What I Wish Adoptive Parents Knew

One of the most valuable tools in learning about and from the adoption process is listening to the advice of those who have been there.

Lita Jordan October 18, 2018

One would be hard-pressed to find adoptive parents who said their worldview did not change completely from their adoption journey. Adoption changes you. It is messy and hard, yet it is one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience. One of the most valuable tools in learning about and from the adoption process is listening to the advice of those who have been there. This does not just include other adoptive parents. The perspective of birth parents and adoptees will also be vital to help you gain a well-rounded and educated understanding of adoption from all sides. Here are a few things that members of the adoptive triad wish that adoptive parents knew.



“It’s not all adorable and Hallmark. It's real life, for the next of the rest of forever.” -Adoptive Mother


“Prepare appropriate answers for the many possible questions asked by your adopted child.” -Adoptive Mother


“I had to throw out much of how I was parented and how my friends with biological kids parented and develop a style that balked at what the world said we should do to raise our fostered children. We needed to be strong enough to parent and love them in a way that reached them, no matter how silly, loud, or counterintuitive we seemed to onlookers peering in.” -Foster Parent


“Giving our child to you, we are entrusting you with this most precious gift. It still hurts to make the decision. And please don’t be disappointed when the child asks about us if the time comes. Let the child know that there was so much love in letting them go. As my son who was adopted at birth said ‘At a time when there were other options, I gave him the chance to be. His adoptive parents gave him the chance to become the man he is today.’” -Birth Mother


“Someone has to leave the hospital heartbroken. Someone has to come home empty-handed and that in the end, if she decides to parent, you have to love her even though your heart is broken. The cost of private adoption is becoming unacceptable and the scams are unbelievable. After a failed adoption, we are trying to recoup money and figure out if we want to try again, but when you are $7,000 in the hole and you are seeing cases well into the $45,000, it is almost impossible. The laws for adoptive parents in some states are not favorable either. Kentucky’s 20-day grace period is hard to fathom. We loved that baby after an hour, and she stayed with her birth mom after two days. I couldn’t imagine 20 days. I would also say it is not all rainbows. You have to accept cases of drug-addicted babies or moms that are incarcerated and that is also hard if you are a working mom with kids at home.

The positive is you do love like [the child] is your own. You tell your heart to not fall in love because the baby isn’t yours; however, you are human, and the feelings are there.” -Adoptive Mother


“As an adoptee, I’m okay and love the life I was given. I’m not traumatized or feeling abandoned one bit.” -Adoptee


“Just because we may have the same/similar role doesn’t mean I owe you the details of my child’s story.” -Foster and Adoptive Parent


“I wish adoptive parents knew that birth parents aren't waiting in the wings to abduct adoptees and replace the adoptive parents. While it was always okay for us to talk about our adoptions (mine and my sisters), my adoptive parents were always afraid that our birth parents would come back for us. I totally understand why, but it shouldn’t have been to the extent that it was.” -Adoptee

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Lita Jordan

Lita Jordan is a master of all things "home." A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the "other Michael Jordan" and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on Facebook.

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