Next year, as soon as the confetti is swept up and we receive our official marriage documents, Reece and I plan to commence the process of adopting a child.
This is something I have intended to do since I first learned my own mother was adopted. Perhaps it is my sentimental heart, but my mothers adoptive parents (my grandparents) were wonderful and they gave her, and myself, an enviable position in this world. I'd like to pay that forward. I've always loved kids and the thought of a child growing up without everything life has to offer through childhood doesn't sit right with me. I didn't have to raise the idea twice with Reece. As soon as I told him I'd like to adopt one day, he was 100% on board. There is a whole lot of room in that big ol' heart of his and we are both very fortunate to be in the position that we can give a child a loving, safe and enriched life. Although we know its not going to be an easy process, we're very excited to start.
I thought I'd share a FAQ regarding our decision.
Are you adopting because you cant have biological children?
No. That isn't a driving force behind our desire to adopt at this time.
So you don't want to have biological children?
Yes, we do.
Being adoptive parents does not make it impossible for us to also have our own biological children.
Where are you going to adopt from?
We are currently researching all of our options for inter country adoption as well as domestic adoption, and have not landed anywhere finite at this stage. We are aware, however, that domestic adoption in Western Australia is very rare.
Australia currently only has international adoption arrangements with 11 countries that have signed onto the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoptions. Of these 11 countries, we would only be eligible to adopt from China, Hong Kong, South Africa, South Korea or Thailand. if we chose intercountry adoption, it is likely that we'd apply to adopt from one of these 5 countries.
Would you adopt a child with special needs?
The short answer is yes. The long answer probably requires a whole separate post. A lot of the children who would benefit from adoption have some kind of special medical or intellectual need, and we're open to that reality.
Would you adopt a baby or an older child?
For our first adoption, we're hoping to adopt a baby or a young child under the age of 2 years old.
Wait, does that mean you want to adopt more than once?
Never say never. At the moment we're just focussing on this single adoption process, but who knows what the future may bring.
Its a big commitment, have you really thought about this?
Absolutely, and this is the very beginning. In fact, it hasn't even begun yet. I have stacks of research piled up on my desk as I type that I'm yet to read, and I've already read so much. We are fully in touch with how long this may take, and how much it will cost. We're prepared for the ups, downs and in betweens. We're also aware of the fact it may never work out for us, but we're ready to try.
So what comes next?
Nothing, for at least another 12 months. Once we're back from our honeymoon we plan on attending an information session in WA, and then the real leg work will begin. We'll be sure to keep you updated where it is appropriate.