How to Plan for Adoption
Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.
1. Family Law Tip of the Week
If you have a custody order from one state, but you’ve since moved to another state, before you go and file a Petition to Modify Child Custody, check out the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) so you know the rules about where you should file.
2. How to Plan for Adoption
While many people think of adoption as a very happy thing, there can be some difficult things associated with adoption. In this episode of The Family Law Insider, Regina Radomski talks with us about some of the difficulties that people might have to deal with if they make the decision to adopt.
The Adopting Journey
“It went from cool, calm, and collected to major chaos.”
Through some difficulties and many circumstances, Regina decided to adopt 2 boys from Poland (aged 5 and 7 years old). Being the mother of a biological 9-year old son made Regina think that adopting 2 more would be an easy transition. It wasn’t. From being in a house of 3, to the start of processing an adoption, and all the way to being in a house of 5, Regina went through a difficult journey.
Five years after the adoption, Regina learned about the Total Transformation program which provided her with parental strategies that helped her get out of a lot of troubling parental situations. The Total Transformation program helped Regina make her children responsible for themselves, follow rules…and stop fighting.
Foster Care/Adoption, Local vs. International
There are a lot of groups that have plenty of information with regards to foster care and adoption like Creating A Family. Regina recommends that people to reach out to these groups to help them make the right decision abut whether to do foster care or adopt, inter-country or internationally.
The Hague Convention has created more restrictions on international adoption. This is why Regina reaches out to adopting parents to help them be empowered before the kids come. She helps parents learn to streamline the household and get it under their belt so it’ll give them a more stable home.
“Two parents, one plan.”
Regina uses 8 questions to work off between parent(s) and their kid(s). She recommends parents sit with their kids and talk them through the questions. Instead of getting emotional, Regina suggests parents to think of some parenting situations like a business dealing. It is important for parents to learn how to get past being emotional because they’re the ones in control.
One of Regina’s sons was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They struggled with this diagnosis for a few years. The Total Transformation program helped Regina with strategies that taught her kids how to think when they were younger. They learned to ask themselves “What can I do differently?” instead of “Why did I do this?”
Regina believes that kids who have gone through a traumatic experience like abandonment could be mentally younger than their biological age. Children with a language difference will also likely fall behind in school. Regina feels keeping such kids a school year behind could help them progress in mentality and maturity.
What To Think About Before You Adopt
In Regina’s case, they didn’t want the kids to be too far apart in age, including their biological son. Additionally, the Polish government requires an adopting parent to be no more than 40 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
Know and stick to what you want.
Don’t feel guilty if you feel you can’t deal with a special needs child. If you’re not equipped and you feel that you can’t do it, don’t do it. Things will go badly for you and for the child if you don’t make the right decision.
You have to do what you’re comfortable with. Think about the child(ren) and what they’re going to feel once they are presented to everyone else. In Regina’s case, they wanted the children to blend so people couldn’t tell they were adopted.
Research which country you’re comfortable with. When it came to domestic adoption, Regina was concerned that the mother would have a say and take the child away. Knowing that the biological mother wouldn’t have a connection made Regina comfortable with adopting from outside the country.
Adoption In Marriage
“He wanted to see me and daddy fight.”
Before adopting children, parents have to make sure that the two of them are important to each other. They have to learn to become a united front. There are times that marriage isn’t as ideal as parents would like, but being united has to be their goal. The book, “Troubled Transplants” talks about children having reverse effects on a family. This is how Regina completely understands divorce on the other side of adoption; if parents are not on the same page with rules and everything that goes on, divorce can happen easily. Adoptive parents have to know that they brought these kids into their homes for a stable family, and they always have to work towards that.
What To Do Now?
“I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.”
Regina suggests for parents to get into an adoption support group that will feed their emotions, where they can just cry and just hash things out with people who have been through it. In Regina’s opinion, support groups are sometimes better than therapy because these people have real life experience.
Finding mentors for the children is also a good thing. The children and the mentor might just go out to basketball courts and throw a ball back and forth, and then they might learn from each other and get more out of it than just playing ball.
Regina urges people to look into ways to streamline their household, how they can make things easier for themselves, and how they can remind themselves of things without having to think about them. A picture of a flute on the door on Wednesday night could remind parents about their kid’s flute practice on Thursday. Simple things like that could make it so simple.
3. Thoughts From the Life Coach
In today’s thoughts, James talks with us about ***.