10 Questions to Ask Yourself If You're Considering Adoption

Adopting a child is an expensive, time-consuming process, but it's worth it -- if it's right for you. See our Baby of the Day pictures.

Adoptive parents will tell you that choosing to adopt a child is a beautiful way to create or add to a family. With more than 125,000 children adopted in the United States each year, it's obviously become a popular option [source: Child Welfare Information Agency]. However, adoption is very different from having a biological child, and in more ways than just the obvious one. There are a lot of decisions to make before you even consider contacting an agency.

Adoptive parents deal with a lot of highs and lows on their way to making their dream a reality. They may wait for months or years before being matched with birth parents or with a child (depending on the type of adoption). They undergo intense scrutiny, fill out piles of paperwork, wade through bureaucratic red tape and spend thousands of dollars. It's a difficult process, and it doesn't end when you bring your child home. Every family faces challenges and obstacles, but those encountered by adoptive families are unique.

Of course, the joy and satisfaction you feel when a child becomes yours is immeasurable. But before you even start the process, it's important to figure out what you want and how you're going to handle the obstacles that come your way. These 10 questions to ask yourself will help you decide whether adoption is right for you and your family.