Adoption is often viewed as a way to rescue a child from a destitute situation and give them a better life. While the needs of waiting children are inarguably great, some are able to experience very nurtured lives in orphanages or foster homes while having the benefit of being surrounded by their native culture, language, food, etc. While there is no substitute for the love and permanency of family, it is important to not simply equate “need” with obtaining a particular standard of living. There are certainly negative aspects to all cultures, but a mindset that equates “need” to a particular standard of living does little to acknowledge the inherent dignity, beauty or value of a child’s culture that reaches beyond material possessions. As such, it is important to think through our motivations to this end.
Many families first consider adoption as a result of infertility. Although just as valid and every bit as beautiful, choosing to adopt a child carries with it unique challenges and opportunities. You need to consider these differences (both for you and your child). A child who comes into their family through adoption can often carry with him/her a feeling of being abandoned due to some lack in themselves. Being adopted into a family who views adoption as a lesser value to having children biologically will not be helped by this mindset.
In the early 2000’s leading up to a peak in 2004, there was a surge in adoptions, most specifically international adoptions. Many Christians began to understand Jesus’ call to care for orphans and celebrities all over Hollywood were being celebrated for the families they were building through adoption.
Seeing celebrities featured on the cover of magazines with their multiple children from all over the world can give you the idea that this is the trendy thing to do. But the future and life of a child is at hand in adoption and so it is vital that you move forward with sober judgement and good council. You are making a commitment to love, protect, teach, guide, cherish and nurture a beautiful child who needs a family who is patient and steady in their love. Creating such a safe and loving place for children from difficult beginnings is key to the success of any child as they grow and mature.