Adoption is and is not many things. The media often reaffirms negative stereotypes pertaining to adoption which has a negative effect on our society. Adoption needs a more positive representation in our media today. I hope people in the adoption community will start and continue to educate others about adoption and spread the positive side of adoption.
Adoption is not adopting a pet. I do not appreciate people using the term “adopting” when they rescue a pet. I am a huge advocate of rescuing animals from shelters, but I feel it should be called “rescuing” and not “adopting.” I feel that downgrades “adoption,” and it could give children misconceptions. They were “adopted” like their dog so will be treated like the family’s animal. And if for some reason, the pet has to be returned, they may also be returned.
Adoption is not a gift. I do not appreciate when someone says, “Your child is so lucky to have you.” All children need parents to supply their basic needs, but I don’t see people going up to any family and telling them how lucky their children are to have them.
Adoption is a commitment. It is a commitment to not just your child, but to their biological family, their culture and their heritage. You need to respect and honor all of these things of your child and be open to discussing them whenever your child feels comfortable.
Adoption is being your child’s advocate. While all parents should be advocates for their children, it is especially important to be a strong advocate if your child has attachment concerns, adjustment concerns, and developmental delays, and establish appropriate discipline for a child if they have had a trauma background.
Adoption is a thorough process, but rewarding. It is very long and complex, but also one of the most rewarding things you will ever experience. The process may feel invasive at times, but my best advice to families starting the process is to take everything one step at a time.