Whether you and your partner are struggling to have children biologically or simply want to share your love with a child in need of a home, adopting a child is a wonderful way to grow your family.
People choose to adopt children for many different reasons, and the process often holds many surprises. If you’re considering adoption, here are a few reasons why more families are choosing to adopt.
Parenting without Pregnancy
Many people have a glaring misconception of why couples choose to adopt. Many women, in fact, are attracted to the idea of raising a child without first having to get pregnant. In some cases, pre-existing medical conditions could make getting pregnant a risky proposition. In other cases, couples may simply see pregnancy as an inconvenience and choose to avoid it, though they still want to become parents. An exciting or new career, the medical complications that accompany pregnancy, and the drastic changes that can happen throughout pregnancy may not be something a couple wants to experience.
Women might wish to avoid pregnancy if they’ve already thought of adoption as well. Many couples have a desire to give a stable home to a child who doesn’t currently have one rather than bringing another child into the world. For a number of families, adoption is their preferred choice for growing their family from the very beginning because adoption helps children in need.
Adoption is a Cheaper Alternative with the Same Benefits
In a very real sense, adopting a child is cheaper than going through a nine-month pregnancy, especially for those individuals who have less than ideal health insurance. For example, Slate¹ reports that an uncomplicated vaginal birth can cost upwards of $30,000, while a Cesarean section can cost $50,000. If complications arise, then the total cost of giving birth to a baby boy or girl skyrockets even further.
Traditional pregnancies will also see costs in a number of other areas, including the following:
- Routine doctor’s visits before and after the baby’s birth
- Prenatal classes
- Regular ultrasounds
- Blood tests
- Built-in costs of medical equipment and technology used at each appointment
The New York Times², in fact, notes that the United States is the most expensive place in the world to give birth to a child, and delivery costs have actually tripled in the last two decades.
For couples who are having problems with fertilization, the costs can become even more extravagant. In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be another financial squeeze, and it isn’t always covered by insurance. Some people, writes Forbes³, end up paying more than $20,000 in out-of-pocket cash for fertility treatments, which is enough to both wipe out your savings and perhaps even send you into significant debt. IVF procedures that aren’t successful on the first cycle may require additional treatment cycles, which will end up costing much more than any potential adoption.
Adoption costs are usually significantly lower than the costs of IVF according to Forbes⁴. The total amount paid to an adoption agency will, however, depend on a number of factors. Independent adoptions will cost less than adoption agencies, and some Americans might even choose to explore international adoptions, where needy children can be given a happy home for a fraction of the cost of a trip through the American prenatal care system.
How to Find an Adoption Situation That Works for You
Once you’ve finally decided in both your heart and your mind that you would like to adopt a child, you should search for the best situation for yourself and your family. Here are a few options to consider:
- Domestic infant adoption
- Foster-care adoption
- International adoption
- Step-parent/relative adoption
The ultimate goal is to choose the one you’re most comfortable with. Adoption agencies might give you the option of keeping your identifying information from becoming public, but you should check with the regulations to make sure that this is true. Adoption professionals will act as reputable mediators and will give you a good idea of how much contact you can expect with the birth parents.
You should also dedicate yourself to some rigorous research so you know what to expect. You’ll need to consider the following factors:
- Race and program combinations
- Average wait times
- Costs and fees
- Level of comfort (particularly with international adoptions)
- Birth parent contact
- Disclosure of your own health history
As long as you commit to some fact-finding before you embark on your new journey, you’ll be able to quickly put together a checklist of what you’re looking for in an agency. With love, kindness, and an eye toward bettering humanity, you’ll have no problem sliding into your new role as a dedicated parent.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.