Common Mistakes Made By Prospective Adoptive Parents
In order to protect the interests of the children involved, prospective adoptive parents are subjected to a great deal of scrutiny throughout the process — from the filing of initial paperwork on through bringing new children into the home. The opportunity for error is ample, yet if your petition is to be successful, the margin for error is slim.
At the law offices of Raymond W. Godwin, we have more than three decades of experience helping families in Greenville and throughout South Carolina. We have helped coordinate more than 2,500 successful adoptions. Over the years, we have come to recognize the most common mistakes prospective parents make in their efforts to adopt. Most of them are easily avoided. We’ve set a few of them out below:
- Avoiding due diligence — Adoption is, above all else, a personal consideration. But there are many logistics to manage as well. It is important to understand the costs involved, the sorts of documentation you will need to fill out and how long the process typically takes. Likewise, it is important to obtain accurate information regarding any pertinent medical conditions affecting either the birth mother or child.
- Drafting inappropriate letters to the birth mother — One of the surest ways to delay the adoption process is to irritate or offend the birth mother in your letter to her. Such letters are meant to convey your strengths as a prospective parent, and should include pertinent autobiographical information. Likewise, it is important to mention the amount of contact you hope to maintain with the biological family. Yet the focus should not be entirely on you — you are appealing to the birth mother, and must be sensitive to her concerns. Many unsuccessful letters emphasize one’s personal problems (infertility and otherwise), and place undue importance on how the child will benefit its new family (the baby “will make our family complete”). Instead, the vital subject to note is how the new family will benefit the child and the birth mother herself.
- Being unnecessarily picky — Most people have ideas of what their ideal families look like, and see adoption as a means to make these ideals into reality. Yet parents who have specific demands with regard to a child’s gender, a child’s physical looks, and restrictions concerning the age of the child they will adopt tend to find themselves waiting incredibly long periods until they are able to adopt. Many are shut out of parenting altogether.
- Failing to maintain the right level of communication — Balance can be difficult to achieve, but it is important to find the appropriate level of communication with the birth family. This involves communicating through difficult periods, and making your intentions and sensitivities known. But it is important, too, not to overshare. Especially in open adoptions, constant check-ins may be a burden on the birth parents.
- Neglecting to find the right help — Trying to arrange an adoption on your own will lead to problems. They may be minor setbacks, but often enough individuals fall prey to scams and lose substantial sums of money or jeopardize their ability to adopt at all. As such, it is crucial to work with a lawyer with experience facilitating adoptions, who can help you avoid the most common — and least common — procedural pitfalls.
Make Sure You’re Proceeding On Firm Ground
To speak with an attorney, or to learn more about the adoption process, reach out to our firm. You can call us at 864-241-2883 or contact us online. Our aim is to place children into safe, supporting environments, and we work hard to make this so.