If you already have children and have decided to adopt another, all of the experts I know of agree that it is imperative that you let them in on your plan immediately. This is a decision that affects all aspects of their lives as well, and they need to get used to the idea.
Responses vary; some kids are happy, others may display jealousy. You want to know about any negative emotions your children may have so that you can point out the benefits and rewards to them, and change their attitudes. Of course, just brushing their concerns away will make the problem bigger. Instead you need to listen patiently while reassuring them that you understand.
Consider your feelings about adoption and consider what type of adoption you want to pursue: infant, waiting child, international, open, semi-open, closed, agency, independent, or agency-assisted.
Interview several agencies or lawyers who do the kind of adoption you've chosen, attend orientation meetings, then select the agency or lawyer with whom you wish to work.
Begin your adoption home study.
Find out what your agency, licensed social worker, or lawyer recommends you do to help locate the right child for your family. While you're waiting, continue your educational process.
Prepare for your child to come home. This may involve visits with the birth parent/s, if you're doing an open infant adoption; pre-placement visits with your child, if you're adopting a waiting child; or travel to the child's country and preparation to finalize the adoption, if you're adopting a child from abroad.
Bring your child home. In the case of an international adoption, petition the Immigration and Naturalization Service to make your child a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Begin the adjustment period as a new family.
Finalize the adoption.
Continue the life-long adoption experience.
Keep in mind that many with just average incomes are adopting annually. If you have loved ones who are generous and can afford to lend you the money, by all means ASK, and you stand a good chance of your request being granted.
I would add that a child's needs come first, and some people need to make a choice: child or pet.
Close to this is when there are genetic problems (when a couple carries genes for certain inherited disorders) or hereditary diseases.
A woman shared her motive for adopting which I found interesting- she wanted a child but not the pregnancy and labor pains that precede its birth. She laughed at my surprise, and told me that her husband liked the idea because he didn’t want to risk having a boy (this daddy wanted a girl), and abortion was out of the question. Besides, “since there are so many children in need of parents, we see no reason to have our own”. Very thoughtful.
Every child needs love and warmth to flourish in the same way a plant needs sunlight and water. Giving the probability of love, safety and a great education and life to a kid who’s odds for these aren’t in his favor, can be the most meaningful and rewarding experience. Just beware of the latest obstacle known as "adoption disruption". Remember that the authorities have their own reasons and agenda.