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Old 23.07.2010, 02:30
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Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

I came across a thread earlier today (yesterday) asking for details of adoption. Most of the time I've heard about adoption, the prospective parents are unable to conceive. Is it regular for people to adopt instead of conceiving, out of choice (that is, where there is no medical problems etc)? Would you do it? Why is it important for people to give birth naturally? Are genetics important in your relationship to your child?

I am not a parent (not even close) but was wondering about all this, perhaps people with skin in the game can give me their opinions.
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Old 23.07.2010, 02:54
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

I'd lie to say blood ain't important, it makes so much sense to see the continuum of oneself in front of your eyes every day. But, I think love is love, no matter how related the child is to you. Our hearts are big enough, aren't they. I would be afraid of certain issues possibly arising, ie - how do I help my adopted child deal with the fact his parents didn't want him, for example, so to overcome the rejection. Or the fact they died. How do I explain where his/her siblings are. Possibly different race, etc. Isn't life complicated enough as it is? I have a friend who was told at 3yrs he was adopted so his new parents could save him from his non existent alcoholic father and a junkie mom, it had a detrimental effect on his mental health. It was too early to be told and the manner so not adapted, his integrity was shaken big time. I think one has to tread so carefully. On the other hand, I also think adoption is one of the most humane thing to do.
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Old 23.07.2010, 03:07
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

my aunt adopted two girls after having three boys and losing her first daughter to SIDS. It's complicated to adopt, but makes a world of difference to a child born into poverty and faced with living in an institution for the rest of their life.

friends of ours adopted two children from the Philippines because they were unable to have children of their own.

other friends, similar story, got married and mum was already peri-menopausal and they decided they would rather adopt than try IVF.

other friend has three children, third one has a genetic syndrome, they are adopting in Switzerland and needed special permission to adopt a 'fourth child' because in Switzerland up to three children is seen as 'acceptable'... but the irony of course is that if she can't adopt, she can just have another one biologically...

Those are my 'second hand' experiences. My aunt who adopted the two children, also ended up with one foster child who 'adopted' them when they were teaching in a remote community - his parents were unable to look after him and when they moved on, the parents agreed to sign him over legally. So they ended up with 7 children - three natural, fourth one who died, five and six adopted and 7th child fostered...
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Old 23.07.2010, 05:51
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

I see nothing wrong with adoption, one of my closest cousins was adopted, she is just a few months older than me and we grew up together and I never learned she was adopted till I was a teenager and it made no difference to me whatsoever, she was still the same person I grew up with and still my cousin. My aunt adopted her when she was 1 yr old. My mom had considered fostering some kids when I was around 10yrs old but then my nephews came to live with us for a while so she never got around to it. Lots of people who already have biological children adopt kids, not just those who don't have kids. Even with my own biological kids I would adopt a kid if like something happend to the parents and I knew the parents, or like if I somehow saved the kid from danger in a rescue type situation and the parents didn't survive I would adopt the kid. So I see nothing wrong with adoption.
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Old 23.07.2010, 05:54
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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I'd lie to say blood ain't important, it makes so much sense to see the continuum of oneself in front of your eyes every day. But, I think love is love, no matter how related the child is to you. Our hearts are big enough, aren't they. I would be afraid of certain issues possibly arising, ie - how do I help my adopted child deal with the fact his parents didn't want him, for example, so to overcome the rejection. Or the fact they died. How do I explain where his/her siblings are. Possibly different race, etc. Isn't life complicated enough as it is? I have a friend who was told at 3yrs he was adopted so his new parents could save him from his non existent alcoholic father and a junkie mom, it had a detrimental effect on his mental health. It was too early to be told and the manner so not adapted, his integrity was shaken big time. I think one has to tread so carefully. On the other hand, I also think adoption is one of the most humane thing to do.
Aaawwww yeah that was too early and too soon to tell the kid like that!
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Old 23.07.2010, 08:28
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

A couple I know in the UK adopted a kid - he was 6 or 7 at the time. They already had one son. There reasons were that she didn't want to be pregnant again, but they did want a larger family. And they wanted to help someone in need.

He's an integral part of their family.

I know a single lady, who was a missionary in a far flung country - teaching English and basic literary skills in the native language. A family dumped a neglected baby on her. She adopted that girl, even though it meant her supporting organisation sacked her. She did it because the girl needed her help. They're both doing fine, here in CH, and the girl is a beautiful young woman, with a lovely nature.

We'd adopt only if we were in a position that a child need our help in that way. But I wouldn't actively seek it out. I've got three kids - when they're grown up, I'm done with parenting. And plan to move onto the much more fun grand-parenting - when the kids go green and/or smelly, you give them back to their parents.
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Old 23.07.2010, 08:46
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

I think you are refering to my thread so I am happy to answer without getting too personal. Adoption is not for everyone and just as some of the children who are in state care are not prepared to be adopted, not all prospective parents waiting to have a child are ready (or willing) to adopt.
For some people blood is important for others not, I believe (and have scientific proof) that characteristics are not always genetically passed onto your offspring, but are taught and learned. One might decide to adopt because they can't concieve, other because theys always felt they wanted to do it and for some (like me) it is a bit of both.
I hope this thread does not grow into a two sided match, these are rather personal decisions nobody can really influence, and as I explained in said thread I asked here because my german is not good enough to google what I wanted to, then I was asked by some members to keep them posted and as I think I might help somebody that is as clueless as I was, I am happy to do so.

To anyone out there looking to adopt, do a lot of reading and preparation to know if you are ready and willing to go through a lengthy process, think about your expectations and whether they are realistic, about what you want and what you can give (be honest to yoursel!)...I am sure though the waiting will pay off
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Old 23.07.2010, 08:50
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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I have a friend who was told at 3yrs he was adopted so his new parents could save him from his non existent alcoholic father and a junkie mom, it had a detrimental effect on his mental health. It was too early to be told and the manner so not adapted, his integrity was shaken big time. I think one has to tread so carefully. On the other hand, I also think adoption is one of the most humane thing to do.
There is certainly not a "too early age" to tell, it is the way you are told, I guess a bit of scarcity of tact on the adoptive parents side ( although I would not judge) to say we saved you...that might have happened 30 years ago or so when adoption was a tabu. Now it is recommended to talk about it as something natural and honest but the amount of information you give is crucial and one should exercise intelligence
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:04
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

Not to open the overpopulation can of worms that's popped up in other threads, but I have a somewhat complicated relationship with the (theoretical) idea of parenthood. I think I would like to have children, I think I would rather have more than one than raise an only child, but I sometimes get the feeling when I see large families that they are being irresponsible by having too many children (resource-wise). Because of this I have always thought if I did have children one could be biological but the other (or 'rest', probably only two total) I would like to adopt. For me this would feel like a bit of balance. I have the one to take care of my greedy need to perpetuate my own genes () but I also take care of one who is already out there but without the parents or resources he/she needs.

I also think foster children have it really tough, especially the older 'less adoptable' ages, so the idealist in me would love to take in some of these children that have been lost in the system (and here my experience is only in hearing about the state of things in the US). However I have to be honest about myself and say I don't think I'd ever have the patience and emotional strength to deal with a child that's already been emotionally damaged. So I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to take in foster children, even though I think it would be the right thing to do for a person with resources...
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:07
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

While I would obviously prefer to have my own flesh and blood, as is only natural, I would consider adoption if I or my future partner were incapable of having children... and if adoption was unavoidably on the cards I would also probably skip the baby bit and head straight to the toddler stage.

Last edited by Chuff; 23.07.2010 at 09:25.
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:26
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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.... but I sometimes get the feeling when I see large families that they are being irresponsible by having too many children (resource-wise).
A popular view in China but a flawed one in Western Europe. In Switzerland, for example, things are slightly different. The birth rate is 9.5/1000 population. The death rate is 8.5/1000 population. Allow for those who do not produce children or produce just 1 child and this becomes a negative population growth. Therefore people who have more children in Switzerland are helping maintain the status quo.
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:45
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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A popular view in China but a flawed one in Western Europe. In Switzerland, for example, things are slightly different. The birth rate is 9.5/1000 population. The death rate is 8.5/1000 population. Allow for those who do not produce children or produce just 1 child and this becomes a negative population growth. Therefore people who have more children in Switzerland are helping maintain the status quo.
Yes, I know my point of view doesn't make sense in a per-country 'mass balance' sort of way. But more in a 'fairness balance' sort of way, why not take a child out of a bad situation and raise them in a good one (for example, Switzerland), rather than 'make a whole new one'? so instead of (-1)+(+1)=0, you get (-1)-->(+1). Seems nicer to me.
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:55
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

If I had gotten married younger and "discovered" the issues that are complicating things for me now AND concluded that the only (real) choice was adoption, I would have done it.

Things being what they seem to be though, unless I actually conceive and am able to carry to term, I don't see myself raising a child. I think it is (sometimes? often?) "hard enough" for adopted children without having to be "the one" with the 50 or 60yo mom when in high school.
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:55
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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Yes, I know my point of view doesn't make sense in a per-country 'mass balance' sort of way. But more in a 'fairness balance' sort of way, why not take a child out of a bad situation and raise them in a good one (for example, Switzerland), rather than 'make a whole new one'? so instead of (-1)+(+1)=0, you get (-1)-->(+1). Seems nicer to me.
Because having your own (fllesh and blood) child is ingrained into our very being, it's one of natures drives, and for 99% of people is surely the preferable option.
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Old 23.07.2010, 09:59
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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Yes, I know my point of view doesn't make sense in a per-country 'mass balance' sort of way. But more in a 'fairness balance' sort of way, why not take a child out of a bad situation and raise them in a good one (for example, Switzerland), rather than 'make a whole new one'? so instead of (-1)+(+1)=0, you get (-1)-->(+1). Seems nicer to me.
I'm not arguing with that .
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Old 23.07.2010, 10:12
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

We have 3 children and I can't really recognise myself in any of them really which doesn't mean that I love them any less. The fact that a child is biologically yours or not is not as important as I once thought
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Old 23.07.2010, 10:17
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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and if adoption was unavoidably on the cards I would also probably skip the baby bit and head straight to the toddler stage.
I also thought that would be a smart move but as a woman I really want to experience the baby days...although when you adopt internationally only children 6 months and up are usually ready for adoption (hopefully saving me at least some sleepless nights). Also important, the younger the child is the easy it is to bond
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Old 23.07.2010, 10:30
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

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I also thought that would be a smart move but as a woman I really want to experience the baby days...although when you adopt internationally only children 6 months and up are usually ready for adoption (hopefully saving me at least some sleepless nights). Also important, the younger the child is the easy it is to bond
True, but I think that 3 and below is fine for bonding... I didn't see my baby cousins until they are 2 and 3 and now they love unkie Rich... even though they still only see me twice a year.
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Old 23.07.2010, 11:38
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

I come from a large family, 5 sisters and 1 brother. I love all of my siblings to bits. They are a constant source of amazement for me. I can see how my father thought 'wow, I wonder what the next one will be like' and the next, and the next...

I will adopt though.

I have had this discussion with my partner and she can see herself adopting too. She is of the opinion that the child should never be told, which I think is irresponsible and naive. I think an adopted child should know and should be taught that there is no shame in being adopted. Love is love, and someone brought up on love will know that.

I think one solution, and some might see this as a Brangelina/Madonna trend, is to adopt from a different race. So if I adopt an African child, it's clearly not mine and it will be aware of the differences as soon as it becomes self aware. It will be clear to everyone else and there will be no need for people to talk about it.

I think adoption is a very human and beautiful thing to do and applaud those who undertake the challenge. They have a lot of love to give.

I can understand the need to have a genetic link, but I wonder if this somehow leaves us taking things for granted?

This is a very interesting and thought provoking thread. Thank you for posting it.
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Old 23.07.2010, 11:43
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Re: Adoption: in what instance would you do it?

Thank you for this Traubert. Just to summarise, would I be correct in thinking that you would actively select a child that doesn't look like you in order that they're aware and comfortable with the adoption and that it doesn't turn into a fake-out? Would this be an active consideration of yours, or perhaps you simply wouldn't mind either way?
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