Is Adoption Right for You?
Pros and Cons of Adoption [Complete Guide]
How can you know if adoption is the right choice for you? If you’re considering adoption seriously enough that you want to weigh the adoption pros against the cons, then you may already have an answer.
But, as you decide whether or not to contact an adoption agency, it’s important to learn about the potential good things about adoption as you weigh them against your fears. So below, we’ll break down:
- Adoption advantages and drawbacks if you’re pregnant and thinking about placing your baby for adoption.
- Advantages and disadvantages of adopting a child that a potential adoptive parent might consider.
- Is adoption good in regards to the baby being placed.
This adoption pros and cons list aims to help you consider some important benefits of domestic adoption as well as the potential cons to this choice. As you learn about the benefits of adoption (and possible drawbacks) for birth parents, pros and cons of adopting a baby for the adoptive parents, as well as the pros and cons of domestic adoption for the child, keep in mind that every individual will have their own list of pros and cons that are specific to their situation.
Making a list of factors you consider to be reasons why adoption is good for your situation as well as why it might not be the right choice for you may help you with your decision. Each person’s lists of adoption benefits and possible negatives will be unique to their specific circumstances.
Let’s explore some of the potential pros and cons of adoption that might be a part of your own decision-making process:
Pros of Adoption
If you’re pregnant and thinking about placing your child for adoption, you ask yourself, “What are the benefits of adoption? For myself, for the adoptive parents, and most importantly, for my child?”
While the pros of adopting a child will be different from the advantage of adoption for the birth parents, they all seek to answer the same question: “Is adoption the right choice for me?” To help you answer that question for yourself, consider some of the pros on adoption below.
Benefits of Adoption for You:
As a pregnant woman who is thinking about placing her baby for adoption, you’re probably wondering, “What are the benefits of ‘giving a baby up’ for adoption? What are the pros of adoption, and do they outweigh potential drawbacks?” While the benefits from adoption a birth parent experiences will vary from one person to the next, some potential birth mother benefits in adoption include:
- One adoption benefit for you is the ability to choose how much post-adoption contact you wish to have with your child and their family. You can continue to have a lifelong relationship with your child.
- It’s an alternative to abortion. Adoption means that you provide life for your child, and then you provide them with a loving and prepared family.
- You don’t have to parent this baby if you don’t want to or feel that you’re not the best person for the job.
- You don’t have to stay in (or enter into) a relationship with the baby’s father purely for the sake of co-parenting your child.
- If the baby’s father is not in the picture, you don’t have to become a single mother.
- You would be giving a waiting couple the gift they’ve dreamed of their whole lives: The chance to be parents.
- Getting to know and have a relationship with your child’s adoptive parents. Many birth mothers and adoptive parents have a close and loving bond that lasts a lifetime.
- You can continue pursuing your personal goals, exploring relationships, continue your education (potentially with the help of a birth parent scholarship) and make career advancements that you wouldn’t be able to do while raising an infant.
- Adoption is the only option that financially supports you throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Adoption agencies provide you with free healthcare, legal counsel, help with bills, rent, groceries and more.
- Adoption is the only free pregnancy option for you.
- Adoption provides free access to counseling and support, which you may not have access to otherwise.
- Studies show that women who chose adoption were more likely to finish school, were less likely to live in poverty, were more likely to marry and less likely to divorce, were more likely to choose when they wanted to get married or have other children, were more likely to be employed and were less likely to become pregnant outside of marriage again.
- Peace of mind, knowing that you did what was best for your child in your current situation.
- Placing your child for adoption into the family of your choice may prevent your child from entering the foster care system later in life if you ultimately become unable to provide for this child. Contacting an adoption agency now preserves your ability to make choices in regards to the adoption process, whereas the involuntary involvement of foster care removes this option and the state would make all the choices.
Benefits of Adoption for Adoptive Parents:
Hopeful parents who are considering “alternative” family-building methods often ask, “What are the benefits of adopting a child? What are some benefits when you adopt a child through an agency? Is it good to adopt a child?”
For adoptive parents, the benefits of adopting a child will vary from one person to the next. Each person will have their own list of advantages of adopting a child, but in general, some of the potential benefits for adoptive parents include:
- One of the biggest pros about adoption for the adoptive family is simple: They get to be parents, which is something that they’ve been waiting for and dreaming about, often for many years.
- Adoptive parents wondering, “Why is adopting a child a good idea?” often find an answer in, “Because it’s the best way for me to become a parent,” especially if they struggled with infertility, are a single parent or a same-sex couple.
- Adoptive parents love their adopted children just as much as biological parents. They may even have a deeper appreciation of their child, because it took so much for them to be able to even meet this child.
- The ability to create and continue a meaningful relationship with their child’s birth family through an open adoption.
- The opportunity to provide a home for a child, and to help a pregnant woman who feels unable to provide that home for her child.
- Adoption is less costly than family-building methods like surrogacy.
- Adoptive parents are carefully screened and must make many preparations in order to adopt a child, so they (and the birth mother) know that they are 100% ready.
Benefits of Adoption for the Child:
Last, but most importantly, we should look at the benefits for adopted children. They are at the heart of every decision made by the birth and adoptive parents.
It’s best to focus on the open adoption benefits for the child, as closed adoption has been closely linked to negative effects of adoption. Greater openness in adoption has been proven to be one of the advantages of adoption for the child (whenever a child must be placed for adoption).
Some of the benefits of adoption for children include:
- An important pro-adoption point that can’t be overstated: Adoption means that children are loved by two families — both their birth and adoptive families. More love is always a good thing.
- Why is adoption good for the children at the center of it all? It’s beneficial because it means lifelong safety, stability, access to proper health care, nutrition, financial support, opportunities and unconditional love.
- They will grow up with parents who desperately wanted them, waited for them, prayed for them and prepared for them.
- Their arrival will be one of the most exciting and important moments in the lives of their parents, their grandparents, extended family and all of the people who have been waiting for them.
- They can be raised in a two-parent home, which would not have been an option if you don’t have the support of the baby’s father.
- Their parents can provide them with an example of a healthy and loving romantic relationship, which you may not be able to offer your child if you don’t have that kind of relationship with the baby’s father.
- They can live in a safe and stable home environment, which you may not be able to provide if you move frequently or are in an unstable living situation.
- Avoiding entering foster care later in their childhood if you ultimately become unable to provide for them. The foster care system has been shown to be deeply traumatic to children.
- They can benefit from their parents’ financial stability — attend college, avoid debt, travel and more.
- Studies have shown that adopted children have significant advantages over non-adopted children when it comes to their health, extracurricular activities and academic performance.
- 68% of adopted children were read to every day as young children. Only 48% of children in the general population can say the same.
Cons of Adoption
Hopeful parents who are exploring the different ways in which they can become parents will weigh all the pros and cons of adopting a child, while pregnant women who don’t feel willing or able to raise their baby will list out the pros and cons to adoption in their situation. Both birth and adoptive parents want to make the choice that is best in their circumstances.
One way to do that: Learn about some possible negatives so that you can weigh them against the benefits to adoption and fully understand all of the potential pros and cons about adoption.
Disadvantages of Adoption for You:
When you’re pregnant and trying to make the decision you feel is best for your child, it’s natural to be worried about potential negatives of adoption, and the reasons against adoption you would want to consider as a prospective birth parent. Just like the pros to adoption for birth parents, adoption disadvantages will vary for each individual. That being said, some potential adoption cons could include:
- You will experience intense emotions, which can be conflicting, overwhelming and sometimes very painful. With time and support, you’ll heal. But, healing can take quite a bit of effort and time.
- You will grieve the loss of the opportunity to be this child’s mother, although you will celebrate your role as his or her birth mother.
- You’ll have to experience childbirth without the benefit of taking a baby home afterward. Unlike abortion, you’ll carry your baby to term and give birth. The costs of your delivery are covered for you, but for many women, it’s sad to go home from the hospital without a baby.
- Although very few women regret placing their adoption decision, it’s always possible for you to experience temporary or even lasting regret. Counseling during your pregnancy can help you sort through your emotions and ensure you’re 100% confident in your adoption decision, reducing the risk of regret.
- Adoption is permanent. You won’t have the ability to regain your legal parental rights later on.
- While most people in your life will likely support you and even admire you for this hard, selfless choice, some people may not be supportive and may try to change your mind or argue with you about your decision to place your baby for adoption.
- Desire for more (or less) post-adoption contact. The amount of communication shared between the birth and adoptive families is entirely up to them and their preferences. But while almost all adoptive parents are excited to share post-adoption contact, the birth and adoptive families occasionally don’t share the same preferences. Make sure you talk about post-adoption life with the adoptive family of your choice to ensure you’re all on the same page.
- If you disagree with the adoptive parents’ parenting choices, you won’t be able to step in. Make sure you choose your child’s future parents carefully, and talk to them about the life you envision for your child.
Disadvantages of Adopting a Child for the Adoptive Parents:
When a would-be parent is thinking about the different ways they can achieve their dream of parenthood, they’ll typically weigh the potential cons of adopting a child. Although their personal list of reasons not to adopt a child will vary from one person to the next, some of those considerations could include:
- They won’t have a genetic connection to their child, although for some (parents with genetically inherited illnesses they don’t want to pass on) this is actually a good thing. For others, a genetic connection to a child was never possible or likely to begin with.
- Adoption is costly for the adoptive family, because they’ll be financially supporting you and the baby throughout the pregnancy.
- Although the process of placing a baby for adoption is simple and straightforward for the birth parents, for the adoptive parents, the process of adopting a child is anything but. There is a seemingly endless amount of paperwork, screening requirements, legal steps and more for the adoptive family.
- The adoption process is very emotional for the adoptive parents, too. They may experience a long wait time with many uncertainties and/or adoption disruptions, which is when a birth mother chooses them but then later changes her mind and decides to parent the baby herself.
- Adoptive parents have to consider what they’d want to do in tough situations, like if they’re ready to raise a baby who was born addicted to substances and other potential what-ifs. Their responses to potential scenarios are detailed in an extensive questionnaire workbook.
- Strangers may ask them rude questions about their family, especially if they adopt a child of another race and their adopted child does not happen to look like them.
- Adoptive parents have to learn how to talk to their child about adoption from day one. Although telling a child his or her adoption story can be a beautiful and meaningful routine, the child will ask questions and adoptive parents must learn how to answer in a way that is honest and supportive.
Potential Negative Effects of Adoption on Children:
This is the biggest worry for both the birth and adoptive parents: Is adoption bad for the child? This is a tough question. When a parent places a child for adoption, it’s because they feel it’s in their child’s best interests and that their child will be better off in this placement. But, that doesn’t make adoption an easy thing, for anyone involved.
So, although some adoptees will have their own personal reasons for why adoption is bad, the alternative (staying with their birth parents) was not an option. The cons about adoption will, as always, vary from one adoptee to the next based on their personality, their individual experiences with the people involved, as well as the circumstances of the adoption. However, some drawbacks of adoption that adoptees may experience can include:
- Removing a child from his or her biological parents, even at birth, can be a traumatic event.
- While they gain their new family, an adopted child loses the experience of being raised by their biological family.
- Adoptees who have a closed adoption or have a very limited relationship with their birth parents can struggle with their self-esteem, a sense of loss or grief and other negative feelings.
- Some adoptive parents are not adequately prepared to raise a child of another race, so a transracially adopted child can sometimes feel different or insecure in their racial identity.
- Adopted children may question why they were placed for adoption, and if they did something “wrong.” Having an open adoption in which their birth parents can tell them first-hand how much they love them and answer their questions is the best way to avoid this situation.
- Adult adoptees who have a closed adoption often struggle to legally access basic information about their adoption, like their original birth certificate, the names of their birth parents, or medical history. Today, 9 out of 10 adoptions are open, so adoptees will never have to search for the answers to these questions.
Is Adoption Good or Bad?
People will always have arguments against adoption as well as arguments for adoption, but ultimately, there is no one “correct” answer to the question, “Is adoption a good thing?” It simply depends on each person’s experience.
If you ask birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptees, they’ll all have different answers about the pros and cons of adoption — not because of which side of the adoption triad they’re a part of, but because every individual’s experiences are going to be unique. Some birth parents will say that adoption is bad; others will immediately list dozens of reasons why adoption is a good thing. The same will be true for adoptees and adoptive parents — some will recount their own adoption problems, while others will talk about all the advantages of adoption that they experienced.
The truth is: Some adoptions are good and some are bad. Adoption itself isn’t inherently good or bad — it’s the people involved that make adoption good or bad.
Is Adoption a Good Choice for You? Decide for Yourself
So, you can only speak for yourself when you come to conclusions as to why adoption is good, or conversely, the bad things about adoption. Your unique personality, experiences, feelings and situation will all determine your personal pros and cons for adoption. The question is: Is placing your baby for adoption the right choice for you?
Talking to a licensed adoption agency is always the best way to learn more about the adoption process and to get answers to your questions. This information will allow you to better assess the advantages and disadvantages of adoption in your situation. Contact an adoption agency now to get started, and to find out what could make adoption a good choice for you
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.