On Adoption: Part Six – Why You Shouldn’t Adopt

image from Momtog

image from Momtog

A hell of a subject line, no? Let me explain.

Being a parent is hard. Sure it’s rewarding but it sucks too. Being the parent of an adopted child is even harder. I’m not saying it’s not worth it, I’m just reminding you that as tough as it was to realize you can’t have children and all the heartache and drama you went through with that, your adopted child needs a clean slate from all of your past baggage.They will require more patience and understanding than you were prepared for. Make sure you’re up to the task.

At the risk of really upsetting the husbandguy (and his parents should they ever find out I’ve shared this story), here is why I am thankful my in-laws did not adopt.

The first time I was invited over to my in-law’s house, my husband and I were just dating. It was only the 2nd time I’d met his folks, the first time was a dinner at a restaurant. After dinner this time they wanted to ‘get to know’ me; although the room was not dim with a swinging light bulb over my head it did at points have that feel. After answering a myriad of questions about my multicultural family and being adopted they decided to share their adoption (or non-adoption) story with me.

My mother-in-law had a very difficult first birth (giving birth to my husband) and afterwards had several heartbreaking miscarriages. It was suggested to them that they instead adopt rather than attempting further pregnancies. This was in the mid 1970’s, post Roe v. Wade, when abortion was legal and there were no longer as many babies available for adoption (this incidentally is the reason my siblings are Korean). After filling out paperwork, having background checks, home studies and being on the waiting list for several years (if I recall correctly there was a 5-7 year wait for babies). Each year having to re-file, re-submit, re-pay; they eventually decided to stop. As my father-in-law put it “it just wasn’t worth the hassle anymore”.

If having a child isn’t worth the hassle, please don’t adopt. If there is a remote chance that you would end up with a child who you don’t feel was worth the effort you put into getting them… please don’t adopt. I cannot imagine growing up with the pressure of being “worth the hassle” it took to adopt me.

If having a child is worth any hassle, any wait, any hoops to jump or effort you have to make… adopt a child. Being a family is worth it.

10 thoughts on “On Adoption: Part Six – Why You Shouldn’t Adopt

  1. Spot on! I have dear friends who waited 4 years for their baby girl to be brought home from Guatemala. They never gave up on her even after thousands of dollars and miles of red tape. They even kept up the fight after the finding another baby to adopt. They now have two sweet little daughters that they cherish more than anything in the world.

  2. You can never hide your true feelings from a child. They are like living with miniature Sherlock Holmes’s. So I agree, unless your heart is completely open, don’t adopt. The child will always know and feel twice betrayed.

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