Before families involve themselves in the adoption process, it is important that they engage in a thorough assessment of attitudes about themselves, their current situation, their current family life, and their support system. The following questions are written for prospective adoptive parents who are married couples since these are the most common adopters. It is understood that single adopters would need to address these questions as well.
What are the reasons we want to adopt?
How do we see adoption as a positive way to build our family?
In what ways do we have the kind of lifestyle that will be enhanced by the adoption of a new family member?
How will our extended family respond to our adopted child?
Do we have personal problems that we think may improve if a child enters our family?
Is our motivation for adopting to “save a child”?
What is our perspective on the potential relationship: Do we want a child for ourselves, or are we a family for a child? In other words, what are our expectations for the child in this relationship?
Are we adopting to acquire a playmate for our biological child?
Can we love and nurture this child without knowledge of this or her history, no matter what may arise because of that history? Are we prepared for any special needs our child may have?
Adoption is a team effort involving parents, agencies, attorneys, and other individuals. How capable do we see ourselves of working through the system?
When we think of a child, do we envision a child who comes with a history or a child who comes with a blank slate?
If infertility is an issue, what point of resolution have we reached regarding our inability to conceive? How has infertility affected our marriage?
If singleness is the reason I don’t have children, what point of resolution have I reached regarding the possibility that I may never marry and have biological children with a spouse?
How has childlessness affected our relationships with relatives, friends, and their children?
Have we asked ourselves, “Who in our extended family or circle of friends would best understand the unique needs or our adopted child?”
These wonderful questions were taken from the book I am currently reading, The Whole Life Adoption Book by Jayne Schooler and Thomas Atwood.