How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Adopt a Child?

How Do I Know If I’m Ready To Adopt a Child? The decision to start or expand your family is an exciting one, but it’s also a little scary. While it’s exciting to think about how your life is going to change with a new child in your life, it’s also overwhelming to think of all the new obstacles you may face in taking care of someone. Whether it is your first child or your seventh, every new family member can pose an entirely different set of challenges for you to overcome and solve.

You have to consider the possible health problems that may arise, educational needs, financial requirements, and the emotional ups and downs of the whole process. You should be prepared to have to wait quite a while before even meeting your new child. Adoption may seem intimidating, but the rewards are worth the possible struggles, just as with any new addition to a family.

Questions to ask when considering adoption

  • What are the reasons you want to adopt? Obviously, you want to expand your family, but make sure that adoption is the correct option for you. Is it all right that your child won’t share the same DNA as you? How do the other people in your immediate family feel about someone new coming into their family? It is important that you are not making this decision because of the pressures of your family or society. This decision needs to be one that you are 100% sure about.
  • Are you prepared for people to disagree with your decision? Not everyone in your life will support your decision. Some people believe that adopted families do not count as real families, even though they could not be farther from the truth. They may think you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Some people even believe that children should only be raised by their biological parents. You must be prepared to go up against this. You must believe that a loving parent is a loving parent, and that is what matters between you and your child, not the happenstance of their birth. You might try making sure you have a group of supportive people with whom you can freely express your fears, joys, tears, and victories with.
  • Are you comfortable talking with your child about their adoption? Perhaps the child is already aware that they are adopted, or perhaps they are too young and you are going to have to tell them yourself someday, you will have to be prepared to talk about their adoption with them. They may have questions about their birth parents or why you chose them over others to be adopted; they could have questions about their heritage. It is not unusual for these children to experience feelings of abandonment, inadequacy, confusion, anger, or grief about the entire situation, and these feelings are normal. Before you adopt, be sure you are ready to talk about these questions and feelings with your child; be open to therapy options and adoption support groups for them.
  • Are you prepared for the process? When it comes down to it, there are some nuts and bolts type concerns you need to consider before adopting. The Tennessee Department of Child Services requires you to follow a detailed process in order to adopt a child, including:
    • A home study conducted by a licensed child placement agency
    • Completion of a 30-hour education and self-assessment process
    • Submission of a foster/adoption application for parenting to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
    • Submission of a written home study that includes a family description, verification, medical and financial statements, and references.

While completing this process does not guarantee you a successful adoption, it is the best way to start it off. However, making sure you complete these forms properly is important to your case going forward, and that is why it is important to have a Maryville adoption attorney to assist you. They can make sure your paperwork is the best it can be with every helpful detail included.

What is the cost of adopting a child in Maryville?

Your desire and motivations for adopting a child are first and foremost in your decisions, but you cannot forget to consider the financial aspect. The cost of adoption can vary based on the type of adoption you choose. Foster care adoption, domestic adoption, and international adoption are all options that cost different amounts. For instance, domestic adoption can “cost anywhere from $0 to $35,000, with most agencies charging around $12,000 for a variety of services that can include home study fees, placement fees, legal fees, counseling expenses and medical costs.”

For international adoptions, it depends on the country from which you adopt. Different countries have different costs: For instance, to adopt from Colombia, it costs anywhere from $22,000 – $26,000 plus travel costs; to adopt from Haiti it can cost $26,000 – $32,000 plus those travel fees. International adoptions are more expensive because more goes into them such as the immigration application, verification and authentication of your legal documents, travel, and adoption program fees.

Not only should you think of the initial financial costs of the adoption process, but also the ensuing financial needs of the child. This includes the medical costs of the birth mother and child, necessary travel expenses, rent and/or living expenses for the birth mother, and for the period before and after birth. Then, going forward, you have to be prepared for the financial challenges that having a child, adopted or biological, brings up. Be prepared to provide their food, clothes, schooling, medical expenses, and leisure expenses such as gifts and trips.

If you find that you may have some issues affording to adopt a child, there are adoption assistance options available to you such as Active Adoption Assistance, Deferred Adoption Assistance, and organizations such as The Gift of Adoption. These can help to make adoption a more affordable option. Having children shouldn’t be just for the super wealthy, but for all those who have unlimited and unconditional love to give.

While adoption is an expensive process, it’s worth it. After all, is it not worth it to pay the price if what you get in the end is a new member of your family who you can love and who will love you back? We want to help make this decision an easy and smooth process for you. We are experienced in the adoption process, and we know we can help you grow your family. As a father, I know how important it is to have a family that I can share my love with. Let me help you with yours.

If you live in East Tennessee or in Blount County, and you want to grow your family through adoption, Maryville adoption attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. care about making the transition as seamless as possible. To schedule your consultation today, we invite you to call a dedicated member of our legal team at 865-982-8060, or reach out to us through our contact form.