Understanding the True Meaning of Adoption

This entire site is designed to provide information about adoption. There’s a lot that goes into it. If you’re looking for definitions of terms frequently used in adoption discusses, we have a page for that. If you’re wondering whether adoption is the right decision for you, whether as a hopeful adoptive parent or as a pregnant woman, we have pages for either of those scenarios, too. This article, however, is dedicated to talking about what adoption means to those it affects most — adoptive parents, birth parents and adoptees.

What does adoption mean for adoptive parents?

Many adoptive parents come to the adoption decision after long, painful struggles with infertility. These couples have frequently put time, finances and emotions into procedures like IVF only to realize, in the end, that they are unable to biologically have a child. At this point, a grieving process must occur, and when that’s finished, the family has to decide that adoption is an equally amazing way to grow a family.

All of that takes a toll on a couple. These individuals have waited and prepared and stressed for so long in the hopes of having a child. For them, adoption is that chance to have a family. Adoption makes parenthood a possibility; it gives them a child to love and nurture and support. Adoption makes adoptive parents, well, parents — and that means the world.

What does adoption mean for birth parents?

For a pregnant woman who isn’t sure she’s ready to parent, adoption can mean everything. A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has three options — parenting, abortion or adoption. Adoption isn’t the right choice for everyone in this scenario, but it’s a way to make sure your baby gets everything he or she deserves — even if you can’t be the one to give it.

A woman who chooses adoption also chooses the family she places the baby with. To her, adoption means knowing her child will always be well cared for. He or she will never want for love or basic needs or opportunities like extracurricular activities and college. For a birth mom, adoption is a way to give her child the life he or she deserves.

What does adoption mean for adoptees?

For adoptees, adoption provides a safe and loving home. Adoption means parents who were ready for them in every aspect — financially, physically and emotionally. Adoption means stability. Adoption means they’ll have every opportunity to pursue whatever dreams they may have.

Adoption also means that someone loved the adoptee enough to recognize that she wasn’t going to be the best guardian for him or her. That love doesn’t disappear when a child is placed with his or her adoptive family. For adoptees — and for every member of the adoption triad — adoption means love.