Gay and Lesbian Adoption
Adoption isn’t easy
Plenty of babies out there need good homes, right? Unplanned pregnancies, among teens and older women alike, happen every day. Surely there’s a queue of bouncing babies just waiting for you. All you have to do is head to an agency, fill out some paperwork, pay some fees and head home with a bundle of joy.
While there are many unplanned pregnancies, there are also plenty of couples who cannot become pregnant on their own and are vying for a chance to adopt. Add to that the number of teens and grown women who choose to terminate unplanned pregnancies rather than carry to term and place the baby up for adoption. The decision to carry a baby then place him or her with another couple is tougher than you might think — the birth mother might have trouble wrapping her mind around the concept of another couple caring for her child, or might worry that the child will be hurt by wondering why he or she wasn’t wanted. Either way, the number of abortions in the United States far outweighs the number of available adoption situations.
Other children who are available aren’t quite what the idealistic couple might want. Some children are born addicted to drugs, or with special needs, while others who are awaiting loving parents aren’t babies at all but older children. For some parents, the idea of adopting special needs children or even children over a certain age just isn’t appealing. Prospective parents fear problems that might already exist in children who have spent years in unfit homes or the foster care system, where they may have picked up behavioral issues. Couples fear they won’t bond with older children.
Throw all of these factors together, and you get the reality of the situation — adoption is difficult, and some couples can wait years before becoming parents.
That’s not to say adoption shouldn’t be considered. It is certainly a viable choice. Everyone knows someone who has been adopted, and many of us would love any child, no matter his or her biological origin, as much as if we had given birth to the child ourselves.
If you choose to take the leap, you’ve got a lot of learning to do. There are plenty of options for adoption, ranging from private, closed adoptions from anonymous parents, to open adoptions where birth parents remain a part of the picture. You can learn more about the steps of the adoption process, from what questions to ask to what difficulties to brace for, by reading “Getting to Baby.”