You want to have a family of your own. Your doctor has told you that this can’t happen for you and your partner/spouse biologically. Whether through infertility or another medical condition, your dreams of parenthood seem impossible to achieve. Then you are presented with another way to grow your family — through the miracle of adoption. Your hope reignites and you launch headfirst into everything you can learn about it. But, here’s the thing. Is adoption really what you want? Or are you more in love with the idea of having a family? How can you know for sure?
Adoption is a huge decision that cannot be taken lightly. But never fear. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is willing and available to lend a hand. Here are some important questions to ask yourself to help you determine if adoption is the right choice for you or not.
Why do I Want to Adopt?
Let’s jump straight into the heart of the issue. Truly evaluate your reasons why you feel adoption is the right choice for you. It’s important to take this question into careful consideration and answer it honestly. Do you feel any pressure to be a parent? Do you feel left out because all your other friends are having kids? Or, on another strain of thought. Do you feel responsible to open your home to a child in need? Are you trying to somehow prove yourself by welcoming another culture, race or ethnicity into your life? If this is more of what you are going for, proceed with caution. Children are not political statements. Far from it. They are human beings, who are desperate for love and acceptance just like you.
Another angle to this question considers a deeper element. Have you suffered a recent loss? For many couples, this is a painful reality. Infertility is fairly common, and grieving loss is an emotionally challenging process. But, adoption is not a Band-Aid. It cannot dissolve grief or replace the loss or dream of a child.
Can I Commit to All that Parenthood Entails?
Parenthood isn’t something you can sign up for one day, and the next decide it’s not for you. Are you ready for this? To dedicate the rest of your life to raising, nurturing and loving your children? To put their needs above your own, and do whatever it takes to give them a good and healthy life? Once you’re a parent, everything becomes about your sons and daughters. There is no PTO, vacation or sick days when it comes to being a responsible and committed parent.
Adopted children, much like biological children, have their own sets of needs and wants. This gets expensive. Not to mention the extra grocery bills, doctor’s appointments and school tuition. You can never be 100% prepared, but it’s vital for you to be on top of things as much as you can be. To have the necessary funds saved up, and to have a strong support system around you on the days you need extra help.
Am I OK Having an Non-biological Child?
To some prospective parents, the concept of adopting a child that wasn’t born to them isn’t something that sparks their interest. They instead want the full experience — the pregnancy, the birth, the delivery. Everything. How about you? Understanding how you feel will further help you determine if adoption is the right choice for you. Do you have a heart that can transcend having a child of your own flesh and blood? One who you will love unconditionally and accept no matter what? Laugh and cry with, support through the good times and bad, and give them the best life possible?
Remember to be honest. Answer what’s the most true for you. If genetics is the most important thing about having that’s ok. There’s no shame or judgment in this. It’s important for you to acknowledge. But if you recognize that family is more than DNA, and your partner/spouse agrees — wonderful!
Am I Comfortable Talking about Adoption?
With all the stigmas and myths surrounding adoption and adopted children, it’s important that you feel confident enough to speak out about your decision. To not let the various stereotypes and overarching negativity sway you into silence, and instead learn all you can about how amazing adoption is. You can do this through speaking to one of our adoption specialists, attending an adoption seminar, or by discussing it with loved ones that you know have already gone through the experience.
If you decide that adoption is the right choice for you, talking to friends and family about your decision is an absolute must. Especially since they will eventually meet your new son or daughter, and be involved in his or her life. So, be mindful and honest about your true feelings when it comes to adoption to help you navigate to your ultimate decision.
How will I Discuss Adoption with My Child?
Along those same lines, what are your thoughts when it comes to discussing adoption with your child? Is this something you would be comfortable talking to them about? Answering this question is vital to your journey towards adoption. Research states that it’s important to state early and to use positive adoption language that is age-appropriate. Telling your child from day one is even more ideal. Even though he or she may not fully understand until they are past infancy, it will instill the vocabulary into their developing minds and take all the sensitivity away from the topic. In other words, it will adoption sound like normal, everyday language.
Having this built up will help your son or daughter later in life, and know that adoption is not a scary thing to talk about. That you are a safe and trustworthy person to come to with and any all questions.
If My Child wants to Meet their Birth Parents, How will I Feel?
All adoptees are faced with this option at some point in their life. Depending on the type of adoption you choose, it may happen right away. Nevertheless, if your child were to come to you and ask questions about their birth parents or express the desire to meet them, how would you react?
Think about this one for a moment. Look deep inside yourself. Would this be something you could accept and respect? Or would you feel inferior and get defensive? How you would respond speaks volumes about whether or not adoption is the right choice for you and your family.
Is Adoption the Right Choice?
After reading through all those questions, and answering them honestly within yourself, how do you feel? Do you feel a stronger conviction one way or the other? Choosing whether or not adoption is the right choice for you and your family takes a lot of careful thought and self-reflection. Remember, adoption cannot magically resolve issues in your marriage or relationship. It also will not replace any and all children that you may have lost. Rather, adoption is a beautiful option if you are ready and willing to open up your heart, arms and home to a child who needs a loving home.
We are here to provide you with as much information and guidance as we can, but at the end of the day, you have to make the ultimate decision. That said, can you wholeheartedly say that adoption is the right choice for you? This is something only you can answer.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and a book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Freeman, Shanna. “10 Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Considering Adoption.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 19 July 2010, health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/10-questions-to-ask-if-considering-adoption9.htm.
“Questions to Ask Before Adopting.” How To Adopt, www.howtoadopt.org/is-adoption-for-me/questions-to-ask-yourself/full-list-of-questions/.