November is the time for Thanksgiving and is also National Adoption Awareness Month. This month many courts across the nation will host Adoption Days to finalize adoptions of children placed into forever homes through foster care. And, Texas is the second largest adoption state in the country- over 11,000 children are adopted in Texas each year!
Many couples pursue adoption for many different reasons. Some turn to adoption after battling infertility or health issues, others feel called to expand their family through adoption. But, is adoption right for you? The following questions may help you answer that question.
1) What kind of adoption is best for your situation? Foster, international, private, adoption agency? Each type of adoption has its own unique challenges and benefits so do a lot of homework - read materials, interview agencies, and talk with other families you know who have adopted a child.
2) Does race or gender matter to you? Children from all backgrounds and ethnicity
are placed for adoption so be prepared to answer that question honestly.
3) Can you afford to adopt? Review your financials so that you know what you can and cannot afford. Check with your employer to see if they offer any adoption benefits as well as maternity/paternity leave. The IRS has historically offered an adoption credit which helps recoup the out of pocket costs of adoption. Talk to your CPA to see if you qualify. There are also other ways to get an adoption funded through grants, loans, and sometimes even crowd funding.
4) Are you really prepared for it? Adoption is not a one-time transaction, it is a lifelong journey. Open adoption is now the norm which means the birth parents will be choosing YOU to parent their child and they may want to have post-adoption contact. Plus, research shows that open adoption is best for the adopted child as well.
As with making any important decision, adoption requires a lot of self-reflection and study. Most adoptive parents will tell you the joy and blessing of a child in their family is worth the challenges inherent in adoption.
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