Are you thinking about adopting a baby or child? Before you begin pursuing adoption, it’s important to determine if you’re truly ready. Also known as “adoption readiness,” it can seem like a tricky thing to pinpoint yourself. Many couples wonder how to know when’s the right time to stop trying for a biological child and start the adoption process.
So today, Lifetime is sharing four simple ways to know whether you’re ready to adopt:
1. You’ve Dealt With Infertility or Miscarriage Grief
If you’ve experienced the pain of infertility or have struggled with a miscarriage, it’s important to address that before you can move on to adopting.
The healing process will take time, and so you may not be ready yet. If you’ve moved past infertility grief and you’ve released your dream of having a child biologically, then you could be ready for adoption.
2. You’re Open to the “Unknowns” in Adoption
You’re in control of many things when you have a child biologically. You know when your baby will be born, their gender, and also your medical history.
When you adopt, you’ll need to release some of that control. You need to feel comfortable with some unknowns, such as not knowing what your baby will look like. Another unknown is when a birth mother will choose you as adoptive parents to her baby.
Your future baby’s birth parents are out there right now, hoping to find an adoptive couple like you. Couples who are truly ready to adopt are up for the uncertainties. They release the need to control the adoption process, and they trust that their adoption professional is doing all they can to help them grow their family.
3. You’ve Educated Yourself on Adoption
We recommend that you learn all you can about the adoption process and its emotions. Then you’ll avoid having misguided ideas of “saving a child.” And, you’ll recognize that adoption is full of both joy and loss.
When you’re ready for adoption, you will understand the legal and emotional stages of adoption. We recommend that you get to know the process that birth parents go through. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of the emotions that they might be facing. Subscribing to Lifetime’s birth mother blog is an efficient way to do that. When you subscribe, you’ll be emailed each time a new blog post is published. We publish three new blog posts a week, and you can read them whenever you have free time. Just head over to Lifetime’s Birth Parents Blog and subscribe using the form to the right.
Getting a grasp of what happens during the adoption process for both adoptive and birth families is a positive sign that you’re ready to adopt! If you’re a little fuzzy on the details, call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784. The adoption professional you speak with will be happy to answer your questions and walk you through the process! Also, here are a couple of helpful articles about adoption education: “Your Checklist for Learning About Adoption” and “Before You Adopt: Learn About Birth Mothers.“
4. You Welcome a Relationship with Your Baby’s Birth Family
The sign of a truly great adoptive parent is someone who’s comfortable with the fundamental idea of open adoption. And that’s having a relationship with the birth family.
95% of birth parents are seeking an open adoption, from Lifetime’s experience. Also, studies have shown that open adoption is linked to happier adoptees. You’re ready for adoption when you’re ready to share a relationship with the birth family whenever possible.
So you know you’re ready for adoption and to become a parent if you’re excited about one of the most significant parts: creating a relationship with birth family!
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.