5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Adopt

Adopting a child is a huge, absolutely life-changing decision to make, and it is not only your life that is going to be impacted.

Before you take that leap, here are five questions you should ask yourself before deciding to adopt to ensure you’re making the right choice:

  1.    Are You Eligible?

First of all, are you even eligible to adopt a child?

In Utah, you have to be 21 or older to adopt. Also, you have to be at least 10 years older than the person you plan to adopt (or, if you’re married, your spouse has to be at least 10 years older).   

Other requirements for families looking to adopt include:

  • Healthy enough to care for children
  • Financially stable enough to afford the costs of supporting a family
  • House is in good shape, free of hazards
  1.    Are You Willing to Undergo a Thorough Background Check?

Expect everything from your pay stubs to criminal record to medical history to be reviewed as part of the adoption process.

  1.    Are You Prepared to Raise a Child?

Of course, just because you’re eligible to adopt doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to adopt. Raising a child is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be very difficult at times. Your life is going to change completely, and it is essential that you be in a good place from both an emotional and financial perspective, ready to take on all aspects of raising that child—good, bad, and ugly.

  1.    Private or Public Agency?

The most affordable way to adopt a child is to use a public child welfare agency like Utah Foster Care, but going through all the bureaucracy involved with the public process can take quite a long time.

Private agencies allow you to adopt a child faster, and they give you more control as well, but they’re also the more expensive option.

  1.    Have You Recently Had a Major Life Event?

The Human Rights Campaign recommends that those who have been through a major life event (marriage, divorce, death in the family, etc.) in the past 12 months consider waiting a few more months for things to settle down before adopting a child.

All children deserve a permanent home, but sometimes children are adopted for the wrong reasons. You should never be adopting a child as a way to distract yourself from depression or grief. This needs to be a level-headed decision – distancing the decision from a major life event helps keep it that way.

Have any questions about adopting a child in Utah? If so, contact Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins today and let us provide you with the legal guidance you need and your potential future child deserves.

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates