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Making the Decision about Adoption

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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.”

Good places to start exploring adoption options are the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human Services.


Comments (17)

hi my name is denise in me and my wife looking to adopt a child we just dont no how to go about doing it any suggestions

Hi Denise, You should definitely contact a lawyer who specializes in family building laws, like adoption laws, in your state. They will likely have a list of reputable agencies to work with. You can do a basic internet search for adoption agencies, but I would definitely work with a lawyer to make sure your rights are protected. Best of luck to you and your wife! Kim

This is truly a difficult step for some and not so difficult for others. Even if you struggle with what adoption means to you and your spouse, how the health of the birth mother will affect your baby and all of that you should feel confident that once the step is taken, adoption is just as miraculous and just as joyous an event as giving birth.

D Alishouse

This has been posted on behalf of the Indianapolis reproductive gynecology clinic, American Health Network reproductive medicine, providing a Female Reproductive Endocrinologist and supporting reproductive gynecology in Indianapolis. The information is not medical advice, and should not be treated as such. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Hi me and my partener want to adpot a child in leeds between o and 12months old we have tryed a long time for a baby but i keep having misscarrages im a mature 22 year old with a 2 bed house please some one help us many thanks claire and danny

Many gay and lesbian singles or same-sex couples have children through adoption. But you'll need to do some research on the various types of adoption and which adoption agencies, cities and countries work with gays and lesbians. Once you determine which type of adoption you're interested in, you can narrow in on an agency or attorney to work with.

You should also check out the adoption forums on, to connect with others potential adoptive parents.

Good luck!

I agree with Claire. If you are looking to adopt internationally, it is best to contact your state to get a list of legitimate adoption agencies. There are international adoption agencies out there that are adopting kids illegally and you need to stay away from them. The state should have a list of agencies, that are legal. Good luck!

Jennifer - Axess Ultrasound

Hello my name is tranicka my girlfriend and i are looking to apdopt our a baby boy........where africa american we already have one child shes two yearz old..............she"ll be three in a few months...............this is our first time adopting but we would love to see how it works out for us...................... where looking for a new born baby boy...................i would like to say thank you very much for your time

Hi, i like to know what it take's to adopt a child......
im 34 an im almost positive i can't have children ...
im not ready right now but i know it's a process to go throu..
so im just checking to see what it take's....
it make's me almost cry to think i can't have children of my own, to raise an to teach all the good thing's this life has to offer....

If you are interested in adopting, there's a lot of information to help you get started. First off, different agencies and programs, and different countries all have different requirements. They may include age, marital status, etc.

The first step would be to explore what type of adoption you're interested in: domestic, international, private, foster care. Once you start doing some homework, you'll want to reach out to agencies or programs that handle the types of adoption you might be interested in. By asking a number of questions - including those we've listed in the article on this page - you can determine what's the right fit for you.

There are also some really active discussion forums on, where you can connect with others who are adopting to build their families:

Is there any age limit for adoption? I am 50 and my husband is 51 yrs, we are married for last 15 yrs, did not have any children .we want to adopt a child around 3-4 yrs of age from India. please guide me , I dont know where to start. thank u.

I am married and I have two kids and a grandkid, and my exhusband made me have my tube tights. I agreed because I thought I was going to be with him forever but, now I am remarried and my husband and me want to adopt a child, I don't to where to begin. can you please help us. Thank you Vicky

I am interested in adopting a child i have 2 children a stepdaughter an my own son i am marry and we would like to have another child

Hi There!
My husband and I have been married for 8 years and have two wonderful boys. We've been considering the idea of adopting our third child. We'd like to adopt a child somewhere between 1 - 2 years old. The adoption process seems overwhelming and I'm not sure where to even begin. Could you offer a good starting place?

Thanks for any information!


I am trying to find the best information possible on the requirements of internationally adopting a child. My husband and I are looking into africa for a child around 4 or 5 years of age. I do not know much about what is needed from us to be able to apply. I do know that I would have to spend time down in africa, but other than that any information u have might be helpful.
Thank you.

Hi Tiffany --
Africa is a continent of many countries and not all are open to international adoption. I would encourage you to contact a few agencies in your state and start exploring what international options might be available to you. You may also look at agencies that are out of state but starting with the ones near you is a good start. Many agencies have open houses where you can learn more about the adoption process in general and different programs specifically.

Agencies have specific requirements but also different international programs do, too. Especially in international adoption, some of the requirements are changing very quickly and what was true a year ago is no longer true today. This is why it's important to connect with agencies and start learning what countries they serve and how they might be able to help you.

Good luck in your efforts!


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