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Preparing for a New Addition

Adopting a child is a lengthy process that is legally complex and emotionally charged. Set aside the financial obligation. Prospective parents who are about to become legal parents need to not only prepare themselves on a personal level but also take actual steps to welcome their respective new additions.

Should the Name be the Same?

Adopting a newborn child will require choosing a name. While gender plays a role in the selection process, naming the new addition after a family member creates an immediate tie to the family. Should the child be two or older, experts believe, short of any compelling reason, that the name should stay the same as it represents an important part of their identity.

A Place of Their Own

The simple step of designating a room of their own is only the start. A private place for them that is visually appealing with new furniture, toys, and decorations based on their interests can help ease the transition and provide a welcoming setting.

Health and Well-Being

The cost of adoption does not end with the child coming home. Having health insurance for the newest member of a family is paramount. Employed parents should know that federal laws mandate immediate coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. This proactive step is paramount, whether parents have a health plan or not, and should not wait for finalization of the adoption.

Opportunities to Delay Daycare Determinations

As with birth parents, adoptive mothers and fathers should decide who will work and who will remain home with the child. Should both parents have full-time jobs, they can put off exploring daycare options via the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. With a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave (depending on their employer and the state they reside in) as an option for each parent, taking individual leaves can provide 24 weeks of quality time, not to mention saving the costs associated with daycare.

Few things can prepare new parents for the lives that they will be responsible for following an adoption. However, being at the ready financially and personally can start what can be a rewarding next chapter in the right direction.

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