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By Dawn Klungseth, Executive Director of The Adoption Key – Adoption and Family Finance Consultants
I am a 44-year-old mother with a big smile on my face! The greatest memory of our infertility journey was when I re-enacted the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally and turned my doctors face beat red.
The first lesson I learned is that–through it all–laughter is really the best medicine! My husband and I rode an Olympic roller coaster through the adoption process…successfully!
Finally, my prayer was answered. I brought my son home one month before my 41st birthday. Six months later, officially, I became a MOM at 41!
Here are 4 must-do’s for adoption over age 40:
DO #1: Find out who can help you.
If you are over 40, struggling with infertility, and considering adoption, the first step, before initiating the home study, will be to educate yourself about the adoption process and WHO can help you. It can save you time, money and stress.
Every agency/attorney has their own requirements as to whom they will help adopt. There are many that will work with singles and couples looking forward to adoption over age 40 and you need to learn how to find those agencies and attorneys – which may be in another state, ICPC.
DO #2: Take some action photos.
Make sure that being an older mom isn’t an issue. Find, or take, some new photos of you looking ‘active’ for your parent profile to the birth mother. All people are the same, they look at the photos first and then read the text!
DO #3: Consider Transracial Adoption.
Almost all of us grew up in a culture that formed us with a strong idea of what was ‘normal’, when it came to family formation, and the cultural habits that upheld that model. We often laugh about their directness and honesty, but for children who were adopted across racial lines; adoptive parents need to be ethnically open and willing to communicate about the adoption process that brought you together as a family.
Yes, Transracial Adoption is a choice for prospective adoptive parents that can open their hearts and home to the joy that only a child can bring. Collapse your wait time to become parents. Be open. Today, more than ever before, people nurture the understanding that each individual is unique and acknowledge their individual differences.
DO #4: Find the right support group.
Join a pre- or post-adoption ‘transracial’ support group that communicates the joys and struggles of adoption. Because each family’s journey is unique, everyone has their own set of experiences to share, experienced families can be a great resource to those just starting out, and and especially those feeling more anxiety because they are starting the adoption process after age 40.
Listen, learn and then pause: statements of law and regulations, along with referrals, may not be accurate or have changed since they started their adoption journey. However, wherever you are in the adoption process, talking with other adoptive families can be invaluable!
Notes for this blog:
Dawn Klungseth is a mom through private adoption and Executive Director of The Adoption Key – Adoption and Family Finance Consultants (http://www NULL.theadoptionkey NULL.com/), as well as a frequent speaker on adoption. She has been actively involved in the area of family building since 2002 when her journey began with donor insemination and the State Foster-Adoption program. She has represented children in court as a Guardian ad Litem, volunteers with the Junior League of Greater Orlando and facilitates an adoption support group since 2009. Ms. Klungseth holds a degree in Anatomy & Physiology and Child Psychology.
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