Newborn Care

Considering Adoption?

Are you ready for adoption? Will you be able to love another's child as your own? Ask yourself these questions before taking the step.

Couples are often devastated when confronted with the news that they are infertile. Although they know that adoption could be an answer, they consider this step only after a lot of thought and debate - with good reason. Before considering adoption, find out if you are ready for it and if you would be a loving, adoptive parent. You may be under a lot of pressure to adopt. Friends who have already adopted children may recommend it highly. Similarly, you may often be told that adoption is an act of nobility and selflessness, and adopting a child will ensure years of karma. Although being an adoptive parent is no doubt a noble thing to do, you have to remember that if you cannot find it in your heart to love an adoptive child as your own, you will be doing more harm - to yourself and to your child - than good.

Ask yourself these questions

Do you think you would be capable of loving a child who was not biologically yours? This child may grow up to look nothing like you or your partner. Will you be constantly wishing you could see yourself reflected in your child's features?

If you adopt a newborn, and find out he has some deformity later, would you still be able to love him and provide for him, or would you rather give him back to the orphanage once the problem comes to light?

Children can be very difficult, and handling them is not an easy job - as any mother will tell you. Perhaps the child you have adopted turns out to be exceptionally difficult. He could have temper tantrums, or be exceedingly mischievous. Will you have the patience to deal with this, or will you wish you weren't going through this bother for a child who should be grateful to you instead of losing his cool all the time?

Will your families be willing to welcome an adopted child into their fold? Will your child be accepted?

Are you adopting because you want to provide a loving home to a child, or are you adopting because you want someone to look after you in your old age? Birth children often move out of their parents' homes in pursuit of higher education or employment, and parents are left to fend for themselves. Don't count on the fact that your adopted child will live with you and look after you for the rest of your life. It is not fair to the child.

Don't ever have the mindset that your adopted child owes more to you than a birth child would. Legally, morally, or whichever way you look at it, an adopted child is no more obligated to his parents for adopting him, than a birth child is, for giving him birth. Remember, the child didn't come looking for you - you went looking for him, as a way to complete your family and find happiness.

To tell or not to tell

Adoptive parents often wonder about whether or not they should tell their child that he was adopted. The answer to this is always a yes. Don't worry about the fact that your children may want to find their own biological parents. It doesn't mean they love you any less, or that you were not a good parent. It is perfectly natural for any child to want to trace his biological parents if possible.

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