You're on your way to an adoption … or maybe your child is already home. Here are some things you can do to help make your adoption a healthy one!
- Check your health insurance to find out about when medical coverage kicks in for an adopted child, including coverage for pre-existing conditions are handled. Find out what health insurance the birth mother has. "Our son was born prematurely and stayed in the hospital many weeks before we could bring him home," says adoptive dad Mike Mahoney. "The hospital bill was over $300,000, but the birth mother had insurance. Our balance due ended up being only $5000."
- Take infant care and new parent classes. Go to workshops for families adding another child to the family.
- Join a parent support group for families who share your interests. "You can't rely solely on friends, family or even health professionals to understand how to deal with some adoption-related issues," says adoptive mom Gay. "One of my best sources of current information has been online parent groups."
- Figure out how much time off you can take from work. "The more time you can spend bonding with your new child, the better," says Dr. Schwarzwald. "Try to be home at least a month or so for bonding to begin to happen."
- Continue to educate yourself. "I read everything," says Mike Mahoney, "Even if someone is considered a quack, I want to know all sides of the issue. Most of all, I use the Internet to get the latest information, not books, which are often quickly out of date."