“Is adoption right for me?”
You can see it clearly in your mind: You’re holding a child in your arms, nurturing and loving him or her. Your desire to become a parent burns strongly, and you can’t imagine not having a family someday. For whatever reason, you have been unable to have a biological child and are now considering adoption. How do you know if adoption is right for you? Here are some important questions to ask yourself.
- Does Biology Matter? When you adopt, your child will likely be different from you, not only in physical appearance but also in mannerisms, temperament, and interests. You need to be comfortable with these differences and be able to love and accept your child for who he or she is. Does not sharing genes really bother you? Do you want your child to resemble you? Do you have a strong need to carry on the bloodline? If so, you might want to consider other options.
Do I View Adoption as a Last Resort? Many people come to adoption after experiencing infertility and/or suffering miscarriages. But just because adoption wasn’t your first choice doesn’t mean it should be viewed as inferior or as a last resort. You should feel good about your decision to adopt and view it as the best way to create your family given the circumstances.
Am I Okay with Birth Parent Contact? Most adoptions these days have some degree of openness. Some birth parents will want to meet and have you present in the delivery room; others will request letters and pictures. And some may want phone calls and visits after the adoption. Before you begin the adoption process, you should be comfortable with at least some birth parent contact. Also, be clear on what you are and aren’t willing to accept, so there aren’t any misunderstandings or conflicts later on. Remember that your child will come with a history and a heritage, so be willing and able to honor and discuss his or her past.
Have I Grieved My Infertility? If you’ve experienced infertility or pregnancy loss, be certain you have resolved your feelings about this before beginning the adoption process. Adoption doesn’t cure infertility, so if you’re suffering from significant grief, depression, or anxiety, you might want to hold off on your decision to adopt until you are emotionally ready to move forward.
Do You Have an Open Heart and Mind? Parenting presents many challenges and unknowns, and so does adoption. Are you ready to face whatever lies ahead and love and support your child no matter what? All children deserve to be loved unconditionally and feel a sense of belonging in their families. Be certain you’re able to provide everything your child needs before moving forward with adoption.
If you can confidently answer these questions, then adoption may be right for you. Enjoy the journey!