Iowa residents who are considering adding to their family through adoption should have a long and extensive checklist at the ready. Adoption itself is a wonderful opportunity for parents to welcome a child into their home, but there are plenty of responsibilities, hurdles and tasks that they should be prepared to tackle first.

The Adoption Network states that being informed about the adoption process and requirements is the best possible thing before going into a situation of potential adoption. Know what the post-adoption requirements are. Have a plan for informing the child of their story: where they come from, who their birth family is, and of course that they are adopted. Hiding that from them is advised against, and in fact it’s encouraged for parents to tell their child sooner rather than later. Know the costs of raising an adopted child. Know the legal ins and outs of the adoption process, which can be both complex and lengthy. The paperwork alone for many adoptions can take months or even years to work out.

Meanwhile, Web MD.com states that a potential parent should also examine their reasons for wanting to adopt. Adoption is a rewarding but stressful life-changing move to make. A parent should be entirely sure of where they stand before adopting. They should have a good grasp on their own reasons for wanting to adopt, and they should be in a sound mental and emotional place before making any moves to see this desire to fruition.

At the end of the day, adopting a child can be extremely rewarding for both the child and the parent. However, as it is such a serious life move to make, preparation and knowledge are both key.