Adoption Tips

When it comes to Adoption, we've been there, done that, now serving 98 tips in 16 categories ranging from Adoption Basics to Types of Adoption.

How can I find out the health of a child before adopting?

Health of Birth Parents

Thousands of people adopt children every year. Many people decide to go to foreign countries in search of a child they would like to adopt, perhaps assuming that it will be a quick and easy process compared to adopting in their homeland.

Many parents are quite happy after having adopted a child overseas, but aside from the apparent ease there are other factors to consider. Since the health of adoptable children is directly tied to their birth parents, will there be any way to check this out?

Maybe a reputable adoption agency with verifiable references will disclose anything they know about the birth parents. Parents must keep in mind that an adoption agency will try to present adoptable children in the best light, so are not eager to share any health history. If parents are dealing with an adoption attorney, the attorney may not know or be unable to disclose any information about the birth parents.

Parents must accept that they are often on their own, and must make up their mind based on their own evaluation of the child. If they do decide to adopt, then visiting a doctor as soon as the adoption is final is the best they can hope for.


Post Adoption Support Systems

Setting up a good support system is an important part of the adoption process. Choose to surround yourself in the days and weeks following the adoption with friends and family members who are in agreement with your adoption plan, and will be supportive of you as you adjust to your new parenting role. Now is not the time to have frequent contact with those who are not supportive of your decision to adopt, or your adopted child. You need time to get acquainted with your child, and to get used to the changes within your new family. You and your spouse are going through some major life-changes, and being surrounded by a loving and positive support system will make coping with these changes much easier.

Another way to surround yourself with supportive people is to seek out an adoptive parent support group, or consider starting one in your area. Also, if you find yourself exhibiting the symptoms of Post-Adoption Depression, do not hesitate to seek counseling by an experienced adoption counselor.


Symptoms Of Post-Adoption Depression

It is common for new adoptive parents to suffer from depression after an adoption.

Symptoms of Post-Adoption Depression are:

  • Feeling blue, tearful, irritable

  • Weight loss or gain

  • Inability to sleep or noticeably sleeping more

  • Feeling restless, or a feeling of being slowed down

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure, or a diminished pleasure in those activities

  • A feeling of worthlessness, or guilt

  • Unable to concentrate

  • Thoughts of suicide

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek counseling, and know that you are not alone. Surround yourself with a support system of friends and family members who are understanding, and won't judge you. In time, this will pass, be patient, and allow yourself adequate time to adjust to your new role as an adoptive parent.


Birth Mother's Day: Gift Ideas

Birth Mother’s Day is celebrated the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year. Many adoptive parents realize the gift and sacrifice that their adopted child’s birth mother made for them to be able to have their adopted child.

Here are some ideas for honoring your child’s birth mother on her special day:

  • Give her a mother’s ring, locket, or other piece of jewelry which holds a photo of the child she placed for adoption, the child’s birth stone, or other significant symbol.

  • Video tape the child playing at the park, at the zoo, or other special place where the child is having fun, and give this as a special keepsake.

  • Another idea is to video tape a normal day in the life of your child. Your child’s birth mother will appreciate seeing what her child’s daily life is like, and it will confirm to her that her child is doing well and is happy.

  • Make a plaster hand or foot print of your child.

  • Write a letter of gratitude to your child’s birth mother. Express your heart felt appreciation for her sacrifice and gift, and include photos of the child.

  • Start a blog or webpage about your child, include lots of photos and details about daily life and special events. To keep your private life private, many blogs have the capability of setting it private to all but invited users.


Tips for Home Study Survival

An adoption home study can seem intimidating and daunting, especially given the pile of paperwork you are required to fill out! Here are some survival tips that will make your adoption home study proceed more smoothly, and be a lot less stressful.

  1. Relax! Take each step of the home study process one step at a time.

  2. Answer your profile and social worker questions as accurately and concisely as possible.

  3. Complete your paperwork and gather documentation in a timely manner.

  4. Make copies of everything. Items and pages have a way of getting lost in the shuffle with the large amount of paperwork and documents that you will need to turn in. Making copies to keep for your own file will save time should something suddenly become lost.

  5. Remember that the home study is a process, it takes time. Don’t expect your worker to have it completed and approved overnight. Give her ample time, and speed things along by promptly completing your part of the paperwork. You can expect a home study to take an average of six weeks to complete.


The Home Study: Paperwork And Documentation

Your home study will consist of a large amount of paperwork and required documents. The amount of paperwork that a home study requires can be overwhelming for prospective adoptive parents. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built one brick at a time. The same goes for your home study paperwork, just take it one piece of information at a time and before you know it you’ll be ready to move onto the next phase of the adoption journey.

Here is a list of documents you will need to supply:

  • Proof of income and assets,

  • A list of household expenses,

  • Marriage licenses,

  • Divorce decrees,

  • Birth certificates,

  • Adoption decrees,

  • Background checks,

  • Health assessments on each member of your household,

  • Training certificate- many states require a pre-adoption training course,

  • Letters of reference

Please be aware that this is not an all inclusive list, the worker assigned to conduct your home study may require additional documentation based on your own background, family situation, or agency/ state requirements.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Adoption Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Byron White