When you adopt you bring a new soul into your life just as if you had given birth. The family will have a new member and will need to adjust in much the same way as for a biological child. Sibling resentments will still have to be dealt with, budgets will still have to be worked out, etc... However there will also be some added twists depending on the age of the child you are adopting. Is your new child an infant, a child, or a teen? Is he or she mentally or physically impaired? Did he or she come from an abusive background? Will the family need to attend counseling? Is your new child the same race and religion as you? All of these questions will need to be answers and addressed if you want to start off in the best way possible.

Older children have already developed some habits and beliefs that you may not necessarily agree with. These will have to be discussed. Depending on their background they may have some mistrust and resentment towards adults. Older children may need more time to adjust to you and your family than a younger child would.

The wonderful people that accept mentally or physically handicapped children or children from abusive backgrounds into their home should have a national day dedicated to their praise. These people give so much of themselves to help children that other people have thrown aside. If you are adopting an abused or handicapped child make sure you know what care and counseling will be required. Make sure any other children in the family are supported and understand what will be happening, even more so in these cases than in others since these children will probably require more attention from the parents and more patience on the part of the siblings.

If you child is of another race or religion will you include any of their culture or religion in their rearing? How will you explain to them when they are older (if they are young) why they look different from the rest of the family? How will you teach them to deal with the possible teasing or harassment? If they are older will you support them in their religion if they want to follow it? To what extent?

If you are adopting it could be a good idea to have a naming ceremony a week or so after the child comes home, not matter what his or her age if they are willing to do it. It will help them feel like a part of the family and will make their presence more "real" to the family and close friends.