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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Adopting a Child

Here’s a list of benefits and drawbacks of adopting a child. As a couple coping with infertility, we’re deciding between adoption and in vitro fertilization (IVF) – and my list of pros and cons might help you with your own decision!

“Adoption isn’t about finding children for families…it’s about finding families for children.” – Joyce Maguire Pavao.

Connecting the right child with the right family takes a lot of energy and time – but the results can be miraculous. For more info about the adoptive process and adoptive parenting, click on The Complete Adoption Book: Everything You Need to Know to Adopt a Child. And, read on for my benefits and drawbacks of adoption…


The Benefits of Adoption

Guaranteed baby? If we went through a private adoption clinic, we’d more or less be guaranteed to take home a baby…wouldn’t we? The chances of bringing home a baby are higher than the chances of conceiving through in vitro fertilization (which for me are 50%, because I’m almost 40 years old). Adoption must have more than a 50% likelihood that we’ll bring home a baby.

Fewer health risks. If I went with in vitro fertilization, I’d first have to have a fibroid removed. It’s a big surgery – and it’s not necessary unless I want to try to get pregnant. I’m not into having surgeries or procedures unless they’re absolutely necessary…plus, waiting for the surgery, healing after the surgery, and the in vitro fertilization itself will all push conception back another nine months or so. But, an adoption could take years!

Opening our home. Birth mothers need loving homes for their babies…and we can provide that. A huge benefit of adoption is opening your heart and home to a baby who needs loving parents. And, as difficult as it is for the birth mother to give up her child, she’d know that he or she is living with parents who desperately want him/her.

The Drawbacks of Adoption

No pregnancy or childbirth. Although I don’t love the idea of going though childbirth (it sounds excruciating for some women), I would like to experience getting pregnant and having a baby. My husband would also like to experience having a pregnant wife…and a drawback of adoption is that you won’t experience childbirth.

No idea when the baby will come home. According to one adoption agency, once you’re approved it could talk a week to a few years for a birth mother to choose you. The birth mom goes through a binder of adoptive parents, and picks who she wants to raise her child. When you’re waiting to adopt, you could be cooling your heels for days…or years.

Possible health risks (for baby). You can’t control what the birth mom eats, drinks, or does during pregnancy. This is particularly interesting when you adopt a child whose birth mother was an addict or physically unhealthy somehow, or for overseas adoptions.

Expense. Adopting a child locally or overseas can cost upwards of $5,000. In our province, a private adoption costs $6,000 to $10,000. Adopting from an overseas orphanage or agency may be more expensive because of travel and government costs. We haven’t researched international adoptions; we’ll probably stick with a local agency.

Bonding. It seems like the majority of adoptive parents love the adopted child as they would their own biological child, but I wonder about bonding with an adopted child. Some biological mothers and fathers don’t bond well with their children, so doesn’t it seem logical that an adoptive parent may not bond with an adopted child? I expect normal bonding to occur…but I wonder how it feels to adopt a baby. Is the bonding natural and immediate? What if the “chemistry” doesn’t work?



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If you’re coping with infertility and thinking about adoption or other ways to get pregnant – I’d love to hear from you below!

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7 thoughts on “The Benefits and Drawbacks of Adopting a Child”

  1. 57% people don’t know that a couple would be classified as infertile if they fail to conceive after one year of trying. There are many factors that influence the chances of getting pregnant in women, but some most common are discussed above. 1% of the newborns in the developed countries are born as a result of Assisted Reproductive Techniques. Therefore, if you think that you have facing some fertility issues it is better to consult a doctor.

  2. Hi Isabel,

    That is interesting, that your husband prefers to adopt instead of having a biological child with you. Have you asked him outright what his reasons are? (Some couples don’t like to ask direct questions, for fear of arguments or hurt feelings).

    One thing I learned in a counseling class is to ask for three reasons. The third reason is the closest to the truth! This works for most questions (from whether you’re struggling with adopting a child to whether you should continue getting ivf treatments to get pregnant).

    I wish you good luck with your husband…I’d love to hear his reasons for adopting instead of having biological children and would be happ if you shared them here! Totally anonymous, of course.

    Also — some people don’t the point of bringing more kids into this world when there are already so many children who need good homes. Maybe your husband feels that way??

    Laurie

  3. I have a different problem. I have a biological son and have no problems with having another child. My husband wants us to adopt a child instead of having our biological child. I am happy to adopt a child but want to do so after I have had another child. I cant understand why my husband cant understand this

  4. I totally understand the idea behind having twins or triplets, so you don’t have to keep trying to get pregnant again – especially if you’re coping with infertility issues. But, wow! Sometimes the thought of caring for one wee babe scares me. I can’t imagine 2 or 3….and the thought of 8 kids blows my mind.

    Have you been trying to conceive for a long time? We have sperm that don’t cooperate, and have tried IUI (unsuccessful after 6 tries).

    Infertility is such a difficult struggle! I still can’t believe we can’t just have kids naturally. Praying for a miracle…

  5. I guess it’s the risk you take with fostering, but, with IVF, private adoption, other fertility treatments, etc. there’s always a risk. Oh, and if we get siblings then we only have to adopt once. 🙂 Kind of like I tell my husband if I DO get pregnant, I want triplets so I can be done with it on the first try. 🙂

  6. I think fostering to adopt is a fantastic way to create a family! That way, you get to know the children first – and you’re providing a home for kids who really need them.

    That said, we’re hesitating to foster children because of the possibility of getting too attached and then having to give up the kids.

    I was in foster homes for some of my childhood, and have very, very good memories of the homes and my foster parents.

    Good luck, Chris, and keep me posted. I’d love to hear if you get to foster an infant — and I love that you’re open to siblings and kids who are a little older than babies 🙂

    Laurie

  7. I am not sure where you are from but we are currently looking into the option of foster-to-adopt. We hope to adopt siblings (2 or 3) under the age of 4. Maybe we will get an infant and maybe we won’t but we will have children at the end of it and they should be young enough to adapt well and not remember much before we were Mom and Dad.