During the process of many adoptions, adoptive parents must make difficult decisions involved with selecting the characteristics of their adoptive child. These include the child’s gender, ethnicity, and degree of physical / emotional defects. Yes, it is kind of like picking out a puppy or a car.
I can hear the easily offended being offended that I could say that about a child? Those who have filled out an adoption application and answer those questions like completing a purchase order understand what I mean. It is weird and uncomfortable and I didn’t want to do it but I had to let my adoption professionals know what I could handle in adopting a child, and I had to come to that realization as well.
This is a wonderful time in the process to find the deep answer to the question of why you are adopting.
When having a child by birth, choices are made for you. Biological parents time to adjust to their child, which we gladly do so out of unconditional love for the child. It’s a little different when adopting. As part of the process, you need to make serious and difficult gut-wrenching decisions about this child you are bringing into your home and legally changing their name and status.
What Could You Accept
Could you accept a child into your family who was born to an alcoholic mom knowing all the issues this child will have?
Would you be willing to bring home a baby who is showing all the signs of cerebral palsy?
Could you accept a different ethnic group? On that question, we need to go a little deeper: If you are one ethic group and have struggle accepting another group, you should not adopt a child of that group to prove to the world you are not racist. The racism will come out toward your child no matter how hard you try to keep it in.
If you are not sure you could handle to additional responsibilities of a child with special needs, it is okay to say that. Imagine how miserable you and the child will be for the rest of your lives because you thought people would judge you as being selfish.
But what if my child was born with special needs? That is a good question but it did not occur so you do not need to worry about how you would answer it. I asked the same question of my wife Fran as we were filling out the adoption application and she told me “That is not our calling.”
Are Adopting A Child Or Saving The World
Most American adoptive parents want to adopt healthy infants with a similar ethnic background. Often these parents are adopting to experience as much of the child-raising process as possible because they could not have children biologically. The vast majority of us adopt out of our desire to have a family.
If you asked adoptive parents, we might give you more noble answers as to why we are adopting but we would not have consider adoption without the desire for a family. That sounds selfish but that is reality of the situation.
For those of you considering adoption, you MUST answer the questions of why are you adopting and what child are you willing to accept?