When you think about adoption, images of a family in a courthouse on adoption day might come to mind. You might also think of parents who adopt their step-children as their own or couples who choose to adopt an infant instead of having a biological child. Contrary to the stories you might hear, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to adoption. Every adoption looks different and is a special story for that family to retell for decades to come.


Adoptions Could Have Rigorous Requirements

For the safety of the children who are being adopted, most adoption agencies have stringent requirements for potential adopters. You can’t just waltz into an adoption agency headquarters and walk out with a child the same day for good reason. According to research, parents who desire to adopt children in Tennessee must be a minimum of 18 years old, reside in the state for 6 months or more, and submit to an extensive home study before they can finalize the adoption.

While every state and country might have different requirements for adoption, they’re there to keep children safe. They can also protect unfit adoptive parents from adopting before they’re ready. In this way, these requirements protect more than just the children being adopted.

If you’re not sure what the legal requirements are for adoption in your state or country, you should look into them before you commit to adoption. Some people might not be comfortable with home visits or putting their information down in an application. Alternatively, some are open to accepting this as part of the process of bringing a child into their home.

Sometimes, Folks Mentor or Teach Instead of Adopting

If you love children but you’re not ready to commit to adopting a child, there are plenty of other ways to positively impact kids. According to Kids Data, in 2021, roughly 51% of children in California households between the ages of three to five were enrolled in preschool or kindergarten. This means that many people who love to help little minds develop properly had that opportunity even if they weren’t adopting kids.

Another way to channel the desire to help kids is by volunteering with an after-school program or a program for at-risk youth. Since some folks might not be ready to adopt or want to adopt children due to their income, home size, or other factors, mentoring and volunteering make it easier to benefit the kids in your community without destabilizing your life in the way that adoption does. You can also help parents in your community by babysitting if you’re not sure if you’d be open to having children and you want some experience taking care of kids.

Adoptees Can Be Four-Footed Family Members

Adoption doesn’t always involve taking in human children. Adopting furbabies can be just as valid and fulfilling if you want to satisfy the urge to nurture but you’re not ready to have a child. According to Forbes, dogs have ranked as the most popular pet in the United States, since about 65.1 million Americans have one as a pet in their home. Even so, you could adopt another pet such as a cat or a rabbit if you’re not interested in dogs.

While some people see adopting animals as a less valid path to parenthood, it’s still a way to grow your family and have more love in your home as adoption is intended to do. For some, adopting a pet allows them to measure their responsibility level before they would be open to adopting a child. For others, pets are as close as they’ll ever get to having kids.

If you’re interested in adopting a child or a pet, you should choose the avenue to parenthood that feels right for you. Adoption is a major responsibility that you should never take lightly. Although it can be daunting, it is also rewarding