These are 5 ways to sabotage an adoption plan, for those who may be new to the process.

5. Expect Perfection

Forget that adoption is a human construct, relied upon those who are in crisis. Assume the “if I have to resort to settling for adoption, then I better get… (a perfect baby, a perfect adoptive couple, a perfect co-ed who got pregnant during her first and only sexual encounter)” attitude. Mind you: this won’t get you a perfect placement nor a perfect match. But it will get you quickly on your way to sabotaging your adoption plan, so in that respect: mission accomplished. Adoptive parents who too narrowly set limits on the type of child they’ll accept (ie., race, gender, age) soon find the wait long and the result underwhelming. Birthparents who don’t expect the adoptive parents to ever fall short or adoptees who expect their birthparents to never disappoint them are all in for a rude awakening, sooner or later.

4. Treat the Process Like It’s All About You

Whether you’re placing, adopting, or doing adoption casework, reducing the entire process to a mere transaction is another effective way to distance yourself emotionally, thus ensuring that adoption plan’s lack of genuine altruism. If your only investment in an adoption plan is based on what you can get out of it, then you might as well back out of it, because it probably shouldn’t happen, anyway. Adoption plans that really work require everyone to work together for the best interests of one party: the adoptee… who owes you nothing in return. (Never forget this truth.)

3. Obsess on the Finances

Money is the root of all evil, they say, and that’s surely true in adoptions. Money should never be the only reason somebody is placing a child for adoption, because financial problems are always temporary. And it’s against the law to buy or sell a child for adoption. Money should never be the deciding factor in anyone’s decision to adopt, either, because committing to a case with costs beyond your means is as ill-advised as nickel and diming your way through the process. (If you cannot afford the costs of adopting, but can parent without difficulty, why not consider fostering instead?) And while all nonprofits are struggling during the Covid pandemic, no adoption program should ever be only “in it for the money”… never, ever!

2. Forget the Kid/s

When you begin to consider adoption, you’re usually in some sort of crisis. Whether its related to an unplanned pregnancy, unwanted infertility or a personal loss, most folks usually initiate adoption planning to meet their own needs. But it’s not about you, friend! It’s about what the adoptee will need most, start to finish. The job of any good adoption professional is to remind you to focus on the needs of the child/ren. (Even though you probably don’t know him/her yet.) If you can’t or won’t, then your adoption plan isn’t going to be child-centered. That will reduce it to a business deal– not a tender exchange of the heart. In the long run, then, it’s the adoptee who is likely to suffer the consequences, which is just wrong on all counts.

1. Be Less Than Honest.

The most effective way that people ruin their own adoption journeys is by not being honest. Open adoption is about transparency. But in order for any adoption to be a success, the participants must be honest with themselves and each other. Be truthful with your spouse, and with your child’s other family. And be honest with your adoption professional/s. Most of all, tell the adoptee the truth, from Day One onwards. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself bound up in webs of deceit, and sooner or later, the truth does come out, often in hurtful ways. Secrets hold you down, but the truth can set everyone free.

If you need more than 5 ways to sabotage an adoption plan, any adoption professional can likely expound on these. But if an ethical, positive and successful adoption experience is your goal, contact Abrazo, because after 27 years– we do know a thing or two about how to make this work best. (For everyone.)

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