No one can tell another person they “should” adopt. That’s a very personal decision couples need to make for themselves. However, there are aspects of adopting that need to be discussed if you are wondering if this is right for you. Here are a few worries that may be keeping you from taking that big step.
1. You’re afraid you won’t be able to love this child as you would a biological child. That’s a valid fear, but not one worth keeping you from adopting. When you adopt a baby, an overwhelming feeling of love will engulf you as you hold him or her close. It’s almost automatic. As you care for your child, that love grows for both parents. You realize how dependent that little one is on you, and it fills your heart with love.
Here’s another interesting aspect. Research has shown that when a mother smells her newborn baby, or any newborn baby, something happens. The scent of the baby releases sensations of pleasure in the mother holding the baby, creating a bond like no other.
Diane Sanford, a psychologist who specializes in maternal-child health, said, “For those first few months, babies are mostly just needing to be cared for, and we don’t get much positive feedback from them. … So the fact that the pleasure centers are activated makes it more rewarding at a time when parenthood is very intensive and depleting. Our little receptors are lighting up, and we have good feelings to offset all the hard work and exhaustion.”
Sanford points out that this is rewarding to parents until the child has other pleasures to offer. “It’s great that babies start smiling when they’re a couple of months old, when most parents are worn out and not much positive is coming back to them,” she explains. “Then the kid smiles, and oh my gosh, it’s the best thing in the world.”
These pleasures cause your love to grow deep and intense. This baby of yours, adopted or biological, will find its place in your heart sooner than you can imagine. When I held my 6-week old adopted son for the first time, I felt that rush of love fill my whole being. Like I said, it’s almost magical. And it happen to the daddies, too. My husband is a witness of that.
2. You fear your adopted child won’t love you. OK, so here’s the truth about that. There will be days when they say they don’t. Just like biological children. Kids, especially teens, are like that. It’s their way of hurting you when they don’t get their way. It’s a pretty powerful weapon, but that’s all it is, so just ignore it. Then they grow up and love you to pieces. Just give them all the love you can muster when they are little, and it will all work out. You’ll even want to keep them in your will.
3. It’s too costly. It may not be cheap, but it’s the best financial investment you will ever make. To be practical, keep in mind this child will likely be taking care of you when you’re hobbling along in those no-so-golden years. If you don’t have the money to adopt right now, start saving immediately so you will have the funds in case you decide to adopt. If you don’t use it for adoption, there will be many reasons why you’ll be glad you have that extra moolah stashed away.
Adoption.com breaks down the cost of different types of adoptions here, but here are some general numbers:
Domestic public agency adoption: $0 to $2,500
Domestic private agency adoption: $4,000 to $30,000+
Domestic independent adoption: $8,000 to $30,000+
Intercountry private agency or independent adoption: $7,000 to $25,000
Instead of taking a cruise, use that money to bring a child into your life. Cruises end, children are forever. Worth every penny.
4. You don’t know where to begin. It feels too complicated. Adoption.com offers many helps to show you the way.
It’s less complicated than you think. Just follow the steps and start the process. You’ll be glad you did.
5. It’s too risky. The birth mother could reclaim her/your child and leave us heartbroken. According to a writer at familyeducation.com, “Probably the most intensely felt fear of adopters is that the birth mother will make an adoption plan—and then flip-flop and decide to raise the child herself.
“Very few birth mothers change their minds about adoption after the baby is placed with a family. How do I know this? Because when I was researching a reference book several years ago (The Adoption Option Complete Handbook), I sent letters to hundreds of agencies and attorneys, and one of the questions I asked them was how many cases they had of an adoption falling through after placement.
“Most had very few such cases. One agency said, ‘In 10 years, in 4 of 940 placements have children been returned to birth parents.’ Another said, ‘Of approximately 700 placements, there have been approximately 10 such cases.’
“Of the attorneys who responded to the question, I received such comments as ‘In over 1,000 adoptions, only 5 fall-throughs after the placement was made.’ And ‘One out of approximately 45 cases.’”
Some birth mothers change there mind during the pregnancy or right after the birth before place their baby with adoptive parents. As difficult as they may be, it’s not as painful as after you have the baby in your home.
Some things are simply worth the risks. This is one of them. But keep in mind, the risk is very slim.
6. Will my parents love my adopted child as much as their biological grandchildren? Of course they will. They will adore your child. We’ve watched our own parents with our adopted children and their biological grandchildren. There is no difference is the love show to them. We’re acquainted with many adoptive families and the story is the same. Your parents will love your children. Period. And your children will love them back.
All things considered, put your worries aside. Don’t waste another day without the blessing of having children in your lives. Adoption works. We know five times over. It’s a great Plan B.