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Are you ready to adopt a child?

Thinking about expanding your family through adoption? Whether this is your first child, your first adoption, or simply another step in the growth of a family you already started, answer these questions to see if you're ready.

1. Is your lifestyle conducive to having a child? You must have the time to devote to the child, and you need to be ready to live a settled, stable life that gives the child the home life he or she deserves.

2. Are you married, and how stable is that relationship? If you are married, you and your spouse both need to be on the same page and ready to move forward.

3. Are you financially ready to have a child? You have to provide for all of his or her needs, which means buying extra food, clothing, toys, diapers and much more. A child is a significant financial investment, even after paying for the adoption.

4. Can you balance your career and your child? In the modern day, it's more and more common for parents to work and have kids, but you need to have a plan to balance both. For instance, adoption may not be ideal if your job requires you to travel frequently or for long periods of time.

5. How is your health? You don't need to be in the best shape of your life, but you should be generally healthy and physically able to care for the child.

If you are ready to adopt and give a child a home, you must know the proper legal steps to take. This can be a rewarding process, but it's also a long one with specific regulations that have to be followed, so planning in advance can help.

Source: Family Education, "Are You Ready for Adoption?," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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