Each year in the US, about 140,000 children find homes with new, adoptive families. And those families do the whole nation an incredible service. But, of course, there are some costs that come with adopting a child too. Here are just a few of the things you’ll have to give up if you want to adopt.
If you’re looking to adopt a child, you probably have high hopes of what their life with you will be like. But having certain expectations can set you up for a fall. Adoptions are not straightforward processes. They involve people, and people are messy. It’s best to confront adoption with no expectations in mind. Instead, learn to love the way the process itself unfolds.
You’ll face some significant challenges along the way. You’ll have to deal with mountains of paperwork. You’ll have to nurture a child who might have social or behavioral problems. You may even have to take in a child far more quickly than you planned. Adopting successfully means giving up on your prior conceptions of what it should be like. Be mindful that you’re ultimately just going along for the ride.
As an adoptive parent, you don’t have a lot of control over the adoption process. You can’t decide when the child arrives or what they’ll be like. And that means that you really have to change your mindset. Go in with the attitude that says you’re there to provide a safe space for the child to develop. Don’t go in with the idea that your job is to form the adopted child in your image. This never works and is damaging to the child. They are their own masters.
Yes, unfortunately, adoption doesn’t come cheap. If you do end up adopting, expect it to cost a lot. There are, of course, the adoption fees themselves. And because the process is quite involved, these costs can be significant. Then there are the post-placement services, where you’ll receive support after a decision has been made. And then, of course, there are the costs of raising a child, estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Get ready to start spending the vast majority of your money on your adopted child, instead of yourself. You’ll find yourself paying for video games, school trips, and sports equipment. It’s enough to bankrupt most parents.
It’s funny. Nobody asks any questions about your private life when you have your own child. But when you want an adoptive child, you have to let all your dirty laundry hang out. Social workers will want to know everything about you, from your criminal record to your past relationships. It’s all designed to protect the child of course, but it means that you’ll have to give up that most cherished American value. Privacy.
Not only that, but you can expect the neighbors to start asking questions too. They’ll want to know how you have a child without first being pregnant. They’ll want to know all the gossip about the birth mother. And they’ll want to find out what country the adopted child is from. Be prepared.