Tuesday, January 26, 2021

21 Things to Know If You're Adopting In 2021

Happy January, friends! Every year, I post a list of important info you need to know for the year if you're planning to adopt. This year, it's 2021, so I'm sharing 21 things you need to know right now if you plan to adopt this year. 

Within each post, you'll find one or both of these:

-images: click on the image to learn more. Book images will take you to the page in which you can read a summary and reviews, take a glance inside, and purchase if you wish.

-links: links will take you to articles, social media pages, etc. in which you can learn more about the topic at-hand.

Here we go! 21 things you need to know if you want to adopt in 2021! 

1: Get educated. 

There are so many wonderful books, blogs, podcasts, videos, and conferences to help you prepare to adopt. Start here: 

2: Learn about the adoption tax credit.

The current adoption tax credit is $14,300. Get all of the details from the IRS page

3: Have an adoption-mindful baby shower.

Yes, you can have a shower while being mindful and respectful of the adoption triad. Read more on how to have an adoption baby shower here.

4: Educate your loved ones on adoption.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, adult siblings, friends, and more need to understand adoption. I highly recommend the follow two books.


5: Establish an adoption "village." 

Your adoption support system is absolutely critical!  Check out how to create your own adoption village here.

6: Learn about trust based, attachment, trauma informed parenting.

Your adoptee (the child you adopt) needs you to understand trauma and attachment parenting. Get started with this book:

7: Consider adoptive breastfeeding, bottle nursing, and donor milk.

There's a wonderful book that fully explores the possibilites when it comes to adoptive breastfeeding. You can get informed here:

8: Learn about open adoption.

Many adoptions today are considered "open," in which the biological family and adoptive family have ongoing communication and a relationship. There are many benefits to a healthy, open adoption

9: Post-adoption depression happens.

The reality is that adoption is difficult for many, and post-adoption depression is very real. Be prepared by learning about it now. 

10: Listen and learn from adoptees.

Adoptees are people who were or are adopted. Some have chosen to speak out about their experiences, which is such an amazing gift to both adoptive parents and adoptees. I hope you'll learn more from Michelle Madrid-Branch, for example, who is an adoptee and mom by adoption. 

11: And listen and learn from birth parents, too.

Birth parents offer you a perspective that can help you understand their journey and what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to your own child. 

12: DNA testing is becoming increasingly popular.

DNA testing is controversial in the adoption community, but is certainly worth considering. The decision to do testing is between you and your adoptee-child. There are a lot of pros and cons. You can read our honest review of Ancestry DNA testing here.

13: The most important thing is to have an ethical adoption.

I know, that's a tall order, isn't it? What is an ethical adoption? Well, you first need to get educated on it before you even begin to adopt, IMHO. An ethical adoption, in my own words, is making the right choices, no matter what, at all times. You can read my take on ethical adoption here:

14: Consider fundraising.

This is another controversial topic in the adoption community. I offer tips on the ethics of fundraising here

15: Support your transracial adoptee.

This is a BIG one. If you're going to adopt transracially, you need to do everything you can to support him or her. Becoming a multiracial family by adoption is a big deal.

16: Never stop learning.

As a family by adoption, you will never, ever stop learning. You will read books, blogs, articles. You will watch videos and attend conferences. You will listen to podcasts. Adoption doesn't end the day you finalize in court. I continually post adoption resources on my Facebook page.

17: Yes, it's possible that the adoption will "fail." 

One of the top fears I hear from those hoping to adopt is that the adoption will "fail." I understand this, but I want to reframe your thinking. A mom parenting her own child isn't a "failure." This isn't a game of tug-of-war. Read more about "failed" adoptions here.

18: It's OK to fall in love with a child who isn't yours.

But this doesn't make you entitled to the child. Choosing to adopt means choosing to opt for the possibility of heartbreak. 

19: Adoption language matters.

How you talk about adoption is very important, especially as you move from being a hopeful adoptive parent to a parent. Learn more about the adoption phrases I choose not to use and why, here.

20: Honor your child's adoption story by not over-sharing.

This is SO important. Your job is to develop trust with your child, not tell everyone your child's very personal and intimate adoption story. More on keeping your child's story private here.

21: Focus on developing a positive relationship with your child.

Your adoptee needs you. They need your empathy, love, support, and guidance

Join me all year long, on Facebook and Instagram, for more adoption information. 

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