One thing I’ve quickly learned is that the moment you announce your hope to adopt, people give opinions. And while people give opinions on pregnancy, and I’ve heard many people compare pregnancy and adoption, they aren’t really the same thing.
There is a tremendous lack of control with adoption. How quickly the process moves, whether the agency approves you, whether you’re selected by an expectant mother/couple (if you’re doing a private adoption)…all are beyond your control. One thing you can control though, is the type of adoptive situation that you pursue.
A couple of people have (unsolicited, of course) told me the type of adoption that we “should” be doing. I see it a lot when a celebrity adopts too – people discussing how they adopted the “wrong” way. They argue that adoption overseas is the best, because “those poor children need homes,” or that domestic adoption is best because “there are lots of children who need homes over HERE,” that private adoption is best because “those kids won’t be damaged,” or that adopting from foster care is best because “they need stability.”
News flash: no child is more deserving of adoption than another!
Other news flash: we aren’t adopting to “save” a child.
A common misconception about adoption is that it’s about saving a child from a terrible fate. Sometimes, that might be true. And sometimes, that might be an individual or couple’s sole motivation in deciding to adopt. I think most people adopt predominately for the not-entirely selfless reason of wanting another child in their family. I can tell you, that is the case for us.
Mark and I carefully and prayerfully made the decision to pursue adopting an infant here in the United States through an agency. It is important to us to maintain birth order (so, not adopting a child older than J) and we need to balance the needs of our existing children with needs of the child we adopt, meaning it’s not in the cards to adopt a child with significant special needs. If chosen as adoptive parents, we would like to have an ongoing relationship of some sort with our child’s first parents. For all of these reasons and more, domestic infant adoption is the right answer for our family right now.
It’s one thing to ask a person how they reached their decision to adopt as they have. There are costs and benefits to any method of adoption, and I know I’d be happy to explain our thought process. It’s another thing to straight up tell someone what they should or should not do, especially without knowing much about their situation. At the end of the day, adoption is about creating a family and although no family is perfect, a hopeful adoptive individual/couple needs to go into the process fully informed so they can create the best situation for themselves, the child(ren) they adopt, and any other children they might already have. Only they can determine what that situation might be.