Adoption is a life-changing experience for everyone involved– the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the adoptive child. There are many benefits of adoption to the birth mother, adoptive parents, and adoptive child. But who are the lucky ones in the adoption triad? You might be surprised by my answer. Everyone. That’s right, everyone in the adoption triad is lucky for different reasons.
Why a Birth Mother is Lucky
A birth mother may choose to place her baby for adoption for numerous reasons. Perhaps she cannot provide her baby with a stable home. Perhaps she wants to pursue education or career goals before having a family. Maybe she is struggling with issues that would impede her ability to parent effectively. Maybe she doesn’t want to have children at this point in her life or is done adding to her family. No matter the reason, if a birth mother decides to place her child for adoption it is the most difficult, selfless, and loving decision she will ever make.
A birth mother may not seem like a lucky role in the adoption triad, but adoption can benefit her in numerous ways. When a birth mother decides to place her baby for adoption, it can offset the financial stress of an unplanned pregnancy. Doctor appointments and hospital bills are taken care of for birth mothers. Many times a birth mother can also receive financial help to aid in covering her living expenses during pregnancy, such as rent, food, and maternity clothes. If a birth mother is struggling financially, placing her child for adoption allows her to give her baby an opportunity at a better life than the one she can provide.
Adoption gives a birth mother the opportunity to select her child’s family. She can choose to place her child in a loving two-parent home with or without other children. Choosing her baby’s adoptive family gives a birth mother peace of mind. A birth mother can choose an adoptive family that has the values she wants her baby to be raised with.
While a birth mother may need to temporarily stop pursuing her educational and career goals during pregnancy, placing her child for adoption allows a birth mother to continue working towards these goals after the birth of her baby.
When a birth mother chooses to place her baby in a semi-open or open adoption, she can receive updates on her baby as they grow. This can be very helpful, especially during the grieving process a birth mother goes through after placement. Updates allow a birth mother to see for herself the life her baby has, which can bring her peace of mind. A birth mother who chooses an open adoption can even continue to be part of her child’s life after placement. Depending on what the birth mother and adoptive parents decide upon, a birth mother may receive email updates, photos, or letters, talk on the phone regularly with the adoptive parents, and visit with her child occasionally. While a birth mother will not act as a parent to her child in an open adoption, she can continue to be a part of her child’s life.
Why Adoptive Parents are Lucky
Adoptive parents are certainly a lucky part of the adoption triad. There are many reasons people choose to adopt a child. One of the most common reasons couples choose to adopt is infertility. Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after 12 months or longer of unprotected sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six percent of married women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 are unable to get pregnant after 12 months of trying to conceive. Infertility affects both men and women. In fact, the CDC reports that in approximately 35% of couples, a male factor is identified alongside a female factor contributing to infertility.
Sometimes women should not get pregnant due to a medical condition. Women with certain medical conditions, such as breast cancer, endometrial or ovarian cancer, HIV/AIDS, complicated valvular heart disease, ischemic heart disease, peripartum cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, platelet mutations, systemic lupus, or tuberculosis may be advised not to get pregnant by their doctors.
In other cases, couples may be able to conceive a biological child, but they choose not to because of the possibility of passing a genetic condition on to their child. A few genetic diseases parents may want to avoid passing to a biological child include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, fragile X syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Same-sex couples and single people may choose to adopt in order to have a family. Others choose to adopt because they want to give a child in another country a chance at a better life, they want to raise an older child rather than a baby, they want to give a child a loving home, they feel called to adopt for spiritual reasons, or because they were adopted and want to make a difference in another child’s life.
No matter what a person’s or couple’s reasons for adopting, adoption allows them to start or add to their family. Without adoption, many adoptive parents would never have the opportunity to experience the joys of parenting, such as cheering a child on at his basketball game, helping him with his homework, and teaching them how to cook.
Knowing that you’ve given a child a loving home is incredibly rewarding. Parenting certainly has its challenges, and there is no doubt that adoptive parents become frustrated at times, but adoption gives adoptive parents the opportunity to do something incredible for a child by providing them with a loving, stable home. Adoptive parents can also feel good knowing that they are providing their child with opportunities they may not have had otherwise in life. Adoptive parents may experience a sense of fulfillment by helping a child or children in need.
Additionally, adoptive parents have the opportunity to create meaningful and lasting relationships with the birth parents and their extended families if they choose an open adoption. When a birth mother chooses adoptive parents for her child, the adoptive parents often feel more confident in their ability and readiness to be a parent.
Adoption gives adoptive parents the opportunity to pass down their faith, culture, and family traditions. Adoptive parents have the opportunity to leave behind their legacy with their adopted child.
Why Adopted Children are Lucky
One of the biggest and most important benefits of adoption to adopted children is that they grow up in a loving family. Many adoptive couples wait months or even years to adopt. Once a child is placed with them, adoptive parents shower their adopted children with love. While a birth mother may love and care for her baby deeply, she may not be in a position to provide her child with emotional support as they grow up.
An adopted child also gets to live in a safe, stable home. Adoptive parents are screened to ensure that they can provide a child with a physically, financially, and emotionally stable home. Sometimes birth mothers cannot provide a safe and stable home for their child. A birth mother may be homeless. Other times, a birth mother may have a home, but the home isn’t safe for a child. This may occur if she’s in an abusive relationship with a partner.
Many older children in foster care have stayed in several foster homes. By adopting a child from foster care, you give them a secure, permanent place to live. Once they have a stable home, an adopted child can begin to form attachments to his adoptive parents and develop long-term relationships with other people in his life.
Adopted children who were placed with an open adoption have the opportunity to build strong relationships with their birth family and their adoptive family. When a child has contact with their birth family, they can get questions about their adoption answered more easily. They are also less likely to feel as if they were unwanted or rejected by his birth family because their birth mother will have an opportunity to explain why she made the loving decision to place him for adoption. Adoptees placed with open adoptions are less likely to have identity issues later in life because they have access to their birth families. Their birth families are able to provide adoptees with information about their background.
In fact, adoptees may feel especially wanted and loved. With two families, their birth family and their adoptive family, adoptees are likely to have a large support network of adults in their lives. Adoptees receive love from not only their birth and adoptive parents, but from aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and grandparents from each of their families. Growing up surrounded by so many people who love you is invaluable. In addition, with so many loving adults in an adoptee’s life, an adoptee knows they can reach out for support or help when they need it. Even if an adoptee isn’t comfortable talking to their birth or adoptive parents about a specific situation, they will undoubtedly have a loving aunt, uncle, or grandparent they feel they can trust and reach out to.
As an adoptee grows up, they will learn more about how the adoption process works. This will undoubtedly make them feel even more loved. They will come to understand what a difficult and loving decision their birth parents made for them. They will also learn how much their adoptive parents had to go through to become adoptive parents– interviews with social workers, application forms, a home study, and being chosen by his birth parents. How can an adoptee not feel immensely loved when they learn about all the sacrifices both sets of parents made to ensure they had a chance for the best life possible?
In addition to a safe and loving home, adoptees often have access to more opportunities. Adoptive parents often prepare for years to raise a child, saving financially to give their adopted child the best opportunities they can. Adoptive parents may be able to provide adoptees with private lessons, tutors, and travel experiences. Additionally, they are often able to support adoptees through higher education.
Adoptees are less likely to experience poverty. Adoptees are also more likely to have health insurance, and they are often found to be in very good to excellent health. In addition to being in good physical health, adoptees may be more likely to have good mental health, despite stigmas. It is because of these stigmas that adoptive parents may be more likely to seek help for their adopted child at the first sign of a potential problem. Physicians also tend to refer adopted children to mental health professionals for help earlier than they do non-adopted children. Early intervention often allows for positive outcomes in mental health.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits of adoption for everyone in the adoption triad. So, when you ask me, “Who are the lucky ones in the adoption triad?” my answer is that all of the parties are lucky, each one being lucky in different ways.
A birth mother is lucky because placing her child for adoption allows her to give her baby a chance at a better life than she can provide him while allowing her to pursue life goals. Adoptive parents are lucky because they have an opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dream of becoming parents. Adoptees are lucky because they get a loving, stable home with a family who will support them throughout his life. Adoptees also get opportunities they may not have had otherwise.
Adoption is a blessing to everyone in the adoption triad. Birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees all have reasons to feel lucky in adoption.
Sierra Koester is an award-winning freelance writer and professional blogger. She earned her BA in Psychology in 2004 and has worked with several nonprofit agencies. She began her writing career in 2006 and has written extensively in the areas of health, psychology, and pets. Sierra advocates for the adoption of children as well as homeless animals. When she isn’t writing, you can find Sierra with her nose in a book or hanging out with her two kitties, Carmine, a wise old orange tabby Sierra adopted when he was a kitten, and Tylan, a cat whom Sierra adopted after he was rescued from a hoarding situation in Thailand. You can learn more about Sierra by visiting http://www.sierrakoester.blogspot.com.