Why Adopt? A Guide

Your guide to helping you decide if adoption is really for you.

Jenny Jerkins February 11, 2015

Maybe you are at a crossroads in your quest for a family. Or maybe you are interested in expanding your family through adoption but are not quite sure if this is the best option. Whatever has brought you here, we hope this guide will answer the basic question of why adoption may or may not be right for you. Although this guide covers most of the basics about adoption, every family needs to decide collectively in order to ensure the adoption process is right. This guide helps get you thinking about the different motivations behind adoption.

If you’re interested in domestic infant adoption and would like to speak with an adoption professional about your adoption options, click here.

Deciding to Adopt
1. Deciding to Adopt

Adoption can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Without a doubt, it will change your family forever. Being entrusted with raising children is a huge privilege and responsibility no matter how they come to you.

Adoption may be the perfect choice for your family, but we also know that it may not be the best option for every family. As you seek your own answers to the question “why adopt?” you should also be open to other avenues should this not be the decision you make.

The next few slides highlight some of the many reasons that adoption may or may not be right for you and your family.

To Become Parents
2. To Become Parents

The number one and most obvious reason that adoption may be right for you is that you are ready to become a parent. Something has led you to this point, whether it is infertility or simply a desire to create or expand your family through adoption. You are ready to create those memorable moments in life that come only through parenthood. And you are ready for the responsibilities that come with raising a child.

Many people feel as though their lives are unfulfilled without children. They seek to have that family unit and to create those memorable moments with children of their own. Adoption provides a way to make those moments happen, especially for those who are unable to have biological children.

If your in the process of deciding to adopt, make sure to connect with other adoptive parents in our adoption forums.

3. Infertility

Another very obvious reason that many adopt is because of infertility. However, it is important to realize that adoption does not cure infertility or the emotions that surround it. The struggles of infertility and grief should be dealt with properly prior to beginning the adoption process, so that it is entered into with the right perspective.

Once you are ready, your dream to become parents will far outweigh those to become pregnant. You’ll realize that raising a child together is what’s important, and whether that is through pregnancy or adoption doesn’t matter.

Fertility Treatments vs. Adoption: Physical Side Effects
4. Fertility Treatments vs. Adoption: Physical Side Effects

Many couples consider or attempt infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) prior to ever considering adoption. However, they later find that treatments such as these come with many emotional as well as physical side effects. Be sure that you have consulted with your physician on your available options and are well-educated on the side effects. Many people who were unprepared later struggle tremendously with these side effects.

Adoption offers a positive alternative by removing some of the physical side effects. However, you should be aware that emotional side effects can still be just the same.

Fertility Treatments vs. Adoption: Cost
5. Fertility Treatments vs. Adoption: Cost

Fertility treatments can be extremely costly with very little, if any, financial assistance available. There are currently no insurance plans that offset the financial burden of fertility treatments, which are in the thousands of dollars.

While adoption can be costly depending on the type of adoption you choose, there are many financial assistance programs such as grants, tax credits, subsidies, and employee matching programs that help alleviate the financial constraints that many believe that adoption has. Be sure to research all available local, state, and federal programs thoroughly prior to beginning the adoption process. You may find that it is far more affordable than you believed.

Failed Fertility Treatments
6. Failed Fertility Treatments

Some find success with infertility treatments such as IVF, but many do not. According to the American Pregnancy Association, only 30-35 percent of women under 35 years old will become pregnant through IVF. And as women get older, their chances of success decrease dramatically.

Many couples whose first attempts are unsuccessful try again and again. And with each failed attempt, more money is lost and the emotional and physical side effects only get worse. They reach a point where they just can’t do it anymore.

Adoption offers a much greater chance of becoming a family without the costs.

Single Parents
7. Single Parents

Just because you are not married does not mean that you do not desire to have children. Through foster parenting and/or adoption, an individual can fulfill their longing for children in a variety of ways. Many programs exist which specifically aid single parents in adoption.

Gay and Lesbian Families
9. Gay and Lesbian Families

Many gay and lesbian couples also desire to become parents and raise a family. An increasing number of nontraditional couples are choosing to build their families through adoption.

The Call to Adopt
10. The Call to Adopt

For many families, adoption is not a choice made because of infertility. Many are now adding to their families because they simply feel led to adopt. God calls them to bring home a child and to spread the word to others that there are millions of children who desperately need people to be involved in their lives. Without families willing to take care of them or take them in, these children might die, fail to thrive, or grow up with no one to love them. Many are simply called to care for the millions of orphans in this world. And without people who answer that call, these children would never have a chance.

Transformation of Lives
11. Transformation of Lives

Adoption will not only transform the life of a child, but it will also transform your life. It opens your heart in ways that you could never imagine and will change your perception about many things. Adoption is a great act of love and is truly a beautiful picture of redemption. It is beauty from ashes. And it will radiate to those around you, changing their hearts and minds as well.

Meeting the Needs of Children
12. Meeting the Needs of Children

Adoption is a way to meet not only spiritual and emotional needs of children, but also their physical needs. Without people willing to open their hearts and homes to them, many would never have the food, clothing, education, or medical care necessary to thrive in this world.

Help Children Move On In Life
13. Help Children Move On In Life

Adoptive parents have an interest in helping a child heal from past grief and pain, whether this comes from abuse, neglect, abandonment, or being orphaned. The adoptive family wants to help the child start a new life, knows that there will be ups and downs with adoptive parenting, and is prepared for these challenges.

Someone You Know Asks for Help
14. Someone You Know Asks for Help

Many times there is a child in need of a family and adoptive home that you know within your family or social circle. The child may be a family friend, a relative, or a child you met at church or within the neighborhood. Whatever the case, be sure you clearly understand those needs and are prepared to also establish healthy boundaries and communication.

15. Closing

The adoption process can be a roller coaster of emotions, paperwork, and love. Although it can seem overwhelming at first, knowledge is power. Be sure you thoroughly research all avenues of adoption prior to jumping into the process.

The entire family needs to agree on the adoption. Everyone in the family should agree that adding to the home through adoption is the right thing to do, especially if you already have children.

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Jenny Jerkins

Jenny Jerkins is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and resides in Augusta, GA. She is a wife and former engineer-turned-stay-at-home mom of an energetic, smart, and hilarious little boy. Grateful for infertility, she became a mom through adoption, which has opened her heart in ways she never knew were possible and also brought them the blessing of open adoption. She is an active member of several adoption communities and loves uniting and educating others. You can read all about her adoption story over at Our Not So Engineered Life where she has her own blog about infertility, adoption, motherhood, and life.

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