Normally there wouldn’t be any feeling in the world that could compare to the joy of bringing home a new family member, however the COVID-19 virus has made it a highly stressful event . The excitement, jubilation, and anxiety could be overwhelming for many when they adopt a baby or a child. Amid all the paperwork and the arrangements, one may forget to take care of some simple little things. Health and safety measures are some of these forgettable, yet important things.
Here is a compiled list of health and safety measures that you must take while adopting a child to ease some of your mental load. These measures also pertain to taking special care of everyone’s health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
General Tips for Parents Adopting During COVID-19
The first thing to keep in mind is that being a new parent is a huge challenge which can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being. To keep your mind organized, you may make lists of your do’s and don’ts. Here are some tips that will help you go about this.
What to do while you’re waiting?
Deciding upon domestic, national, or international adoption, undergoing home study, meetings with birth parents or the orphanage, and doing all that paperwork takes about a month. Meanwhile, each day while back home could be full of anticipation, imagining life after the adoption. However, after the adoption, you may find your schedule tighter than ever. Therefore, you should embark on doing all that you won’t be able to do after the baby or child comes home. For instance, if there are some pending tasks or things on your wish list, you may start checking them out.
Also, get the home as ready as you can for staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic; stock up your home with the essentials for the baby and yourself. Get the medicines, sanitizers, masks, and other necessities you may not have to allow for some time after the adoption.
What should you know about your child?
Firstly, you must know all about your child’s medical history. Find out if he or she has any allergies or serious medical conditions. Track down what vaccines they have received – keeping the COVID-19 vaccine on priority. It will also be helpful to know the nutritional needs of your child – what has been her average intake, is it fine for a child of her age, or what he or she likes and dislikes in their food.
Apart from this, you may also talk to the orphanage directors or birth parents about the child’s experiences and moods. Get to know your child’s friends, favorite people, favorite activities, or cartoon shows. Knowing your child’s life is going to help you cater to them better and get along well.
What should you expect from people around you?
If there are people around you who are willing to help and ask, “what can I do?” do not hesitate to ask for their help. With these reliable friends or relatives, build yourself a support system. Having other foster parents in this group would be a great plus. They will be able to give you precise and doable advice.
If you can get someone to help you bring the groceries, someone to help with your pet, or even sing a nice lullaby to your baby, get them on board. Acknowledge that you are no superhuman, and get ready to take reliable help when it comes.
Prepare for your adoption COVID-19 assessment process:
Most adoption agencies require you to undergo an adoption assessment. Here, they take into account your physical and mental well-being for adoption. During the COVID-19 surge, this becomes an important process as you may be required to state whether you have been vaccinated or not or have had a COVID-19 history.
Your health assessment may take about 1 hour. If you are getting it done by your General practitioner, you may be charged for this. Some adoption agencies will assess for free, while others may require you to pay. The following will be assessed in your health check-up for adoption:
- Your medical history
- A physical examination of your weight, height, blood pressure, sugar levels, etc.
- A test to assess your blood group
- Assessment of your lifestyle
- Checking the medical history of your family members
You may also note that extra procedures may be performed when the adopting parents have had difficulties conceiving or have been taking IVF treatment. They may require you to wait for a few months after the treatment has ended in these cases. This is to make sure you come to terms with infertility or not being able to conceive.
Your emotional and mental well-being is also significant when you are adopting a child or a baby. However, it generally does not count as a criterion to adopt.
Bring your child to a safe and healthy home during COVID-19
Amid the COVID-19 surge, your topmost priority should be to keep your home clean and healthy. The big celebration can wait till the pandemic has subsided. It is best to avoid gatherings till all the people are vaccinated. All you need to do is disinfect your home and the nursery thoroughly. You will also have to disinfect the clothes you have purchased or the lovely bed covers and pillows you have assorted. When the baby or child comes home, all of their things, from toys to spoons and milk bottles, will have to be regularly washed with disinfectants.
You may want to overdo your decorations to make a nice welcome. But the problem with the current COVID-19 situation is that the more things you bring and put up, the more you will have to disinfect using sanitizing wipes or other disinfectants. Moreover, to make the child or baby comfortable, you will have to provide an environment that resembles their previous one.
Above all, to develop a loving relationship with you, the child needs a lot of your time. Therefore, you will have to keep yourself protected from COVID-19, too, so you can be there for your child when they come to their new home with you.