Adopting a toddler can be very rewarding, however, it's not always a box of chocolates. Did you know that at least half of all adoptive parents try to adopt a toddler for one reason or another?
Some think that they would not want to miss out on witnessing the imaginative nature of a toddler. For others, it is their intention to adopt an infant, but due to unexpected delays in the adoption process (especially international adoptions), the baby will grow up and become a toddler by the time the adoption is final.
If you are adopting a toddler you have several options. You can adopt a child internationally or domestically. Between these two types of adoptions you can choose either a public or a private adoption agency to work with.
The prices will differ drastically between private and public agencies. If you adopt domestically and go with a public adoption agency, your costs will be very little, whereas, a private adoption can reach as high as $30,000!
It's really up to you as to the type of toddler adoption option you will choose. Think about what you can afford, and consider the requirements of the adoption agency you pick.
You will find that adopting a toddler is a much more pleasurable experience if you can prepare the child during the adoption process. For example, you could send the toddler pictures or better still, you could see about arranging to have visits with them as frequently as possible before you bring them home with you permanently.
You may think you are prepared, however, for the toddler the transition will be extra difficult. Expect to be severely tested, take into account, of course, whether they have a scarred past.
Learn as much as possible about the child prior to adopting them. Some parents have adopted severely abused children, only to undergo some pretty traumatic experiences. They later discovered that their expectations of warm hugs and tiny welcoming hands weren't exactly met.
Months of unexpected fits of anger and temper tantrums from the child have shocked them. They are not taking into account that this is just how toddlers act on occasion and some much more often than others. Getting use to change and a new environment is especially difficult for them.
As a potential adoptive parent for an adopted toddler, you will be required to have a lot of time and patience to build an attachment and relationship with the child.
You can take a leave from work so that you can devote your time fully as a parent to this toddler. You should be elegible for adoption leave (similar to maternity leave).
You may also need to make some changes personally. For example, you will want to be physically fit enough to meet the demands of this new endeavor. Toddlers do not usually adjust easily, they are quite a bundle of energy, and so you must be able to have the stamina and endurance to stay strong and firm in order to establish an attachment with the child as well as authority.
It would probably be a good idea to get together with other parents who have adopted toddlers, so that they can share some of their experiences with you. Receiving support from others can be helpful in dealing with the transition phase more effectively.