The domestic adoption process is hardly a simple matter, as it involves a lot of planning and paperwork. With a process as convoluted as that, many things have the potential to go wrong – making adoption a risky endeavor.
On the part of the adoptive parents lies financial and emotional risks. While protection from financial risk is relatively easy, it’s not so much guaranteed in the emotional aspect.
The emotional risk is mainly tied to the chance that the aspiring adoptive parents can be rejected as choices to adopt a child. Some of the concerns are justified; the birth parents changing their mind about offering the child up for adoption or the adoptive parents not meeting the home study criteria. However, some fears may be far less grounded in true possibilities.
Here are three “risk factors” that waiting families fear, and the truths behind them, to help ease your mind.
Government Processes During Adoption
Adoption involves a lot of legal procedures, among which the ICPC and ICWA may be relevant, depending on how and where you are adopting. Prospective parents looking to adopt may have heard those terms used by professionals and other experienced adopted families.
ICPC stands for “Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children” and helps regulate the domestic adoption process involving two states. At the same time, ICWA refers to the Indian Child Welfare Act, passed to protect Native American childrens’ connection to their heritage and culture. Foster parents can find these processes intimidating and start to fear an adoption disruption. These fears are usually unfounded, though, for as long as standard procedures are followed, these programs are routine and generally go very smoothly.
Extended Consent Waiting Periods
Potential adoptive parents often have the misconception that the longer the consent waiting period is, the more likely the birth mother is to change her mind. It seems like a sound rational at face value— because many things can go wrong within the extended time window, right?
However, research has shown that the length of a revocation period doesn’t actually increase the number of consent withdrawals; therefore, a longer window doesn’t increase the likelihood that a mother would decide to parent.
Fear of Unknown Health Issues
It is understandable for parents-to-be to worry if their adopted child may have any serious health issue and whether it can be comfortably handled. This risk is diminished, though, by birth parents being required to fill out medical background forms that will be available to the adoptive parents. The adoptive family can learn about medical, genetic, or psychological conditions the child may be susceptible to from these forms.
While these particular factors may not be common risks, it is still essential that aspiring adoptive parents understand that there are few universal truths regarding adoption. Experiences can and will differ across the board, but with the right professionals at your side, you increase your chances of a smooth and successful adoption.