Mother and baby
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If biological babies are not on the cards – sometimes it’s a choice one makes – adoption could be. But, taking on a child not biologically yours can prove challenging. We asked the experts about things to consider before making that commitment. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Why do you want a child? Lavina Ahuja, clinical psychologist at the German Neuroscience Center, says both partners need to think about this. Why do you want to adopt? Is it because you want a child or because you want to be parent? Or is it because you feel it will change your dynamics or relationship with the world?

2. Mourning: Asma Geitany, Clinical Psychologist at Openminds center, says: “In case of infertility, have you and your partner, grieved the chance of having a biological child?” Finding closure isn’t easy, but it is important when it comes to de-clogging your mind and heart and making space for a new person.

3. Biological hang-ups: she adds, “Can you share your love with a kid who is not biologically yours?”

4. Consider past traumas: Can you provide a safe and stable environment? Ask yourself, says Geitany, “How are you as a person, psychologically? Do you have any trauma from your past which have a huge negative impact on your life? Is your relationship with your partner stable? You have a welcoming family-oriented relationship?”

5. Financial ability: Kids are an expensive commitment to make – do you have the financial resources to take on the bills?

6. Parenting style: Ahuja says, “Both partners need to be on the same page about what they want for their child- how are they going to discipline the child? How do they have conversations about feelings and emotions? Sleep?”

7. The adoption process: The adoption process has its unique challenges. “Do you know what they might be? Are you and your partner prepared to face the challenges together? How can you try to make sure you can do it together?”

8. The child: Besides, says Ahuja, “What do you know about some of the unique challenges faced by children who come home through adoption? Do you have any negative preconceptions about children who are adopted? Are you prepared for any of the challenges you might face? How can you prepare for them? This question needs to be thought about carefully- be specific in your answers and in your scenarios. Come up with strategies and tools.”

9. Expectations: Everybody has an idea of what they’d life to look like – and it’s best to sort out what your expectations from a child are before you lug him/her into your life. Consider, says Ahuja, “What are your hopes and aspirations for your child? Would you want to let them know they are adopted? When do you plan to let them know (if they don't know)? How? What is the plan for the future? “

Warning signs

Ready to adopt but feel like something is amiss? Take note of the red flags that may have popped up in your conversation:

1.Geitany says you need your partner onboard. In the case of a total rejection from a partner or the partner doesn’t get along with children, one must refrain from forcing a bond.

2. Full partner support is essential. It is mandatory to solve all couple’s major problems before adopting; having a child will not fix the problems.

3. If someone has any negative preconceptions of any aspects of the process it might not be right for you, warns Ahuja. If you think negatively about children who are given for adoption or parents who give their child up, the process might not be right for you.

4. “If you are hesitating to think the process through and how you would handle different situations, then it might not be for you. You might not be ready yet. If you aren't ready to think specifics, you are not ready,” she adds.

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