Families come in all shapes and sizes with no set cookie-cutter way to create one. After all, if you feel a calling to raise a child, there are multiple ways to bring one into your life. For single individuals and couples looking to start a family, or looking to add to their existing family, considering adopting a child is an excellent option. But it is crucial to note that raising a young person is a serious long-term commitment and a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you find that your heart, mind, and finances are all conducive to growing your family, you may be ready to enrich your life through adoption. Research shows that adopted children develop a strong sense of self-esteem, optimism, and many other exceptional traits thanks to the stability and positive sense of belonging with their new family (Benson et al., 1994.) While there are no set reasons to adopt a child, here are ten common scenarios where people consider the possibility of adoption:
1. You are longing to give a child a family.
This is a crucial driver in considering adopting a child. According to UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund,) there are currently an estimated 153 million orphaned children worldwide. Of these, 69 million are suffering from malnutrition (World Bank.) While you may not be able to help them all, you can still help at least one of these kids grow well-nourished in a loving family environment.
2. You desire to help a child start a new life.
From mentoring to coaching, if you have a calling for helping form a developing mind, body, and soul, adopting may be an excellent option. Being able to dedicate the time, patience, and necessary resources to set a child up for success in life is one of the most selfless acts you can offer as a parent and a formidable reason to adopt.
3. You can provide for a child in every way.
While money does not equate to love, it is vital to be able to provide comfortably for your new family member. Time and dedication are also essential when tending to a child. You should be ready to give it your all should you be considering adoption.
4. You feel prepared to handle the hardships.
Raising a child, although extremely fulfilling, is not always easy. Kids might go through awkward phases, or become ill, counting on you to be there to help them. You will have to arm yourself with patience when they might feel a little rebellious. You will have to be there to support them as they struggle in any way, and be able to provide professional medical care as needed.
5. Overcome infertility.
Just because your body may not be capable of giving you a child, it doesn’t mean you cannot have one. Take the step if you are ready to have a family and become a happy parent through adoption.
6. You are concerned about the risks of pregnancy.
If you fear that preexisting medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, age, weight, or any other factor could potentially complicate your pregnancy, you can still have the family you dream of through adoption. With so many loving kids who would love to have you as a parent, there is no reason to run the risk of a severe complication when there are other safe options available for you.
7. To avoid passing down genetic disorders.
While you may love the idea of caring for kids, there might be some health reasons that could prevent you from wanting to bring a child into the world. But this should not stop you from enjoying the magnificence of raising a family. There is no need to risk bringing a child into the world who has high possibilities of having to endure medical hardships for their whole life. Through this very selfless reason to adopt, you can easily help a child who needs a family and start your own through adoption.
8. You love kids but are not comfortable with babies.
If you love the idea of starting a family and having children to care for and nurture—but feel like caring for a baby is not right for you—you can seek to adopt an older child. There are kids of all ages wishing they had a loving parent like you. Become that person in a child’s life and enjoy all the beautiful benefits of parenthood in your new family.
9. You want to be a single parent.
A common misconception is that you must be married to adopt. However, adoption laws and regulations are favorable for single parents in all 50 states, regardless if you’re a single mother or a single father who petitions to adopt a child. Adoption gives you the option to start a loving family, even if you are not married or in a relationship.
10. You love caring for children.
Finally, people who love caring for kids, and don’t have any of their own, might not realize that through adoption, they could start a family and enjoy the beauty of taking care of their own kids. After all, being passionate about raising children is a beautiful reason to adopt.
As you can see, adoption is a fantastic option for many who want to be a part of a loving family, and there are many reasons to adopt. Regardless of your age, gender, sexual orientation, or even marital status, if you feel ready to start or grow a family, adoption can be the perfect solution for you. Just remember that becoming a parent is a lifelong commitment. It would be best if you were emotionally, mentally, and financially prepared to accept any challenge before taking the next step. But once you do, you will see that it was the best thing you could have done for yourself and your child.
If you would like to learn more about the adoption process in the United States or would like to read more about potential reasons to adopt, please visit adoptuskids.org; and for additional research findings or adoption statistics, please visit https://www.marcuslemonis.com/life-skills/what-to-expect-after-adoption for more information.
Benson, P. L., Sharma, A. R., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Search Institute (Minneapolis, Minn.). (1994). Growing up adopted: A portrait of adolescents & their families. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.