Monday, June 25, 2012

Starting an Adoption-Questions to Ask

As I said yesterday, I've recently had a lot of people ask me about starting an adoption.  I already shared a bit about lessons I've learned but in terms of the nitty gritty, I think there are some questions a family can mull over as they start an adoption.  I think my list is a bit different than most lists of questions.  Most lists I've seen focus on questions for adoptive families to ask potential agencies.  I would encourage adoptive families to also ask questions of themselves.   By doing so, they are mentally walking through their core values and determining what they think to be true about adoption.  The questions become about embracing who you are as an adoptive family and having expectations that will match with reality which is one of the strongest factors in a successful adoption.  Too often, families enter into adoption with a few broad ideas and then find themselves swayed by things that may not be central to who the family is or wants to be.  It's tempting to sign with someone who promises short wait times.  It's tempting to sign with someone who promises an infant.  It's tempting to have someone flattering you and telling you how your family is a perfect fit for a teen in need of a home.  It's tempting to pick a program that seems to be the cheapest.  But those well intentioned thoughts may not take you on the road that is right for your family.  Many of the lists of questions to ask an adoption agency/facilitator are written from the perspective of avoiding a scam or an unethical agency.  I think when an adoptive family starts with questions for themselves, I think it also helps to reduce the potential of losing money or having an unethical situation.  Often times, scams occur because an adoptive family appears "desperate" for a child which then leads to the family making questionable choices with their finances and hearts.

For me, I think there is a need to do some thinking about how a family will answer the following questions and then use those answers as starting point.

What level of risk are you okay with?
Who are you as a family? 
How do you feel about birth families?
How do you feel about the financial end of adoption?

As I sat and thought about what things I've told the families who have spoken with me lately, I think most of what I've said fits under those questions.  So tomorrow let's do a little thinking outloud about those questions.

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