Protecting Your Family's Future

Factors to Consider Before Adopting

Things to Think About Before You File for Adoption

Things to Think About Before You File for AdoptionAdoption can be an extremely fulfilling experience or it can make a difficult situation even worse. Before you take steps to adopt, there are some questions you need to ask yourself.

Why Do You Want to Adopt?

For many, the answer to this question seems simple—you want to adopt because you want a child. But that’s often only part of the equation. Are there problems with your marriage? Do you believe that a child will help bring you together? Do you see raising a child as an essential component of “living the American dream”? Do you perceive yourself as some kind of saint, saving a child from a life of misery?

If you answer affirmatively to any of the above questions, you need to think long and hard about whether you want to continue with the process. The introduction of a child almost never improves a troubled marriage. And while children can bring out the best in you, it’s also hard work, and often a thankless job. You’ll probably want someone else to be your child’s “savior” when he’s an uncooperative teenager.

The bottom line–adoption is a full time experience. There’s joy and frustration, rewards and disappointments—it’s all part of raising a child.

Though you may see adoption as a way to have the family you can’t have biologically, it’s important to take the time to grieve your inability to have biological children. If you view adoption as “the next best alternative,” you may (consciously or subconsciously) give your child the impression that he or she is really just the something you settled for.

What Will It Cost?

The entire adoption process will likely cost you $30,000 or more. In addition, you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $20,000 each year to raise your child.

Furthermore, child-rearing is a full-time job. Your kids won’t live life according to your schedule. You may have to stay up all night with a sick kid and still be alert and productive when you go to work in the morning.

Which Process Is Best Suited to Your Needs?

Your first choice will likely be between a domestic and an international adoption. In an international adoption, you will likely never meet the birth parent, and won’t have the opportunity to maintain any ongoing relationship with biological parents. Accordingly, there is less risk that your child will try to reunite with his or her birthparent (which can be a painful experience for adoptive parents). The costs of an international adoption, however, are generally a little higher than a domestic adoption.

In a domestic adoption, you can choose an open adoption or a closed adoption. In open adoption proceedings, you typically have some interaction with the birthparent before the adoption. You may work out details about what expenses will be paid, and may agree to remain in touch with the birthparent after the adoption. You can even agree to some level of visitation. Conversely, in a closed adoption, all interaction between birthparents and adoptive parents is through intermediaries.

You can also complete your adoption with the assistance of an agency or privately. With a private adoption, you may avoid some of the cost and red tape involved with an agency. However, you may find it more difficult to locate a child, as most adoption agencies have networks and processes that help them more readily locate potential adoption candidates.

Contact Stewart Law, PLLC

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 10 years of experience to clients in south Texas.

To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-420-8020 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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