Embarking on an adoption process can be a fulfilling as well as a tense journey. Needless to say, it’s an intensely emotional experience and involves several stages that can appear complicated and delicate at times. To begin with, the child you are adopting has essentially been staying away from his or her birth parents. In some cases, as counsellors point out, they could have faced neglect. Such factors make it doubly difficult for them to adapt to new surroundings. But the first step to adoption should be preparing yourself for parenthood. You need to face your fears, understand your needs and then go ahead with one of the most enriching experiences of life.
You need to face the ground realities as well. Experts say the process of adopting a child can be quite arduous in India. There are stringent adoption rules in place and a number of laws that you should comply with before you can adopt. This makes it all the more crucial that anyone considering adoption makes an informed choice. While you celebrate parenthood, you can feel a bit weighed down by some of the pitfalls in this journey. For instance, parenthood responsibilities can bring with them moments of anxiety, loneliness, sacrifices and even resentment, according to counsellors. Therefore, you need to carefully go through the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Here are some points prospective adoptive parents need to consider before putting themselves on that long wait list.
Ready for parenthood?
Some would argue that there may never be a time when you feel ready for parenthood. True. But, counsellors say that you need to be honest with yourself and consider several factors. So, the first question to ask yourself would be, are you really ready to be a parent? Of course your family members’ opinion and suggestions matter a lot, but you need to be clear to yourself as well.
Do you have the time?
The process of adoption can take a long time and it needs your unwavering focus. So ask yourself, do you have the required time to invest? Is your career flexible and family-friendly? Do you spend long hours at work? In that case, do you have a solid back-up system in place? If you have a child, you need to take extra time off from work to attend to his or her needs, even the smallest ones. Are you really prepared for these?
Need to bond
Bonding with a child needs time, patience and quite a lot of work. Mental health experts say that children are genetically wired to attach themselves to someone who’s always there to take care of their needs. In fact, they say that it’s the routine daily activities such as feeding, bathing and dressing that eventually get translated into love and affection.
By that we mean you need to ask yourself, why are you keen on adopting? You have to be clear about your underlying motivation. Counsellors say that if you think that adoption is the easiest route to parenthood, think again. They say it’s the same as bringing up a child you have given birth to. There’s no difference. So, opt for it when you are completely sure about your decision.
What about your SO?
Is your partner ready for parenthood too? Both of you need to be on the same page – he should have the same motivation as you. Counsellors say that you should ensure that he’s not agreeing to it just because you want it – deep down, he’s actually not convinced about your decision to adopt. Needless to say, there can be complications galore in such a situation. You can opt for sessions with a counsellor together so that all your doubts get cleared up.
Is your marriage stable?
Children need a stable atmosphere at home so that they can feel safe and secure. If your marriage is under strain, adoption may not be such a good idea, counsellors say.