Beginning to consider adoption is perhaps one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding decisions you will make throughout life. Taking a person from a challenging situation or country and providing for them as part of your family is an amazing yet daunting opportunity. There are many things to consider prior to moving forward but before you reach this decision there are a few things you should think about right from the beginning:

  • Is this something you and your partner are certain you want?
  • Can you find a respectable and reliable agency with a good reputation to work with?
  • Do you understand both the upfront and ongoing costs of this decision?

Hopefully you and your partner will have considered the idea of becoming adoptive parents for a number of years, as this life-changing decision is not something to be rushed in a few weeks. Deciding to adopt requires  years of understanding between a couple and many in-depth conversations. As after all, making this decision doesn’t just impact you and your partner but also the boy or girl that you end up taking into your family.

Adoption requires more than just the regular parenting skills; there is also the added challenge of working through different issues that will arise, such as the questions from the child later on in life. Although a wonderful experience, it is important to make sure you are ready for it. One option is to be a foster parent for a couple of years prior to moving forward with a formal adoption, this would offer good practice in order to build your skills and tests your will.

If certain you want to proceed, the second most important decision you will make is selecting the agency that will handle the adoption for you. There are many options available however not all of them provide the same service; work with the same countries; charge the same fees; or are as reliable as others. In order to choose the best one a fair bit of  research is required, you can read through many online sites, blogs and discussion forums and be sure to refer to local support groups discussions that can be found online. No matter what part of the country you live in there should be a group for parents of adopted children, groups such as these should be sought out for their advice and recommendations.

Finally, the cost of the process itself is something that needs to be considered. While UK agencies do not charge an adoption fee, they may be charged for the home visit and background checks. Some parents choose to keep their new addition in touch with the birth parents or at least their birth culture, this could mean ongoing trips for years afterwards. That said, the stories from parents who participate in these trips are usually very positive, telling of how amazing their experiences have been embracing a different culture.

No matter how you proceed, adopting a child will be a wondrous, and exciting adventure, just be sure to take your decision and the steps that lead up to it carefully and sincerely.

To summarize:
  • Make sure that before proceeding you have had thorough discussions with your partner.
  • Make sure you are aware of all the numerous costs associated with becoming an adoptive parent.
  • Connect with local support groups. They can provide endless suggestions and advice.
  • Some services focus on orphans, while potentially more challenging, the rewards can be worth it for both you and the little one.

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