Going through the adoption process will put your lifestyle and relationship under scrutiny. In order to be ready for the process, you and your spouse must be a united front. Once your goals and needs with adoption are clarified, you will be ready to explore all of the nuances and options for adoption. Here are four conversations to have with your spouse today if you are considering adoption.
1. The Background of Adopted Children
Some families are okay with any child coming into their home as long as they are healthy and needing love. For others, it is important that the baby is the same race, or does not have any emotional or developmental handicaps. Some individuals are okay with a foreign baby, others would like a child from their community or background. Knowing your limitations as a couple in this regard is the first step.
2. Feelings on Open Adoptions
Knowing if you would be alright with meeting and knowing the birth mother can make a difference in the type of adoption agency you pursue. If one spouse would rather the process be more anonymous, this needs to be clarified and known up front. Many times open adoptions can lead to faster placements which can be a factor for a couple as well.
3. Willingness to Foster First
If you are looking to adopt but are okay with the possibility of an older child, adoption agencies might initially suggest fostering. This will not guarantee placement, and can be heart wrenching if a child's situation changes and they are placed back with family. On the other hand, fostering may lead to a permanent placement for a child that otherwise might not have had a chance at adoption.
4. Open to Learning Parenting Techniques
Adopted children may have delayed emotional problems, attachment issues, or behavioral issues down the line. Parents need to be prepared with patience and consistency. Going to parenting classes and understanding the skills that will be needed is a must. Make sure that your spouse is up for the challenge and understands the risks at hand.
Being frank about your needs and wants for an adoption is important, but sometimes a spouse might set the bar too high. Exploring these feelings with a counselor or adoption agency can also help bring couples together and meet on common ground about the process. You and your spouse have a genuine opportunity to come together and be ready for your new family member.