Answering the question of, “Why is adoption good?” may seem like a moot point. It may even seem silly. However, for some, adoption has not been a good experience. For some, adoption has represented the dissolution of their family and everything they have known. Not all adoptees have good adoption experiences, and not all children are removed from their birth parents’ home rightfully or without force.
It may be hard for some to fathom a situation in which adoption is not good. However, ignoring that adoption can sometimes be bad will only be detrimental to those who have had a negative experience. Also, it prevents those who pursue adoption in the future from repeating mistakes. Hearing the stories of times adoption has not been good helps adoption professionals improve the adoption and foster care system. As with anything good, there are certainly flaws in the system and children who fall through the cracks.
There are entire Facebook groups and web pages devoted to the idea that adoption is not good. These are usually run by adoptees who have had an abusive experience in their adoptive home or by birth parents who have felt forced to place their children for adoption or had them removed from the home. With these groups and these pages come a lot of valid concerns and reasons that adoption was in fact not good for these individuals.
We cannot ignore the fact that there is such a thing as forced adoption. I have heard countless stories of young mothers being forced by their families to place their children for adoption. This is especially true for adoptions that have happened in less recent years. Unfortunately, adoption has quite the sordid history. There was such a stigma with teen pregnancy in our history that there are many stories of women being sent away to have a child and then never seeing that child again.
It would be ignorant to ignore the fact that abuse can happen even in an adoptive home. Not all of these situations are good and humans are incredibly flawed. There are many people who love their children but have issues or develop issues of dependency or abusive actions. Adoptive parents are not immune to this. Adoptees are not immune to abuse or the trauma that abuse brings.
All adoptions come from a place of loss. While adoption may be celebrated and be a very good thing, someone in the situation is still losing. This may be the birth family and/or the adoptee. There is an initial breakdown of one family to form another. While an adoptive family may be overjoyed, there is still a certain amount of loss that occurs. There is typically a large amount of loss that a birth parent will experience as well as the rest of the birth family.
One good thing about adoption is the increasing popularity of open adoption. It was not too long ago that open adoption was virtually unheard of. Adoption in American history has included children having very little to no info about their birth family. Their birth families often have little to no information about what happened to their child. However, as time goes on and we realize the healthiness of open adoption, part of that birth family is being preserved to an extent through open adoption.
To see the good in adoption, it is important that we first recognize the bad that comes with adoption. With anything good comes at least some bad. It is inevitable. However, adoption is good in so many ways that make adoption so worth it. In speaking about adoption as a whole, it is incredibly beautiful and life-giving in many situations. The bad that comes with adoption is often situational and a product of a broken system and broken people.
Adoption can often also be seen as a bad thing to adoptive parents, depending on the result of their adoption journey. Many adoptive parents will experience multiple failed adoptions or failed matches. They may choose to continue their adoption journey to complete a successful adoption, or they find the heartbreak or chance of heartbreak is too much. However, failed adoptions or failed matches are a risk that everyone takes when choosing adoption. It is a necessary risk as birth parents have the right to change their mind and should be able to choose to parent if that becomes an option for them. Preservation of families is important when possible. Yet, this doesn’t make failed adoptions or failed matches any less painful and doesn’t take away from the bad parts of adoption.
I have not said all of this to shed a grim light on adoption. Adoption in and of itself is inherently good. Adoption creates forever families for children who might not otherwise have the chance at a forever family. Children belong in families whether that be their birth family or an adoptive family. Children deserve the chance to be in a family that loves them, can take care of them, and offers stability. Families deserve a chance to be born out of whatever situation arises or presents itself.
The bad that comes from adoption comes from the abuse of the good of adoption. Children should not be forcibly taken from families when the situation does not warrant so. Birth families should be given reasonable opportunity to mend and reconcile their family. Young mothers should never be forced to place their children for adoption against their will. Under no circumstances should adoptees be placed in an abusive home, nor should a child in any home be subject to abuse. Unfortunately, there is evil in the world, and no person or thing is immune.
Now that we understand the bad that might come with adoption, there are endless amounts of good that can be found in the world of adoption. Adoption is a great way to create or grow a family. While I already had a stepson and had given birth to two wonderful young boys, we did not feel that our family was complete. We always knew that growing our family did not have to mean giving birth to more children. When adoption presented itself to us, it just made sense. Our two youngest children are products of adoption, and I cannot imagine our family without them. They complete our family, and we love them just as if I had given birth to them. They are no more or no less a part of our family. Our family is complete with their presence and the love that we have gained.
Through open adoption, our children have a massive extended family and so many who love them. Their story is one of beauty instead of heartache. While their adoptions came out of necessity, there was a beauty that could be found in the ashes. Their story is one of preservation, growth, and an abundant amount of love.
Adoption is also good because it offers options to birth parents. If someone does not feel prepared to parent a child, adoption is a great option to still give that child life and a future. With the increased popularity of open adoption, there are now also more options for a continuation and preservation of a birth family as many are allowed to be more involved in the life of their child as he or she grows. Even if a birth parent does not ultimately choose the option of adoption, it can give some peace during pregnancy to know that it is an option if necessary.
Adoption is good because it does create families for children who do not have a forever home. There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care. With this, a multitude of them are available for adoption and are seeking adoptive homes. This means that either their parents’ rights have been terminated or their parents have passed away, and they have no other family who is able to take them in. These children deserve to be in a forever home. Adoption is good because it provides these children the chance to be a part of a family. This is a chance that they would likely not otherwise have without adoption.
Adoption is good because it provides a chance for international adoption as well. While there are many wonderful countries around the world for children to grow up in, many of these countries and cultures have varying beliefs on children who have disabilities. Some of these countries and cultures do not have the amount of opportunity that other first-world countries do. With this, their family may choose the option of adoption. Adoption gives the option for these children to be placed in a country with more opportunities and with a family who can give them a stable and loving home. For children who are born with disabilities, international adoption provides the option for these children to be placed with parents who can support them and provide for their needs if their birth parents feel they cannot or if their culture prevents them from doing so. All children deserve to be in families and have a chance to have their needs met.
Adoption is good because it gives hope to those who cannot have biological children or choose not to have biological children. Adoption is also an option for those who cannot get pregnant on their own. Though this is not the only time that people choose adoption. It is simply an option that allows people to begin a family if they cannot or choose not to do so through their own pregnancy. There are many of you who, I’m sure, can imagine having a desire to have children and then experiencing the heartbreak of finding out that you are unable. There are also many who desire to have children but do not want to go through pregnancy or childbirth. There are also those who choose adoption simply because there are children who need homes.
My husband and I will adopt more children in the future. I could have more children through pregnancy, but we know how beautiful adoption is and how many children are in need of homes. For this reason, adoption is very good. Adoption allows for another option to growing a family.
Adoption is good because adoption allows for the prospect of hope. When a child loses his family whether that be by the death of family members or through societal issues such as addiction or abuse, he deserves a chance to have hope for a forever family. When a person would like to have a child, she deserves the chance to have hope that she can form her family through adoption if she so chooses. When a mother becomes pregnant and is not prepared to parent, adoption provides hope that she can still give her child the life that he or she deserves.
Adoption is good because situations such as open adoption exist. When someone is not ready to parent, it does not have to mean that she cannot be a part of her child’s life. Adoption gives an option to place the child in a safe and stable home while still giving the option of open adoption in the future.
Open adoption looks very different depending on the situation and the request of those involved. However, open adoption can include visits, updates, and the chance to have many people in a child’s birth family continue to be a part of his life. This not only allows for a birth parent to keep a connection, but for the adoptee to keep a connection with his birth family. This allows him to keep a huge part of his identity.
As the adoption world expands and we become more educated, adoption will continue to become seen as more good than bad. As with anything, there are bad parts that need to be fixed. There are broken systems and broken people. It is important to address these bad parts so that we can focus on the good. It is important to continue to improve the good and to strive for good in any adoption situation. All children deserve to be part of a forever family, and adoption is one of the best options to provide this to all children. Though there is bad, adoption is intentionally good and growing to be great.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on Facebook.