The decision to add a member to your family is a big one. Chances are, you’ve continuously asked the same question: is now the right time?
Only you know for sure, but there are a few signs that could indicate that you’re ready to adopt a baby:
Your Finances Are in Order
Raising a child can be expensive: the estimated cost of raising a child from birth to 17 years old is $233,610, or an average of $12,350 to $14,000 per year. However, part of that expense is for housing; then you have to consider food, diapers, toys, childcare, healthcare, clothes, activities, and eventually college education.
Of course, some families will spend much less, while others will spend much more. It’s not necessary to be wealthy to adopt and raise a happy, healthy child; however, it helps to have a good sense of your income and budget before you bring another family member into the mix.
You Have Time
If you (or you and your spouse) are focused on building a career, it might not be the best time to adopt a child. Of course, many adoptive parents continue to work outside the home, but it is important to consider how many hours of your week are spent on work and other responsibilities (such as hobbies or perhaps caring for an elderly adult) and how many hours you would be able to devote to your child.
You Have a Strong Support System
“It takes a village” is an old cliché, but it still rings true. It is enormously helpful to have close friends or family members who can babysit, accompany you to events, and offer morale support. In your adoptive family profile, many birth mothers like to see that you live close enough to the child’s grandparents and other relatives that the child will have the opportunity to know them.
Parenting is challenging and it’s nice to know you have neighbors and friends on your side. If you’ve just moved to a new city, for example, you might want to establish a solid network before adopting a baby.
You and Your Partner Have a (General) Agreement About Parenting Styles
As your child grows, you and your partner will have disagreements at times about what is right for him or her. However, before adopting, it’s essential that you have discussed what is most important to you. Will you raise your child in a religion? Will he or she attend public or private school (or be home schooled)? How will you handle disciplinary issues? Will you both continue to work?
These can be difficult questions, but having a plan going in (and an agreement about how you will handle disagreements) will make your parenting journey go more smoothly. If you have a sticking point where you can’t find a compromise (ex. you want to raise your child as a Christian; your spouse wants to raise her in the Jewish faith), it is not a good idea to adopt and hope you can figure it out later. These are discussions that you should have early on and come to an agreement before welcoming a new child to your home.
Of course, not every situation can be accounted for and minds can change as the child grows, but having both partners on the same page about parenting is a good sign that you’re ready to take the first step on that journey.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to be in a relationship to adopt a baby. Many children are placed with single adoptive parents every year and we welcome single parents at Adoption Choices of New York.
You Want to Be a Parent
The truth is, there will probably always be a part of you that wonders if you’re ready to be a parent. Even parents who have been parents for 15 years have moments like that! If you wait for everything to be perfect, you might be waiting forever.
In your heart, you know if you’re ready to adopt. Follow your heart and when you are ready, there will be a child waiting to call you “Mom” or “Dad.”
When the time is right for your family, we invite you to contact us and start the rewarding journey toward adoption. We are here to help you through every single step of the adoption process. Get started today.