Exploring your wishes for family and your parenting style can help put a successful adoption on the right track. Before choosing what kind of adoption you want, take a quick personal inventory. How many of the following characteristics describe you?
- A belief in adoption
- The ability to permanently commit to a child
- Patience and perseverance
- A good sense of humor and talent for keeping life in perspective
- A love of children and parenting
- The ability to accept without judging and to love unconditionally
- Awareness that healing doesn’t always come quickly
If most (or all) of these qualities describe you, then take it one step further. Ask yourself:
- Do I clearly understand why I want to adopt?
- If I have a partner, do we work as a team? Are we both committed to adoption?
- Does my lifestyle allow me the time necessary to meet the needs of children?
- Have I discussed adoption with all my family members, including my children?
- Do I have support systems to help me after I adopt, or do I know where to find them?
Use your answers to the above questions as food for thought. Which of the four types of adoption best fits with your beliefs and goals as a parent?
50% of Americans believe children in foster care have entered the system because of juvenile delinquency.1
Children enter the system through no fault of their own, as victims of neglect, abandonment, or abuse. Children waiting to be adopted may be older, but they are no less deserving of permanent families.
Where to start
WENDY’S WONDERFUL KIDS
Places adoption professionals in agencies across the nation to implement aggressive, child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on moving children from foster care into adoptive families. Visit wendyswonderfulkids.org.
THE NATIONAL ADOPTION CENTER (NAC)
Provides information and referral services to families interested in adopting children, resource packets on various adoption topics, registration in a national database of children and families approved to adopt, and links to Internet adoption sites. Call 800-862-3678, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit adopt.org.
THE NORTH AMERICAN COUNCIL ON ADOPTABLE CHILDREN (NACAC)
Maintains a listing of parent support groups and other sources of information about adoption. To request a list, call 651-644-3036 or send an email to email@example.com. For more information, visit nacac.org.
THE COLLABORATION TO ADOPTUSKIDS
Contains valuable adoption information, as well as photos and descriptions of thousands of U.S. children waiting to be adopted. Call 888-200-4005 or visit adoptuskids.org.
CHILD WELFARE INFORMATION GATEWAY
Provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families, including foster care adoption information. A function of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Call 800-394-3366, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit childwelfare.gov.
PHONE BOOKS AND ONLINE
Listings under “Adoption” typically include adoption agencies, advocates, attorneys, support groups, and more.
Provide online access and a wealth of additional research sources.
Adoptive Families Magazine
Child Welfare League of America
Children Awaiting Parents (CAP)
Fostering Families Today
National Center for Adoption Law & Policy
National Child Welfare
Resource Center for Adoption
1Source: National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, July 2013. Commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by Harris Interactive.