Monday, June 27, 2011
Recently Parents Magazine featured several blog posts by contributing editor, Nicole Dorsey, on her decision about whether or not to adopt. Are you kidding me? To say her posts are offensive would be putting it mildly. Among other things, Dorsey compares adopting a child to adopting a “mutt”. Really? No wonder adoption still evokes negative images for some people. While Dorsey obviously believes her self-proclaimed generosity toward homeless animals is akin to her consideration of “rescuing” a child, most of us in the adoption world would really prefer she just stick to dogs.
Adoption is just one of many options parents use to add to their families. It’s as simple as that. Families decide to adopt for many reasons, but the most compelling reason couples (or individuals) adopt is because they are biologically unable to birth children themselves. The adoption process is not a “quick fix”, nor is it an option parents consider lightly. One reason for this is that typically adoption not only requires a psychological commitment, but also a large financial one. Bringing a child into a family by any method is not a decision parents should make half-heartedly, and adoption is no exception.
Perhaps the real problem, for me, with these blog posts is that Dorsey considers herself a bit of a martyr whether she opts for pregnancy or adoption. While I acknowledge she is trying to infuse humor and satire into what, for her, must be an agonizing decision, her arguments for justification of her feelings are hurtful and offensive. Women (and their husbands) need to realize that sometimes parenting one child is fulfilling enough for them and then move on from this decision. Being a parent is scary – whether it’s for one child or ten – but the rewards outweigh the risks exponentially. Adoptive parenting is no different from biological parenting. Until we all recognize this fact, we adoptive parents will continue to fight an uphill battle for our kids in order that they avoid feelings of low self-worth simply because the people who parented them are different from the people who produced them.