.org
  • Reading adoption related magazines and books.
  • Speaking to other adoptive parents.
  • Attending an adoption event near you.
  • Joining one of many online adoption forums including the Precious Community.
  • Getting involved in a local adoption/orphan care ministry.
  • Requesting information packets from as many adoption agencies and homestudy providers as needed.  You can do that through our Contact Agency tool.

Next, begin the entire process with organization in mind. It will be helpful to establish a file folder system of information and documents for this portion of the process as well as later when the papers are flying in from all over! This is also the time to ask questions of potential agencies. This will not only help you choose an agency to work with, but also provide clarification and a greater understanding of the entire process. It is completely acceptable to call an agency and ask specific questions about their timetables, costs, ethical principles on adoption, special programs, and services.

On-line Beginner's Course on International Adoption

Sign up for Hague training.  You'll need it to adopt internationally, it's relatively inexpensive, and it will give you a ton of information to consider when thinking about adoption.

Finally, do a self-assessment.

Conduct a Self-Assessment

The self-assessment is the best way to find out if you are ready to adopt.

Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Do you clearly understand why you want to adopt?
  • Are both parents committed to adoption?
  • Does your lifestyle allow you the time necessary to meet the needs of the child you are seeking to adopt?
  • How will adoption change the dynamics of your family and do you have what you need to make it work?
  • Do you have deeper issues in your marriage which you are hoping the adoption will help with?
  • Do you realize that the notion of saving an orphan and their gratitude to you for doing so is not a foundational reason on which to base an adoption? Yes, in many senses, adoption can and does save orphans from ill fates; however, expecting regular expressions of gratitude from your adopted children would be like expecting biological children to live in a constant state of gratitude for and towards their biological parents.
  • Do you have support from your nucleus family?
  • Are you called to provide/care for orphans in other ways?

Do you possess these needed characteristics?

  • Perseverance and patience; nearly all adoptions involve a significant "waiting" period(s) in the adoption process.
  • The ability to accept without judging, and to love unconditionally.
  • Awareness that healing doesn't always come quickly; once the child has arrived there is usually an adjustment period. (with an older child there is often a testing period ” the child will want to know if your love is unconditional.)
  • Willingness to learn new things.
  • A belief in adoption and ability to commit.
  • Open to dealing with the child's issues as if the child was a birth child ” adoption is forever and adopted children must be treated as equal to biological children.
  • Resourcefulness.
  • Please know that when you adopt, you are not only providing love and a home, you are also sharing your values with a child. An examination of your belief system can help you define your own needs and be aware of your expectations.

Parenting skills are essential to successful adoptions. If you are a first time parents, and particularly if you are adopting an older children, parenting classes are worth considering.

After this initial research stage, you're ready to move to step two.

RELATED: Adoption Guide in Precious Community

RELATED: www.precious.org/guide

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Adoption Guide
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