You have successfully completed your first adoption and feel loved and blessed to have such a wonderful child. You’re so excited that you’re considering adopting another child. Adopting a second child is similar in many ways to adopting the first one, but has a few core differences and factors that you may want to consider.
General Adoption Factors – The Changes
One of the best parts about already having experience in the adoption field and going through with an adoption to the end is that you’re aware of the process and the adoption agency is aware of you. These connections give you the support and knowledge that is necessary for all adoptions. As you are aware of from your first adoption, there are some factors that you must consider with any adoption; however, these factors are more important during each consecutive adoption.
- Financials – With all of the adoption considerations, you must consider your financial situation. Adopting a second child will double your expenses. You already have experience with the first child, so expect to have similar bills again. If you can barely afford your child, yourself, and all of the bills, then a second child can be an unwise choice. Another important consideration in terms of money are the costs associated with what one child has that the other does not. Siblings are always competing with one another and you’ll have to deal with these situations accordingly, oftentimes resulting in a purchase of some form.
BabyCenter has a child cost calculator that states that you’ll spend about $725 per month in total supporting your child. Looking at your first adoption, compare this average with what you believe to have actually spent. This can give you a good idea of what kind of budget you’re looking at for your second child.
- Home Study – You probably remember your home study being a little stressful. The updated home study will require many of the same documents to be redone.Â The adoption representative performing the home study will take note of your current adoption’s status. They will again look for any safety hazards for your child, health concerns, and the general living space’s atmosphere.
- Space – Your home has a limited amount of space. Look around your home now and see if you have enough room for another child. From the legal standpoint, your home has to have enough room to sustain a child in a healthy living environment. Your home study will go through and determine if your home meets the requirements, but you should go through first on your own and make this decision. Keep in mind that your children of the same sex can share a room, but must have their own bed. If you do pursue this option, think about the future and whether or not the children will want to have separate rooms in their teen years.
Explaining the Second Child to the First
The key difference to adopting a second child is that you have already have a child. Depending on the age of your first child, explaining this lovely addition to your family can vary. If the second adoption will take place soon after your first, then your first child is likely still very young and wouldn’t require any explanation. However, if your first child is old enough to walk and talk, then they can likely grasp the concept of how a new child would affect them. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Explaining Adoption – If your first child was adopted, then they likely already know what adoption is and how it works; however, they’ve never been on the other end of the adoption process. Explain to your child how you were matched with him/her and how excited you were to finally meet them. If you feel your child is not old enough to understand this process, then you do not have to explain it to them. Many parents find that not telling them until the day your second child is born is just easier to accept and explain than starting from the beginning.Â Child psychology specialists do recommend preparing your first child for the addition of a second child.
- Waiting Until the Birth – Please keep in mind that the home study will involve whether your child is accepting of another sibling and the home study worker may interview your first child. You will have to at least speak with your child about how they would feel about a brother or sister before the birth.
If there’s one thing to keep in mind it’s that this adoption will add not just a son/daughter, but a brother/sister as well. Keep in mind the emotions that your first child may be going through during the transition and be sure to give each of your children the attention they need!
Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.