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Making the Decision about Adoption
For some, deciding to adopt can be a reluctant step into a world of strangers. For others, it’s a natural next step to parenthood. If you’ve experienced infertility, you may have already considered adoption.
One major hurdle that many couples and singles must make is giving up their dreams of a baby born of their lifeblood. This grief process can take months, even years.
“How can I welcome a ‘stranger’ into my heart?” you may ask. Take time to explore your feelings. Be gentle with yourself. Getting to “yes” in adoption requires looking at your fears and concerns. Some common questions:
- How will I know if the birth mother has taken care of herself during pregnancy? What if she smoked? took drugs? drank alcohol?
- Will my parents and family love my child as much as his/her cousins?
- Will I be able to love this child fully?
- Will my child yearn to reunite with his/her birth mother and eventually search for her?
- Will the adoption social worker “approve” me?
- What about the baby’s gene pool? Will some congenital illness surface later on? Will Baby be as intelligent as me?
- Do I want a baby from another country or culture, or one who looks like me?
- Can I afford it?
Welcome these questions.
- Explore them on the Internet, with friends, a therapist, or support group.
- Seek out others who’ve adopted. Talk with them freely.
Uncertainties can often mingle with a sense of joy of laying your hands on a longed-for baby. To borrow from the infertility literature, “Adoption might not be a first choice, but it doesn’t make it second best.”