Growing your family through adoption is a beautiful thing, and there are questions you need to discuss before adopting a baby. Keeping the lines of communication between partners is essential when making this important life changing decision. If a birthmother chooses to place her baby with you, how will you know the situation is right if you have not discussed it beforehand?
You need to be open and honest when discussing these questions about adopting a baby. If you are both not on the same page, the process will not work.
Some questions to discuss are:
1. International adoption or domestic adoption? The wait times for these adoptions vary.
Can you both take off from work to fly to these countries? What if the paperwork is held up; can you take more time off from work if necessary?
2. If you choose to adopt internationally, what countries are you willing to adopt from? Are you willing to keep your child's culture alive by teaching him or her about it? Are you comfortable with your child being a different race than you are? Will your family be? What if they are not? How will you handle that? Can you discuss this with your family beforehand?
3. If you choose a domestic adoption, how open your child's birthparents are you willing to be? Are you comfortable with visits from your baby's birthparents? Or just letters and photos? How often will that take place? Will you exchange identifying information?
If you choose to have visits, where will they take place? At the agency? In one of your homes? Will it be supervised and facilitated by an agency social worker?
How often will they take place? Once a year? Twice a year? Holidays? Baby's birthday?
4. What type of medical history are you okay with? Only a full history from both birthparents? Partial, meaning, one birthparent's medical history is unknown? What is there is no medical history available? Are you comfortable with that?
5. Another question to discuss before adopting a baby is, what will you find acceptable in a birthparents' medical history? Depression? Mental illness? Cancer? Drug use while pregnant? Alcoholism? Attention Deficit Disorder? Smoking while child was growing in the womb?
6. Would you accept twins or a higher multiple birth?
7. Would you adopt a child a child who was born prematurely? How premature? Four weeks? Eight weeks? Twelve weeks?
If you answered yes, are you well read in the potential medical problems associated with a premature birth?
8. Would you adopt a child who has special needs? If so, which ones would you accept? Physical need? Mentally challenged? Both?
If you say yes, are you prepared for extra costs associated with a special needs child? Do you have time for therapies, surgeries, and money for medical equipment? Does your insurance cover any of these things?
9. What kind of maternity and paternity leave are you entitled to? Are one of you going be a stay at home parent? Have you saved money for this?
What if the working parent loses his/her job? Do you have an emergency fund?
These are very important questions to ask before adopting a baby. Don't wait until your agency calls with a situation and you only have a short time to think about it. Adoption means forever. Make sure you are fully prepared to make this choice.