There is a group out there, a group that advocates for everyone to adopt. “Do your part, adopt a child.” They put these statements out there like adoption is no big deal, it is our duty to adopt, everyone needs to do their part.
NOT everyone should adopt a child.
It’s just that simple, not everyone is equipped, not everyone is capable of the work, and not everyone has the desire to learn how to work with the issues that an adopted child could face. In this country it was once common place to adopt young unwed mothers’ babies and not ever disclose the information. As those adoptees have grown older and become aware of their adoptions, we are learning more and hearing more from them about how they wished things had gone differently.
As adoptees are finally being listened to, we hear them say that they want connections to their birth families. They want to be open about their adoptions, they want to preserve their first family’s culture, they don’t want to feel the pressure of gratitude over having a family, and so much more. This opens up a whole new area of understanding, one that we as adoptive parents need to listen to and learn about.
Not everyone is willing to adopt a child and be open with their birth family. They want to “do the deed and be done with it.” But it doesn’t work that way my friends. That kind of thinking can be seen with some couples who have suffered the heartache of infertility, almost as if adoption was a second and painful choice, a step to the family they want but a step they want to overlook and hide away.
I understand that, truly I do, but that thinking is making the adoption more about the parents and less about the child being adopted. In reality, adoption is about the children. Our hope with adopting our children is that they will see that we want to be a resource for them, help them to know the love of a family, and to know that we are here for them always. If being a part of their first family and our family is possible, we hope that we can maintain that connection. I don’t feel any threat in keeping open communication and connection, who doesn’t love being a part of a bigger family. I mean…I didn’t expect John to become part of my family and completely leave all communication and connection to the people he was born to. We combined our families to become one, even though ours is a marriage, it is still legally becoming a relative to someone who is not biologically related. An adoption of sorts. And we want to celebrate the adoption, we want these children, it is a blessing that we are privileged to get to have them be part of our family.
Some people may approach adoption with a savior mentality. If these people cannot look beyond that, then perhaps they are not among those who should adopt. If one goes into an adoption thinking that they are saving a poor orphan, and that the child will forever be grateful to them, well they are jumping into the wrong life.
It is not an orphans fault that they are orphaned. It is not their responsibility to show gratitude for becoming un-orphaned. Kids cannot comprehend life in such a complex way, and should not be held to the standard of showing gratitude for someone loving them.
The love of a parent comes unconditionally and free, those who cannot accept that, should not adopt.
People who cannot love a child not born from their body should not adopt. No amount of shame or chastising will make those people feel differently, and they should not feel guilt or pressure. Should they feel guilty and adopt from those feelings, it only stands to be a detriment to the family and the child entering the family. They will always subconsciously hold a grudge towards the child, and it really is just a bad idea all around.
Those who cannot accept special needs should not adopt. I have read pretty much everything I can about adoption, and everything states that there are possibilities of emotional issues in every adoption. They could be so mild that they do not raise much concern, or they could be incredibly severe. This is truly something to take into consideration.
Fetal alcohol syndrome and effects can be present in a child and there is no way of knowing. It is a spectrum disorder that can show very few signs at birth but a lot of signs in adolescence. This is something to be aware of, educated about, and okay with.
Adoption is amazing. It truly is a gift to be part of another person’s life, to help guide and teach them. There is a lot of work with adoptive parenting (and regular parenting for that matter). Most of my work is making sure that we are doing everything we can to help our kids have the best future, and how their adoptions could impact what we need to do to make that happen.
To me it seems irresponsible to say that everyone should adopt. That kind of thinking is a setup for disappointment and heartache. I do believe we are called to take care of the orphans and widows. However, taking care of them does not mean adoption. It could mean funding an adoptive family, praying for the child who needs a home, raising awareness of the orphan crisis, supporting an orphanage, participating in a Big Brother/Big Sister program to help those kids who might not have parents that are able to be involved in their life (orphaned by circumstance), heading up a church outreach to the local youth, etc.
Not everyone should adopt a child. Adoption is wonderful, it is a blessing, but it is about the children. Only those who can see that it is absolutely 100% about the children should consider adoption, because those who know that, will stop at nothing to help the children they bring home.