The Pros of the Adoption Process
Written by Sierra Smith on 14 Sep 2016
We all know how tedious the adoption process can be. When all you want is to bring your child into your arms once and for all, it’s difficult not to crumble under the frustrations of paperwork and in-country turmoil. Lucky for you, I thrive on optimism. While there are certainly frustrations throughout, there are, indeed, pros to enduring the lengthy international adoption process:
- Education – The adoption process often allows for more time to focus on any concerns or skills you may need to address as an adoptive parent. While we do require all parents to complete an adoption education program through MLJ, it does not cover or encompass all of the many educational programs that are available to adoptive parents. There is an enormous amount of information to soak up that will increase your knowledge about adopting internationally, any special needs that your child might have, and any cultural characteristics to which your child is accustomed. The better educated you are, the easier it will be to transition your child into your home.
- Personal Evaluation – The international adoption process allows the opportunity for parents to make many decisions, and the time for you to dig deep into any biases and preferences that you may have. You get to choose the country, age, gender, or special needs that you and your family are prepared to bring into your home. Having the time to self-evaluate will allow you to find ways in which your lifestyle fits some options better than others. Perhaps you begin the adoption process wanting to adopt a child younger than three years old. Prior to completing the home study, you realize that you actually excel at working with older children and desire to apply your skills to your adoption. You can then speak with your home study assistant and adjust your preferences to better match your personal skills.
- Ethical Practice – Allowing for the process to play out ensures that the adoption is being completed in an ethical manner. Believe it or not, the system is in place for a reason. Behind all the background checks, home studies, applications, legal fees and court dates is a pure-hearted intention to ensure your child’s safety in the world. While you may know that you are a good and safe match for your child, the process allows for authorities in both countries to be sure of the same thing. You and the adoption authorities are both advocating for the best interests of the child – the pathways each party takes to do this just look different. As the adoptive parent, you are able to bring the child into your home and heart. As a government official, you are able to ensure that the child’s best option truly is going home with you. Without all the paperwork mumbo-jumbo, the child is at risk of being placed in an inappropriate home or illegally exploited.
- Future Success of Programs – International adoption is not always the smoothest of processes. Feedback to your placing agency can benefit the families who adopt internationally in the future. If you have suggestions bring those to the agency. Bringing concerns regarding the system allows for action to be taken on issues that may not be getting the attention that they need. You get to be a stepping stone for the next family to go through the process. Through your efforts, you are indirectly bringing hundreds of additional children home through a smoother and more secure process.
And finally, behind all that paperwork lies a child who becomes a vital member of your forever family. There is a purpose to the frustration, anxiety, stress and doubts. The paperwork process is slowly guiding your child home, one page at a time.