Adoption is a personal and life-changing decision. It is a wonderful way to start or add to your family. If you are considering adoption, you may be wondering why others choose to adopt. Here are some of the reasons people choose to adopt.
Some couples have difficulty or are unable to have biological children. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.8% of married women aged 15 to 49 years old are infertile. Additionally, 13.1% of women aged 15 to 49 years old have impaired fecundity. Impaired fecundity is defined as difficulty conceiving or carrying a baby to term.
Many couples choose to adopt after trying (and failing) to conceive a biological child with in vitro fertilization (IVF). While in vitro fertilization is successful for some, it is not successful for many others. More specifically, in vitro fertilization results in a live birth only approximately 30% to 35% of the time for women under the age of 35. As a woman ages, the chance of becoming pregnant and carrying a baby to term via IVF goes down.
Many couples go through more than one IVF cycle. They may suffer financially, physically, and emotionally with each failed attempt to become pregnant. Many couples realize that they just want to be parents, whether biologically or through adoption. Many couples choose adoption to fulfill their dream of becoming parents.
According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there are many medical conditions that can complicate pregnancy and childbirth. For instance, not only can kidney disease make it more difficult for women to get and stay pregnant, it can lead to complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm labor. A woman who has lupus is at increased risk for preterm birth and stillbirth. Adoption is a wonderful alternative to a high-risk pregnancy.
An Opportunity to be a Parent
Adoption makes parenting available to people who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Adoption gives LGBT couples and single people the chance to have a family.
Avoiding Passing Genetic Diseases
There are numerous genetic conditions that one or both parents can pass down to their children. For example, cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition in which an individual’s body produces thicker and stickier mucus than usual. This affects the lungs and digestive system. People with cystic fibrosis have a shorter lifespan than the average person.
Huntington’s disease is another genetic condition. It affects a person’s physical, mental, and emotional functions. Some of the symptoms of Huntington’s disease include involuntary movements, slurred speech, unsteady gait, difficulty swallowing, personality changes, and impaired cognitive abilities. Huntington’s disease is progressive, and individuals who have it eventually need round-the-clock care.
Down syndrome, hemochromatosis, Klinefelter syndrome, sickle cell disease, polycystic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, fatal familial insomnia, Hunter syndrome, Marfan syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, primary pulmonary hypertension, retinitis pigmentosa, and Wilson disease are other examples of genetic diseases that can be passed from parent to child. Many who are concerned about passing a genetic condition to a biological child choose to adopt.
Children Need Homes
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. According to Children’s Rights, children remain in foster care, on average, for more than 18 months. Sadly, five percent of children remain in foster care for five years or longer.
While some children are reunited with their families after being in foster care, thousands of others need permanent homes with loving parents. When you choose to adopt, you give a child the safe, stable, and loving home they need to thrive.
Wanting to Parent an Older Child
If you want to raise an older child rather than an infant, adoption is a terrific option. The average age of children in the foster care system is eight years old. Older children—those over the age of eight—have a harder time getting adopted. Teens are adopted even less often. All of these children and adolescents need safe, supportive, and loving homes.
Because there are so many older children in foster care needing homes, you might be able to adopt an older child much more quickly than you can a younger child or an infant. Adopting an older child from foster care is often cheaper than private or international adoptions as well.
Older children are part of the adoption process. In most states, an older child must consent to being adopted. This means that when you adopt an older child, you know that the child wants to be a part of your family just as much as you want him or her to be.
Older children placed in foster care have often experienced trauma, such as abuse or neglect. While this can cause some challenges, when you adopt an older child, you can help him or her heal. You can also provide opportunities the child might not have otherwise had.
Helping Birth Mothers
When you choose to adopt, you are not only helping the adoptive child, you are also helping the birth mother. Placing a child for adoption allows a birth mother to finish her education, advance her career, or pursue other life goals she has. Placing a child for adoption also relieves the financial and emotional stress associated with an unplanned pregnancy.
A birth mother who chooses you to adopt her child will have peace of mind knowing that you are taking good care of her child after she places the baby with you. Birth mothers who place a child for adoption also have access to needed resources, such as professional counseling, at no cost. They can also receive help with living expenses and medical bills during pregnancy.
Forming New Relationships
Open adoptions offer a lot of advantages in terms of relationships. Not only will you bond with your adoptive child, but you will also have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the birth mother and members of her family. Open adoptions allow the birth mother to have a relationship with her child after she places him.
Having a connection with your adopted child’s birth mother can be invaluable in a number of ways. The birth mother will be able to keep you updated on her family and medical history, which may provide significant information to your child’s doctor if illness arises. A birth mother who maintains a relationship with the adopted child can answer difficult questions about why she placed him or her. A birth mother can also tell the adoptive child about their extended family, which can help answer questions about who he or she is and where he or she came from.
Having two loving families may make your adopted child feel special and wanted rather than abandoned and unwanted. In open adoptions, a birth mother can express how her decision to place the adoptive child was the most loving thing she could do.
Love to Give
Whether or not you already have biological or adopted children, if you know you have love in your heart to share, starting or adding to your family through adoption may be right for you.
If you already have biological children of your own, adopting a child can help your children learn a very valuable lesson—family isn’t just blood. Family members are the people we care about and love unconditionally, whether they are related to us by blood or not.
It is easy to tell your children that family is not just blood relatives, but adopting a child into your family will really drive that lesson home. Your children will learn how to love and accept others as family through the example you set.
Another wonderful reason to adopt is to give children opportunities they may not have had in life otherwise. When you adopt, you may be giving a child the safe, secure, and loving home he or she may not have otherwise had. There could be a number of reasons for this. A birth mother may not be able to provide a safe and stable home to her child because she’s homeless or is in an abusive relationship, for instance.
You may be in a position to allow an adopted child to participate in extracurricular activities, study with a private tutor to help with academics, and go on family vacations. While these things are not necessities, they are valuable opportunities for any child to have. These are opportunities the child’s birth family may not have been able to give the child they placed with you.
Adopting a child from another country often opens up an entire world of new opportunities and experiences for the adopted child. Additionally, sometimes international adoptions are quicker than domestic adoptions, depending on the country you adopt a child from.
Wanting to Help a Family Member or Friend
Do you have a family member or friend who is facing an unplanned pregnancy and wants to place her baby for adoption? Or do you have a family member or friend who has an older child she wants to place for adoption in order to give him or her a better life? Stepping up and becoming an adoptive parent is a tremendous way you can help a loved one in one of these situations.
Wanting to Give Back
It is not uncommon for individuals who were adopted as children to grow up and adopt children of their own. Some people want to give the opportunities they had to another child. It is a beautiful way to pay it forward.
If you were adopted, you can relate to your adoptive child in a unique way. You understand the joys and the challenges that come along with being adopted, and you’ll be able to empathize with your adoptive child in a way that others cannot.
Helping Balance Overpopulation
Some people want to be parents but are concerned about overpopulation. Adopting allows you to become a parent to a child in need without contributing to overpopulation.
Sometimes people adopt for legal reasons. This is usually the case if someone has a long-standing relationship with a child. For instance, a stepparent may adopt their stepchild, or a foster parent may adopt someone after they have aged out of the foster care system.
Becoming a child’s legal parent ensures certain benefits, such as the right to make medical decisions for the child. A child can also gain access to the adoptive parent’s health insurance once he or she is officially adopted.
Stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption in the United States, according to LaCoste Law. If you are a stepparent who wants to adopt your stepchild, you’ll need to make sure that the other biological parent’s parental rights have been terminated. You won’t be able to adopt your stepchild if both biological parents retain their parental rights.
Wanting to Add Culture to Your Family
It shouldn’t be your main reason for adopting, but wanting to learn about and add culture to your family is another reason people choose to adopt. Adopting a child from a different ethnicity or from a different culture can open doors to learning about different ethnicities and cultures. If you already have children, adopting a child with a different ethnicity or culture can help your kids learn about new cultural customs.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons to choose to adopt a child. No matter what your reasons are for adopting, know that when you adopt a child, you will be providing the most important thing a child needs—love. Giving a child a loving, supportive, and secure home will not only provide a world of opportunities he or she might not have otherwise had, but it will also help the child thrive. Adoption gives you the chance to make a real difference in a child’s life. If it’s your dream to be a parent or to add to your family, please consider adoption.Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.