After the first post on this subject, I had a number of responses via LinkedIn, offering other bits of advice. So I thought that I would share the essence of these here.
I haven’t quoted the commenters verbatim, or credited them, as I haven’t got their explicit permission to do so (though I did ask).
There are some real crackers here from those working and living on the front line of adoption practice:
More good advice for those considering adoption…
- Talk to adoptive parents – see if you can make contact with people who’ve already adopted. There really is nothing quite like talking to those who’ve been through it already. They know. That said, if at all possible, talk to more than one couple/parent. One person’s experience will never cover all possibilities. It’s worth speaking to as many as you can.
- Engage an adoption consultant – Depending on where you live and how much dosh you’ve got, you could consider talking to a professional consultant – usually these are freelance social workers or experienced adopters. It’ll cost you, but might well be worth it as you can engage them in a more lengthy Q&A type session that can include the technicalities of the legal process.
- Read, read, read… – You can never read too much. I’d recommend anything by Kim Golding or Dan Hughes as a good place to start. these focus on caring for children who’ve been adopted. They should balance the more human aspects of felt experience that you get from talking to people.
- Identify your learning needs – from all this talking and reading, there will be things you come to realise that you need to know more about. List these and then set about seeking answers. This may mean going back to those you’ve already spoken to, or searching the books for clarity. Websites and forums may well have useful things to say too. You could post a question on LinkedIn, for example, or just Google it and see what comes up. These tips are a collection taken from comments I received from colleagues on LinkedIn following my last post on this subject. This shows that there is lots of wisdom out there just waiting to be tapped!
- Keep an open mind – whatever you do, remember that adoption is a complex process involving the convergence of two or more lives; yours and the child’s. There will be things that you can’t anticipate. Though if you do all of the above, you’ll be well prepared for the challenges and the joys ahead!
These thoughts come from my own experience and those of others in the field, so clearly they are not exhaustive. But hopefully they will help to further de-mystify the process for those with an interest in finding out more. I hope they are helpful!
Look out for the concluding post on this subject in a few days time.
What do you think?
- As someone who has already adopted, what would your advice be?
- If you’re thinking about adopting, what questions do you have?
Please contribute to this by adding your own thoughts and experiences. You can leave a comment by scrolling down, or just click here.
Related previous posts…
For more info…
- British Association for Adoption & Fostering – the go-to place for free advice and guidance.
- Parenting advice for foster carers and adopters… Very well worth a read – excellent site with lots of advice and practical pointers.
Pass it on…
© Jonny Matthew 2013Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links on this page are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.