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How does an adoption affect you?

Adoption impacts people in many ways. The children get to live in a supportive home environment. The parents get to bring home children they've wanted to have in their lives. It's true that adoption has many benefits, but it also has some stressful factors to consider.

Every parent and child is unique. Likewise, every family is unique. No two situations are going to be the same, so it's important to think about your decision to adopt thoroughly before going through with it. When you decide to adopt, you need to consider how a child will fit into your life, affect the dynamic in your household and how you truly feel about adopting from foster care or a place where the child could have been traumatized or abused. As a parent, you need to be a stable, supportive party in an adoption. There is support for you out there, but for a child, you need to be strong.

Another thing to think about is how an adoption will affect you emotionally. If you've decided to adopt because of infertility, make sure you've truly grieved that loss and aren't adopting on a whim. When you adopt, you need to focus on the needs of the child -- not your own needs.

Finally, realize that you're going to be thrown into the world of parenting very quickly. You may wish to take several parenting classes. Even if you're required to take some, taking extra courses could help you prepare. No one is truly ever 100 percent ready to become a parent, but preparation helps.

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway, "Impact of Adoption on Adoptive Parents," accessed March 20, 2018

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