Illinois Adoption: Opening Your Home and Heart to An Older Child
According to babycenter.com, approximately 10 percent of all couples in the United States have difficulty conceiving. Research reports that women and men equally share the burden of infertility at 30 percent respectfully. The remaining 40 percent of fertility issues are unexplainable or a combination of multiple factors involving both partners.Perhaps following acceptance of the medical diagnosis and having dealt with the gamut of emotions, you and your spouse have decided to begin the adoption process. Surprisingly, you have both decided to open your home and hearts to an older child who has been patiently waiting in the wings.
The process begins. You will need to retain an experienced family law attorney, contact the adoption agency of your choice and complete an application with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). You will then need to schedule an appointment with an Illinois state social worker to confirm that your finances and home are in order. In Illinois, you are also required to schedule a fingerprinting session. Awaiting the final determination, you now have the opportunity to bond with your son or daughter.
Finally, the state of Illinois has deemed you “parent ready” but how you move forward with the bonding process with your new son or daughter may take a bit of careful consideration. The following tips can assist you and your family in crossing the bridge together:
A Special Welcome
Make your child's first impression of their new home a personal one. Decorate their bedroom
accordingly, lay out a new pair of pajamas or place a special item on their bed. Take a tour of the home so your child can adjust to their new surroundings. Perhaps a plate of cookies on the kitchen table to be shared can lessen anxious feelings.Create a Welcome Book
This could be constructed before the child arrives or scheduled as a family activity. Include photos of all immediate and extended family members so the child feels comfortable when later introduced to these family members.
Reassure your child that you and your spouse are readily available, within reason, to answer any questions. If your child is comfortable, encourage conversations about their past but do not dwell on the situation.
Relax, Enjoy Your Time Together
Forget that perhaps you, your spouse and your child are feeling a bit uncomfortable. Take the time to enjoy each other. Find out more about which activities, sports or academic subjects interest your child. Inquire about how they see themselves functioning as part of the family. Do not expect a marathon session but take baby steps.
Remember this is new for your child as well. If your child appears a bit defensive and does not want to openly communicate, give it some time. As new parents, there will be choppy waters as the adjustment period calms but remember to look past the horizon to many years of smooth sailing that lay ahead.
If you and your spouse find yourselves part of the 10 percent of Americans unable to conceive and are ready to move forward with the adoption process Doug Warlick, an experienced family law attorney serving Geneva, Illinois strongly advises couples to have strong legal counsel as your ally and advocate to navigate the adoption waters. Contact The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today for your initial consultation with attorney Walick.