Adoption is a complex topic that can be viewed from many different perspectives. Depending on who you talk to, you may hear a wide range of opinions about adoption and its various aspects.
While adoption can be a very rewarding experience for both the child and the adoptive parents, it carries with it its share of pros and cons.
Here are just a few different points of view about adoption:
“Adoption is a wonderful and selfless act of love”
This point of view is often held by adoptive parents and people who have been positively impacted by adoption in some way. They see adoption as a way for children to find loving, stable homes and for families to grow and thrive
Adoption provides an opportunity for a stable and permanent home for a child who may have previously experienced instability and uncertainty in their life. Adopted children receive love and security from their adoptive parents and family, which can have a positive impact on their emotional and mental well-being. While adoption itself is traumatic, that does not mean an adoptee will go through life unable to receive or express love.
From a practical standpoint, children who were adopted often have access to resources that they may not have had access to otherwise such as education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities. While this may not seem as important as other criteria, these resources also go into shaping children’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
“Adoption is a necessary solution for children in need”
This point of view is often held by social workers, child welfare advocates, and other professionals who work with children in need of homes and families. They see adopting as a way to provide children with the care and support they need to thrive, even if they are not able to be raised by their birth parents.
This can be for a variety of reasons such as birth parents being unable to provide for the child financially or emotionally, there may be health issues or other personal problems that would make it difficult to raise a child, or, in some cases, the birth parents may have passed away. Adopting can provide children with the stability, love, and resources they need to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.
Adopting can also provide adoptive parents with the opportunity to form or grow a family, even if they are unable to have biological children of their own. With this in mind, adopting may be seen as a positive solution for both children and adoptive parents providing them with the support and care they need to thrive.
“Adopting is a form of exploitation”
This point of view is often held by people who believe that adopting is a way for more privileged people to take advantage of vulnerable children and, in some cases, desperate birth parents.
They may see adopting as a way for wealthier people to play the system while disregarding the rights and needs of the birth parents and children involved.
Some people believe that adoption can be a form of trafficking, where children are taken from their birth families and sold to another family. (This is not adoption.)
Additionally, some people believe adoption can perpetuate systems of oppression such as racism and classism by perpetuating the idea that certain individuals or families are better suited to raise children than others.
Still, others view the adoption process as exploitative because of the high costs associated with it, which can be restrictive for many potential adoptive parents.
“Adopting is a way to fill a void”
This point of view is often held by people who see adoption as a way to fill a perceived void in their lives. In some cases, this might be the result of infertility. They may not fully consider the impact of adoption on the birth parents, the adopted child, and themselves.
While growing a family through adoption can be fulfilling for both adoptive parents and adoptees alike depending on the circumstances, it certainly does not solve problems.
When entering into the process of adoption, adoptive parents need to understand that the focus should be on adoptees and their needs, not the other way around. And that adoption can come with challenges.
For example, an adoptee may face identity issues and may need additional emotional and psychological support as they face challenges related to their adoption experience. An adopted child also may have additional health issues or behavioral challenges that may manifest later on in life.
Adoptive parents and all parties involved need to have a good support system in place, providing the child with access to counseling and other resources to help them process their adoption experience.
Adoptive parents should also be aware that adoption is not a few months of paperwork, it is a lifelong process and it’s important to be prepared to support these children as they grow and to provide them with the resources they need to process their adoption experience in a healthy way.
Remember there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to adoption. Each case is unique and each person’s experience and opinion is valid. It’s important to be aware of the different points of view about adoption and to be open-minded when discussing and learning about this topic.
It’s also important to be mindful of how adoption can be affected by social issues, like racism, and to consider the ways in which these issues might influence the experiences of birth parents and adoptive parents.
Being open-minded also means being willing to listen to the stories and experiences of those who have been impacted by adoption including birth parents, adoptive parents, and most importantly, adoptees. Too often, adoptees’ voices are not heard, perhaps not intentionally, but as a result of being under the care of well-meaning adults in their lives.
It’s important to acknowledge that adoption can be a difficult and emotional journey for all parties involved and to be respectful and sensitive to their experiences.
The best thing you can do is to approach the topic of adoption with empathy and understanding and to be willing to continue learning and growing in your understanding of this complex issue. The best way to fully comprehend and acknowledge the different points of view about adoption is to do your research, speak with members of the adoption community, and be open to challenging yourself on what you think you know.