Host: Where does one begin when looking into adoption?
Marilyn Regier: Ideally, adoption should be a decision of the head and the heart. Many people lead with their heart, Do I have room in my home and my heart to love a child who comes to me in this way? Of course I do. But there is also that head question and it is important as the first step to do some hard research. The internet is an excellent place to begin, there are many excellent websites designed around addressing major adoption issues. I also recommend that you read everything you can about adoption.
Look at books, look at magazines that are geared to adoptive families and by all means do not only read what the experts write, but try to read some first person stories and memoirs written by adoptive parents, by birth parents and by adopted persons themselves. Then attend as many information seminars, information groups and workshops as you can because you will become a better consumer of services. You will walk into a new room of your life as you attend these, you will start to understand what are the salient issues, what is the vocabulary involved and you will also understand the emotional issues that will affect your family.
You should also sign up if possible for free adoption groups. Most adoption agencies today, offer something called pre-adoption training usually about ten hours in which you are exposed to major adoption issues such as infertility and adoption, transracial parenting, degrees of openness in adoptive relationship, how to talk with my child about adoption in developmentally appropriate ways down through the years. Most of all, the most important thing you can do is to interact with real people who have walked the walk, real people who have adopted, who have placed children for adoption or who are themselves adopted persons.
There is no substitute, these are not hypothetical people, these are real people and it is only through this sort of interaction that you will really start to understand that perhaps this is something I really can do.