Helping a child grow into a happy and contributing adult may be the most satisfying experience of your life. Hundreds of children are waiting for caring families who can adopt them and give them the stability and nurturing that are so important to their development. Can you be one of those families?
Who can be an adoptive parent?
Most people who can provide an adequate and loving home are eligible. An adoptive parent...
o may be single, married, divorced, or separated and living apart from a spouse for 12 months or longer;
o may or may not have birth or adopted children;
o must be at least 21 years of age;
o must be able to financially manage the addition of a child or children to the family, although there are no specific income;
o must pass a criminal background check.
Adoptive parents are probably a lot like you. They...
o like kids and feel good about being parents;
o are willing to make a commitment to a child for a permanent lifetime relationship;
o are flexible in finding ways to adjust to new situations and changes;
o understand that truly accepting a child as part of their family means accepting the child's past history;
o can show affection in healthy ways for a child who has been abused or neglected;
o are comfortable with setting firm limits and specific rules for the child when necessary and willing to use nonphysical forms of discipline;
o do not need or expect to satisfy their own needs through their children;
o can find pleasure and take pride in the small gains children make ;
o are willing to use community supports (schools, medical, mental health, recreational resources) to meet their children's needs.
The decision to add a child to your family - whether by birth or adoption - is certainly life changing, and the responsibilities are awesome. These responsibilities mean a new life for you and your child. A family and family life are important to all of us, especially to a child in the child welfare system. As you consider adoption, remember that bringing a child into your family may be the most satisfying experience of your life.