Experts estimate that 100 million Americans either have families that are personally touched by adoption, know someone who has been adopted, or know someone who has adopted a child. Adoption is prevalent and growing in our society for good reason. There are many benefits of adoption for those who choose this journey with Adoption Choices of Arizona. While everyone’s experience is unique, the following sections will touch on some of the benefits often enjoyed by each heart of the adoption triad.
Benefits of Adoption for Birth Parents
An Alternative to Abortion in an Unplanned Pregnancy. Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be a difficult and scary time. When a woman isn’t prepared to become a mother, she has to make some very important decisions. Parenting may not be an option for many reasons: financial, emotional, lack of support, etc. In this situation, many women pursue abortions. While it is ultimately a woman’s right to choose, adoption can be an alternative that provides many benefits. By choosing life and making an adoption plan for their child, they can go forward with the knowledge that they have blessed the lives of many.
Assistance With Housing and Expenses. If a potential birth mother finds herself in a situation where she doesn’t have a safe or steady place to live, there are many agencies, including Adoption Choices of Arizona, that offer help and resources for housing. They are also often able to help with access to prenatal care, transportation to and from appointments, and mental health counseling when needed. Most agencies are also able to offer referrals for other help as needed (assistance with food, clothing, employment, and sometimes education).
Opportunity to Pursue Goals. When an unplanned pregnancy occurs, it can sometimes make it difficult to continue the lifestyle a woman has been leading or would like to lead. An unexpected pregnancy and the stress that may come along with it can interfere with school/college, work, personal relationships, career goals, etc. If a woman finds that she is not in a place in her life where she is able to care for a child, she may feel that she is not even able to care for herself in the way she would like. By making an adoption plan for their child, they may feel that they have an opportunity to continue pursuing the goals they had set for themselves. Perhaps they will have the desire to achieve even more.
Options for Openness. In decades past, unplanned pregnancies were often kept a secret, and adoptions were swept under the rug. These days, making an adoption plan is nothing to be ashamed of. Open adoptions give the birth parents the option to choose a family for their child. They will have the knowledge that their birth child is healthy, happy, and thriving. They may receive letters, photos, phone calls, or other types of updates. They may even be able to send gifts for birthdays and holidays. Many adoptions are completely open, including visits between the birth and adoptive families. This can be beneficial to all involved, and it has often been shown to reduce the severity of a birth mother’s post-placement grieving.
Knowledge of the Child’s Well-Being. If a birth mother finds herself in an unsafe situation (as severe as homelessness and addiction or as simple as struggles with finances), she can have peace of mind knowing that she has placed her child in a stable home where they will be well taken care of.
A Sense of Purpose. While it may not be true for everyone, many birth mothers go on to use their story in helping others. Through public speaking, support groups, or even reaching out to friends facing similar situations, many use their personal journey as a light in the darkness, helping others to find their way. Some women even pursue careers in the social work field. If nothing else, they will typically find a strength they never knew they had. “Birth Mom Strong” is a phrase for a reason.
Benefits of Adoption for Adoptive Parents
Becoming a Parent. Many men and women have dreamed of having children for years (some since childhood). Having a chance to bond, make memories, and help a young person to grow into a successful adult is definitely a special feeling. Parenting allows them to instill morals and values into someone who just may make the world a better place. Parenting brings joy, love, and purpose to many people’s lives. If you have ever wanted to become a parent, adoption is a great way to grow your family!
Growing a Family Despite Fertility Concerns. Unfortunately, not everyone can have biological children. Struggles with fertility and repeated miscarriages can be devastating. Luckily, dealing with these concerns does not mean your desire to have a child is impossible. While your family can be made complete through adoption, remember that it is okay and quite normal to struggle with the emotional hardship of infertility. You are not alone and it’s an excellent idea to seek help to resolve infertility grief before choosing to adopt.
All Types of Parents Can Adopt. You don’t have to be a highly educated, wealthy married couple to adopt a child. Adoption is open to people from many walks of life! Recently, our nation has seen an increase in the number of single-parent adoptions as well as adoptions by same-sex couples. Regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, education level, or socioeconomic status, if you have the ability to provide a loving and stable home to a child, the possibility of growing your family through Adoption Choices of Arizona is very real.
Adoption Tax Credit. Because the adoption process can sometimes be costly, the adoption tax credit is available to offset many of the expenses incurred. These can include adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs, as well as travel, food, and lodging expenses pertaining to the adoption. In order to receive this credit, you must be adopting a child under the age of 18 or legally adopting someone who is mentally and/or physically incapable of caring for themselves. The credit is currently just over $13,000.
Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits. Many employers are now willing to offer maternity/parental leave for those who are growing their family through adoption. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, any company with at least 50 employees must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to mothers and fathers who are welcoming a baby. In many states, this applies to adoptive parents as well. The employee’s job must be held and insurance benefits are continued during this time.
Exploring Other Cultures. If a parent or couple chooses to adopt a child that has a different culture or ethnicity than their own, they will often try to incorporate their child’s cultural background into their upbringing. Not only does this help to foster a stronger sense of self and identity in the child, but it can help to broaden the horizons of the parents as well.
Benefits of Adoption for Adoptees
Love From All Sides. What’s better than having the love of one family? Having the love of two! With open adoption becoming more commonplace, children who have been adopted are surrounded by love and support from a large extended family.
Open Adoptions. There are many benefits of open adoption. Before the 1970s, there was no such thing as an open adoption. Flash forward to today, 95 percent of adoptions currently have some level of openness. Access to family medical history can be very important, especially when it comes to severe allergies or a history of certain genetic diseases. An open adoption also makes it possible for a child to learn about their ethnic roots and about the story of their adoption. With open adoption, a child can learn their story from the very beginning so that there is no confusion. This means there won’t be any awkward wondering about how/if/when/by whom the adopted person should find out that they were, in fact, adopted. With open adoption, they will never have to feel that their story was hidden from them. Studies show that open adoption provides a better sense of identity for the adopted person and fosters a healthier relationship with their adoptive parents.
Stability and Opportunity. Children are placed for adoption for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is that the birth parents do not feel that they are in a position to provide for the child in the way they would like to. When parents choose to adopt, they have often spent a great deal of time preparing to welcome a child. Most adoptive parents are ready and willing to offer their children an emotionally and financially stable lifestyle in a safe and loving home.
The benefits of adoption cannot be completely summed up in one article. If you’d like to know how adoption has positively impacted the lives of people, ask around! With over 100 million people who have some type of adoption connection, chances are that you know someone personally who can share how adoption has changed their lives for the better. If you are ready to begin your adoption journey, it’s time to contact Adoption Choices of Arizona and discover how we can help!