You’ll find a wealth of information on this page to aid you in your decision and your transition into a parent.
One thing you may not have considered, however, are the financial aspects of adopting. Before jumping on board the emotional roller coaster that is your journey to parenthood, engage in a little pragmatism and ask yourself these five questions:
“Is the basic process within our means?”
Before even getting to the financial considerations outlined below, it’s important to see if you can realistically afford the basic adoption process.
All adoptions cost money, and financial surprises during the process should be expected. Costs vary based on a host of factors.
While most are within the means of most prospective parents, understand going into this that no matter the situation, you’re making a financial commitment just to complete the first step, i.e. adoption.
“Do we have enough room in the house?”
The home you and your spouse share may be fine for you, but is it suitable for you two and a child? It’s an important question to ask, and one that could have an impact on your finances if the answer is, “We need to upgrade.”
Remember, children need room to breathe. Between toys, clothes, organizers, cribs, strollers, arts and crafts, and so much more, they can take up a lot of space. Ensure you’re ready for it before you adopt.
“Do we have adequate health insurance?”
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that kids get sick. A lot. Even the healthiest child will have periodic bouts of illness. When you’re in a classroom with 30 other children, it’s inevitable.
Throw in the fact that children can be inquisitive and adventurous, which often leads to accidents, not to mention the regular check-ups that are so important at a young age, and it’s clear that the “it’s good enough to get by” insurance plan you have may not be enough for your growing family.
“Can I afford to take extended time off from work?”
Many adoption experts recommend taking a period of time right after you adopt in order to accelerate the bonding process between you and your child.
This process is often neither immediate nor smooth, so enjoying an extended period of time together can be helpful in bringing you closer, getting to know one another, and forging the bonds that will truly make you parent and child.
Not everyone can afford to take time off work, though. If you can’t, consider what other measures you can take to ease your child’s transition into your home.
“Are we prepared to do some traveling?”
While it’s far from mandatory, in some cases you may be inclined to do some traveling during the adoption process, specifically in the case of international adoption. Ensure that it is an expense you can weather.
Remember that while your biggest commitment will be the time and emotion you put into adopting and parenting, both are financial commitments, too. Be prepared for it.