Want to Adopt? 5 Things to Do to Prepare for Adoption
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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Adoption

So you and your family want to adopt? Here are 5 critical things to do to prepare for your adoption and get you and your family ready!

Published March 19, 2018

So you want to adopt? The decision to adopt a child or children is both serious and exciting. Yet, it can also be exhaustive. There is a long list of things that need to be done in preparation, everywhere from birth certificate to home preparation. Do not get bogged down because this is one of the most exciting times of your life! Here are 5 things you need to focus on to prepare for your adoption.

5 Things to Prepare for Adoption

Be Thorough

When it comes to the technicalities of adoption, make sure that you gather all the information you need to complete the I-600A form, which helps speed up the adoption process. Once you mail the form, make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken.

You will eventually receive a referral and start preparing to meet your child for the first time. At this point, you should prepare a list of important questions. This will help you get an idea of how to care for the child once they are home with you. Ask about the child’s medical history and behavioral/emotional development. This will help you know which medical professionals you’ll need to contact. Get some background information about the child’s home environment before being placed for adoption. This will give you insight into how to care for and discipline your new son or daughter.

Be Personal

If you’re receiving a newborn and want to name or rename your baby, make sure that you have a few names in mind before meeting your little one for the first time. Having more than one option can definitely come in handy if you have one name selected and decide to change the baby’s name once you meet them in person.

Be Prepared

Doing your research when it comes to adopting is essential as well. Read all the adoption parenting books and articles you can get your hands on. Give your home a thorough cleaning as well, so you can concentrate on caring for your child once the adoption process is complete.

You may also want to make large batches of food and freeze them. This will free up some of your time so you can focus on bonding with your son or daughter. If you choose to adopt an older child, find out some of their favorite foods so that you can prepare them for them—Bake cookies for when they first come to your house, so the house smells wonderful and inviting.

Be sure that the rest of your home is prepared for the new family addition as well. If you’re adopting an infant, have the crib assembled and tested for safety before you travel to pick up your child. You should also have the child’s car seat assembled before their arrival. With older children, try to find out their favorite music or sports team so you can have a CD or poster in their room. Be sure to take safety precautions all around your home as well. Cover all electrical outlets and keep cleaning products on high shelves where children can’t reach.

Be Practical

It’s also necessary to make sure that you complete the school enrollment process for your child before they arrive. Find a trusted pediatrician for your child as well. This may not be difficult if you already have children who go to a doctor that you trust. If you do not already have a pediatrician ask a friend with young children. Purchase a health insurance policy for your adopted children and add them to your life insurance policy. These are some of the tedious but necessary things when it comes to making sure that your children are properly cared for if there is an emergency.

Be Thankful

Finally, remember to say thank you to all the people who have assisted and supported you throughout your adoption journey. Put together a list of friends, family members, and organizations who have made adoption possible for you and your family and send them announcement cards once your little one arrives. Prepare the cards ahead of time, so you can simply drop them in the mailbox on the way to pick up your “bundle” of joy.

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Contributing writer and media specialist for Youth Villages. Read more

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