How To!

How To Become a Parent Overnight

Marcia Chatelain on navigating the adoption maze.


Episode Notes

For a lot of would-be parents, adoption isn’t the first path that comes to mind. But that’s how Victoria, a PhD student, is leaning right now. Even though she’s not planning to have a family for a few more years, it’s never too early to start preparing for what can be a long, arduous process. On this episode of How To!, we bring on Marcia Chatelain, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown, and former co-host of The Waves. Marcia spent five years jumping through hoops before she and her husband finally adopted their son last year. Now Marcia is looking back on that journey and sharing what she learned to help Victoria smoothly navigate the process.

If you liked this episode, check out “The Single Most Important Thing to Know Before Becoming a Single Parent.”

Do you have a seemingly impossible problem? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rosemary Belson, and Katie Shepherd.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley (bestselling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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