Is adoption a lifelong process?

What do you think, is adoption a lifelong process?

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  • Answer ✓
         It depends on how you look at it. The legal process of adoption doesn't last forever. It takes some couples months or years to be matched with an expectant mother- that in and of itself can feel like a lifetime. Then after the baby is born, you wait again. Most states require that a woman wait at least 24 hours after giving birth to sign papers terminating her parental rights- this can feel like another lifetime. Then after that, the adoption is not typically finalized for 6-12 months. After the adoption is finalized, the process is technically 'finished'.
         But does that really make it over? I don't think so. Adoption affects the life of the child (and the parents) throughout the lifespan. There is no changing that. Many parents try to change it by simply not telling their child the truth, but that in and of itself changes the course of the child's life. They almost always find out, and should know from the beginning. 
         When an adoptee is a baby, adoption influences their life, but most heavily the lives of their parents. Their parents may worry that they aren't bonding with them enough, or they might bond very well and be simply overjoyed to be able to raise their new baby. 
         When the child is a toddler, parents who are educated about adoption will have started talking with their child and explaining his or her adoption story. If the adoption is open, the child will begin to form a relationship with their birth parents that will hopefully be lifelong.
         As the child grows older, they may have questions. Especially during puberty and adolescence, many children struggle with feelings of confusion or isolation. If they have a good relationship with their birth parents, that might be a little easier. If they don't, it might be a lot worse. This will influence their parent's lives as they try to navigate not only the normal ups and downs of parenting, but helping their child to understand and process their adoption.
         Adoption influences many adoptee's relationships- both platonic and romantic. It looks different for every adoptee, but almost every adoptee I've talked to has either told me that being adopted either made them worry about being abandoned, or for those that have a very positive experience with adoption, a greater understanding of selfless love. Sometimes it's both. 
         Being adopted can influence the way you parent. Having a child that is blood related to you, especially if you don't know your birth parents, can cause all kinds of feelings. It can be amazing to finally have a family member who looks like you, and sad because you wish you had a biological bond with the parents who raised you. 
          Adoption as an event has an end, but the effects of it don't. Adoption never stops influencing your life, for better and for worse. Just like any other major life event, adoption changes and shapes the way you view yourself and the world around you.
  • Adoption is absolutely a life long process. It changes who you are and how you view the world. Before we adopted, I believed so many myths about adoption.  I had no idea about the need for adoption and the blessing that it could be. I also did not understand all of the options available in adoption when it came to open and closed adoption. 

    As Annaleece mentioned above, adoption is definitely a process that will end legally, but is ongoing as adoption will become not only a part of your story, but your child's. Their story will start with adoption and it will affect them for their entire life. They will have to deal with of the emotion and loss that comes with adoption. There will also be varying dynamics that all in the family will have to deal with when it comes to birth families. 

    Life after adoption will not be the same, but it is whole-heartedly worth it. 
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