Mardie Caldwell is the Founder of Lifetime Adoption, a nationally-recognized adoption expert, and award-winning author. Today, we are giving you adoption advice direct from the expert!
I’ve been in the adoption field for over 30 years. During that time, I’ve seen and heard of every kind of mistake in adoption. Some mistakes were made due to ignorance and others because of stubbornness or procrastination.
I hope that by sharing some of these mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them and your adoption journey won’t be filled with guilt or regrets. Here are the 5 most common adoption mistakes I see, along with solutions:
1. Not studying your adoption contract
If you have signed a contract but didn’t read, make sure to read it now. Ask your adoption professional questions as they pop up. It’s not too late!
2. Making decisions from your heart only
If you’ve already made adoption decisions with your heart, you might be dealing with regret. Learn from this experience so that next time, you’ll be able to look at all sides of the situation before you commit.
3. Going against your adoption professional’s recommendations regarding birth mother expenses
If you’ve already paid a woman considering adoption and you just thought it would be OK, learn from this. In some states, paying for birth mother expenses is illegal. You don’t want to put your adoption into jeopardy! If you’re not sure, ask your adoption professional.
4. Dragging your feet on your home study
I’m surprised how many adoptive parents put off doing their home study! If you forget to complete (or update) your home study, you’ll miss opportunities to adopt. Many couples have found that it’s more expensive to rush a home study when they needed it done “yesterday.”
If your home study was completed more than 12 months ago, reach out to your home study provider to see when it expires. Mark this date in your calendar. If your home study is expired, ask them how the update process works and what it will cost. Make sure to get it done within 30 days.
5. Not keeping the promises you made to your child’s birth mother
If you’ve forgotten to stay in touch with your baby’s birth mother, consider where you’d be without her. I know I wouldn’t be a Mom if it weren’t for my children’s birth families. Because of that, I respect our agreements.
Take a few minutes today to email your child’s birth family, or to post an update to a social media account you’ve set up for this purpose. A simple email or card along with a photo lets them know they’re thought of often. It’s a way to say thank you for making your family possible. Keeping in contact doesn’t take away your role as parents. Letting your child know their adoption story shows them respect. You’ll be blessed by honoring your commitment to open adoption.
I hope that by knowing what to avoid, it’ll help you in your adoption journey and beyond. God Bless you in your adoption!