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Child adoption - a long time passes from the decision to the arrival of the child at home. We talk to Iza, the adoptive mother of two girls, an educator, and the author of the blog www.naszmalyswiatek.pl, about the process. For understandable reasons, she wishes to remain anonymous.
Adoption (Latinadoptio ) - is a form of accepting a stranger into a family, creating a relationship similar to kinship. Nowadays, in Polish law, adoption is called adoption and is understood as the legal recognition of a biologically alien child as one's own. The adoption process is governed by the provisions of the family and guardianship code.
- How do you recall the time from reporting to the adoption center until THIS phone rang?
Iza:Finally, I felt that our life was heading in a specific direction. I was prepared to wait, but compared to trying to get pregnant, I knew it would be a success. Since my first visit to the center, I have become part of a world that has so far been unavailable to me.
With great joy, we started to prepare for the adoption of the child, we did a small renovation in the room, we bought, among others stroller, cot. Most adoptive parents will confirm that THIS phone always rings when it is not expected.
I do not know what this phenomenon is, after all, we are waiting for information about the child from the moment of obtaining qualifications, but with us it was exactly like that. We went abroad for a holiday and after three days we found out that our daughter was waiting for us. The trip had to be shortened, and unused tickets ordered via the Internet are kept as a souvenir.
Willingness to adopt is a willingness to open up to a child, take it into your family and love it unconditionally as it is.
Currently, the waiting time for a child in most centers has increased. You definitely need to prepare for this and remember that parents are selected for the child, not the other way around. This means that a couple from a later course may receive the child's proposal earlier. Various aspects are taken into account, such as whether the mother is able to leave her job for a while and look after her child.
- What were the first moments? When did you feel like a mom?
We were very happy of course. There was no time to think, it was time to shift your thinking to parent mode. We were trying to have a child of about 9 years. It is very long. During this time, I denied the awareness that I could become a mother one day. I felt a bit like a TV viewer watching a movie about happy families. When I suddenly got a role in it and could become a part of it, I had a hard time believing that it was really happening.
I loved my daughter from the very first moment, but it took me some time to believe that I really am her mother. The same as the others. Not worse at all. Being with my baby every day, first smiles, words, conscious cuddling - that's probably when I felt that she was really mine.
It was completely different on the second adoption. I knew that we were going to meet our daughter's biological sister, so what we felt can be compared to the birth of a second child. The girls fell in love from the very first moment and are very close to each other.
- How do you recognize your readiness for adoption?
Adoption, unfortunately, is not for everyone. There is still a myth in our country that orphans live in orphanages, waiting only for the arrival of the family that will give them a real home. It is not so. Most of these children have an unregulated legal situation, matters drag on for years, thus depriving them of a chance for a new family.
In recent years, adoption has also been offered as an alternative to, for example, in vitro. And it's not that simple. You have to understand that adoption is not a substitute. It's just a different path to parenting. Couples who come to the adoption center are usually people who, like us, have been trying for their biological offspring for many years. That is why it is so important to come to terms with your own infertility, the lack of a biological child.
Readiness for adoption is readiness to accept the entire biological past of a child, the baggage of experiences it brings with it. These are essential requirements for an adoption to be successful.
If the pain and longing continue to accompany us, it may turn out that instead of the joy of adoptive parenthood, disappointment arises. At some point with my husband, we felt that it was time to close a chapter in our life and go this way to parenthood.
- Often, married couples who feel mature for adoption feel a great fear of the entire procedure. Could you give them some advice?
The procedure can drag on for a very long time. First we have to gather the relevant documents, then it takes months for us to stayinvited to training for future parents. We are still awaiting various psychological tests and interviews. After the end of the course, we expect the qualifying committee to decide that we are ready to adopt the child.
If we are sincerely convinced of our decision, do not be afraid of the procedures. This is the moment to open up to other people who are at the same stage as us and, above all, to open up to yourself and your spouse. It's time to think over and possibly fix a lot of things.This will be useful to you
PATH TO ADOPTION
STEP 1.A married couple chooses an adoption center, and from employees
learns what conditions must be met in order to adopt a child.
STEP 2.Candidates submit the required documents (CVs,full copy of the marriage certificate, income certificates,
from an addiction clinic, from a general practitioner he alth, mental he alth, opinions from work, joint
photo), the center applies to the criminal record for a statement
about no criminal record.
Tests and interviews with a psychologist and educator.STEP 4.
The employee visits the candidates at home, checkstheir living conditions.
After completing the group training, the committee issues an opinion.STEP 6.
Qualified candidates expect on the phonewith information that the center may propose a specific child.
Future parents will meet the child.STEP 8.
The family draws up the application for adopting a child.Employees of the adoption center help in its preparation,submit an application to the court together with a complete set of documents and participate
with the family in the entire legal procedure.
There are usually two court hearings. During the first , the court agrees to take the child home. After some time , a second, completing the legal formalities takes place.
The procedure may differ depending on the adoption center - anyone
may introduce additional requirements.
- Which children have the best chance of being adopted?
The youngest and he althy children find their parents as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are few of them, certainly less than the candidates for parents.
Most couples want to adopt an infant because of the possibility of being with a child from an early age, moving from the so-called diapers to maturity and because these children do not carry such a baggage of sad experiences.
It should be remembered, however, that babies coming for adoption are usually smaller oroverburdened, e.g. biological mother drank pregnant (risk of FAS), smoked, did not go to the doctor, has a mental illness. When adopting such a small child, you have to be prepared that it is not clear to what extent it affected his he alth. However, it is also not a foregone conclusion that the baby will develop abnormally.
Despite the fact that future parents determine what kind of child they could accept, it is important not to stick to these provisions rigidly, but rather to focus on considering the child's specific proposal. I know of cases where parents declared that they would only adopt a he althy infant, and decided to adopt a slightly loaded 2-year-old because they felt it was their child.
Adopting an older child is all the more difficult as it enters our family with the aforementioned baggage of experiences, often traumatic. Sufficient time must pass to establish a bond with him and create a new, well-functioning family. Some psychologists say that it must pass as long as the child was without us. Not everyone is ready for it.
The most important thing is to make the decision to adopt a given child consciously, together and after considering all the pros and cons. It's a lifetime decision.
- When is it best to tell your child that he or she has been adopted?
Adopted child has the right to learn the truth about his origin. Therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of and postpone discussions on this topic. The younger the child, the better he will be able to bear the fact that he was not born to his mother. By bringing them up in the openness of adoption, we give him the feeling that despite the fact that he is not our biological child, he is unconditionally loved by us.
Reading the testimonies of the adopted adults who found out about the adoption as adults, you can clearly see that they feel cheated by the parents they loved so much. Having lived so many years in a lie, most fathers and mothers close themselves off to talking about their children's origins, leaving them alone with their guesses. It is extremely difficult for them to sort it all out and understand, and yet, being in their shoes, everyone would like to learn the truth about themselves.
Some parents are definitely afraid that their child will stop loving them. And love is something we feel, not our DNA. And in most cases the child will find out about the adoption anyway. So it is better that this information be passed on by loving parents, gradually and according to age, and not by a "kind" person at the least appropriate moment.
I feel like a mother of exactly the kind of childrenI could dream it. If I knew what I know now, I would save myself many years of effort, visiting doctors, spending unnecessarily money. I would just patiently wait for my kids to be born.
If we adopt an older child, it naturally remembers its biological family. However, one should always be open to all his questions and doubts, talk whenever he feels the need to do so. My children are currently at the stage of information that they were not born to me because mummy had a "sick belly". It did not make a great impression on them, but they really wanted to know that it was what I was waiting for them. Especially for them, we have prepared an album with photos and our story.
- How to prepare the environment for the arrival of a child in the family?
Most of the people are very positive about the information about the adoption of a child in the family. We talked a lot with our parents, we introduced them to the most important things we had learned at the center. We paid attention to the transparency of adoptions and asked them to openly and freely tell the story of their origin to the child.
There were already biological granddaughters in the family, so we asked not to treat the adopted child differently. I mean not only that a child may be discriminated against, but on the contrary - aunts and grandmothers may want to "compensate" him for all the harm by emphasizing unnaturally the fact of adoption. And it is supposed to feel like one of us.
When it comes to further surroundings, neither hide the fact of adopting a child nor flaunt it too much. My rule is that I don't tell everyone that my children are adopted because I don't want it to affect how they are perceived in any way. If, on the other hand, the situation requires informing someone about it, I pay attention to myself rather than to the child, saying that I am the adoptive mother.Worth knowing
1.People who are only partners of a partnership are not legally allowed to apply for adoption. It is also not possible to adopt a child by one of the spouses, unless the other spouses consent to it.
2.It is assumed that there should be "an appropriate age difference" between the adopter and the adoptee. It is customary to assume that it should not exceed 40 years.
3.The law does not specify the amount of income that is required to apply for adoption. It also does not indicate the number of rooms a couple must have in order to provide the child with decent living conditions.
4.Disability nodisqualifies candidates, everything depends on the degree of disability. The most important thing is that this restriction does not prevent the proper care of the child. However, the candidates are disqualified from mental retardation.