What Are Good Reasons to Adopt?

Updated on September 01, 2010
K.B. asks from Atlanta, GA
6 answers

I'm 42 and am done having babies. Since I have three great kids (10, 5, 3), fertility issues and difficult pregnancies, I didn't want to try to get pregnant again. But I have been thinking a lot about adoption. I would likely adopt a sibling pair or trio from Child Protective Services, maybe ages 6, 4, and 2. I may or may not foster first.

So what are good reasons to adopt? My friend was adopted, and she says not to adopt to "help" that child, but to adopt because you feel your family is not complete. I guess the feelings of generosity get pretty trampled over the course of childrearing, and I can see her point. I'm thinking aloud, below, when I lay out my initial thoughts.

Reasons I may adopt: I usually enjoy being a mom and I can't believe how fast time is racing by! There are incredible moments of joy in parenting! We could really "help" some needy kids, with financial, educational, and other resources. We are bi-lingual, healthy, fun -- we would make good adoptive parents (at least on paper). I feel my husband and I are loving people, we do love kids generally. I adore my own kids, and they could be great siblings. I really wish I had an 8-year old right now, to fill that gap in my family. Sometimes my family feels complete, sometimes it doesn't. My baby sister is adopted -- it was a 'perfect' adoption and I love her just like the rest of my siblings.
Reasons I may not: Parenting is so much work! I could really make a lot of money going back to work now that my kids are older. I waited to have kids, have an advanced degree, and made that a priority. Wouldn't it be foolish to delay that further, by adopting young kids? Now that my little one is three, my familly life is so great -- things run pretty well, the kids get along great. Wouldn't adopting really disrupt that dynamic? Wouldn't it be hard on my 3 kids? I had a small family (after coming from a big one) thinking I could really invest in my kids -- give them so many opportunities --now I'm thinking of adopting and dividing that by 2-3 more kids? Is it fair to my own? Gee, I should have just had a bigger family to start with. . . (regret)? There are risks in any adoption and I'm not really prepared to, for example, parent an emotionally disabled child. Holy cow, logistics with five or six kids? How do you do it?

So why did you adopt? What are good reasons to adopt or not to adopt? What am I missing, as I weigh out this decision?

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answers from Redding on

I think that if you have any doubts about it, you shouldn't do it.
I'm not against adoption, exactly the opposite, but if you are worried about an adopted child upsetting the family dynamic any more than you would worry about your own new natural baby doing so, don't do it.
There is nothing wrong with not being cut out for adoption.
Just reading your post, no offense, it's clear you worry more about the affect it would have on your family than you are thinking about what you have to offer a child for a lifetime.
A child who has already been given up should go to someone with no doubts.
I have adopted friends and people in my family and if you're not prepared to know with all your heart this is the right thing, you shouldn't consider it.
Adopted children need unconditional love more than anybody.
They really do.

If you're not prepared to give that it doesn't make you a bad person.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think your friend is right, you should only adopt if you want to add to your family. If your reason is that you want to help the child, I would foster for awhile.I would even suggest that you do foster for awhile before thinking more about adopting from the state. I work as a foster respite care provider, all of those kids are extremely high needs and it is a serious commitment to their emotional well-being to adopt them. You say that you are not ready to parent an emotionally disabled child, so I would strongly suggest that you not adopt any children.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My little borther is adopted. There were a lot of trials, as he had some mental health issues, but it was a great blessing for our family.

Because it is such a dear thing to me, I hope to adopt one day. One, because I would love to fill my home with children, and also, because i feel like it is a responsibility to provide love and support to any children out there who are in need.

But, if you do it for that reason alone, when the tough times come, you have to really have a great love for that child if it were your own, otherwise it will make those rough moments very hard on the family and the child.

A lot of prayer and self evaluation is needed, I think, in order to reach a decision. Doing the work, through fostering, or even through doing a big brother/big sister program can help as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm curious why you're thinking of tow or three instead of one more?

Also have you thought about international adoption? there are 3- 6 yr olds and sibling groups available from orphanages in Bulgaria. and other countries. they (like foster kids here) will have emotional baggage, do a lot of research, join a group for prospective adoptive parents before you decide.
We adopted a 6 mo old baby when we had a 14 yr old and 17 yr old. If was very hard for the older kids at first.
PM me if you want

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I think that fostering would be good for yoru family. Sometimes there will be an opportunity for a foster family to adopt a child but it will be because that child came to be "yours" through your heart and not through birth. Two of my grandkids are being adopted by their foster families and they never expected to adopt any of their foster kids. But mine came into their life and they just felt that bond with them and when my daughters parental rights were terminated they knew these children were supposed to be theirs. I am already raising several of my grandchildren and so is my ex, so these precious babies have found their earthly families and we could not be happier.

Being a foster parent gives you the opportunity to help families in a great time of need, it gives these children stability they may have never experienced, it gives you the chance to be a mentor to a parent who may have never had a parent teach them. It can be very fulfilling to a person and very rewarding.

I say call your local child welfare office and ask about taking the foster parent classes to get a feel for the experience and see if it is the right fit for your family. As for adopting one of these children, the opportunity may present itself,a nd it may not. At that time your decision as to whether you do it or not would be what ever is right for you at that time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Thanks for asking this question K.. I am looking forward to reading your responses as I feel the same. i only have one child, and could have more of my own but constantly feel that I should be taking in someone elses child who needs me. It is so weird because I have felt this for many years, even have a spare room set up. I have discussed foster care with my husband and he says go for it if it makes me happy, but I need to know that he wants it too. I worry about the effect it would have on my son who is use to being the only child. I just see so many stories of children who are abused and neglected and my heart breaks. I think I will wait untill my son is in middle school before I make the comitment.

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