Adoption is a complex issue involving and directly affects at least five people — between biological and adoptive parents, the child, and the families involved.
And the process, although it depends on the country, can be an intricate journey that requires sacrifices, efforts, patience, and resilience.
As with everything in life, every important decision comes with consequences and responsibilities, and in adoption, this comes with a greater magnitude because it involves a person’s life.
As adoptive parents, you have many and specific responsibilities:
- If adoption is a solution to infertility problems, process these issues before beginning the process and avoid future problems that will affect the emotional health of the adoptee.
- Be aware and realistic of your abilities as a parent.
- Have a support system to guide you through the process and help you resolve any questions you may have.
- Ask questions, no matter how uncomfortable the topic may seem. It is always better to have all the necessary information.
- Be open with your child about their adoption and understand that it is their right to know what they need to know about their biological past.
- Talk lovingly and respectfully about the birth family.
- Use positive language about the adoption.
How adoption impacts the lives of those involved
The impact of adoption on the people involved will depend on many factors: the age of the child, their extended family, whether or not they go to school, and the drastic changes that will be made in their life. Here are some impacts worth highlighting:
- Adoption is a complicated process, but with infinite benefits and rewards. When done responsibly and with love, many lives can be changed for the better.
- The rejection and shame that both the biological parents and the adopted children may feel, one for not being able or wanting to take charge and the other for feeling unwanted.
- The development of identity is something that the child will have to work on throughout their life, but having access to information about the biological family helps a lot to clarify doubts and facilitate the process.
- Personalities, family dynamics, and what may be happening in the world around us are factors that will determine the impact of adoption on the people involved.
- Even when we have the best intentions and do everything the right way, we always have to consider the feelings of loss, rejection, guilt, and their impact on the child’s identity construction.
- Although these impacts manifest themselves differently depending on the child’s growth stage, it is always important to keep in mind that love is the best shield against feelings of alienation or adjustment.