Adoptimist Adoption Blog
January 11, 2017

17 Things To Do If You Hope To Adopt In 2017


Choosing adoption can be overwhelming and confusing, rendering many hopeful parents to be paralyzed with fear and indecisiveness. If you are considering adopting in 2017, here are 17 things you need to be doing right now:

1:  Consider Why You Want To Adopt

Adopting is a big decision and requires a long-term commitment to not only the process, but of course, to the child you bring into your home.

2:  Research Adoption Professionals

Not all adoption professionals are equal. It’s essential that you work with ethical adoption professionals to ensure the long-term well-being of all involved.

3:  Analyze Your Finances

Adoption can be expensive, and taking a good, hard look at what you can afford is important. I recommend reading Julie Gumm’s book, You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption.

4:  Consider What’s Best For The Whole Family

If you are adopting with a partner, are you on the same page? If you already have children, how do they feel about adoption? What about your extended family and close friends? 

5:  Find A Village

Having a group of like-minded peers can help you navigate the journey by answering your questions and addressing your concerns. An adoption support group is invaluable! 

6:  Read, Read, Read

Adoption is intricate, complicated, and bittersweet. Read as many blogs and books on adoption as possible to educate yourself on adoption and the adoption process. 

7:  Talk To Those Who Have Adopted

There is nothing like face-to-face conversations with those who have “been there, done that”. Take a list of questions with you, and don’t shy away from asking the hard questions. 

8:  Deal With The Past

If your motivation to adopt has to do with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, personal disability or disease, or another factor, it’s very important that you are mentally and emotionally healthy before moving forward with the adoption process. Consider counseling, medication, and a support group. 

9:  Speak With Adoptees

Adoptees are those who were adopted. If you are able, connect with adoptees and ask about their experiences. Listen and learn. 

10:  Choose Your Adoption Professional

This is one of the biggest steps you will take. Based on your finances, your family dynamic, your faith (if any), your age, your ethical stance, your preferences (regarding a child’s age, race, and more), etc., you can select an adoption professional to help get the ball rolling. 

11:  Do Your Part

If you want to begin your journey soon, do what is required of you by your adoption professional.  Spend a good solid weekend filling out all the paperwork, scheduling home study visits, etc.

12:  Meet With Birth Parents

Birth parents are those who placed a child for adoption. Just like in your conversations with adoptees, you should listen and learn from birth parents. 

13:  Gather Pictures

Most people who adopt domestically are required to put together an online and/or paper profile book that is shown to any expectant parents considering placing their child for adoption. Gather pictures to include in your profile, and get updated pictures taken if needed. 

14:  Put Your Profile Together

You can do it yourself or use a professional service. Though paying someone to help you create your profile book can be costly, such professionals can help you know what to put in your book, where, and why. If you opt to go at it alone, spend some time looking at the profile books of others to get ideas on what to include.

15:  Announce Your Adoption Plans

When you are ready, tell your friends and family you are choosing to adopt. Provide them with resources to help them understand what adoption is. Two suggested books are: In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption and Adoption Is a Family Affair!: What Relatives and Friends Must Know.

16:  Research The Specifics Of Your Adoption

Whether you are adopting transracially, a child with special needs, a child in an open adoption, or something else, now is the time to get educated. Being proactive is better than being reactive. 

17:  Enjoy The Journey

It is not easy waiting for your child to join your family, but in the meantime, purposefully take care of yourself and the family you already have. Go on that vacation, learn a new skill, enjoy quiet evenings at home. Don’t stop living life just because you are waiting to adopt. 

*This post contains affiliate links.


About The Author


Rachel Garlinghouse

Rachel Garlinghouse is a mom of four by transracial, domestic, and infant adoption. She’s the author of five books, including Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children. Her experiences have appeared on CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Huff Post Live, and NPR, as well as in hundreds of articles.

Connect with Rachel via her blog, White Sugar Brown Sugar, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Visit Rachel's site at www.whitesugarbrownsugar.com/
You can email Rachel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

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