Is adoption for you? After trying to be a parent for the second or third time around, but just couldn’t conceive, is adoption an option? Definitely, adoption is an option. Parents ask? Will we have bigger problems compared to our biological child? Not necessarily. Here are some guidelines:
1. Genuine love for an adopted child. A key factor in adopting is the desire of the couple to adopt a child to love that child just like their biological child, if there is one. Genuine love for an adopted child is the first step. So clarify your motives for adopting. Negative notions like, someone can take care of me in my old age, is not really helpful. The goal is to provide a permanent home and family to a child, guide and support the child, emotionally, financially and spiritually to grow into a loving, caring and confident person. With a positive view of adoption, a couple is off to a good start. It will further help if the whole clan is also open to adoption as well. Educate the negative family members about adoption, or distance your family from these people. Biological parents who do not genuinely love their child will also experience the negativities of their child. So it is not about being adopted or biological….what’s more important is our readiness and capability to love another child.
2. Effective parenting skills. Whether one has a biological or adopted child, the rules in parenting are the same. We need to discipline with love – that includes providing regular attention, building the self-worth of the child, communicating regularly and well, disciplining through house rules and consequences and not punishment. Finally, the couple’s marriage has to be in top shape. If a single parent is adopting, he/she has to be emotionally stable and is a happy person.
Both adoptive and biological parents experience joy and difficulties as well with each child. So parents need to be equipped for the difficult times. Lines like, “oh you are just adopted, that’s why….” should never be used on the child. A parent who does not favor a particular child can say similar damaging lines like….”oh you were not really planned…or you are such a difficult baby” and more negativities expressed to a child. The adoptive parent has to realize that the environment can play a significant role in raising a child. Parenting skills are a must! Read the book I co-authored : Helping our Children do well in School by Queena Lee Chua, PhD and Maribel Dionisio, MA, that outlines the 10 best Parenting practices.
3. Family meeting. If you have other kids, biological or adopted, set a family meeting and one-on-one sessions with each child to listen to their feelings about adopting a child. By listening and working on their concerns, it is easier to get their cooperation. Their sharings can help you in planning the adoption. It is advised to have the immediate family members support the plan to adopt. Having members in disagreement can pose a problem in adopting. So take time to understand help each family member. It would be helpful if Lolo and Lola and Titos and Titas are also positive and accepting of the adoption. Have a conversation with them as well. This adopted child needs genuine love from this new family.
These three guidelines must be followed for adoption to work out. Then you are ready to go through a process – from application as prospective
visit a child-placing agency like the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF) and NORFIL Foundation, to matching a child by the Child Welfare Specialist Group and finalization of the child’s adoption is court.
For the process of adoption in the Philippines, check out the adoption guidelines at https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1018409. It covers information on who may adopt, who may be adopted, and the steps to adoption.
The psychological preparation for adoption takes time, much like the 9-month period of pregnancy for biological parents. It is vital that the couple and immediate family members are psychologically accepting of adoption so as to create a one happy family!
About The Expert
MA. ISABEL SISON DIONISIO, MA, Family, Relationship & Marriage Expert
Maribel, a Relationship and Parenting Consultant for over 25 years has co-authored books, like “Helping our Children do Well in School, Growing up Wired” and “I’ve been Dating…now what?”. She was a contributor and the Parenting Expert of Wyeth’s Nurture Network from 2010 to 2018. Maribel is a regular Parenting Expert for various TV and radio programs, like Radyo Singko’s Relasyon and ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda. Maribel served as a Judge for the Jollibee Family Values Award.
In 2008, she set-up AMD Love Consultants for Families and Couples. She worked at the Center for Family Ministries and trained as an Imago Therapist of the Imago Relationships International, New York. Maribel and husband, Allan, are both graduates of the Family Ministry course, Ateneo de Manila. They prepare couples for marriage in the Discovery Weekend and are columnists for the Feast Magazine. They have co-authored two relationship books, Thinking of Marriage and Teen Crush. Allan and Maribel, happily married for 36 years, have 3 children, Rafael, David, and Angelica.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.