Considering Adoption? Ask Yourself These Questions First

There’s a quote we absolutely love: “Parenthood requires love, not DNA.” Another great one is “Adoption is another word for love.”

There are a ton of inspirational quotes on the subject, but they all convey the same truth. Adoption is a meaningful and joyous experience during which you welcome a child into your family. Every year, an estimated 135,000 kids are adopted in the U.S., giving them loving and stable homes that they might otherwise have missed out on.

What’s equally fantastic is that adoption can create a forever family even in non-traditional households. Did you know that fewer than half of all children in the U.S. live in so-called traditional families today? More and more kids are being placed with loving single parents, same-sex parents, and even parents over the age of 55 – and they’re thriving!

Opening your home and your heart to a baby or child is a life-changing decision that you will likely never regret, but there are some questions you should ask yourself first.  

Are You Ready Emotionally?

If you’ve had children before, you know first-hand about the changes that take place when you welcome a new life into your home. With adoption, this responsibility can be higher, especially if you’re thinking about adopting an older child from a different background. This is a marvelous opportunity for you to grow together, but you need to be ready.

Are You Ready Financially?

If you have kids, you know how fast they grow! The new running shoes you buy today will need replacing before the year is out. They also need clothing (something you’ll also replace often), a nutritious diet, dental and medical care, and other things that let them grow into healthy, happy, and successful adults.

It’s a huge financial commitment that you need to be ready for. If you haven’t already, why not make an appointment with a financial planner? They specialize in helping people prepare for huge and positive changes in their lives and will show you how to get in the best shape financially for growing your family.

Are Your Other Kids Ready?

If you have children already, it’s very important to have them support your decision. Siblings play a huge role in every child’s life, and everyone deserves the most positive environment possible.

If you have tweens or teens, they know what adoption is and may even be excited at the thought of opening the family to a child who needs one. Younger kids may need a more detailed explanation. You can even tell them that Superman was adopted!

What Do You Know About the Adoption Process?

When you’re preparing to adopt, it is absolutely essential that you understand the process as well as the outcome. In Tennessee, people wanting to adopt a child must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a resident of the state for at least six consecutive months, although exceptions may be made for relative adoptions and residents who are with the U.S. military and stationed outside Tennessee.

In all likelihood, you should also be prepared to meet the requirements of the adoption professionals you work with and participate successfully in a home study.

It’s a little different if you want to adopt a child from foster care. In addition to being a resident of Tennessee and passing a home study, you must be at least 21 years old and complete training with Parents as Tender Healers (PATH). Adopting a child from out of state or even another country also has unique steps and considerations.

Get Ready to Grow!

For single parents and couples who either can’t have their own kids or want to give a child a forever home, adoption is a wonderful step to take. Once you have considered all factors that require attention and are still excited about proceeding, contact Piper McCracken PLLC! We love helping our clients expand their families through adoption and welcome the chance to speak to you today.

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Piper McCracken, PLLC

Our firm began as a belief that things could be done better—in both the practice of law and in the working lives of lawyers. Founding partners, Heather Piper and Joanna McCracken, met while working as attorneys at a large, regional firm. They honed their skills as litigators on a broad range of cases from medical malpractice and product liability, to real estate and entertainment law. But it was their mutual desire to help people on a more personal level that inspired them to begin a family law practice.

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