Though the reasons to choose adoption may seem like many, in reality the choice boils down to physical preparedness and emotional preparedness.
When I refer to physical preparedness, I’m not referring to your body being ready to give birth. I’m referring in fact to having the resources to raise the child you carry in your womb. Here are a few things to consider:
Safe environment – This is more than just being able to baby-proof a home, though that is important as well. Are you in a supportive environment? Are the people around you willing to assist you in raising the baby? If you are living with someone who is not supportive and you decide to raise your baby, you will need to arrange for a new living environment.
Proximity to schools and other community resources – Do you live in an area with access to schools, daycare resources, and doctor’s offices? Will you be able to take your child to the doctor for checkups and other health issues that may arise?
Transportation and car seats – How will you and your child get around? Will you use public transportation or a personal vehicle? Will you walk to the store for food and other necessities and rely on friends and/or family to transport you to other areas when you require them? If you’re using a personal vehicle, you will need access to car seats as your child grows. I know here in the United States that children need booster seats once they’ve graduated from use of car seats. Check your government regulations for car seat requirements.
Providing for you and the baby – Children are expensive. They are constantly growing. They will need new clothes, diapers, shoes…the list seems endless. Will you have a job? Will you have access to aid programs? Will friends and/or family members assist with providing you with clothes, food, shoes, diapers and such?
Childcare when you are unable to take care of your child – Who will watch over your child when you return to work and/or school? Will you take him or her to a daycare center? Will a friend or family member babysit your child? Will it be a combination of the two? Or do you attend school and/or work at a place that provides daycare services?
The previous things are just a vague list of the basics to be taken into account. It may be helpful for you to make a list of the things you will need and check them off and/or make little notes beside each one as you gather your resources and gauge your readiness to parent the child you carry.
Emotional readiness is a bit harder to quantify, unlike the physical readiness. Even those people who desperately want to be parents and who think they’re ready are rarely truly ready as I believe there’s no possible way to truly emotionally prepare to be a full-time parent. Parenting is immensely rewarding, but it is also incredibly hard work. I would suggest that you take a self-inventory and assess whether you are ready or not. It is also important to remember that your age has absolutely nothing to do with whether you will be a good parent or not. I’ve read stories of teenagers that are incredible parents and met parents who are much older than that who probably shouldn’t have become parents in the first place.
As you consider your options, it is important to remember that ultimately you are responsible for making the decision you feel is best for you and for your child. Everyone you know will most likely have an opinion and you might have strangers offer their opinions as well. Their assessment of your preparedness and abilities to be the best parent you can be will be nothing in comparison to your assessment of yourself.
If you decide to choose adoption for your baby, please remember that this is a lifetime choice. This does not mean that it isn’t a good decision. But only you can make the choice if it is the best decision for you and your child or not.
Adoption is a social, emotional and legal process that results in a child becoming a permanent member of a new family. It is intended to provide the child with permanence and security. Being a member of a stable and healthy family helps children become strong and productive adults in the future. There are many reasons people decide to place their child for adoption (Monika to the left can talk about her experience), and there are many reasons people decide to adopt a child.
Over the last decade, I have met many women who have struggled excessively with their infertility. The pain of not being able to have a child is immense, devastating, and cruel. We all grow up thinking we have the absolute ability to create life, and that when the time comes, it will just happen (and sometimes it will happen, regardless of timing!). But for many women, infertility takes away that ability, and the sense of loss can be overwhelming. I understand these women. I was one of them.
While there are lots of people out there today who adopt merely for altruistic means, many are attempting a private domestic adoption as a result of some issue that prevents them from having a biological child. Even though some of these women or couples would remortgage their home to have another chance to have a child through artificial reproductive technologies, I still would be wary of advising them to "just" adopt a child instead. It just is NOT that simple. One has to be READY to adopt, and I have no right to suggest to someone that they should or should not engage in the process.
I can merely tell them my story, offer them some sources of information, and advise them of some of the avenues they might want to pursue. After that, they get to make their own decisions. I can tell you that as a result of the decisions of two pretty fascinating and very different woman, I have been blessed with two wonderful children. I spent quite a few years and tens of thousands of dollars trying to have a child through artificial reproductive technologies. At one point, I thought about adoption, but at the time, I knew I wasn't ready, so I waited. When I was ready – when WE were ready – my husband and I viewed adoption as a second chance, not a second choice. I LOVE MY CHILDREN LIKE NOTHING I COULD EVER DESCRIBE. I would jump in front of a bus if it would help them in anyway. I tell our kids I love them so often that every time I start to say "do you..." they say "yes, we love you too" before I can even get the third word out. I love them so much, and they know it! The greatest way I believe I can love them is to love every little thing about them, especially where and who they came from.
I will not suggest to you that you should consider placing your child for adoption. What I will say is that, as you educate yourself about the adoption process, make sure you talk to people. Have a look at the Adoption: Share the Love website, which offers peer counselling and information to pregnant women who are considering adoption; read blogs; think about your wants and needs and about how you feel, and then make a list; and ask the HARD QUESTIONS. After all that, if you do decide to proceed with an adoption plan, find the right family for your child, the one that clicks for you. And above all, remember that you have a voice. Use it!
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