When considering adoption from any direction, all families involved are focusing their attention on the hope for their child. From an outsider’s perspective looking in, an adoption can seem like the exchange of a child from one family to another with polar-opposite responses to the child’s presence — the adoptive family wants the child, while the birth family does not. This is a heartbreaking misconception of those involved in an adoption and the longings for the child.
Even though it may be hard to understand for someone who has not experienced either side of an adoption, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
While most of the misplaced blame for an “unwanted child” rests wearily on the shoulders of a birth parent, their choice to place the child for adoption exudes quite the opposite intention. A birth parent weighing a decision about what’s best for the future of their child is the greatest selfless act of love they can display.
A birth parent may be unable to financially meet the needs of a child. Their present circumstances could make it near impossible to parent a child suitably. Health conditions or instability give reason for someone to make an agonizing decision for a child’s wellbeing. Whatever factors a birth parent considers, their decision for adoption comes despite their own grief and with the hope of a bright future for their child.
Our culture spends too much time labeling what we see as someone else’s mistakes. If we would set aside some of our judgements long enough to view life from another’s eyes, our vision would become much clearer to others’ struggles, pains, hills and valleys. Sometimes we not only need to see others’ hurts, but we need to walk along beside them to understand more fully the road they travel. Our opinions of what is seen as “unwanted” would be altered to see someone’s heart and purpose.
Our sentiments for an “unwanted child” may not ever be expressed to a birth mother if we have never met one, but how we respond to an adoptive parent can give out the same vibes. Praising an adoptive parent for rescuing a child who was “unwanted” by their birth parents can be just as detrimental to the perception of adoption. The trust and care given to an adoptive parent by the birth mother who delivered their child is an experience that is both humbling and overwhelming. How a parent can entrust you with the love and care for their child will be something an adoptive parent can never understand but is forever grateful for. To an adoptive parent, their child is seen as loved by so many before becoming a part of their family.
The greatest fault of all is to ever let an adopted child think they were “unwanted.” No matter their birth parents’ circumstances, they wanted their child to be loved and cared for. No matter how a child enters a family, their forever family receives them with the weight of living up to giving their child all that they deserve. In adoption, a child will be the most affected by a decision they didn’t make but changed the course of their life.
How our society reacts to adoption will either hinder or honor the parties involved. Their lives have been forever changed by hope. Hope for love, comfort, and faith that tomorrow will be better than today. So, let’s join in educating ourselves to better encourage this hope for adoption.
Jill is a 32-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 5-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.