5 Things to Do Before Beginning the Adoption Process

If you have ever thought of adopting a baby or child, take a moment to run these thoughts through your mind. Grab some paper and jot down notes if you need to. I suggest that you revisit these questions more than once. This rocky, long, emotional road is full of ups and downs and your answers could change.

Disclaimer: Just my two cents on what one must ponder when considering adoption. I am not an expert of the adoption process, but questions similar to these, among many others, were asked of us by a therapist that specializes in reproductive therapy. Yup, that's a thing!

1. Review your relationship/marriage. If you are adopting because you want more children, make sure that you and your spouse are spending enough quality time together, working on you. Make sure you are enjoying the ups and downs of life together before adding another child to the mix. If you are adopting after discovering infertility, take the time to acknowledge what you use to enjoy before you began trying for children. The goal is to make sure that the relationship is just as strong as it was from the begin or stronger. No need to add a little one to your craziness if its negative craziness. 

2. Analyze your heart's pain levels. Not everyone has a scary, drawn-out, emotional roller coaster of a time when adopting a child, but some people do. You have to know what sets your heart off. Then discuss this with your partner. You may find that you have common triggers, or polar opposites that can support the differences. I am a planner and very organized. I refused to purchase gender specific clothing, bedding and even gear because I don't want to have to return it if we lose the match of a particular gendered baby. The pain of having a constant reminder is more than my heart can take. 

3. Divide and Conquer. Not everyone you know is deserving of a play-by-play description of your adoption process. It is not an easy process to understand and will require for you to re-explain many aspects constantly. Dividing your family and friends into a few categories will cut down on repetitiveness and allow you to savor the moments as they come. : "Inform First", "Inform if need be" "Inform when we see then" "Inform one and the rest is taken care of." The last category involves that special person that can't keep a secret and will tell everyone the news, good or bad. Everyone has one. Do this early in the process and be prepared to move people around!

4. Figure out how to relieve your stress or have fun. The adoption process can suck the joy out of having a child. Make sure you know what you like to do to have fun and relieve your stress. Encourage your spouse to remind himself, seek out and even try something new. Once you both know what you need to relax, put it into action when it is time. A clear head makes better decisions. Do what you can to clear your head. 

5. Selfishness is the poison in the pot. No one can be selfish in the process of adoption. There are way too many people to appease. Birth parents have their needs, adoptive parents have their ideas, and the social workers, and lawyers have their requirements. And do not forget the laws of the state(s), which have to be taken into consideration. Then the most important one is to consider is the child/baby and making sure every need is met. Hubby and I began this process with a long list of "We're not gonna..." and now that list is down to three items. We quickly learned that being selfish and immature was not going to get us anywhere.

I hope these 5 quick tips will help you to begin the bumpy adoption road. Remember that these are just suggestions and you might think of other items to review before adopting. Leave me a note of what you and your partner needed to do before adopting.


  1. Ask yourself WHY you want to adopt. It may seem self-evident, but if you search deeply there are many reasons.
    - DON'T adopt because having children or a family is "expected."
    - DOIN'T adopt to replace a loss or fill an emptiness within yourself or your relationship. That is an unfair burden to place on a child.
    - DON'T adopt to "save" or "rescue" a child and NEVER expect a child to be grateful for having been adopted.
    - DON'T adopt as a last resort - because you tried desperately to become pregnant and/or carry a pregnancy and had hoped to have a child of your "own" but failed.
    - DON'T adopt as badge of your liberalism or to prove what good "Christian" you are
    - DON'T adopt inter-racially unless you live in an interracial neighborhood and all of your extended family members are ok with it
    - DON'T adopt an infant or child who has a mother and/or father who want their child but are being pressured or were coerced to relinquish their rights. You could wind up in a nasty protracted and very expensive contested adoption litigation.
    - DON'T adopt a family member who you simply be a legal guardian of and have all the rights you need while not evening the original kinship

    1. Mirah I agree with you especially #3 and your last one. I like to call that the superman syndrome. Adoption is about being a parent and instilling not saving and rescuing.


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