If you're just getting
started on your adoption journey or you're thinking about
adoption, there are many questions to ask and issues to consider.
Adoption is a lifelong family commitment and to prepare yourself
for the joys and challenges of raising an adopted child, we've
compiled a list of questions for you to consider and discuss
with your spouse, partner and/or family.
Adoption is not for everyone so it's important
that you're prepared to deal with the financial, time and
other lifestyle commitments that will be required of you and
your family. Your social worker will want to discuss many
of these issues and will then make recommendations to you
and your family about the type of child(ren) he/she feels
will be best matched to your family. These recommendations
will be included in your home study and will help other adoption
workers in the matching process.
Part 1: General Adoption Questions
1.) Can you love and accept a child who
is not genetically related to you or your spouse? Can you
accept that he/she may not look like you?
2.) Will you be open with your child about
his/her adoption? Are you prepared to discuss adoption with
your child(ren)? Will you prepare and educate yourself on
how to discuss some potentially difficult issues about adoption
like abuse, neglect or abandonment?
3.) How does your extended family feel about
your adoption plan? Are they supportive? Are you prepared
to deal with negative reactions from friends or family?
4.) Can you accept the possibility that
you may be given incomplete or inaccurate information about
the child's birth family and medical/social histories?
5.) Can you accept the risk that the child
you adopt may have some developmental, behavioural and/or
6.) Can you accept the risk of an adoption
falling through? How will you cope with the disappointment
of a failed adoption?
7.) Will you be open about adoption with
your child? Are you prepared to discuss adoption with your
8.) How will you feel if your child(ren)
wants to meet his/her biological parents or relatives in the
future? Will you be supportive of your child if he/she expresses
such an interest?
Part 2: Questions To Consider About
the Child You Hope to Adopt
1.) What age range are you considering?
(i.e. Do you want an infant, toddler, preschooler or an older
2.) Do you want to adopt a boy or a girl?
Or, do you not care about the gender?
3.) Are you willing to adopt a child of
another race or one who is of mixed race?
4.) Would you be open to considering a child
with special needs? (Special needs can range from mild to
5.) Would you consider a child who was exposed
to drugs or alcohol in-utero?
6.) Would you consider adopting a sibling
7.) Would you be willing to maintain some
openness with some members of the child's biological family,
the foster parents (if applicable) or members of the child's
community (i.e. Elders in a Native community)?
8.) Are you willing to adopt a child who
does not have complete background information documented?
(i.e. The agency may not know the biological family, all of
their medical and social histories or the information provided
may not be accurate)
9.) Are you willing to adopt a child who
has been abused? (Types of abuse could be emotional, mental,
physical and/or sexual.)
Part 3: Transracial Adoption
1.) If you're going to adopt a child of
another race, are you willing to learn about their culture
and embrace it as part of your family's new identity?
2.) Do you have friends, family or contacts
of other racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds? If not, are
you willing to seek out and develop these relationships?
3.) Are you willing to relocate to another
community or join appropriate organizations to find mentors
and peers of your child's race and culture?
4.) Can you promote a healthy sense of culture
and tradition so that your child forms a positive self-identity
5.) Your child may encounter racial discrimination
and/or prejudice. How will you handle this and support your
6.) Can you handle and deal with inappropriate
comments and/or questions about your child's racial background
Part 4: Adopting the Older Child
1.) Have you mourned the loss of parenting
a newborn or very young infant? Have you resolved these feelings
and feel positive about parenting an older child?
2.) Are you prepared to spend a lot of time
transitioning an older child from a foster home to yours?
3.) Can you deal with and support a child
who has suffered abuse (physical, mental, emotional and/or
sexual) and/or neglect? How will you help your child overcome
previous trauma and bond with your family?
4.) Do you have a support system that can
assist you with parenting a child with special needs?
5.) Are you committed to incorporating your
child's past while building a foundation of security and trust
for the future?
6.) Can you handle initial rejection from
an older child and be resilient enough to continue with the
bonding and attachment process?
7.) Are you willing to stay in contact with
important people from the older child's past?
8.) Can you accept any existing medical,
developmental or learning delays? Will you be an advocate
for your child and get them the help and supports they require?