4 com­mon mis­per­cep­tions about adopt­ing

And why they shouldn’t stop you from pur­su­ing it

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - REAL ESTATE - By Ali­son Bowen

When Chris­tine DeLoach de­cided to adopt, a few ques­tions crossed her mind. Would an adop­tion agency be con­cerned that she was a sin­gle mother? What about the lim­ited space in her small New York City apart­ment? Would her age mat­ter?

A decade later, the Chicagoan is mom to three boys. She adopted her first son, Nathan, who is now 11, from Ethiopia in 2008. Af­ter mov­ing from New York to Chicago, she adopted her son Andrew, 5, in 2015 through the Illinois Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vices foster care process. She is now hop­ing to legally adopt Andrew’s bi­o­log­i­cal broth­ers, 1-year-old John Robert and 4-week-old Joshua, who lives with them.

Along with adop­tion ad­vo­cates, she has a mes­sage for peo­ple who want to be par­ents — don’t count your­self out.

Many peo­ple as­sume fac­tors from salary to age are deal break­ers in an adop­tion ap­pli­ca­tion.

To be sure, it is a com­plex process. A typ­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tion can in­clude a con­stel­la­tion of hur­dles from med­i­cal his­tory and char­ac­ter ref­er­ences to a back­ground check. And ap­pli­ca­tions vary for adopt­ing an in­fant in the U.S. or abroad or through foster care.

“Many of the things they dis­cuss are more about putting a child in the best home than about say­ing yes or no to a par­ent’s abil­ity to par­ent,” said Megan of think­ing of age as an elim­i­nat­ing fac­tor, agency em­ploy­ees said they in­stead con­sider whether, for ex­am­ple, an empty nester might be a good match for a teenager.

The Cra­dle re­quests cur­rent and prior health con­di­tions and re­quires a phys­i­cal. Hage­man might fol­low up with an on­col­o­gist or car­di­ol­o­gist, she said, about a di­ag­no­sis or prog­no­sis. For ex­am­ple, she might check with the doc­tor to see if the ap­pli­cant in­cor­po­rated sug­gested life­style changes. These could im­pact the fu­ture risk of more health prob­lems, which could have an im­pact on the abil­ity to par­ent in the fu­ture.


Chris­tine DeLoach, with Andrew, from left, John Robert and Nathan, knew be­ing sin­gle has no bear­ing on moth­er­ing skills.

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