Adoption is not as simple as some think. Some people see it as a beautiful thing for everyone involved. Others see it as nothing but harmful. The truth is, adoption is somewhat of a grey area, with positives and negatives for everyone involved. I have compiled a list of a few pros and cons for each side of the triad.
Pro: In some cases, children that are adopted have more stability and resources than they would have had their birth parents chosen to parent.
Con: Adoption is trauma, and an adoptee gets no say about it. It makes no sense to sugarcoat the fact that adoption creates difficult emotions for adoptees. Not being raised with their biological families will almost always hurt at some point or another. In closed adoptions, they may be left with questions that can never be answered: Why did my birth parents place me? Didn’t they want me? Being adopted comes with its own set of issues, regardless of whether there would have been more trauma living with their birth parents.
Pro: Adoptees are loved by so many. Their birth parents loved them enough to give them the best shot at life. Their adoptive parents love them with all their hearts. In open adoptions, children get to feel the love of both sets of parents.
Con: Being adopted comes with stereotypes. Some people assume that all adoptees are always emotionally troubled. Others assume that adoptees should be eternally grateful to their adoptive parents for “rescuing them” from their birth parents who “didn’t want” them. These stereotypes shame the adoptee, and can affect the way they see themselves.
Pro: Birth parents have done the best they could with what they had for their children. Choosing adoption takes a strong person who can be honest with themselves. Admitting that you are not in a position to care for your child takes incredible strength of character.
Con: Birth parents deal with grief that never disappears. Watching your child leave the hospital with another family is a heartbreak that I would not wish on my worst enemy. That pain changes, but will never completely go away.
Con: Birth parents are often shamed for their decision. “How could you just give away your baby?” is a question birth parents are faced with all too often. The stereotypes birth parents are surrounded by only add to the heartbreak of placing your child.
Pro: Adopting means fulfilling dreams of being a parent. Many adoptive parents have said that bringing home their adopted child was the happiest moment of their lives.
Con: Sometimes adoptive parents are stereotyped as monstrous baby stealers, snatching children out of the arms of vulnerable women. This creates guilt and shame even in ethical situations.
Every aspect of life has pros and cons, adoption is no different. Adoption is complicated, and its effects will last forever. Educating yourself about the pros and cons is important for your adoption to be healthy for everyone involved.