As we have worked through the first three lessons as a couple, we have come to realize that we are much more comfortable with the idea of adopting an older child. This is due in part to our age as well as the fact that we are adopting to give a life and a family to a child, rather than to have a baby. I know that most of the program is geared toward meeting a pregnant birth mother. What would you suggest as the next step for us?
Many families have started the process, only to discover their adoption goals have changed. In fact, it is through this process that many couples go deeper into their relationship as they explore expectations, hopes, and life plans.
Everything in Adoption For Life can be applied to finding a toddler or older child as well. Here are a few specific ideas for you:
Looking for a Toddler or Older Child: Gear your marketing toward women who may be feeling overwhelmed with parenting right now. Network with organizations that work with young mothers or struggling families. Let them know you are hoping for an open adoption where the birth family can stay in touch, so it is not goodbye forever. Share your plans with friends far and wide who may know a struggling mother or one facing issues like addiction or a jail sentence. Often, grandparents who are parenting grandchildren may explore adoption too.
Searching Waiting Children: Seek out the listings for waiting children across the country at AdoptUSKids.com. These are children and sibling groups who are legally available to be adopted. Some have special needs; others do not. Many are larger sibling groups who the state desires to be placed together. Depending on how many children you want to adopt, this can be a wonderful option for families who truly want to provide a family.
Second Chance Adoptions: Children who have been adopted, often internationally, are at times not a good fit for the family who adopted them. When a family makes a difficult decision to search out another family, these are often referred to as “second chance adoptions.” They are not right for most families, but depending on your resources, it may be an option. Some children have attachment disorders, some have physical diagnoses, and quite frankly, some were just adopted with the wrong motivation.
My best advice is to do your homework, request medical records, and lead with your head and not your heart.