If you are looking to grow your family through adoption, you likely have many questions. First-time, hopeful parents often ask themselves: ‘How will adopting a baby change my life?’ ‘How will it impact my relationships?’ ‘How will it impact the child?’ If you already have children, you may wonder: ‘How will adoption affect my whole family?’ These are all very normal questions to ask. Whether you have struggled with infertility, are a single person, are in a same-sex relationship, or have always dreamed of growing your family through adoption, you want to be sure that this next chapter of your life is a great one. Lucky for you, there are many benefits of adoption for adoptive parents and families.
Anyone who has been through the adoption journey will tell you: It is important to be well-prepared for the road ahead. It is also important to get ready to enjoy the parenting experience. One of the most obvious benefits of adoption is the love and the joy of raising a child. It gives you the chance to fulfill your dream of parenthood!
Many parents who choose to adopt are not able to have children biologically. Many, for example, struggle with infertility before moving forward with adoption. (In fact, more than 6 million women today face infertility issues, and these women are 10 times more likely to adopt children, according to the CDC.) Adoption gives these women (and men) the amazing opportunity to become parents, which may not have been possible otherwise.
Another key benefit of adopting comes through open adoption – allowing adoptive parents to get to know, and form meaningful relationships with, their child’s birth family. This is extremely beneficial to the child, but also to the adoptive family as a whole. We explore this more below.
Benefits of Open Adoption for Adoptive Parents
As you set out to adopt a baby, it is important to remember that adoption is not what it was 20 years ago. Today, most adoption agencies – such as Adoptions With Love –- offer open adoptions, meaning children and their families know (and potentially have contact with) the birth parents. Adoption is no longer something to hide. A reported 99 percent of adopted children ages five and older know they were adopted – and they benefit from this knowledge. Open adoptions create very positive experiences for both adopted children and adoptive parents. According to the latest research, the levels of satisfaction regarding contact with open adoptions:
- Adoptive mothers – 94 percent
- Adoptive fathers – 85 percent
- Adopted children – 84 percent
The level of communication set with your open adoption will be determined by your child’s birth mother, agreed upon by you (the adoptive parents), and facilitated by your adoption agency. This may entail email updates once, or several times, per year. It may include phone conversations. Some birth and adoptive families arrange in-person visits. It may simply involve letter and picture updates, exchanging through the adoption agency. While the arrangement is made and signed in a contract, it may also evolve over the years, as needed. This ongoing communication with your child’s birth parent(s) will likely become a true benefit in your family’s lives.
As you embark on this parenthood journey, you may hear friends and family quote the old African proverb, made popular by Hilary Clinton: “It takes a village to raise a baby.” This is true for all children – but it is, perhaps, even more relevant for the adoptive family. Your adopted child will need to have your emotional support and many open and honest conversations about her adoption story. This is important for your child’s sense of trust and self-identity. For the sake of your child’s understanding and comfort with adoption, having direct contact with the birth mother will be a priceless resource.
You may also find that it is incredibly rewarding to have a meaningful, open relationship with your child’s birth mother. This is the person who gave you the most precious human in your life. It is important to celebrate your adoption story, as well as the person who made it possible.
The biggest benefit to adopting a baby, of course, is the love you will feel for your child and the joy of watching him grow up before your eyes. There is nothing as wonderful as hearing your young child day “I love you, Mommy” or, “Daddy, you are my best friend.” While the experience of parenthood is an exhausting one, it is well worth it.
As an adoptive parent, you can rely on a credible and caring, private adoption agency like Adoptions With Love for guidance at any point in the journey – before and after adoption. Nearly all parents who adopt children through a private, domestic agency describe their adoption experience as “better than ever expected,” and one of the best decisions of their lives.
If you would like to learn more about adoption, contact Adoptions With Love today. We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as you begin this life-changing journey. You may also download our free eBook, “The Benefits of Adoption,” below.