So You Want to Adopt? Do These 5 Things

So You Want to Adopt? Do These 5 Things

By Ryan Bridges

Contributing writer and media specialist for Youth Villages.

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Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for Youth Villages. He regularly produces content for a variety of foster care and adoption blogs, and he believes that every child deserves a loving home.

So you want to adopt? The decision to adopt a child or children is both serious and exciting, yet can 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, most likely, the most exciting time of your life.

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.

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Once you receive the referral and are preparing to meet your child for the first time, you should also make sure that you have a list of important questions prepared. It’s best to do this ahead of time so that you’ll have an accurate idea of how to care for the child once he/she is home with you. Ask about the child’s medical history so that you can contact the appropriate medical professionals to provide constant care. Inquire about the child’s behavior and emotional development, and get some background information about the child’s home environment prior to 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 him/her in person. It is probably best to keep the child’s given name if possible.

Be Prepared

Doing your research when it comes to adopting is essential as well. Read all the adoption parenting books and articles you can so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect when it’s time to bring your little one home. Give your home a thorough cleaning as well, so you can concentrate on caring for your child once the adoption process is complete.

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You may also want to make large batches of food and freeze them, so you’ll have meals prepared for the first week or so that your little one is home. 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 best assembled before his/her 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 he/she arrives. 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 care pediatrician ask a friend with young children. Purchase a health insurance policy for your adopted children as well, and add them to your life insurance policy. These are some of the things that are tedious but necessary when it comes to making sure that your children are properly cared for if there is an emergency.

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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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