Adopting Intentionally – Day 13
For 31 Days I will blog about Adopting Intentionally, you can find an overview and links to daily posts here.
Once the decision has made that you are going to adopt (it is a huge decision), and you have researched and discovered what path you want to go down (adopting with a lawyer, a private agency, an international agency or through Social Services), your application process can begin.
The process varies for various agencies and paths. Generally the application process includes an interview, paperwork, and a home study. We also had to do additional steps including revealing all of our finances and medical physicals.
One of the first steps forward will be an interview. We were unsure of what this entailed.
Thoughts on an adoption interview:
1. It is in no way a competition or a contest.
The agency is not an elite sorority trying to choose who they want to be associated with them. Instead think of the agency as your matchmaker. They are trying to match you with your child, his history, birth family, circumstances, with your views and philosophies. They want to know you.
2. Prepare to be able to talk about what you are hoping for as an outcome of an adoption.
The conversations in an interview often are about the gender of the child, the age of the child, the health of the child, the ethnicity of the child, the family history of the child. It is incredibly helpful to all involved if you take the time outside of the interview to really be truthful and comfortable with your answers.
I say this, and at the same time some of our answers made us very uncomfortable. We decided we were open to a number of medical conditions, mental health conditions, and fetus exposure. These were issues that our child may not have had if he or she was biological. It also made us very uncomfortable to say no to other conditions and circumstances. We decided where we would draw our lines and came to the interview with belief in our answers as the best for our family.
3. Allow the Social Worker to Really Know You
Social workers may make decisions about sharing news with you, information with you, insight with you depending on what they think is best for you. Think about how you would like the interactions such as information around placement and disruption. Before the interview be able to articulate what and how you would like to interact with the agency.
Others may disagree with this, this was our experience. Sometimes social workers will let you know every time your name has been submitted for a child or your book has been viewed by a birthmother. This can be emotionally hard for some and so some agencies have policies about when they share and how. We did not learn this initially.
We had a disrupted adoption. Our birthmother decided weeks before her delivery that she wanted to raise the child on her own. We were informed of this, but were “protected” from other information thereafter. I wanted to be trusted with information, and this felt hard for me.
When we did adopt again, we were very clear that we wanted to know about the process. We explained our philosophies of adoption and our desire for the best situation for the child. We had a baby placed with us with a dual goal thereafter and were able to walk through the process with transparency.
4. Enjoy the Interview.
This is the first step in a really life transforming process. It is wonderful to explore your feelings around adoption, your relationship with your spouse or partner, and to anticipate the joy that is ultimately ahead.