For a child, adoption means growing up in a happy home with parents who love them and provide opportunities to pursue their dreams. For adoptive parents, it’s the pride and joy of having a child of their own after years of struggling to start a family. And for birth parents, adoption is a choice that allows them to pursue their dreams while giving them the peace of mind that their child is growing up in a stable and nurturing home.
The advantages of adoption are clear to the children and families who have experienced it, but until a person has gone through the adoption process, it can be difficult to imagine how rewarding it will be. Adoption has significant benefits for everyone involved — adoptive families, birth mothers and adopted children.
Birth Parent Benefits
While it can be a very emotional and difficult decision for prospective birth parents to make, adoption can benefit birth mothers in countless ways. Here are some of the pros of choosing adoption for your baby:
- Adoption allows birth parents to continue their education or careers and pursue whatever other goals they have
- For birth mothers who do not have a partner to help raise the baby, adoption can relieve the financial burden and stress of taking care of a child alone
- Adoption gives birth mothers peace of mind knowing their children will be raised in a stable and nurturing home with a loving family who has always dreamed of being parents
- Birth mothers will always have the knowledge that they made adoptive parents’ dreams come true by completing their family
- They have the option of remaining in their child’s life through an open or semi-open adoption
- They can receive financial assistance, as well as other resources like counseling and support, throughout the adoption process
Adoption may also improve unwed mothers’ potential for success later in life. A 1998 study reported that women who chose adoption were more likely to finish school, less likely to live in poverty, more likely to marry and less likely to divorce than women who chose to be single parents. The study also suggested that these women were more likely to be employed a year after the baby was born.
Adoptive Family Benefits
Parents often struggle for years to grow their families before considering the advantages of adoption. The benefits of adopting a child are significant, and families who decide to adopt often wonder why they didn’t start the adoption process sooner.
If you are considering adoption for your family, keep in mind some of the top benefits of adopting a child:
- Adoption gives infertile couples, LGBT couples and single people the ability to become parents when they would not be able to have children otherwise. Adoption gives these hopeful parents an opportunity to share their lives with a child and experience the joy and blessings of being parents
- Adoption allows adoptive parents to get to know and form special relationships with their child’s birth family
- Adoption gives parents the opportunity to raise a child in need of a loving home
The benefits of adoption are not limited to the joys of raising a child. Adoption is a lifelong process that adoptive families can enjoy for generations to come.
Adopted Child Benefits
Adoption has a huge impact on adopted children — it is a factor that can significantly shape their lives to be more meaningful, fulfilling and full of opportunities they may not have had otherwise.
The following are just a few examples of the advantages of being adopted:
- Because they are raised in a home where parents have been planning for a long time and are prepared for a child, adopted children may have opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise
- Adoptive homes offer a safe, stable environment for a child to grow
- Adoptive parents are often more likely to have the financial resources to provide opportunities like college
- Adopted children are raised knowing that they have parents who love them, as well as biological parents who love them so much that they selflessly chose to give them the best life possible
In a 2007 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adopted children were reported to have significant advantages when it came to health, extracurricular activities and school performance. According to the report, 85 percent of adopted children were in very good to excellent health, and they were more likely to have health insurance than children in the general population. Adopted children were also less likely to live in households below the poverty threshold.
According to the same study, 68 percent of adopted children were read to every day as young children, versus 48 percent of children in the general population. Seventy-three percent of adopted children were sung to and told stories to every day, compared to 59 percent of children in the general population. They were also more likely to participate in extracurricular activities as school-aged children (85 percent vs. 81 percent of children in the general population), and more than half were reported to have very good or excellent performance in reading, language arts and math.
Adoption is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for everyone involved. Beyond the adoption triad, extended family members, friends and community members can benefit from the addition of child. When people come together to make loving and selfless choices in order to provide a child with the best life possible, everyone benefits.