As I mentioned recently, it’s National Adoption Month, which is a good excuse to answer some reader questions about adoption. Like these…
Q: “We’re in a rental house with only 3 bedrooms… my 3 boys share a room and we use the 3rd for a school room. If we adopt locally through the foster system I am pretty sure we have to free up that extra room?!?”
A: The rules vary state to state for how much room is required. Here in Georgia, it is recommended that no more than three children may share a bedroom, and each non-related (biologically) child must have their own bed. But you could probably get creative with use of space, and the kids-per-room can be modified sometimes. I don’t know what your space looks like, but it could be possible to have two sets of bunk beds to accommodate four kids. Or maybe you could reorganize some things to still use the bedrooms as bedrooms but add desks or something to make it work for school
Q: “We’re ‘comfortable’ financially NOW but we’re recovering from a rough patch that’s going to put home ownership back a few years. Do I think we can provide for another child? Absolutely. But SHOULD we when we’re going to be in our current home for a while?”
A: Obviously that’s something you and your husband should pray about. I know requirements vary somewhat depending on what type of adoption you are doing (international/domestic/foster), but adopting through the foster system is fairly lenient as far as financial requirements. You simply have to show that you can provide; not anything fancy, home ownership isn’t required, but you can’t be on the brink of bankruptcy.
And on a personal opinion sort of note, I think it totally doesn’t matter. Just a generation ago, most Americans lived in much smaller homes, kids always shared rooms, and they were perfectly happy. Just sayin’. 😉
Q: “Does adopting a child in the middle of their ages upend that order?”
A: Well, yes. But is it necessarily a bad thing? No. In our family, we adopted out of birth order. That has meant adjustments for everyone, and it hasn’t always been easy, but we would have all had adjustments to make regardless of birth order.
Q: “Also, adopting an already school aged child would present a whole new set of issues wouldn’t it? A majority of them are obviously not in a homeschool environment, homeschooling is definitely a conviction of ours as well…..does the state allow children to be homeschooled when adopting??”
A: There isn’t a simple answer for this. Yes, adopting a school-aged child has it’s unique challenges. But so does adopting very young children. Every child and every situation is different. As far as homeschooling, we did get permission to do so, and another family I know of did as well, but it depends on the case. Your caseworker could make the argument for allowing you to do so if your other kids are already homeschooled and if you intend to homeschool after the child is adopted.
Q: “My boys are all mine biologically, I was hard-wired to care for them, I recognize their personality traits as those of myself or my husband. Does that come with adopted children??”
A: I think so. But it takes time and effort, especially with older children; they come with their very own personality already formed. It takes time to learn it, just like it probably took time to learn your husband’s personality.
Got more questions? Shoot ’em to me in an email!