A family or couple might consider the option of adoption for several reasons. The most common reasons though, are because they can’t have biological children of their own, or because they want to bring the happiness of a loving family to a child who hasn’t had one.
Regardless of the reasons, the debate as to whether or not to pursue an adoption is one that couples and families grapple with.
To Adopt or Not to Adopt
While many adults may feel the tug of needing to care for children, adoption isn’t necessarily the right and only solution. Some may find that simply investing in children’s activities – coaching a team, running a play group or teaching Sunday School is enough.
Others feel that they are ready for the commitment and have a specific set of skills to successfully parent a child coming from a very difficult place. (1)
“Children and youth need to have roots. To experience healthy development and create a sense of self-worth, children need to feel a sense of belonging, with a permanent family who cares for them ... Adoption is a compassionate gift of family to a child (by ‘child’ we mean children and youth up to the age of 18) in need of a permanent, loving relationship. Adoption creates security and acceptance ... It is intended to provide children with the stability and lifelong security that comes from a permanent home.” (3)
Who can Be an Adoptive Parent?
Adoption agencies are looking for people from a wide variety of backgrounds. People from different cultures and with particular experience and skills in dealing with children with special needs are particularly sought after.
In Ontario, Canada 60 percent of children available for adoption are over the age of 13, and similar numbers can be assumed for some states. Obviously this age group requires special care. It also takes additional commitment to take on a child with emotional and learning difficulties.
Considerations for Potential Adoptive Parents and Families