I am frequently asked the following question: “I/we’ve decided to adopt. We have no idea what to do—where do we start?”
Here are some suggestions on how to get started from An Infertile Blonde who’s been down the Adoption Road twice.
- Tell as many people as you can about your plans. First of all you’ll have more support than you ever dreamed of and second, you’ll be surprised who volunteers their connection to the adoption world.
- Ask your friends who’ve adopted about their service providers (either agency or lawyer). And if none of your friends have adopted then ask for friends of friends—trust me 1 in 8 American’s is connected to the adoption world. Be sure to ask them what they liked and disliked about their experience. Keep in mind, the road to Adoption can be a bumpy one but some journeys are unnecessarily bumpier than others—-know upfront what you are in for.
- Join a support group if you want to hear how others (like me) survived this whole process. I run one in NYC through Resolve. We meet on the first Wednesday of the month and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Support groups are a great way to share information and to learn from others’ mistakes. I didn’t join one during my first adoption and looking back, it was a mistake—to be honest, I let my ego get in the way of my sanity.
- Take your list of referrals and make consultation appointments (with the lawyers) or attend the group information sessions that agencies have. Have your questions ready. Remember you’ve got to feel comfortable with your lawyer or agency—this is a very personal relationship.
- For those of you that like to read and research, there are two good magazines full of great information: Adoptive Families www.adoptivefamilies.com and Adoption Today www.adoptinfo.net