You’re thinking about adopting but not sure if you are really ready. First, I’d advise you to ask yourself why you want to adopt. There are many different reasons that parents decide they want to adopt and couples looking at adopting need to really take a good look at why THEY want to adopt. As an adoptive parent of 2 children I’ve heard many parents tell me that they would like to adopt as well. Here are some reasons they give.
- You feel obligated to take care of orphans. Many cultures emphasize the importance of taking care of disenfranchised people. The Bible (James 1:27) says we need to take care of orphans. However, it doesn’t say that we must adopt. Adoption isn’t for everyone and there are so many different ways to help children in need. Besides adopting, my sister (who has three adopted children) and I started a business that contributes a portion of our proceeds to orphan care charities. There are other businesses that do the same thing. CASA (court appointed advocates) are always looking for people who want to help and advocate for children. My point is — that shouldn’t be the only reason you want to adopt.
- You think adopting will make a struggling marriage stronger. Nope, it won’t. It will just put more strain on your already strained marriage. Please don’t adopt for that reason.
- To save a child. Believe it or not, not all children want to be saved regardless of what they have been through and not all are grateful. It’s all they knew and you’re taking them away from it. This of course applies to adopting older children and not infants.
- We have lots of money and can give lots of things to a child. That alone isn’t a reason to adopt. Children don’t want your money.
- I can love any child placed in my home. I’m betting I can find a few that would make you change your mind. Children have been put up for adoption for a reason. They have been through trauma (some for years) and aren’t always ready to except your love.
- Along the same line: Children just need love. I wish it were that easy. However, that’s not all they need. It’s so much more complicated than that.
I’ve heard all the above reasons for parents wanting to adopt and these reasons alone aren’t good enough. I’m not in any way trying to talk anyone out of adopting or saying that children shouldn’t be saved. I have two adopted children that I love fiercely. However, the rate for disrupted adoptions is climbing and I believe it’s because couples are not educated properly when it comes to adoption and they are adopting for the wrong reasons.
So, why then would anyone want to adopt? Because you want to be a parent. You want to parent unconditionally. Either a parent for the first time or a parent again. You have to want to parent! Adoption is like marriage. It’s for better or worse. If you decide adoption is the right thing for you, then I applaud you and the journey your family will find yourself on. And what a journey it will be! My husband and I wouldn’t change our journey for the world. Start that journey for the right reasons and educate yourself about what that journey is going to look like and you’ll also be in for the journey of your life.
Are you and your family on the adoption journey? We’d love to hear from you and have you share your thoughts with us.