In Lifetime Adoption’s experience of over 20 years in the field of domestic adoption, we’ve seen adoptive families commit a variety of adoption mistakes. Some mistakes were made out of a lack of knowledge, and some out of just procrastination.
It’s our hope that by reading about some of these mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them. Here are the five most common adoption mistakes we’ve seen adoptive families make:
- Neglecting to read their adoption contract or agreement
- Making adoption decisions with the heart only (and not the head and heart together)
- Going against the advice of their adoption professional about birth mother expenses.
- Delaying their home study paperwork
- Going back on their word regarding contact with their birth mother after the adoption is final.
If you have already made one of these mistakes, there’s still time to correct the situation. Here are some ways you can resolve your mistake:
- If you haven’t read a contract, you can correct this by reading it now! If you have questions, ask your adoption professional.
- If you’ve made decisions with your heart and have heartache to show for it, learn from it. Next time you are presented with an adoption situation, take a deep breath and look at all sides before you make your decision.
- If you have given money to a woman posing as a birth mother and it turned out to be a scam, learn from this. Some state’s adoption laws specify that adoption expenses are illegal; you don’t want to do anything to put the finalization of your adoption at risk. Make sure to ask your adoption professional before providing expenses to a birth mother.
- It seems that many adoptive couples put off getting their home study done, and as a result they miss out on opportunities to adopt a baby. If your home study was completed more than 12 months ago, make sure to get in touch with your home study provider and ask when your home study will expire. Document this in your calendar or set a reminder in your smartphone or computer. If your adoption home study is expired, ask them about the process and cost to update it. Then, make it your goal to get it done within 30 days.
- If you’ve forgotten to stay in touch with your child’s birth mother, now is the time to remember: where you would be without her? We wouldn’t be mommies without our children’s birth families, and because of that it’s vital that you always respect your open adoption agreement. Email your child’s birth mother, or mail her a letter with photos. Or, you can send it to your adoption professional to forward to your birth mother. A small card with a photo will let your birth mother know she is thought of. It’s a special is a way to say “thank you for making our family!” Staying in contact won’t take away your role as parents; it is done out of respect for your child and how they came to be yours through their birth family.
We hope this has helped you, and that you’ve gained knowledge of what to avoid in your adoption and beyond. God Bless you in your adoption!