4 common misperceptions about adopting
And why they shouldn’t stop you from pursuing it
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.