You’re thinking of adopting a child. You’re learning as much as you can about the process and the issues. But, you keep coming back to the same question: How will I know when I am ready to take this life-changing step? To answer this question you need to think about why you want to adopt. Your motives can reveal a lot about your readiness. To help you assess them, I have assembled a variety of motives expressed over the years by families that I have worked with. None of these is made-up. Perhaps you will recognize yourself in one-or several. Beside each motive, I have offered my opinion or advice regarding the wisdom of such thinking.
I want to adopt because…. Reasons versus Barb’s advice
I want a playmate for my birth child./ Hire a neighbor’s child.
My religion tells me to reach out to those less fortunate than I. /Put a big donation in the collection plate next Sunday.
My infertility is a constant sadness. It hurts terribly. / Infertility is devastating, but you must understand that adopting does not cure it.
We are quite well off and could give so many things to a child. /Write a check to your favorite children’s charity.
Our marriage is shaky and a child will bring us back together. / It will never happen.
Since we can’t have birth children, I guess there is no difference anyway. /It’s a start, but you need to get past that notion of second best.
We might as well adopt. / No.
Neither is better or worse, but adoptive parenting and birth parenting are really the same, aren’t they? / They ARE different.
I really want to adopt but my husband is ambivalent. He’ll come around once the child is ours. / What if he doesn’t?
I feel so empty inside. A child will fill up that emptiness. /Find a friend.
I just want to cry when I think about all those poor homeless children. I think I’ll take one in. / No child needs pity. / Donate to the missions.
There’s absolutely no child that I couldn’t love./ Ouch! I could show you a few.
I am a teacher (or mental health professional or social worker or doctor) and I am a “pro” at dealing with children. / Being a child professional is a lot different than being someone’s parent.
All these children really need is a lot of love. / I used to think that, too. Now I know better.
I/We just really like kids and want to add one (or more) to our family. I want to be someone’s parent. I know I have a lot to learn but I want to begin. / Yes! Go for it, you’re on the right road.