Part of the November series “30 Things I Know About Adoption.”
There are adoption cliques.
There, I said it.
It’s not really like the junior high cool kid/nerd cliques, but they are present.
During an adoption conference breakout, another attendee said that her friends, who were adopting internationally, made her feel like her domestic infant adoption was less “worthy”.
It broke my heart and shocked me. Not in a “how could they do that” way, but a “how did I not notice this before” way.
Adoptive parents are, if anything, a PASSIONATE bunch. We will raise our adoption-loving, orphan-advocate banners high and wave them around unabashedly!
As an international adoptive parent, it is obviously they type of adoption I am most comfortable talking about. The one you find me most likely to talk about. I hang around with other international adoptive parents because we have common ground.
But if we’re not careful, in our attempts to sing the praises of our particular type of adoption, we alienate others who are led to pursue a different type.
I’ve been on the receiving end of the judgement. More than once I’ve gotten the “why on earth would you adopt internationally when there are kids in the U.S. who need homes?” ESPECIALLY, when the subject of the cost of adoption comes up, which obviously since that’s a subject matter I’m passionate about, happens a lot. There are those that have made me feel like it’s ridiculous to spend $30,000 to adopt a child when you can adopt from foster care for free.
True, it may not seem logical. But we’ve already covered that logic kind of goes out the window with adoption anyways.
So here is what I know.
THERE IS NO BEST TYPE OF ADOPTION!
Every adoption means a child has found a forever family. Each has its pros and cons. Each its own set of challenges.
Without domestic infant adoptions, birth mothers who felt unable to parent their child would be left with only one choice – abortion. And I’ve witnessed beautiful, open adoptions that have not only meant family for that baby, but an additional extended family for the birth parents. Adoptive parents often have an agonizing wait to be “chosen” by a birth mother. Some endure one or more failed adoptions.
Foster-to-adopt parents have an entirely unique set of hoops to jump through and have to navigate a government system in serious need of overhaul. It takes perseverance and persistence, but over 100,000 kids in the U.S. are legally free for adoption and waiting for their forever families.
Globally, there are millions of orphans without parents. While international adoption will never be THE solution to the orphan crisis, it is one piece of the puzzle. For some of these children, especially those with medical needs, adoption might be the difference between life and death.
In high school I was a floater. Some days I’d eat lunch with one group of kids, the next day I might be at a different table. Now as an adoptive parent, I’m navigating the waters much the same way.
I am for children. I am for children in families. I am for adoption.
No matter the type.
I will advocate for every orphan. I will cheer on every adoptive or foster parent. I will give generously to help keep vulnerable children IN families and avoid becoming orphans.
I hope you will join me.