In over 21 years of working in the field of adoption, I have seen and heard of every kind of blunder you could imagine in adoption. Some were made out of ignorance and others out of stubbornness, flat out stupidity or just procrastination.
It is my hope that by sharing some of these embarrassing mistakes with you, you won't fall prey to them and your adoption journey will be void of these and filled with more peace and calm without guilt or regrets. Here are the five most common adoption blunders:
1. Not reading your adoption agreement or contract
2. Making decisions from your heart and not your head and heart together.
3. Going against the recommendations of your adoption professional
regarding money to a birth mother.
4. Putting off getting your home study complete
5. Going back on your word regarding contact with a birth mother after your adoption is final.
If you have already made these blunders, you can correct your directions and still find peace. Here are some solutions:
- If you have a contract you have not read, you can correct this by reading it now, if your adoption is not complete. Ask questions of your adoption professional. It is not too late!
- If you have already made decisions with your heart and have heartache to show for it- learn from it and next time, take a deep breath and look at all sides of a situation before you jump in or commit.
- If you have paid a woman posing as a birth mother or one that was considering adoption and you just thought it would be ok to pay a few expenses behind your adoption professional's back, learn from this. In some states expenses are illegal and you don't want to do anything to jeopardize your adoption finalization. When in doubt, ask.
- I am surprised at the number of adoptive parents that put off doing their home study and miss opportunities or forget to update their home study. They find out it is going to cost more to get it done when they needed it done "yesterday". If you have a home study that was completed more than 12 months ago, contact your home study provider to see when it expires, and document this in your calendar. If it is expired - inquire on the home study update process and cost, and then make a point of getting it down within 30 days.
- If by chance you have forgotten to stay in touch with your birth mother, now is the time to consider: where you would be without her? I know I would not be a mommy without my children's birth mother and because of that I want to always respect both our agreements and their privacy. Take time today to send a letter to your birth mother or to your adoption professional to forward. A simple card with a photo or note letting them know they are thought of and special is a way to say thank you for making your family. It is not taking away your role as parents, it is respecting your child and how they came to be yours through their first family. You will be blessed by honoring your commitment.
I hope this has helped you and that you will find knowing what to avoid will help you in your adoption and beyond. God Bless you in your adoption.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a speaker and award-winning author of two books, Adopting Online and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. Mardie is also the talk show host of Let's Talk Adoption.com with Mardie Caldwell. For more information email Mardie Caldwell.