Adoption Arguments For and Against
"Too many children in foster care are falling through cracks. Be a hero, take the time learn about adoption today."
Allow me to give you a little background so you won’t think I’m just whistling in the dark without any qualifications to speak of. I was adopted when I was nine months old after spending those first nine months in a series of foster homes. I was adopted by loving parents who raised me with love and who continually supported me.
When I was thirty-six my wife and I adopted a baby boy, three days of age, and that child is now a healthy, intelligent and loving man of twenty-seven. When he was six his mother and I divorced and shortly afterwards he came to live with me so I single-parented him for the remaining years of his childhood and teen years.
In other words, to borrow an oft-used phrase, I have game with regards to adoption. I do not claim to be an adoption expert but I do claim to have a certain perspective regarding this topic and it is that perspective I will give you now.
IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE
One would think since I have had nothing but positive results from adoption that I would be a complete flag-waving advocate for adoption but that simply is not the case. I believe there are some couples who do not have the right stuff to adopt just as I believe there are couples who should not be parents in any way, shape or form. To slap a label on adoption and automatically label it a sure thing for all would be to certainly harm many adopted children and my number one concern will always be the children.
There will always be serious considerations concerning parenting in general but with adoption one is making the commitment to love a child that is not biologically yours. That may not seem important while inhaling the wonderful thoughts of parenthood but it is a very real factor that needs to be addressed. I am wired in such a way that allows me to love a child no matter his or her origin but please do not assume all adults are wired that way.
BIOLOGY WILL EVENTUALLY BE AN ISSUE
While on the subject of biology, when one adopts a child one is on very thin ice indeed; there will come a time when you need to tell the child that they are adopted and this is a landmine waiting to explode. Some children handle that information well; some are affected their entire life by the knowledge that the people they believed were their biological parents are not while their real biological parents did not choose to keep them for whatever reason. Feelings of distrust, resentment and abandonment, to name just three, are quite common and may require years of healing.
DO YOU REALLY WANT AN OLDER CHILD
Many would-be parents opt for adopting an older child and I would love to say that this always works out but that would be a lie. Older children who have been in foster homes come with their own baggage and the degree of psychological scars that they carry can be unsettling at best and a deal-breaker at worst. This is not a decision to be taken lightly and may the gods bless anyone willing to adopt an older child and work through the emotional problems that are inherent in this process.
Déjà vu all over again! Are you intimately familiar with the child’s native culture? Are you prepared for the fallout that will come as this child tries to reconcile a life in a foreign land so far from his/her native land and biological family? I am fully aware that there are many success stories regarding these types of adoptions but I am also painfully aware of living nightmares that have happened.
These are but a few of the considerations that need to be considered before adopting and please, if there is an inkling of doubt, do not adopt. You are committing to a lifetime of love and care and if you are not prepared to give the adopted child 100% effort, despite whatever problems may arise, then do not adopt.
FOR THE CHOSEN FEW
I was lucky. My son was lucky. We were both raised with an abundance of love. We were both told about our adoptions in the most loving of ways and it did not adversely affect either of us. Neither of us ever doubted that we were loved and both of us were given permission to seek our birth parents if we chose to do so. There were no secrets and that is the only way to raise an adopted child; openness and compassion are the keys to avoiding problems that are inherent in the very nature of the institution of adoption.
For those of you who can consider all of the pitfalls that may occur and still say truthfully that you are willing, eager and committed then I say to you there is no finer thing you could do in life than to adopt a child. To give love to a human being that is not biologically related to you and to sacrifice everything for the safety and well-being of that child is one of the finest forms of humanness I can think of.
My father died in 1969 when I was twenty years old. My mother died in 2003. I was on hand with them when they took their last breaths and for that I am grateful because during their lifetimes they dedicated every breath to me, their adopted son. A man could not ask for better parents and I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the love and sacrifice of those two fine people.
My son will tell anyone who listens that the person he respects most in this world is his father, and he has told me on numerous occasions that he would not be who he is if it were not for my love.
Those are success stories of the highest order with regards to adoption. It is a wondrous institution that has saved millions of lives around the world and it is my fervent hope that millions more will be saved, nurtured and loved as my son and I were. Would I change anything if I could do it all over again? Not a damn thing! You see, I truly am one of the lucky ones!
This has been in response to a question I was asked: "What are the reasons you would or would not adopt" I hope I have given you something to think about.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
Have you considered adopting a child?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
I gave my two children up for adoption fourteen years ago because I have bipolar/ schizoaffective disorder. I regret having not fought the state to this day. What do you think about this?
I think you did the best thing you could, considering the circumstances. Your act was out of love and concern for them. Well done is what I think of it.Helpful 3
When I am an adult, I was thinking of adopting. What age do you think is good for adoption?
I really think, for adoption, the younger the better, it just simplifies matters so much. The older the child the more problems you are apt to have.Helpful 2