Exploring the Pros and Cons of Adoption for Hopeful Parents

Adopting as a single parent

If you are considering adoption as a way to achieve your dream of growing your family, you may be weighing the pros and cons of going through the adoption process. You may also be wondering about the tough questions when it comes to adoption, such as why do some people not go through with adoption and why do some adoptions fail? Bringing a child into your home through adoption is not a decision that should be made lightly; therefore, before going through with it, it is important to have a realistic understanding of the process.

What are the Pros and Cons of Adoption?

No matter how you look at it, adoption is a life changing process for the prospective adoptive parents, the birthmother, and the child. Like anything, adoption has its pros and cons. If you are considering adopting a child, understanding the pros and cons of adoption can help you make the best decision for your family.

Pro: An Opportunity to Create a Family

One of the best pros of adoption is that it presents an amazing opportunity for families to be created. There are various reasons that families either choose not to or are unable to have biological children. Adoption gives hopeful adoptive parents an opportunity to open up their home and build a beautiful, lifelong parental relationship with a child. For many, adoption is a way they can finally achieve their dream of having a family and raising a child.

Con: High Costs for Adoptive Parents

Adoption is a high stakes process with an ultimate end goal of providing a child with a safe, nurturing home so they can grow and thrive in a healthy environment. Because of this, the adoption process has a lot of expensive steps that will add up after a while. It is estimated that the domestic adoption process can cost between $20,000 and $45,000 or more. While this is a hefty chunk of change, adoptive parents who are daunted by the adoption-related expenses they may incur can look into adoption financing as a solution.

Pro: Adoption Gives Birthmothers a Choice

The adoption process gives the birthmother a choice in who will raise her baby, allowing her to have peace of mind when thinking about the future of her baby. Birthmothers have reported that choosing the right family for their baby is an empowering experience. Adoption also allows the birthmother to open up her choices and have access to different opportunities in life. Furthermore, if all parties opt for an open adoption, the birthmother can continue to be in her child’s life and build a rewarding relationship with the family. 

Con: Adoption is a Long, Difficult Process

If you have already taken some time to look into the adoption process, you will know that it is typically a long process. On average, it can take up to 18-24 months or more for a successful domestic adoption. Once you have chosen an adoption professional to work with, you will begin the application process and a rigorous home study process to ensure you have the ability to bring a child into your home. Once you are a fully vetted adoptive family, you will be added to a pool of other hopeful adoptive families. While this is a long, difficult process, many families know it is worth the wait and look toward the day they are finally holding their child in their arms. 

Pro: Domestic Adoption is Easier than International Adoption

If you are seeking to proceed with the domestic adoption of a newborn, you will be pleased to know that it is an easier process than international adoption. When you adopt within the United States, you have to meet state and agency requirements, which are less stringent than having to meet a foreign country’s requirements, which may have different cultural values. For example, some countries may have age limits and marriage requirements set in place, making it much more difficult for older families, single parents, non-married couples, and LGBTQIA+ families to adopt. Additionally, communication with your adoption professional and the birthmother will likely be much smoother.

Con: Unrealistic Expectations Could Lead to Disappointment

We’ve discussed that adoption is a costly and lengthy process. If you commence the adoption process with rose colored glasses and an unrealistic expectation of how long it will take, you will likely be disappointed. Understanding that adoption is an emotional, difficult experience will allow you to correctly align your expectations with reality. Something to note here is that in most cases, the benefits of adopting a child far outweigh the downsides you will experience. 

What are the main problems in adoption?

While adoption is a beautiful process that enriches the lives of adoptive parents, the mirthmother, and her child, it is not without problems and challenges. Adoptive parents cite challenges that range from financial difficulty, legal challenges, health challenges, and the emotional complexity associated with the adoption process. Highlighting these problems is not meant to scare prospective adoptive families, but more so to prepare families with challenges they may face. Often, these challenges can be overcome by communicating with adoption professionals, lawyers, social workers and/or the birthmother directly.

Why Do People Not Want to Adopt?

There are different paths to parenthood, and not everyone is on the same journey.  There are various reasons that families choose not to proceed with the adoption process. For many families, the costs and red tape associated with adoption are barriers that they are unable or unwilling to overcome. Some families may opt to achieve their parenthood dreams through surrogacy or fertility treatments instead of adoption. There is no one size fits all approach to becoming a parent, and every family will choose the path that is right for them. 

Why Do Some Adoptions Fail?

As discussed above, adoption often has a reputation for being a long, heart wrenching process for hopeful adoptive parents. As with all things, it is possible that an adoption will not be successful. A failed adoption is one of the most difficult things a prospective adoptive family can go through. A failed adoption can occur for a multitude of reasons, such as incorrect paperwork, a birthmother that has changed her mind and chooses to raise the baby on her own, or a family member who has come forward to adopt the baby. 

No matter what the reason is, a failed adoption can be extremely painful for  adoptive parents. They will experience a range of complicated emotions from deep grief, anger, resentment, and possibly even joy for the child to be raised by their biological parent mixed in. What is important to remember is that a disrupted adoption is no one’s fault. Sometimes, for various reasons, things just do not work out the way we hope. In the case of a disrupted adoption, it is critically important that adoptive parents give themselves time to grieve before jumping back into the adoption process and that families lean on their support system to help them get through this difficult time. 

Is Adoption Right For Me? 

If you are thinking about embarking upon the adoption process, this is an essential question you should ask yourself and your family. Making the decision to adopt is monumental and should not be considered lightly. When asking if adoption is the right choice to grow your family, you should consider some of the following: 

  • Do you have the financial resources to proceed with the costly adoption process and the financial responsibilities that come with raising a child? 
  • Do you have realistic expectations for the adoption process? 
  • Do you have a healthy home environment that will allow a child to grow and thrive?
  • What are your motivations for adopting? 
  • Do you have a strong support network? 
  • Can you open your heart fully as a parent to a child you are not biologically related to?

Only you can make the decision if bringing a child into your home through adoption is the right choice for your family. Having access to an abundant amount of information and taking time for self-reflection can help you make this important decision. 

Despite the cons and difficult questions presented here, the adoption process offers a lot of room for positivity. It is an opportunity to grow a family and provide a child with a loving, nurturing home. But importantly, this allows prospective adoptive families to take time for self-reflection on the strengths of their family and provides an opportunity to communicate with each other, adoption professionals, and the birthmother throughout the process. 

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Angel Adoption, Inc. provides marketing and advertising services that assist biological parents considering adoption and prospective adoptive parents to connect with each other, and provides support and referral services throughout the process. Angel Adoption, Inc. is an independent contractor and provides services under the supervision of Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, License #012998, One Oakbrook Terrace, #501, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181; 708-771-7180.