Adopting a child is a huge decision. Many people do it for a number of different reasons: they can’t have a child of their own, they are looking to make someone else’s life better, or they simply want a mix of birth and adopted children. Some people adopt children based on their religious heart and some people just see it fit to extend their family without the pregnancy part.
From the outside looking in, adopting a child comes off as noble and selfless. When friends and family find out that someone's choosing to adopt, a lot of the comments are of praise and excitement. They look at these parents as if they are literal saints on earth.
There is, however, also the assumption that an adopted child is different from a biological child. Because they have different genes, they are made up of "synthetic material." Well, I have news for those thinkers: an adopted child is just like any other child; the only difference is they are adopted. Adopted children think the same as any other kid would, they rebel, they love, they take risks... they are children. There really is no difference. Anything that happens to a child that is adopted can happen to one's own biological child.
Sometimes people think that because they are adopting a child, they are receiving a child who is automatically without problems. They assume that rebellion and all that negative stuff just doesn’t register with their child. When in fact, they may have a bit more rebellion or curiosity. It is certainly a rollercoaster but if parents of adopted children are willing to take the ride, they can benefit someone in a way that you didn’t even know was possible.
20 Adoptive Parents Don’t Always Know What They Are Doing
Many people assume that when someone has an adopted child, they are pioneers in the adopting game. But, let’s be real everyone has to start somewhere. You don’t just get up one day and say “I am going to adopt a child and I'm gonna ace this whole parenting thing.” In fact, it is the opposite. Just like a new parent, an adoptive parent also has no idea what they are doing. They may even have it worse off when a parent is adopting a child that's older in age. People can morph babies, but it's harder with toddlers and teenagers.
19 Divorce Still Exists
Just because you adopt doesn’t mean that marriage is in the cards. Kids don’t always keep a marriage together. It takes more than that; like time, commitment, and a willingness from both sides. There is a huge assumption that people who adopt will be married forever but that is just unrealistic. Divorce can affect anyone in any position. Some people adopt in an effort to save their marriage because of the stress that infertility has put on their marriage. However, some never come back from that and divorce takes its course. Adopting isn’t an automatic marriage fixer and it’s important that you know this before you choose adoption for that very reason.
18 Parenting, Especially At The Beginning, Is Different From Raising Your Own Biological Kid
Parenting styles of those who adopt children may be different from those who opted to have their own.
First, the child has to adjust to you as their new guardian; you can’t simply just start ordering them around. It also depends on the child's age. The older they are, the harder it will be to parent them. With kids, you can have a little bit of leeway; they want to be loved and are looking for that parental closeness. So, they can be a bit easier to parent. However, teenagers are teenagers and there is no way around not getting into an argument or two when parenting them. It’s as if they are pre-programmed to really pull your strings. Since they are adopted, parents must tread lightly until their trust is gained.
17 Feelings Of Inadequacy From Lack Of Biological Connection
Some people who adopt feel a sense of inadequacy. Some realize that this child is not their biological child no matter how much they love them. There will always be feelings of struggle and sadness for them in that way. Adopted parents will always question how well they are doing in their new role. They will always question if they made decisions correctly.
Most biological parents feel this way as well, but when you have taken on a child who previously had a different way of life, you feel as though they may never love you as much as they would love their bio parents. You may also feel like even though their bio parents might not have been fitting parents, they somehow want to still be with them. Keep your insecurities to yourself, though. They don’t need any more stress on their shoulders.
16 Parents Need Their Own Time To Adjust
Not only do kids need their time to adjust, the parents do too. All of a sudden you have a child and in some cases that child may not be a child at all, but a teenager.
New parents all need time to adjust no matter the age they receive the child at. But when adopting, it may take a bit longer. It’s hard to just jump into someone’s life and pick up like it was natural. All of a sudden you have a new person in your home to love; someone who you are meant to care and provide for. It can be a shift at first, but in the end, these people just want to be parents.
15 Adoptive Parents Are More Protective Over Their Kids
Some children that are adopted are coming from a bad situation. This means that the parent has to be extra protective of their new child. Some kids are not given up willingly. As we all know, some kids come from a bad situation and are taken away from a parent who may still feel like they have a right to their child. But there is a strong sense of protectiveness and you may have to do things like refusing to have your child’s picture taken or waiting to bring your child to a daycare center. The adopted kids may have to miss parties or big social gatherings and you may constantly have your guard up. Parents of biological kids do this as well, but they don’t always have a biological parent looking to take back their kid.
If you do get the lucky chance of adopting a baby, you may get the rotten luck of having a child born addicted to drugs. This happens quite often and it’s unfortunate and heartbreaking. Breaking a baby of their addiction is rough. They cry a lot, they are in pain that you cannot ease, and as their new parent, you can't give them what they're crying for,
You may even adopt a teenager who, in their free time, skip class to do illegal activity and participate in some unsavory activities. This is something you may not even realize until it escalates out of control. There are resources to help, but it is still a problem nonetheless.
13 Having To Teach Them 'Common Sense' Things
You may have heard that common sense is not so common. When a child comes from a bad home, they may not have learned the basics that every child has a right to learn. How to use the washroom, when to say “no” to people, and even something as common as how to eat with your mouth closed. These things may not sound like anything to worry about but that’s the thing, they are everyday occurrences that they don’t know how to navigate. No one suspects that they will end up adopting a child who they will have to teach basic manners to, but it is more common than not.
12 Not Wanting To Be Called "Mom" Or "Dad"
"Moms," "dads," "parents," all these titles suggest that they're the child's new guardians. However, when you adopt an older child, they may not feel comfortable calling you mom or dad. Most may feel more comfortable using a first name basis. Now, whether that's because they still feel a sense of loyalty to their bio-parents or just aren't comfortable with those that adopted them differs.
Over time, they may loosen their grip on this rule but some may never. It's just par for the course when you choose adoption. Let them come to their own decision it doesn’t necessarily mean that they appreciate you less.
11 Having To 'Return' A Child
No one wants to admit they have to return a child. To be honest, most people who adopt don’t even realize that this is an option. Even having the thought cross an adoptive parent’s head could send a slight shiver down their spine. It’s not just a dress or a pair of pants that didn’t fit right... It's a whole person. A human being. The act itself can be heartbreaking even if the child has caused you grief or you felt no connection to them. No one wants to admittedly fail at anything and having to return a child is admitting failure and also making you think that you didn’t do enough.
10 They Might Fit In Seamlessly
Sometimes after a short adjustment period, the new child fits right in. Call it divine intervention or maybe even call it luck. Regardless, many people assume that they will have to fight tooth and nail to make this new child feel as they are apart of the family. Some kids just walk into the home and within a few weeks, they know they belong. There's no convincing, no tricks, no extra love... they just know that this is where they need to be.
This is obviously a rare occurrence but it is possible. Some would say they wish all adoption stories turned out this pleasant but like they say, hope for the best and expect the worst.
9 They May Be Sick, And They Might Have Been For A While
You may adopt a child who can turn out to be very sick. A lot of time kids in foster homes have no one they feel comfortable enough to talk to when they are feeling sick or a bit off. They keep important signs of things to themselves for fear of being a burden. When they do get to their forever home, they eventually feel secure enough to share what they have been feeling. The problem is, it could turn out to be a serious illness. Now, not only does a new parent need to help protect their new child, but they have to get them healthy again. It can be a huge undertaking.
8 You May Not Feel Like A Parent
This may seem horrible but you may not feel a connection with your adopted child right off the bat. It’s unfortunate but it happens. Sometimes it’s too late to build a connection or sometimes the adoptive parent doesn’t get the child they assumed they were going to get. Sometimes it’s just that the child is much older and is only with you for a short amount of time. It's unfortunate that a connection wasn’t formed but it’s also a bit ridiculous to assume that this child is going to love you no matter what. It's hard to love someone who has had a whole other life before you. Some adopted children think that you only love them out of pity which ends up holding you back from full acceptance.
7 People Assume You Were Adopted
Once you adopt, many people will assume that you yourself were adopted. This could very well be the case, but sometimes, a person just wants to help a child in need. However, it's not the reason as to why everyone adopts. The ignorance in this world has forced people to put labels on one another and you will start getting questioned by people wanting to know exactly why you, in particular, chose adoption. The nosiness will set you on fire but it’s the only way some people can wrap their head around such an intimate decision.
6 People Making Assumptions About Your Uterus
Yes, you read that right! When you adopt, a lot of people will start to assume that you are unable to conceive. For some reason, that's the first thing that pops into a person's head when they hear that a couple adopted; that they were unable to conceive naturally. This may be the case for some people. After all, conceiving a child can be quite hard. But, please keep these suspicions to yourself. No one that adopts wants to hear any of your suggestions or assumptions. Not only is it offensive, it's none of your business.
5 Adopted Teenagers Can Be More Difficult
No one assumes they are going to get the bad apple when they adopt. If they do, they don’t assume that it will be the horror show they see in those Lifetime original films. A troublesome kid can cause heartbreak, stress, physical pains, and they can sometimes even be abusive. This isn’t to say that the trouble can’t be remedied but even having to deal with it can be hard for most parents who adopt. They get support from the adoption agency sometimes, but other times their options are not enough. No one can truly tell you what to do in a situation like this one, it’s mostly up to you.
4 People Will Look At You Funny
In a world full of judgment, people will find any reason to rudely glare at someone — even if they aren’t trying to be rude. They see a couple with a child of a different race or color from them so naturally, they want to stare. They want to know where that child came from or what the backstory is. If only one parent is with the child, they assume that the other parent is that race. Really, it’s just nosiness. But it is extremely annoying having people stare at you, especially when you know it's them wondering what your family's story is.
3 Even Babies Can Be Curious About Their Past
If you choose to tell your child later in life that they are adopted, don’t be surprised when they come to you with questions about their birth parents. It's only natural for them to want to know what happened to them before you got them; even if it’s only a day's difference. They will want to know where they came from, who they look like, why they have this trait or a particular hang up. Everyone is curious about their past.
I think all adopted parents should be open with their child. Give them honest answers if have them and be transparent if you don't. At the end of the day, you're still their guardian.
2 Their Birth Parents May Come Into The Picture
If they aren’t curious, their biological parents might be. It’s common for a parent who gives their child up for adoption to start to seek them out years later. They are now more stable or no longer a teenager and they want to see what they gave up years prior. In some cases, they may want to have custody or visitation rights added (it depends on the kind of adoption, of course). Even in the case of an open adoption, the parents sometimes want to fight for more control or feel as though they need to be consulted when things change.
1 They May Not Automatically Love You
There is no such thing as automatic love when it comes to an adopted child. Even the babies need a period of adjustment. Think about it, as we get older we have our own minds and make our own decisions. There is no one that can force us to truly love someone. It’s like that with an adopted child, too. They have to grow to love and trust their new parents. It won’t happen overnight and who's to say it will happen at all? The most anyone can hope for is a healthy respect for one another. Of course, more times than not the kids do grow to love their new parents but it will always take a respectable amount of time.