Parenting, Family Planning, Parenthood

In This Guide:

Every responsible, loving person who wants to be a parent should be able to have that opportunity. For some, biological children are the way to go. But others consider a different path, like adoption, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are faced with infertility. Maybe they're single parents who want to give a child a loving home. Perhaps they're a same-sex couple who doesn't mind if there's no genetic connection. Or maybe they just want to help one of thousands of children in foster care who don't have permanent families to call their own. Whatever the reasons, adoption is exciting, challenging and nerve-wracking. Here's a look at what these prospective parents may be thinking and what you can say to help. 

They Might Be Thinking

  • Will I be a good parent?
  • Will my current children get along with an adopted sibling?
  • What will my family and friends think about the adoption?
  • What if the child doesn't look like me? Will people judge me?
  • How much does it cost to adopt a child?
  • Do I meet all of the requirements to adopt a child?
  • I feel like I am doing the right thing for me, but is this the right thing for the child?
  • What age or gender should I adopt?
  • Am I a bad person for wanting to adopt an infant rather than an older child in need?
  • What if I don't bond with the child?
  • How would I go about integrating this child into my current family/life?
  • When is it appropriate to tell the child that he/she is adopted?
  • I don't have a single motivation of "why" I want to adopt - I just know it is what I feel like I should do. 
  • Am I adopting for the right reasons?
  • Will I be enough for the child?
  • I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle a situation with this many variables.

Words That Might Be Encouraging

  • You are going to provide a child with a loving family. 
  • Adopting a child will give him or her a better life, a life they wouldn't otherwise dream of. 
  • There may be tough times, but you have a great heart and I know you'll make a lasting connection. 
  • If you desire to adopt is pure and keeps the child's best interests at heart, simply wanting to adopt is enough to answer the "why" question.
  • This is a big decision; if you need a non-judgemental ear to talk through things with, I'm here for you. 
  • Expanding your family is never a bad thing; it's beautiful. 
  • This is your decision and I know it may come with some anxiety. Meditation always helps me think. 
  • You have strong values and I know that, at your core, if you feel this is the right decision, then this is the right decision. 
  • Whatever you decide, I'm here for you. 
  • If you need a research partner, I'd love to spend time with you doing that. 

Words That Might Be Discouraging

  • We are just not that kind of family.
  • You have to sever all ties with the mother if you decide to adopt.
  • Why would you want to adopt?
  • Aren't you scared the child will never connect with you?
  • Be careful; you'll never be their "real" parent(s).
  • Stay away from adopting teens or troubled youth; they aren't worth the hassle. 
  • Have you done your research? There are a lot of variables.
  • You'd better have fun now because you won't get the chance later!
  • Don't you want your own kids?
  • Can't you have your own kids?
  • Is this your last resort? Have you explored other options?
  • Whoa...that's a huge decision!
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