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Questions to ask when considering adoption

When you turned 35, you decided that you wanted to adopt a child. You went to your spouse and told them about your interest. They were overjoyed and they agreed with you. You feel like you're ready.

But are you? Or are you just excited? While adoption should be exciting, you do need to carefully consider things to make sure you actually feel ready to take that next step. It's a big one. There's no going back. Don't take that lightly.

While every situation is unique and you need to consider your own position carefully, here are a few questions that may help:

1. Are you emotionally ready to move forward if infertility is the reason for the adoption?

Not all couples adopt because of infertility, but it's a big reason. It gives you a way to become a parent when you can't do so naturally. However, you must feel ready to really put those dreams behind you and move on to these new dreams and hopes for the future. Are you emotionally prepared to do that?

2. Are you financially prepared?

Adoption is typically not cheap. Plus, even after you adopt, raising a child brings on a slew of new costs: food, clothes, childcare, diapers, etc. Do you have money to pay the fees? Does your budget account for your increased costs?

3. What is the main reason you decided it was time to adopt a child?

The only reason, experts say, is that you want to love and raise a child. Exactly what pushes you into that may be different from what someone else experiences. It helps to think about the deeper reasons that you feel drawn to this process. What does that tell you about what life will look like moving forward?

4. What specifics do you have in mind?

For instance, do you want to adopt a child of your own ethnicity? Do you want to adopt a child from within the United States or from overseas? How old do you want the child to be? Some parents only want infants, whereas other parents are open to adoptions at any age. Do you have other preferences for things like gender or religious background?

With these questions, remember that you cannot answer incorrectly. It's all about your preferences. Don't feel bad about what you want in a new child. You can always find children who will benefit from a loving home, no matter what child you choose. Just talk to your spouse and find out what you're after beforehand.

The process

The reality is that the adoption process gets pretty complicated. If you are ready to adopt, it's time to start looking into all of the steps you will need to take.

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