10 Questions to Ask Yourself If You're Considering Adoption

What support network do I have in place for problems that may arise?

"Baby blues" don't just happen to mothers who have just given birth (and their husbands). Parents who adopt can also experience depression after their child comes home. They may have had unrealistic expectations of parenthood or are struggling with a lack of support from their family or friends. The adoption process can be so long and exhausting that perhaps they neglected to focus on what life would be like once a child was finally theirs.

While some adoptive parents describe a "love at first sight" experience with their child, that's not always the case. It may make you feel guilty, but it's normal to build that relationship slowly. It's also important to keep in mind that older children aren't likely to accept you immediately as their parent. If they were in foster care, an orphanage or otherwise had multiple caregivers, they will be especially slow to trust. Children who have been abused often have emotional and behavioral problems, and working through these will be challenging. Sometimes, it takes years to create a deep bond. You may find yourself with mixed emotions over your decision to adopt your child and feel anger toward the birth parents.

This is why it's important to build a support network before adopting. If you anticipate a lack of support from family or friends, seek out groups for adoptive parents. Some of them are very specific -- for parents who adopt from specific countries, for example. You may also need the services of therapists who are experienced in working with adopted families. If you decide that adoption is right for you, now's the time to make those decisions and begin your journey. Parenthood, no matter how you get there, is a truly amazing experience.

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