Every year there are around 120,000 adoptions in the US, that means there are 120,000 children removed and introduced to new parents. It can be a joyful experience for both children and parents, but unless you have all the information and the right attitude to adopt, you may not be ready to take on the responsibility even if the agency gives you the green light. Here's what you need to know. 

It's Not to Be Taken Lightly

People wish to adopt a child for many reasons, perhaps they can't have children of their own due to fertility issues, there could be medical conditions that prevent birth, or perhaps they don't want to pass down genetic disorders.

Still, adopting a child is a huge responsibility and not to be taken lightly. Before you go on the journey of adopting a child ask yourself why you want to adopt, what impact adopting will have on the family, and whether your home is emotionally suitable. You can ask an External link opens in new tab or windowadoption lawyer to help you understand your own position and whether you’re ready to adopt.

You Don't Need a Traditional Household

If you want to adopt a child you might be put off by the idea that adoption won't be granted unless you live in a traditional household, which means a husband and wife situation with steady jobs and secure home.

According to a survey carried out in 2014 less than half of the children in the US now live in a "traditional" living situation. Adoption agencies are well aware of this and are open to children being placed with single parents, same-sex couples, and parents over 55.

It Isn't Always Expensive

Another factor that puts many potential parents off the adopting path is the price. There is a general assumption that adopting a child is very expensive and in some cases, it can be, especially if they are international or private adoptions.

However, in the case of Foster-care-to-adoption the cost isn't as high as you might think. In some cases it costs no money at all. Additionally, foster families may be eligible for help from the State depending on where they live.

Biological Parents Are Not Always Unfit

To be ready for adopting a child you need to understand the culture of adoption. Many stereotypes around adoption simply aren’t true, one of them is that if a child is adopted their birth parents must be unfit or unworthy.

No doubt unfit parents are one primary reason for adoption but there are many others. In some cases parents are too young to take on the responsibility of raising a child and know they will have a better life somewhere else.

You Are Not Saving a Child With Adoption

If you think that you are saving a child from unfortunate circumstances you may not be ready for adoption. If you take the view that you are saving a child it can lead to issues of ingratitude from parents later on.

Alternatively, you can think of adopting a child as that child bringing love and value into your home. Viewed this way your adopted child is likely to feel appreciated and unlikely to feel as if they owe you something as they grow up.