Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
What is Adoption?
Adopting a baby is an act of parenting someone else’s child and raising them as one’s own.
Adoption is mainly done to create a family, whether it be by a same-sex couple to raise a child like their own or by a woman to overcome health problems due to pregnancy. People decide in favor of adopting a baby for various reason, some of the major reason being parents not being able to give birth or having to abort their baby for delivery complications. Other options that parents can choose from include surrogacy or IVF.
History of Adoption
Though the formal term adoption was coined much later, the practice has been prevalent since ancient times. Looking back at history, precisely the ancient Rome, adoption was done to ensure a smooth transition of power.
Many of the rulers of ancient Rome were the adopted sons of the previous emperor. Children who were disposed of by their parents were often taken to add to the slave population of the empire.
In the south Asian region of India and China, families with no sons resorted to adopting a male child for the sake of fulfilling rituals and rites that are to be performed only by a son.
However, presently, the trends of adoption have changed for the better.
Types of Adoption
There are various ways for a family to choose from when thinking of growing through adoption.
Private Adoption is one of the most common paths opted by adoptive families. Here, the birth parents and the adoptive parents meet each other, mostly through agencies, and a suitable arrangement for the conditions of adoption is made.
Whether the adoption will be open,i.e, both the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate with the child freely or closed, i.e, confidentiality is maintained between the birth parents and the adoptive parents is to be decided by the two parties by coming to a mutual agreement. Semi-open adoptions are also permitted for selective adoption rules.
Other types of adoptions include Special Needs, International Adoption, Transracial Adoption, Foster Care, etc.
In the most common cases of adoption, there are three parties that are mainly affected; the adopted child, the adoptive parents, and the birth family.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Adopting a Baby
Just like every other coin, adoption also has two sides, the good and the bad. Let’s take a look at them.
Advantages of Adopting a Baby
The Good Side of Adopting a Baby
1. A Loving Home
The child is chosen by his/her parent(s) with a heart full of love. The care that a child receives in their younger years shapes their personality as adults and the stable household that a child is exposed to after adoption ensures a bright personality.
2. Increased Opportunities
After adoption, many children who were limited within the four walls of the orphanages become exposed to the outer world with endless opportunities.
Also, children are put up for adoption by their biological parents due to personal reasons that may include financial difficulties. Adoption of the child by a new family gives the child an environment where his /her curiosity is nurtured by proper education and upbringing, which may have been difficult for the biological parent.
3. A New Family Member
Families are blessed with the addition of a new family member with whom they can create unforgettable memories. Raising a child of their own to whom they can pass on their ideologies and values to pass on to future generations is a form of utmost blessing, especially for those who may have had complications with childbirth.
4. Less Risk of Poverty
Adoption secures the future of the birth mother and the child suffering from poverty as it gives the child a new family that can take care of his/her needs and provides a good life. It also allows the birth mother to reach a higher education level, which, in turn, reduces the risk of slipping into poverty.
5. Be a Part of Your Child’s Life
Open or semi-open adoption allows the birth mother to still be a part of the child’s life. The mother may receive emails, photos, phone calls or they may even get to meet their child!
It gives a mother immense peace to see their child being raised with love, care, and security.
Disadvantages of Adoption
Adopting a baby comes with a whole lot of responsibility. Raising a child is probably one of the biggest responsibilities and humans are able to do it easily only because of the amount of responsibility they feel for their children. In the case of adoption, that sense of responsibility might sometime lack which might create a big problem.
Discussed below are some of the disadvantages of adopting a baby.
1. Intricate Processes
Adoption, in the modern generation, is to be done in a very formal and legal manner, which most adoptive parents see as a hassle. This is even more so when it comes to international adoptions, where the adoptive parents are required to fly in and out of the country quite often. Not only does it take a prolonged amount of time, but it also adds to the total cost.
2. Difficult to Adjust
Mainly for the adopted child, it is quite difficult to learn to adjust to a new family who is to be with them at every step of life. Trusting new people with everything that they have is not an easy task. The adopted child may also feel rejected or unworthy compared to their adoptive parents’ own children. This sense of insecurity may lead to loneliness and depression for the child.
3. Identity Crisis
More often than not, it has been observed that adopted people face identity confusion, especially during adolescence, where one engages on a quest to find themselves. In closed adoptions, the lack of information about the birth parents may leave the child stuck in an identity crisis.
4. Apprehension about the Future of the Relationships
For both the adoptive parents and the child, there is a fear that the adoption may turn out to be unsuccessful due to the breaking of relationships in the future. Not only that, in case of open adoptions, the fear that the birth family may demand the cancellation of adoption is also a fear that lurks within the adoptive parents.
5. Dealing with Emotions
Mainly in the case of birth parents, dealing with various emotions like guilt, grief, and denial regarding the adoption may lead to serious mental illnesses. In closed adoptions, the lack of information about the child and their inability to initiate a conversation with their own children may lead to them feeling like they have abandoned their own child.
Every adoption is different in its own way and to ensure that the adoption is successful, it is necessary that all the parties affected by the adoption are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of their decisions. This is to confirm that the parties will be ready to face the consequences of everything, the good and the bad.