We're checking in again with our ProSquad experts. This week, they are tackling support for adopting families.

 

What are the best kinds of support for people who are considering adoption (including extended family support, financial, etc.)?

People who are considering adoption need several kinds of ongoing support: emotional, spiritual, and financial. Pre-adopting parents will find emotional support in other parents who are considering or going through the adoption process (pre- or waiting), parents who have adopted, family and friends, and, hopefully, the agency they work with.

Support From Others Who Have Been Through the Process

Pre- or waiting parents and parents who have adopted can provide empathy and guidance during the often stressful process. They either have or are experiencing the same emotions, concerns, and stresses. Because these parents have been "vetted" — gone through a great deal of examination and inspection by others (social workers, layers of government, physicians, clergy, etc.) regarding their fitness to parent — they are open to sharing with other parents who will travel the same journey. This is especially helpful if parents are coming to adoption via infertility and will be subject to many similarities they experienced during treatment (lack of control, privacy, fear, etc.).

Education

Family and friends will likely need to be educated by the parents in how to best support them, with language and etiquette. Family and friends also need to be reminded that they have been thoughtful about their decision to adopt and the choices they have made to either create a family or expand theirs.

Spiritual Support / Faith

Regardless of whether you have religious beliefs or not, I recommend you find something to place your faith in. The adoption process and wait are emotionally taxing and will likely try your patience and humble you, possibly depleting you at times. It's wonderful to have something steadfast and dependable to rely on.

Financial Support

Adoption is expensive. Many people considering adoption need help raising funds to pay for adoption-related expenses. A great resource and guide can be found here. (PDF)

 

Adoption Pro, Judy Miller

Judy M. Miller, MA, author of What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, is an adoptive parent and adoption advocate living in the Midwest with her husband and four children. She is the Adoption Education Coordinator and Support Specialist for MLJ Adoptions, Inc.

Judy has appeared on MomTV's Adoption Angles and TogiNet'sAdoption ~ Journey to Motherhood. Judy spoke at the Parenting Summit in March 2011 and presented at the Symposium 2011 Opening Adoption: Realities, Possibilities, and Challenges in Richmond, VA and the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference in Indianapolis, IN last fall.

Judy's essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines and in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul).