If you are considering adopting a child, you don’t need to be told what a huge decision it is.
And as with anything this important, it’s vital to understand the pros and cons, so you can make the best possible decision for you and your family.
Adoption provides the opportunity to give a loving home and new opportunities to both the baby and birth mother, and enables adoptive parent(s) to raise a child even if they are biologically unable to.
However, adoption also has its disadvantages, including emotional challenges that come with the process, no guarantee of being successful, and high costs.
So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of adoption in more detail, to help you decide if it’s something that is right for you and whether it’s a route you wish to go down.
Pros of Adoption
Let’s start with the advantages of adopting, so you are fully aware of the benefits of adopting a child.
1. Provides New Opportunities For The Child
Birth mothers put babies up for adoption for a number of reasons, but often the common theme revolves around not being able to give their child the opportunities they deserve.
If you are considering adoption, then one of the biggest pros is the ability to offer a safe, loving home for a child in need.
The adoption process is such that adoptive families must undergo a stringent screening process, which includes several visits to your home.
Adoption agencies aim to ensure that the family doing the adopting is fit and able to raise a child, and this includes physical, financial, mental and emotional factors which must all be examined (more on these later).
The end result of this process is that children who are adopted should end up in a family that is able to provide them with a bright future, which is generally not the case if they were not put up for adoption.
2. Enables You To Have A Family
Another huge advantage of adopting a child is that it enables couples or single men or women to have a child even if they cannot biologically do so.
An estimated 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble conceiving, and the numbers are the same for men, with 10% of all males who are attempting to conceive in the USA suffer from infertility.
While fertility treatment can help, for some couples this procedure is unsuccessful, which is heart-breaking because it means many people simply are not able to have a baby.
Adoption is therefore a god-send to those who cannot get pregnant, and enables them to raise a family despite their condition.
3. Provides Support & A Fresh Start For The Mother
While it’s easy to focus on the child and adoptive parent(s), the birth mother and her situation should not be forgotten.
Putting up a child for adoption is a hugely difficult decision for a birth mother, and should be seen as a selfless act because it’s made with a baby’s best interest at heart.
As an example, many times women give up their children to adoption because they are teenagers and might be emotionally too young and too financially insecure to raise a child.
Alternatively, many birth mothers are also raising older children, and know that they cannot realistically care for another child at this point in their life.
Whatever the reason, adoption allows a birth mother to receive a fresh new start, while also providing the best possible opportunity for their baby, usually in the form of strictly-vetted adoptive parents which the birth mother herself has chosen.
4. Alternative To Abortion
Abortion is understandably a complex and divisive topic, which many people have very strong views on.
For birth mothers and adoptive parents who are uncomfortable with the prospect of abortion, adoption is a comforting alternative that allows a mother the opportunity to continue with their pregnancy, knowing they can still provide a great life for their baby via the adopting parents.
Cons of Adoption
To give a balanced point of view, it’s also important to look at some of the main disadvantages of adoption as well.
1. Mentally & Emotionally Challenging
Given the seriousness and what is at stake, adoption rightly comes with a lot of background work.
This includes but is not limited to paperwork, screening questions, background checks and legal steps that must all be complete and / or passed.
This can be a very tiring, emotional and even intrusive process for adoptive parents, especially given the length of time involved and the potential of being “disqualified” (see below).
Another very challenging thing to consider is that birth moms are able to change their mind up until a certain point.
So because adoption typically cannot be finalized until after a baby is born, adoptive parents run the risk of being emotionally hurt if the birth mom initially chooses them and later changes her mind and wants to keep her baby.
2. You May Be Unsuccessful
Unfortunately even if you believe you would make a wonderful parent and provide a loving home for a child, there is no guarantee that your application will be successful.
From felony convictions to health concerns and financial difficulties, it is possible to fail the screening process, which will disqualify you from adopting a child.
If you are going through a private agency, then one of the biggest cons of adopting is how much it costs.
Figures do vary so it’s hard to give an exact cost, but the cost of a domestic abortion is the USA can range anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000.
While you may be eligible for a grant or tax credit – but not monthly payments – there is no denying this is a lot of money, and therefore prohibits a lot of people from going through the adoption process.
4. May Take A Long Time
While you may be aware the process take more than a few weeks, you might be surprised to learn that adoption can take years depending on the child’s age and whether it’s an international or domestic adoption.
Why Adoption Is Important
Although adoption is a 3-way process that impacts biological parents, adoptive parents and children alike, the most important group in this triad is undoubtedly the children.
Children deserve the best possible start in life, especially because a young child’s home environment plays a key role in determining their development and shaping their future in life.
Adoption provides an opportunity to give over 110,000 children each year a loving, nurturing and safe family environment, something they are unlikely to have otherwise had, and this in itself is why adoption is so important.
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