Adoption self-assessment

Are ready to consider adoption? Here’s a checklist that will help you decide

By Focus on the Family Canada staff

We are convinced that not everyone who hears the call to care for children in need should adopt. There are many other ways to respond to this need. It requires commitment and a specific set of skills to successfully parent a child “from a hard place.” Do you have what it takes?

Here is a list of qualities you and your spouse should carefully consider and talk through together (and perhaps also with a trusted friend, mentor or counsellor) before you embark on this journey.

If you can answer “yes” to the majority of these questions, you have a very good chance of doing well as an adoptive family.

  1. We are now both fully in agreement about this commitment;
  2. We understand that adoption is forever and that our commitment to an adopted child is the same as that made to a birth child;
  3. We see ourselves realistically, aware of our strengths and weaknesses;
  4. We have examined our motivations and believe that we want to do this to love and support a child, rather than primarily to meet any needs in our lives;
  5. We have the time, energy, health and resources to meet the often considerable needs of an adopted child;
  6. We are organized and have structure in our lives, but would consider ourselves quite flexible rather than rigid;
  7. We are able to laugh at ourselves and balance taking life seriously with maintaining a good sense of humour;
  8. We are able to give love, even when it is not readily returned;
  9. We know when and where to get help outside our family when it is needed;
  10. We are very good communicators;
  11. We have (or can easily build) a solid support system for our family;
  12. We are "learners" as well as "teachers" and enjoy sharing our life experiences to help others;
  13. We accept that there may be many new things we will need to learn to be effective adoptive parents and we embrace this opportunity;
  14. We are willing to advocate for the needs of a child;
  15. We finish what we start, even when the wait seems interminable, believing that the timing is in God's hands;
  16. We believe that God has called us to enlarge our family by adoption and that He will supply all of our needs at every stage.