“Honey, I want to adopt a baby.”
If you’ve ever said these words, or are thinking of saying them, you already know that they pack quite a punch. In the best case scenario, both spouses will be equally interested in adopting and the adoption process can begin immediately. Unfortunately, things aren’t usually that simple. One spouse may not want to adopt under any circumstances. Or maybe he or she just isn’t sure quite yet. No matter either partner’s reasoning for wanting or not wanting to adopt, each viewpoint must be respected.
Even if you and your spouse seem to be on completely different pages when it comes to adoption, it’s best to sit down together and talk through all the reasons why you each feel how you do. This will likely be a conversation that continues over the course of many weeks, or even months, as you each work through your feelings. Enlist the help of a pastor or counselor to help you through the conversations if necessary.
Should you both agree that you want to adopt a baby, a great resource to check out is “Called to Adoption: The Christian’s Guide to Answering the Call,” by Mardie Caldwell. This book will help you with the many determinations you and your spouse will need to make. You will first need to decide on preferred age, race, and gender of child. Then you can begin figuring out what type of adoption you’re most interested in: domestic, international, foster, private, or independent. At this point you will need to begin doing research to figure out what the various types of adoptions are, how much they cost, how long they take, etc. There are many factors to consider, but the time spent on learning about the adoption process before jumping in with both feet is well worth it.
Finances will play a part in this decision. Your number one choice may be cost prohibitive. If that’s the case, you can either chose a less expensive route, look into financial assistance programs for adoption, or get creative: Many couples are raising funds through social media and other avenues to fund their adoption efforts.
Eventually you will know what type of adoption you’d like to pursue. Now you just have to figure out how to pursue it. Again, this is where research will be your best friend. Spend time getting to know your options. Call various agencies, ask hard questions, and seek out others who have adopted to learn about their experience. You will be anxious to get started, but again, it’s best to take your time so you can make a well-informed choice.
Deciding whether or not to adopt is one of the biggest decisions you and your spouse will ever make. Don’t rush the process. Instead, do your research, talk to a counselor, and, above all, talk to one another.