Adopting a child is a life changing experience for both you and the child. It’s essential that there is a good match and that the child is going to enjoy living with your family. As part of the adoption process, you would have completed a home study. When you get to where a child is potentially selecting you as a parent, there will be some questions that you will want to ask their care worker.
Also, the type of questions that you will be asking will depend on the child’s age. For instance, if you were going to adopt an older child, you would need a full background history. You need to know if the child has mental health problems. If so, again decisions would be made as to whether you would be able to cope with that type of behaviour.
So, in the first instance the general questions you would be asking are as follows:
- Does the child have behavioural problems?
- Would I require special training to cope with the child?
- What is the general history of the child?
- How does the child feel about him/herself?
It’s important that you know about the child’s medical history. Once you have adopted the child, you are the parents and responsible for their medical health care. You need to know before you adopt a child if there are any medical problems, and whether you are financially able to do so.
- You need to know about the history of the birth family, including any extended family.
- Is a description of the child’s birth parents available?
- Are any pictures available of the birth parents?
- Is there a history of drug or alcohol abuse in the birth family?
- What is known about the of cause of death of the birth family’s close relatives?
- Is anything known about the birth parent’s emotional development?
- How was the pregnancy of the birth mother?
- Did she suffer from any health problems during pregnancy?
- Has the child developed normally given their current age?
- Is the child up-to-date with all of their immunisations?
- What is the child HIV status?
- What is the racial background?
- What is the religious background?
- What is known about the cultural history?
- Is anything known about the birth parents educational background?
General questions to ask
- Are there any photographs of other members of the family?
- Does the child have any siblings?
General history of the child
- Why the parents are allowing the child to be adopted?
- Was the child taken away from the birth family at birth or in recent times?
- Has the child been subject to any emotional, sexual, or physical abuse?
- Has the child at any point suffered neglect from the birth parents?
- How long has the child been placed in care?
- Have there been previous attempts to place the child with an adoptive family?
- Does the child go to school?
- What is the child’s current standard of education?
- Does the child have any special needs?
- What are the child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Does the child have any hobbies or pastimes that they do on a regular basis?
The number of questions that you can ask is not exhaustive. However, the more questions you can ask now which are answered, makes it easier in the long run. Hopefully, by asking lots of questions, you will be able to furnish yourself with lots of information before any final decision is made. Further, it will lessen the chances of coming across a surprise in the future. Always remember that this is a two-way process, and it is also your interests to disclose as much information to both the child and the agency dealing with the adoption process on your behalf.