The adoption of a baby is a life-changing event for everyone involved. However, some people believe the happy new arrival will erase all of their pre-existing problems, but this is rarely–if ever–true. Adopting a baby actually adds an entirely new form of stress and also brings a lack of sleep as the new parents care for a baby who has unusual sleeping hours, feeding times and diaper changing needs. If anything, the addition of a new baby into a household is more likely to make pre-existing problems flare back up and potentially become worse.
Before you decide to work with an adoption attorney to bring a new baby into your family, make sure the following reasons are not the main motivator in your decision, as that could mean you are not quite ready for adoption yet.
Peer pressure or the “biological clock”
Your family, friends and even society at large can impact you and your partner–if applicable–when it comes to wanting a baby. However, remember that it will be you and your partner who will be raising this child, so this type of decision must be made by you and not friends and family, no matter how well-meaning they are. Advice from your loved ones is not a bad thing, but if it is pushing you into a lifelong commitment that you’re not entirely sure you want, you will be unprepared. Wait until you are confident adoption is the right move for your family.
Rescue a relationship or marriage
Couples sometimes believe that a new baby will repair all their relationship issues, allowing them to be a happy family without any baggage from the past. However, as many parents will tell you, a new family addition can actually increase the strain on a relationship, and this usually requires a stronger bond for the couple to navigate the event successfully. This is not to say you can never adopt because you don’t have a perfect relationship, but you should work with your partner and a therapist, if needed, to get yourself and your partner to a good, solid and stable place first.
Feeling there is no other choice
It’s very understandable that people with infertility problems sometimes look as adoption as a second-best or backup option. Here, all you need to do is reframe how you view adoption. Look at it for what it really is: just a different way to start a family. Adoption is not a better-than-nothing outcome.
Remember there are many real reasons to adopt
If you and your partner have a strong relationship and are ready to start a family but are not able to have biological children, viewing adoption as a way to give a child a loving and caring family is a winning motivator. You may be single and ready to start a family of your own, and adoption is a way to do just that. It’s important, however, to make sure you are prepared for adoption and the changes it will bring into your life. Many of these changes are wonderful, but keep in mind that raising a child does take emotion, resources, patience and a lot of work, too.
Once you are ready and in the right place in your life to adopt, be sure to work with an experienced adoption attorney. Adoption is a complex legal process, and mistakes at any of the crucial junctions could become expensive and cause the process to go on longer than it should. Your attorney will act as your guide and help you every step of the way, from filling out paperwork to providing answers to your questions and concerns.