“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” Helen Keller
Many times, adopting parents think that there may be shortcuts to finding the child for their family. Certainly, some things may happen more quickly or more easily for one family over another, but your family is the most important thing you will ever build. It is definitely not the place to take shortcuts.
Here are a few shortcuts that adoptive families have tried and that you should always avoid:
Using Old Photos for Profile, Facebook and/or Website
It may seem like a good idea to use photos you already have or that were taken years ago (Engagement photos? Senior portraits?) for your profile, rather than to make the effort to take new, current pictures that reflect your life today. And yes, it may be a faster way to get your family “out there” to be chosen.
This can actually lead to a few pitfalls. One is your wait time – if from your photos you look “dated” or out of style, you may be passed over by birth mothers. Another is, if you are chosen, your birth mother may not recognize you when she meets you in person. This has happened! And is an awkward situation for everyone!
Using an Attorney Friend Instead of an Adoption Attorney
This can cost you time and money, not to mention the safety of your adoption. Adoption law is a specialty, and you don’t want to be someone’s first or second case. Think back to the house analogy – you wouldn’t let a handyman build your entire home would you?
Unqualified attorneys can result in a longer stay out of state, adoption consents not signed or filed properly, and birth father notifications that are not in line with state requirements, as well as a laundry list of other potential problems. This is never a good shortcut and can jeopardize your whole adoption!
Choosing to Drive Rather Than Flying
Some families have decided to save money and drive, often thousands of miles, when their child is born. Honestly, this can take days and, if your birth mother delivers the baby at the beginning of your trip, can mean that she may spend three days in the hospital with the baby waiting for you to arrive. This is time to meet and bond with her baby, and time to change her mind.
Driving a few hours is one thing, but driving nearly cross country to save a few hundred dollars can jeopardize your entire adoption. Making the smartest choice in the best interest of your pending adoption may not always be the most affordable. Talk to your coordinator who can help you evaluate your travel options.
Some shortcuts are great, let’s face it, Facebook can be a much more effective tool in the essence of time and money than mailing profiles, however other shortcuts can create a disastrous outcome in adoption. Be smart and when in doubt, always ask!