I am someone who is quite interested in adoption myself. I think adoption is often a great solution. People assume the alternative is the birth parents raise the child. I knew a kid who was in a state run institution (for reasons I am unsure). It was one of the saddest situation I have ever seen. Some adoptions go badly, but so do some birth families. Neither has monopoly on abuse and neglect. I have seen horrific situations where no one was adopted. I think adoption can be good or bad as are birth families good or bad.
That being said I think it would be better to focus on adoption later. Right now you are having a baby, I would focus on that baby and really think about adoption when that child gets a little older.
Thanks for all thoughtful comments guys.
We already have a daughter who will be 1 later this year, and we live with my boyfriend's parents. So the situation isn't perfect, plus we have a lot of other problems as well, and we're both very young. I just don't know if I can handle another child, and it's really a situation where I have to chose between my boyfriend and a baby I might not be able to take care of (long story).
We have a couple of months left to figure things out, so we will of course have to discuss this some more..
I can't agree with this at all. There are birth parents that should not be raising children. Just because a woman CAN get pregnant doesn't mean the birth family should necessarily be the one raising a child, especially if there is family strife or if the mother is particularly young and her family can't help support a baby. I find adoption to be a very selfless act of love for the child (of course, if it's the mother's own choice to give it up). I can't even imagine how difficult of a decision it is, but in all the cases of adoption that I am aware of personally, the child is in a much better family situation with the adopters.
Originally Posted by ajh
Also, ART is very medically invasive. It has the potential for side-effects for both mom and baby. Not to mention the emotional toll that ART takes on a family. It's most definitely NOT the answer for everyone. If I was unable to get pregnant naturally, I'm not so sure I'd be willing to subject myself to those procedures. It's not just go down to the bank and get pregnant. It's a long drawn out process of tests, hormone treatments, painful retrievals, embryo transfers... all with a total success rate of 29-38% (in 2010, depending on the stat you look at). There are also several mainstream churches (particularly the Catholic Church), that frown on ART. Many couples have a conflict of faith and morals when choosing that route.
I don't mean this reply as an attack on you. I know you were trying to be as gentle as possible with your opinion, but I just had to disagree.
I think there are pros and cons to adoption. I think it's tough on the bio mother to give up a child, and very tough on the baby who is used to the scent and heartbeat of its mother to be given to different parents. Biologically it is also best for babies to be breastfed (this is not meant as an attack on formula feeding parents) which of course is rare when adoption takes place. I know that in the US some organisations are against white parents adopting black babies; not only because of the sordid history of interracial adoption but also because such parents are usually poorly equipped to deal with bringing up a child in a society in which racism is still prevalent.
On the other hand, adoptive parents are often able to offer a much better quality of life than the child would otherwise have had. Being raised in foster homes, an abusive home or an orphanage (in the case on international adoption) sounds pretty cruddy. In general I am in favour of adoption, but I do think parents need to go into it with their eyes open. It's certainly not without challenges.
Personally if I was giving up a child I'd want an open adoption with atheist parents who had a sense of social justice, similar criteria to a previous poster. If I was adopting I'd be happy with an open adoption but not regular visits, mostly just photos/letters etc.
Clearly, it's very dependent on the situation. From what you've said about yours, adoption doesn't sound like a bad choice; because of my own experiences and personality, I would do an open adoption, especially since it sounds like you would keep the baby if you could.
One of my best friends was adopted from China. It was a necessarily closed adoption; she was found abandoned on a street. She clashes somewhat with her adoptive family (personality differences), and has struggled with not knowing her biological parents and having no hope of finding them, but all in all it has been a great situation for her.
I had another friend who was adopted by a distant family member because her mother was not a good parent (drugs, neglect). She also had problems with her situation, but all in all she turned out great and there were no issues.
In my experience, emotional confusion is inevitable. We put a lot of stock in families, and when you feel removed from yours, it's not going to be easy. An open adoption would work better for me because at least then I would know. I hate being left wondering. However, I completely understand that sometimes a closed adoption is the best choice for one or both sides.
For 'family qualifications,' I really don't care about religious affiliation. I was raised Catholic, and while I no longer participate or believe I have no opposition to religion in general. It helps some people, makes their lives better, and while I don't personally need it, I can understand it. So I wouldn't be bothered by religion, as long as it was an accepting group. Politically I'd want a similar family to mine, libertarian/conservative, if only for the sake of being able to get along with them. I can't think of anything that would matter aside from the obvious 'healthy and stable' thing.
I dont agree with adoption as i been there myself and im still v.confused why and feel that i will never be except and i have differculty in meaning of love and fear it because of lack of understanding. I got into wrong crowds but now im in a loving relatio lnship have children and slowly recovering im in my 30's. I would say keep this one then stop having children if you feel that way you feel. Very upseting.
As someone who was adopted (closed) and recently found their birth mother, I'd just like to say I wholeheartedly agree with adoption. My biological mother was only 15 when she got pregnant and both her parents had died, so I can't even imagine how hard her life would have been to keep me. She gave me to the most generous and loving couple I've ever met, and we were so close that people were shocked when my mom told them I was adopted. Now that I have met my biological mom, I have an even greater respect for my parents and keep in touch with my biological mom on occasion, but she is a great woman, and very thankful my parents adopted me.
Originally Posted by 1982tapper
well it wasn't exactly a planned pregnancy. your last two sentences makes me irritated. It's not that I don't want another child, because I do, sometime. It's about whats best for the baby. I don't want the child to grow up with two irresponsible parents (because honestly, yes we are) and a dad who struggles with drugs. But, it's my child and I want to do whatever I can for him/her, and who knows, maybe everything will work out in a year or two?
It's just a very, very hard decision. And I'm trying to do whats best for all of us, but especially the baby.
This is really long but I hope it's helpful! I am an adoptive mom of two sweet little ones born in the U.S.
I think adoption is sometimes good, is sometimes the right choice, but isn't always. I think parents should have the right to make the decision that they think is best for their child and shouldn't be looked down on as long as that is a situation in which the child's needs are met and the child has a chance to grow up in a healthy, loving environment. If you find yourself considering adoption, you have to ask yourself, "Why?" What are the circumstances that are bringing the prospect of adoption to your mind? Are these things that you can change? If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of caring for an infant and raising a child, can you seek out parenting classes, experienced parents, etc.? If you are unsure about being able to ensure your child is fed and clothed etc., can you seek out community resources that provide these things in the short term while you work on a long term solution that allows you to provide those things for your child? If you have goals that would benefit you and your family in the long-term, are there ways that you can adapt those plans to include baby? If you are in an unhealthy relationship, is there a way you can get help and stay together, such as counseling, or would it be possible for you to get out of the bad relationship you're in and commit to staying out of such relationships in the future? If you are expecting a child with special needs, is there an organization you could contact to get support and information and connect with other moms about how to parent a child with that need? You may find that you can be prepared to care for your child with just a little assistance and creative planning. Or you may find that your situation is not something that you can welcome a child (or another child) into, or perhaps it's not in your other kids' best interests, and/or the best interests of the child on its way. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to choose adoption, and don't let anyone make you feel guilty if you assess your situation and feel that adoption is the best choice.
There are a lot of reasons that a mom or a couple might choose adoption for her/their child. While waiting to adopt, we encountered a lot of different kinds of situations. Committed couples and single moms. People with many children, or one other child, or who were expecting their first. Moms over 40, moms under 20. Some healthy, others with health issues. Some with good relationships, some with complicated relationships. They were interested in adoption for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they had difficult life situations they did not want to bring a child into. Sometimes they had other kids and knew they could not take care of another. Sometimes they were young and hopeful that they would be in a position to be parents one day, but not today. Sometimes they were older and felt their time to raise a child from birth had past. Whatever your situation, you can be sure that there are other people out there in a similar position.
Even from the adoptive side, adoption is sometimes good but isn't always. A family considering adopting a child should also ask themselves, "Why?" Are you emotionally, mentally, physically and financially ready to care for a child (or another child or children)? Are you able to provide a child with positive examples of adoption (adult role models who were adopted, peers who were adopted, etc.)? If you have experienced infertility, have you emotionally healed from that experience? Do you have the ability to connect with and love a child who doesn't share your genetic material just as you would a biological child? Are you prepared for the birth family aspect (the unknowns of a closed option, the communication involved in a semi-open adoption, the face-to-face interactions of an open adoption)? Are you ready to answer your child's questions about adoption and help them form their identity in a healthy way? Are you prepared for strangers' questions about adoption? Do you expect that your child will be welcomed by friends and family? Have you considered other ways to help families in difficult situations or be part of adoption that might be a better choice for you? Adoption can be a great thing for a family who chooses adoption for the right reasons and is prepared for all the things that come with it, but it's not right for every family.
The level of openness is a personal choice. Some birth parents choose to place with a relative or close friend and simply take on a different yet active role in their child's life. Some birth parents want a family that's close enough to meet up every so often. Other birth parents specifically want a family that lives out-of-state for maximum privacy and zero chance that you'd run into them at the grocery store or be friends with some of the same people. You have to know what is going to work for you and insist on it. Closed adoptions are very rare these days--most birth parents want to have an opportunity to choose and get to know the adoptive family, and most adoptive families want to get to know their child's birth family. Semi-open adoptions are the most common. With those, communication between birth families and adoptive families is usually regulated by the agency, so you don't share addresses or phone numbers or even last names most of the time, yet you are able to reach each other when you want to or need to (in addition to scheduled updates). Usually, birth families and adoptive families will talk and/or meet before the birth and at the hospital, but will not plan to meet in the future. This is a great option when birth and adoptive families both want to maintain some level of privacy but want to get to know each other and want to continue to communicate in the future. I think a semi-open arrangement can also be good if you have dangerous people in your life who you would not want to open up your mailbox and see a letter from your child's adoptive family and get their address, or who might follow you to a meeting with the child and his/her adoptive family. Open adoptions are another option. The amount of openness can vary a lot. It could mean one meeting a year, or one meeting every six months, or every few years, or all kinds of other levels of involvement. The important thing is to think about what types of contact you want to have in advance and make sure you find an adoptive family that wishes for the same contact. Be as specific as possible...what types of contact do you want (letters, phone calls, texts, emails, visits) and how often? What type of contact do you think will be best for your child? Be sure to choose a family you trust to carry out your agreement, whether that's respecting your privacy and not seeking you out, or sending letters and pictures on a schedule, or meeting up on a given frequency.
I know a lot of families who have adopted. Some over 40, some in their early 20s. Some with many children, some with no children. Some experiencing infertility, others not. Various income levels. Various philosophies on raising kids. Pretty much all of the families I know are amazing parents who love their kids. They don't differentiate between "adopted" and "biological"...their kids are their kids. They adore their kids' birth families and are genuinely concerned about them and want the best for them. I have encountered some people seeking to adopt that I don't think are ready (marital struggles, haven't gotten over an infertility struggle, etc.), but most of the ones I've actually known are wonderful. They adore their kids, want the best for them, and keep the promises they've made to their kids and their kids' birth families, often going above and beyond to connect with their kids' birth families and make them feel loved and connected. I'm sure there are some not-so-great adoptive parents out there, but the great thing about domestic adoption today is you can choose the adoptive family that is right for your child. Families hoping to adopt prepare profile books to tell you about themselves, their families, their homes, their communities, why they want to adopt, etc. You can choose a family on the spot or call and interview a couple of them who might be a good fit. (Or, if you'd rather not choose, the agency can pick a family for you who is what you're looking for.)
(Continued in another post.)
If I were choosing an adoptive family, I'd want to talk to them about adoption in general for a bit to make sure we were on the same page about how we viewed adoption, what we wanted our relationship to be like moving forward, etc. The right adoptive family will clearly respect you. They will be open and honest, not phony. They, too, will be looking for the right match, not one formed out of desperation on your part and/or theirs. You have to feel like you can trust the family you've chosen to parent that child to the best of their ability, because even in an open adoption, they'll ultimately be the ones making the decisions about how to raise the child from the time of placement. So you want to find someone who shares your values and who you trust will make good decisions with the child's best interest at heart. What traits about yourself do you like most and want for your child? What type of mom would you like to be? What type of dad would you choose for your kids? What type of life would you like them to have? Choose a family that is those things and is likely to be what you want your child to have.
In order to be eligible to adopt, families have to complete a home study with a licensed social worker who assesses their ability and readiness to care for a child (or another child). Are they mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially able to care for a child? Do they understand what adoption is? Do they view adoption, adopted children, and birth families in a healthy way? Are they ready for a lifelong commitment? Are they in good health, and can they expect to be able to care for the child into adulthood? If something were to change in their situation in the future, do they have plans for how their children would be cared for? (A network of family and friends who can support them through a rough time, someone who could become the kids' parents/guardians if they both passed away, life insurance, disability insurance, savings, etc.). Social workers specifically assess families to determine how many kids they can handle, what ages, what special needs, if they are prepared to adopt outside their race/culture, etc. Adoptive families put a lot of time, money, and emotion into the process before they ever interact with an expectant mom considering adoption. I think the arduousness of the process itself tends to cut out a lot of (but not all) people who aren't committed, ready, etc.
One last thought: Don't be afraid that the adoptive family won't treat the child "the same" or love them "the same" as they do/would a biological child. I promise you that I could not love anyone more than I love my kids! One thing I always remember...husbands and wives commit to each other for life and love each other more than anything, yet they do not do so because of a biological connection. We cherish our best friends, yet they aren't blood relatives either. So don't fear that the right family won't love your child the way you love them, the way you want them to be loved.