Adoption is a process of hope. It provides hope to the family that is adopting, to the child that is being adopted, and to the birth family who is participating in the adoption. It is a wonderful process, although it may be difficult. Before you embark on the process of adopting a child, it is important that you are certain that adoption is the right choice for your family. Here are a few questions to get you started.
- Are you ready?
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is whether you are ready to bring a new child into your family. Is this something that both you and your partner/family want? Do you have resources? Do you have space considering your existing family structure? Asking yourself whether you are ready will likely open a Pandora’s Box of thoughts and emotions that you need to process. You should also feel free to seek consultation with the various stakeholders such as the adoption agency and family therapists to work through all your thoughts, feelings and concerns.
- Can you go beyond genetics?
One of the most singular facts about adoption is that you are going to raise a child that is biologically not your own. Are you truly able to see beyond genetics and unconditionally love a child who is not related to you? It is understandable if you do not feel comfortable with the idea of raising someone that you have not created. If that is the case, or if there is uncertainty in your mind about this issue, then adoption may not be the right choice, at least for the time being.
- Are you ready for the process of adoption?
The process of adoption, while streamlined, is not always straightforward or predictable. If you are planning to adopt the child at birth, it is possible that the birth parents to change their mind about adoption. For you, this could mean disappointment. Similarly, there may be other unforeseen hurdles in the path to adopting, irrespective of the age of the child. Are you prepared to deal with the ups and downs of the adoption process?
- Are you ready for parenthood?
Raising a child is not an easy journey. While it has its own joys, it also has its challenges. Do you feel prepared for the prospect of parenthood in all its forms- from physically, to emotionally bonding with the child, and being mentally prepared to deal with the responsibilities of raising a child to adulthood?
If you have asked yourself these questions and find that you are, in fact, ready to bring a child into your life, you should start researching adoption agencies that can help you fulfil your dream. In the Cayman Islands, adoptions are initially through the adoption coordinator of the Department of Children & Family Services, assessed by Adoption Board and determined by the judiciary.