A common obstacle that prevents couples from entering the adoption process is a lack of confidence that they have what an adoption agency is looking for. Part of the reason for this lack of confidence is a misconception about the characteristics that make for a successful adoptive couple. For instance, one myth is that adoption agencies require families to be wealthy, or to own their own homes, or to maintain a perfect house before they can adopt.
The truth is that through the application, home study, interview and other steps of the adoption process, adoption agencies look much deeper than a family’s material possessions to find couples who have the strengths that will make a warm and loving home. If you understand what these strengths are, you may be surprised to find that you have what it takes to be an adoptive parent too.
One of the most important characteristics that adoption agencies look for is honesty from the adoptive couple. The agency exists to support both the adoptive couple and the birth parents through what is often a difficult and emotionally charged process. Their desire is to offer you the help you need to successfully bring your adopted child home, not to catch you in mistakes or analyze your flaws. As a result, the application, home study, and interview are designed to help them identify your strengths and weaknesses and determine how those things will impact your adoption journey.
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For instance, by revealing your employment status, you give them a good idea of your ability to support a child, and by being honest about your feelings regarding adoption, you help them determine which children might be a good fit for your family. By being open and honest with them regarding who you are as a family, you will enable them to give you the support you need as you travel the road toward any of the types of adoption.
Another important quality that adoption agencies look for in adoptive families is emotional stability and maturity. This type of stability is an important tool that will enable families to lovingly welcome an adopted child into their lives. These agencies look for couples who are emotionally capable of raising a child, and especially of weathering the unique challenges that often accompany adoption. For instance, the agency will want to know how you handle and express your own emotions so you can help an adopted child learn to express theirs. They will want to know if you can be flexible in the face of challenges, and whether you will be able to handle the struggles that older child adoption may bring. In addition, the agency will want to know whether you will be able to bond with a child who is not biologically related to you and how you might respond to a child having difficulty accepting their love.
Both international adoption and domestic adoption come with financial demands that can be fairly steep. Beyond these costs, however, the adoption agency will look at the financial capabilities of the adoptive family to make sure that the family is able to support the child who becomes part of their family. The child adoption agency will look primarily for financial stability when reviewing each case. However, families do not need to be wealthy in order to adopt. There are many financial services and programs out there that can offer aid to families who need a little extra support throughout the adoption process.
An adoption agency will also look at the ability of the family to deal with the child’s past. As adopted children grow up, they often want to know about their past, the events that brought them to their forever family. In addition, they may also want to meet or search for their birth family. An adoption agency will look for couples who are willing and able to communicate effectively with children in order to successfully guide them through the facts of their adoption and help them to connect with their roots. This may include an ability to guide a child through a search process as they get older and want to learn about and connect with their birth family.
Finally, adoption agencies look for families who have a positive and welcoming attitude toward adoption. They want to find families who see adoption as an alternative way of building a family and who will love and accept an adopted child as their own. The agency, through its home study, will also seek information on the type of children who might be the best fit for each family. For instance, they may look at concerns the prospective adoptive parents have regarding adopting an older child or children with disabilities to make sure that the child and the family fit together well. But above all the agency wants to be sure they are placing a child with a family who is eager to adopt and welcome them into their home.
Adoption does not require wealth or perfection. All it requires is that adoptive families be willing to open their homes and hearts to children who would otherwise not have a family of their own. Providence Place exists to walk alongside you through the process of welcoming these children into your life. As a result, through the adoption process and the support of Providence Place, you can determine whether you have the characteristics needed to give an adopted child the loving home they are dreaming of.