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12 Tough Questions That Need to Be Asked Before You Adopt

Tough Questions for AdoptionMany people sit down before they become parents and work out the big details. Work, insurance, money, time. Adoption is no different; it has it’s own issues that should be talked out before the process begins.

Below you’ll find questions that adopting parents might consider. We’ve dealt with some along the way already, and while there are a few are strictly set to either domestic or international adoption, most apply to both.

Hopefully these lead to open, honest conversations with both your significant other and your family. There are many more things to think about, but as the process goes on those will come up in due time. The ones I’ve shared are meant to get you started on that path.

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  • Do I like their culture? 1 of 12
    Do I like their culture?
    Be honest -- if you have a real problem with another culture or way of life, think twice about adopting from there. A child deserves to grow up knowing about where he or she came from and having a sense of pride and belonging to that country as well.
    Photo Credit: Simply CVR
  • Would we be open to siblings? 2 of 12
    Would we be open to siblings?
    Sibling groups are often hard to place because it takes more money and makes the process a bit (or a lot) harder. Also, it's taking on two different age groups to work with. Make sure the agency you pick has support or classes in place to help you with this transition for your family and for them.
    Photo Credit: William Cho
  • Have we thought about an older child? 3 of 12
    Have we thought about an older child?
    Tweens and teens need homes, too and often spend crucial years in an orphanage or bounced between foster homes. Consider if this age group would be a good fit for your family, overseas usually has some kind of mandatory age range between child and adopting parent.
    Photo Credit: Flickr via Dan Foy
  • Am I able to afford/want to be at home for a while? 4 of 12
    Am I able to afford/want to be at home for a while?
    People who adopt are encouraged to cocoon with their child and immediate family for a period of time to allow for adjustment and bonding. Many parents choose to take an extended period from work in order to continue this transition. A good plan is to bring this up with your job and see what their policy is, or if one can be instated.
    Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
  • How will we feel if they want to find and meet their birth parent(s)? 5 of 12
    How will we feel if they want to find and meet their birth parent(s)?
    Some adoptive children never care if they connect with birth parents - but some do. Think about this beforehand and know that each county and situation is different. If you adopt domestically you may have contact with them from birth on. Or detailed information to give your child later. But internationally can be much different, and you may get nothing at all. Both situations require you to decide how to handle them in the healthiest emotional way for your child.
    Photo Credit: Tania Cataldo
  • Will my family accept our adopted child(ren)? 6 of 12
    Will my family accept our adopted child(ren)?
    Your decision is just that -- yours. But if your family (or a close member) strong opposes the adoption, you may want to consider how to reach out to them and show how important their participation and acceptance of a new child is. If it never is going to happen, try to make a decision about what to do before bringing your child around them.
    Photo Credit: Matthew Kenwrick
  • Are we able to make a commitment to an emotionally neglected child? 7 of 12
    Are we able to make a commitment to an emotionally neglected child?
    We all hear stories of parents who give their children back to the agencies because they simply can't handle them. So do your homework beforehand, educate yourself on how to handle the behavioral/emotional issues your child does or may eventually have due to their past, and realize that once you make a commitment to parent a child, it should be forever.
    Photo Credit: D. Sharon Pruitt
  • What countries do we qualify for? 8 of 12
    What countries do we qualify for?
    Before you go with an agency, look at what guidelines and rules countries have for adopting. Often there are age limits, limits on the number of children already in a home, even weight requirements. Before you set your heart on a country, research and talk to agencies about what fits best for you.
    Photo Credit: Morgue File
  • How are we going to pay for this? 9 of 12
    How are we going to pay for this?
    Adoption can be expensive. And all adoptions come with surprises, some financial. Have a plan for how to pay the costs coming up and throw a bit of faith and trust in there for the rest.
    Photo Credit: Morgue File
  • Does the race of a child matter to us? 10 of 12
    Does the race of a child matter to us?
    No one likes to think someone would choose a child based on color, but it's not fair to a child to enter a family that isn't 100% in love with who they are. If it matters, think about why and reevaluate.
    Photo Credit: Morgue File
  • How will we tell a child about their adoption or why it happened? 11 of 12
    How will we tell a child about their adoption or why it happened?
    Even if your child knows from day 1 they were adopted, at some point they'll start to ask questions you may not have gotten to yet. From their birth parents to where they spent their younger years to simply wanting to know why -- why were they given up? It's better to know ahead of time how you plan on having this conversation with them then be left scrambling for the right words.
    Photo Credit: Morgue File
  • Are we open to a child with special needs? 12 of 12
    Are we open to a child with special needs?
    Everyone needs to make their own personal, pressure-free choice about this. We did. But know that no matter what you decide, it's the life of a child you hold in your hands. And once you fall in love with them, and have them home, the rest fades away.
    Photo Credit: Flickr via Annika Leigh

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Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal ImbalancesSmaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter and Facebook, and pinning working hard on Pinterest.

MORE FROM DIANA:

Just How Much Does Adoption Really Cost?

Bumps in the Road: Why Adoption Takes So Long

14 Unique and Eye Catching Adoption Finds From Etsy

Pondering International Adoption? 10 Tips on Choosing an Agency

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