Life Events

Life events pose a unique challenge because each is a new or infrequent occurrence for which many people have little or no prior experience.

When it comes to parenting, you have the knowledge of your own childhood to draw upon. However, try as you might, it is unlikely that today's children will think the same, act the same, and face the same challenges as you.

In these circumstances, a little dose of commonsense advice can help

Here is our advice on these topics.
/ Parenting / Adding to the Family

In some sense, adopting allows you to select your child, but it does not mean you know what you are getting: ask any parent and they will tell you how unpredictable a child's growth is. But for parents who cannot have their own children, who wish to raise children without adding to the number in the world, or who wish to help children who need parents, adopting can be just as fulfilling as parenting your own child.

Suitability as parents

You should begin your search within -- that is, you should begin by judging your own suitability to be a parent. Some questions to consider are:

  • am I the right age, neither too young nor too old, to take on the responsibility of seeing the child through their twenties? Am I ready for the commitment and change in lifestyle required of being a parent, and will I raise this child with all the love and caring as if he were my own?
  • can I provide for the child's needs, including physical, emotional, and financial in addition to meeting my current and foreseeable obligations in these areas?
  • do I have the right parenting skills to nurture, teach, and correct the child?

Characteristics of the child

Next, consider the qualities of the child you seek:

  • a domestic or international adoptee - some parents want to reach out to a poorer nation or discriminating culture; before you do, understand how the child will "fit into" your world as he grows and how you will address his cultural identity as he matures
  • same race or different - it is possible to bridge cultural or racial barriers even with a domestic adoptee but first anticipate how you will accommodate the child as he begins to realize his physical differences.
  • health - some adopting parents seek children in need of special medical attention; if you seek a child with special needs, especially permanent ones, consider how they will be met when, because of age, you are no longer able to care for him
  • age of child - some would-be parents prefer younger children because they have less exposure to their prior environemnt; others prefer

    older children in order to have a better understanding of the child's disposition
  • need and ability - some adoptive parents make "need" the highest priority and are willing to accept whatever child they can help most.
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