Adoption can be a wonderful gift for all of those involved: the adoptive parents, the birth mother, and – most importantly – the child. While most adopted children today know they were adopted, and many adoptions are open or semi-open, both birth and adoptive parents may have many lingering questions about the overall effects of adoption on the family. If you are wondering how adoption will affect you or your child – whether you are looking to grow your family through adoption, or considering making an adoption plan – you are in the right place. Adoptions With Love dives into the details below.
If you are an expectant/birth mother, you may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and nervous about the future. You may wonder how the adoption will affect you – in the long and short-term. You may also wonder how this choice (as selfless and loving as it is) might affect your child in the long run. How will he or she feel about you? Will he or she be happy in life? These are all normal concerns for expectant/birth mothers considering adoption.
For the hopeful adoptive parents reading, you also have some questions of your own. How will adopting a child affect your family? Whether it is your first or fourth child, however, you may also wonder what to expect from the adoption – what unique challenges will you or your child face? How will your adopted child feel about the adoption, or you, once he or she is older? Will your relationship change, as a result? These, too, are all very common questions pre-adoptive families ask themselves before beginning the adoption journey.
Adoptions With Love wants to be sure all involved in the adoption process are comfortable and well-prepared for what lies ahead. We will explore common questions asked by adoptive and expectant/birth parents below. Specifically, we discuss the effects of adoption on the child, and on the family as a whole.
For Expectant/Birth Mothers
The adoption journey is an emotional experience. It is one that requires great strength, self-care, devotion, and love. You should, throughout pregnancy and the many months postpartum, plan to speak with a professional counselor as you work through this trying time. The caring staff at Adoptions With Love offer free counseling services throughout the adoption process and beyond.
What Will My Child Think of Me?
Most expectant/birth mothers worry that their child will grow up with feelings of anger or resentment towards them. Even though adoption is an incredibly brave, selfless, and loving decision, it also has a stigma attached to it, as if you are “giving up” in some way. You are, however, in no way giving up. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The fact that you are carrying your child to term and making a plan for the rest of your child’s life – by choosing a loving, supportive family – is an incredible act of love. While we cannot speak for all adopted children, Adoptions With Love does hear from many adoptees over the years. And we can say with quite certainty that your child will probably respect and love you as he or she grows. Today, over 97 percent of adopted children over the age of five know they are adopted. Nine out of ten of these children have positive feelings about their adoption experience.
Will My Child Have a Happy Life?
The idea of making an adoption plan for your baby can seem scary. It can feel like you are entering a world of unknowns. However, when you work with a credible and caring adoption agency such as Adoptions With Love, you can rest assured your child will be well-taken care of and loved. Our waiting adoptive families go through thorough screenings, interviews, FBI background checks, and a home study process to ensure they are safe and ready to raise a child. Birth mothers can even hand-select the family that will raise her baby, which gives many women peace of mind knowing who will raise their child.
An in-person visit between adoptive family and birth mother is usually made at least once before birth, and then ongoing communication can be arranged and agreed upon in a contract with the adoption agency. All of the adoptive families at Adoptions With Love agree to an open adoption. This means that there is some form of communication between birth mother and adoptive family throughout the years of the child’s upbringing. Most often, this is through the agency’s Letter and Picture program. Often, however, birth mothers make a strong connection and choose to stay in touch through email, phone calls, or even in-person visits. This can all help assure a birth mother that her child will be in good hands. Your adoption agency will make sure that your child is in a safe, stable, and loving home.
Most adopted children are read to and sung to on a daily basis. They are typically placed with a financially sound family. The adopted child is just as loved and cared for, if not more than, non-adopted children. You can rest easy knowing your child is in a happy and healthy home, full of the resources that he or she needs. You can also be sure that he or she hears a positive adoption story throughout the years, and you can even get to know him or her if you so desire. You can learn more about the positive effects of adoption on children here.
For Prospective Adoptive Families
How Will Adoption Affect Our Family?
Prospective adoptive families may wonder how adoption will change their lives. As the saying goes, “a baby changes everything.” This sentiment certainly rings true for families who adopt. If this is your first child, you should prepare yourself for the biggest life change you will have ever experienced. Sleeping through the night will become a thing of the past, at least for several months. You will need to consider childcare upon returning to work or making plans, and you will need to make financial plans for raising a child. It costs, on average, $233,610 – excluding the cost of college – for a middle-income family to raise a child from birth to age 18, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This will all, however, feel well worth it, because you (and your exhausted partner) will also be happier – albeit sleep-deprived – than you ever thought possible.
What About My Child and His/Her View of Adoption?
Parents worry about everything, including their child’s happiness. While it is easy to worry about the way your child will feel about his or her adoption when older, chances are, he or she will be happy having grown up in such a positive and caring environment. Just as expectant/birth mothers can rest easy, adoptive families should feel confident about the future of their child.
As an adoptive parent, you have an important role in helping to foster positivity around your child’s adoption story. From a very young age, as early as infancy, you can begin to talk about adoption. From simply using the word “adoption” with a happy voice and clapping during bath time or story time, to giving simple, age-appropriate answers to a curious young toddler or preschooler, you can keep the conversation going all throughout childhood. This will not only help your child understand adoption, but appreciate his or her story and respect his/her birth parents. The ongoing conversation will also help him or her appreciate you, and trust that you are being open and honest.
Keep in mind it is completely normal – and natural – for children to feel curious about their birth parents. This is an innate sense of self-identity. If you, the parent, can help share as much age-appropriate information as possible, your child will turn to you with questions about his or her background. You may also help facilitate an in-person reunion one day, upon the discretion of the birth parent and your own family, and the help of an adoption agency.
Just like any birth story, adoption has an impact upon all involved. As any birth parent, adoptive parent, and adopted person could tell you: The effects of adoption are – overall – positive, and always worthwhile. Both expectant/birth parents and adoptive families can rely on a reputable and compassionate adoption agency like Adoptions With Love for guidance and counseling at any point in the journey, before and after adoption. 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.