Questions to Ask Yourself
Thinking about adoption is the beginning of the process. Below is a list of questions to help prepare yourself.
- Are you considering a specific gender of a child or youth?
- What age of child am I looking for?
- Would I be willing to have on-going contact (open adoption agreement) with a child's birth parents?
- Could I parent a child who may have been sexually abused, physically abused and/or neglected?
- Could I parent a child that has an on-going medical issue, may be developmentally delayed, or diagnosed with a developmental disability?
- Could I parent a child who may have been exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero?
- Does the ethnicity of the child I adopt matter?
- How does my extended family feel about adoption?
- If I did adopt a child of a different ethnicity than myself how would my family feel?
- How am I going to handle adoption-related questions that my child may ask?
- Sometimes younger children have an older sibling who also needs an adoptive family and the goal is to keep siblings together. Would I consider adopting a sibling group?
- Who do I have in my life to support me as an adoptive parent?
- Provide daily care and nurturing of children in foster care.
- Advocate for children in their schools and communities.
- Inform the children's caseworkers about adjustments to the home, school, and community, as well as any problems that may arise, including any serious illnesses, accidents, or serious occurrences involving the foster children or their own families.
- Make efforts as team members with children's caseworkers towards reunifying children with their birth families.
- Provide a positive role model to birth families, and
- Help children learn life skills.
- Provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood and beyond.
- Provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children.
- Provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child's developmental age and growth.
- May become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for adoption, but whose permanency plan is adoption.
Open adoption agreements, sometimes also referred to open communication agreements, allow contact between the adoptive parents and birth parents.
The goals of open adoption are:
- To minimize the child's loss of relationships.
- To maintain and celebrate the adopted child's connections with all the important people in his or her life.
- To allow the child to resolve losses with truth, rather than the fantasy adopted children often create when no information or contact with their birth family is available.
Open contact with the birth parents or birth family may play an important part of your adoption. The Inclusive Family Support Model video completed by Amara can provide points to consider when making decisions about contact and feelings your child may have.
For additional information regarding open communication/open adoption, please consider reviewing the following the top 5 resources about open adoption:
- The Open‑Hearted Way to Open Adoption by Lori Holden
- The Adopted Life website
- Adoptees On podcast by Haley Radke
- “Are you scared, hesitant, unsure about connection with first family? I was too.” by Katie Biron
- Instagram hashtags to follow: #adoptionjourney #adopteevoices #adoptionawareness