For Lionel Richie, the desire to adopt a child began at a Prince concert. During the show, Lionel watched in adoration as a two-year-old girl played tambourine on stage with Prince. Backstage, Lionel was introduced to the girl and realized her "family situation was falling apart." He wanted to help and eventually ended up adopting that little girl, whose name was Nicole.
The urge to adopt a child can strike individuals at different times in their life and for many different reasons. The decision is one of the most important a person can make throughout the entirety of their life. Before pursuing an adoption, it's important to engage in a period of self-reflection and consider your reasons for wanting to adopt.
Additional questions to consider in deciding whether adoption is right for you include:
- How will a new child fit into your current lifestyle and your existing relationships?
- How do you envision a new child fitting into your future lifestyle and relationships?
- How will a new child affect your family dynamics, especially if you already have children?
- What changes are you willing and able to make to ease the child’s transition into your home?
- How do you feel about open adoption (i.e., contact with the child’s birth family)?
- How do you feel about adopting a child who may have experienced abuse or neglect?
- What behaviors might a child exhibit that would make it too hard to maintain them in your family?
- In cases of interracial adoption, how would you accommodate and promote your child’s cultural and racial identity?
- How will you inform family members and friends about the adoption?
- How will you deal with questions from family, friends and strangers about adoption?
- How will you answer your child’s questions about adoption and your reasons for adopting him or her?
- How will you answer your child's questions about their background, history and birth family?
- How willing and able are you to seek outside help for yourself or your child when necessary?
If you or someone you know is considering adoption, contacting an experienced law firm that offers counsel and representation through all legal phases of the adoption process is always advisable. Adoption can, and should be, one of the happiest and most rewarding experiences of your life.