The following are several valid reasons that often spark an interest in exploring the possibilities of adopting a child. But for an adoption to succeed and for relationships to develop between the child and adoptive family, there needs to be something deeper behind the adoption motivation.
Being a good example to others. Some families feel that it is their Christian duty to adopt a child. Others may describe the feeling of adopting a child as a calling. It’s important for families to follow this spiritual prompting by seeking after more information and knowledge through special classes or training regarding adoption and adoptive parenting. Then seek more spiritual guidance as necessary with further prayer or meditation as they learn about adopting and parenting a child that is not biologically their own. The permanency of adoption may not be the best choice for the family and they may be inspired by other ways to help children in need, such as providing foster care.
Infertility. Some couples who face infertility start to consider other options after trying various infertility treatments. These options often include surrogacy, adoption, or foster care, all of which are wonderful choices. However, it is in the couple’s best interest as well as the child’s, if the couple has taken the time to grieve the losses associated with infertility and are ready to consider parenting a child that is not biologically their own.
The prospective adoptive parent knows an adoptee or an adoptive parent. Many prospective adoptive parents are motivated by others they know who are adopted or have adopted. This sparks within them a desire to learn more about adoption. It’s important to remember that while it’s wonderful that their friend or family member has brought out this interest in adoption, their adoption story will be different.
The prospective adoptive parent is an adoptee. It’s not uncommon for adoptees to want to adopt a child, especially if they were part of a happy and healthy adoptive family. Again, it’s important to remember that the adoptee’s adoption experience as an adoptee is separate than that of the child being adopted. Try to keep expectations in check. These expectations are in regards to the adoption experience, the adoptive parent, and of the child.
The prospective adoptive parents have met a child or know a child. This could be a child within the neighborhood, at church, or at your child’s school. Take time to learn about adoption as well as the child. You may be a perfect match for the child, or maybe not. Just make sure not to adopt the child for the wrong reason.
Foster placement goes up for adoption. Foster parents are often faced with the decision of whether or not to adopt a child placed in their home. This happens once the plan for the child to be reunified with their birth parents fails and all other birth family options are exhausted. This is often a tough decision for foster parents and should not be taken lightly. Take time to consider the long term care of the child and the resources that will be needed to meet the child’s needs. What will the child need at five compared to fifteen?
Again, these motivators bring interested prospective adoptive parents to training classes or international adoption orientations. That’s wonderful and is part of the adoption process, however, don’t go forward with an adoption based on these initial feelings. Let that interest grow and develop as you gain more information, because adoption is a lifetime commitment.
If you decide that you are interested in helping a child, but not in a permanent capacity, consider these other options: