I was involved in a recent discussion about one of my books (Within the Law) and the subject of adoption; it’s a topic discussed in the story.
Most of us view adoption as the concept of bringing a child into your home that was biologically born to someone else and raising that child as your own, a member of your family, and loving and caring for that child as a parent should. The online Free Dictionary defines adoption as: “adoption - a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relation between persons not related by blood; the adopted child is entitled to all privileges belonging to a natural child of the adoptive parents (including the right to inherit)”. Some of these children are orphaned, other may have living biological parents who cannot, for health, finances, or age, provide a healthy home and choose to give their child a better chance at life.
Just as there are varied reasons why a child is available for adoption, there are also many reasons why parents seek to adopt. Some couples are physically unable to conceive, some choose not to conceive sometimes due to a hereditary condition, singles and same-sex couples often choose adoption over surrogacy or in-vitro, and sometimes people simply have room in their hearts and homes for another child. Whatever the reason, the result is a child growing up in a loving home and parents experiencing the joy and feelings of love that goes with raising a child. It’s a win-win for all. The concept of adoption isn’t new; it goes as far back as Moses being raised by Pharaoh’s daughter and other biblical stories.
In my book one of my characters worries about her future husband’s desire and willingness to raise and love “someone else’s child”. (He was all for it btw.) Do we really need a blood connection to love? No, not at all — millions of couples definitely not related by bloodlines manage to love each other just fine. Best friends are often found outside of the family structure and yet bonds are strong. And even the love shared between pets and owners can go tremendously deep. Blood is not a necessary ingredient; the ability to love is the only mandate.
Adopting a child is more complicated than just going to a store and making a choice. Thoroughly investigate your options and local laws governing the process. There are private and public adoption agencies. There are newborns where you actually get to meet the expectant mother [different states regulate expenses the new parents could or should contribute to the pregnancy], or arrange to meet the child shortly after birth. And there are older children, toddlers through teens, some who are recently orphaned, abandoned or have been in the foster system for a while. Meet with adoption counselors and a lawyer to fully understand what is ahead for you and the best options for both you and your adopted child.
Applying to adopt takes time, but then so does a pregnancy, and there is almost always a waiting period until that adoption is actually finalized. The child you adopt doesn’t need to be a matching race or religion; speak to your spiritual advisor if you have questions about raising your child in your faith.
It’s all attainable and it is all rewarding.