Is adopting a child right for you and your family?
Adoption is picking interest among many urban couples who could not become parents biologically or those who drive a satisfaction from giving back to the community they live in. It may turn out to be the best or worst decision of your life depending on how clear and committed you were in your head when you adopted the child and after.
Child adoption is not an easy process both financially and emotionally but those who did says ‘it’s every bit worth it.’ It is not just having a child minus the biological process but having a child with lot of additional responsibilities and obstacles. Every adoptive family faces unique set of challenges and obstacles but here are few common ones that you should know and contemplate on before you decide whether adopting a child is right for you and your family.
We suggest take one question at a time, sincerely think about it, discuss with your spouse and family, understand their perspectives and arrive at a mutual decision before you take the plunge.
- Why you want to adopt? Go beyond the obvious answer ‘because I want a child.’ Is it because
- You are unable to conceive
- You don’t want to have biological children
- You already have on child but don’t want another one biologically
- You wish to make a difference in someone’s life
- Looking to mend a troubled relationship with your spouse
There are many couples who go through innumerable fertility treatments but to no success. If you are one of these still grieving the loss and consider adopting a child as a ‘next best option’ then can you imagine how the adopted child will feel ‘someone who is an alternate to make up for your loss.’ What effect do you think that will have on the adopted child’s psychological and emotional development?
And, if your reason is the last one cited above, then you are so wrong. Every child needs a healthy and positive family environment for proper development.
The only genuine reason for adoption is if you love children and enjoy being a parent.
- Are you ready to deal with other additional responsibilities associated with adoption and parenthood? Parenting demands huge commitments in terms not only paying for the education, health and recreation but also changes in your lifestyle to suit the child needs – there will be no sick days or off-days, you’ll be on duty always. It may be emotionally taxing at times, for example, you will have to a fun time with your child at a time when you are feeling low.
- How do you feel about not being a biological parent to your child? Many people don’t feel family bond with a “stranger” who does not have their genes. For them it is tough to raise an adopted child as their own. Do you think this way? Explore your feelings. An adopted child should not be less than you own genetic one, it’s just different at a more physical level than emotional.
- What should be the age of the child? It may seem easier to love and cuddle newborn or young babies and you would feel that it is much simpler to blend them with your family but don’t forget that young babies come with much more responsibilities. Are you ready to take care of those? Older children may work better for some families even though they may have memories of their past life in orphanage etc. and come with a baggage but you can handle those by communicating and understanding the child.
- Do you have support network to fall back on once the child is there? There should not be any unrealistic expectation once the adopted child has come home either from the child or from you as a parent. You may or may not be getting support from your parents, in-laws, siblings or relatives but it is necessary that both you and your spouse are in it together with all your heart and mind.