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14 Reasons You Shouldn't Adopt

14 Reasons You Shouldn't Adopt via Babble.comAdoption is a wonderful thing — when it’s done in the right context. There are many reasons to adopt, but there are just as many pretty terrible reasons.

From pressure to fitting in, many people can convince themselves that a child will fix whatever seems to be wrong. When in reality, you’ll need to fix it as best you can before you bring a child, with it’s own needs,  into your family.

Feeling some of these emotions briefly or part of the time is completely normal. Everyone is different; no one will have a perfect marriage or get it all together before the adoption is finalized. But if you’re finding any of the reasons below as your sole purpose in considering adoption, you need to rethink our decision. Slow down, talk it over with your spouse, find a counselor or social worker, and really ponder why it is you want to adopt. You owe that to yourself and the son or daughter who may be waiting for you.

A child should never be a therapist, a savior, or a catch all for your emotional needs. Click through to see things that should never be the only reason (or even one of the reasons) to consider adoption.


  • The Perfect Child 1 of 14
    The Perfect Child
    If your goal is to bring home a beautiful, perfect baby to love — move on. Every child comes with their own needs and issues. Whether it's immediate or later. There is no such thing as a perfect child, and basing an adoption on looks is a terrible way to go about building a family.
  • Your Biological Clock is Ticking 2 of 14
    Your Biological Clock is Ticking
    Whether you are 27 or 49, adoption is not a process to be rushed. It deserves your complete consideration and time. Slow down and take a while to make sure this is a decision that is the best for you both and a child you may bring home.
  • The Martyr Syndrome 3 of 14
    The Martyr Syndrome
    If thoughts like, "My friends will think I'm such an incredible person," cross your mind when you think about adopting, then you're not ready. When the baby is up all night screaming with colic or giving you the bird at 16 as she walks out the door with her boyfriend, your friends jealousy in your selfless act will be the furthest thing from your mind.
  • Saving That Poor Child 4 of 14
    Saving That Poor Child
    Children don't need to be saved. They also don't need to be brought into a family that thinks that's what happened. Often this turns into a, "You owe me, look what we did for you," kind of situation where no one wins. Become a doctor if you want to save someone.

    Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar via Flickr
  • Unconditional Love 5 of 14
    Unconditional Love
    This is a hard one — because of course we all want our children to love us. But adopting with specifically because you want a child to love you back isn't realistic. Most adopted children go through RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) at some point. The love between two complete strangers takes time, and there are no guarantees it will ever be unconditional on their end. It should be on yours.
  • All Those Tax Breaks! 6 of 14
    All Those Tax Breaks!
    Just — no. Really, if this is one of your reasons, then don't adopt. You'll spend far, far more over their lifetime raising them than any tax break will give you back.
  • You’re Lonely 7 of 14
    You're Lonely
    Get a pet. A child isn't meant to fill a hold in your heart. They need you.
  • The Pressure is On 8 of 14
    The Pressure is On
    Do you feel your spouse looming over you about it? Have you been married a while and everyone keeps asking, "When are you two going to pop out a baby?" Adoption is a very different process from a pregnancy, so don't cave to the pressure. Make an informed choice about what's right for your family.
  • She Needs a Playmate 9 of 14
    She Needs a Playmate
    The only child comments can irk anyone. "She'd be so much more social if she had a sibling!" "Little Jeffery just excels because we gave him a baby brother!" "She'd be such a good little mama to a baby!" All great reasons to give your child a hamster until you and your spouse are ready to add another child — because you want another child. Not a playmate.
  • Your Husband Will Come Around 10 of 14
    Your Husband Will Come Around
    Just like an unexpected pregnancy, there is a huge risk in jumping into adding a child to your family, when only one of you is ready for it. There is only so far you can get with adoption when the other party isn't a willing participant, but plunking down costs for application fees and paperwork will only lead to resentment on both ends. And more than likely, you just caused a bigger rift by even talking about adoption now.
  • All Your Friends Are Doing It 11 of 14
    All Your Friends Are Doing It
    A baby is not a Coach purse. Just because your best friend adopted a child and so did the parents in your playgroup does not mean it's the right choice for your family. Adoption comes with it's own set of worries and stresses, not to mention that you're making a lifelong commitment to another human being.
  • A Child Will Save Your Marriage 12 of 14
    A Child Will Save Your Marriage
    Nope. Adoption can be incredibly stressful. It has it's own ups and downs and can fall through. You'll need to have a pretty strong marriage already before you take the plunge into the very emotional world that is sure to cause more stress with the joy.
  • Pretending They Are Biologically Yours 13 of 14
    Pretending They Are Biologically Yours
    There are so many reasons I can list to urge parents to tell their children the truth about their adoption. But honestly — if you want to adopt a child that looks like you and is young enough not to know about it, reconsider. Every child deserves to know their past, their medical history, and that families can be made in all kinds of ways and still be a family.
  • You’ll Be Like a Celebrity 14 of 14
    You'll Be Like a Celebrity
    Katherine, Angelina, Sandra — all the cool kids are doing it! But you don't see what goes on behind the scenes as these families help their children adjust to their lifestyle and families. Raising a child from a different culture or just a different background is difficult and time consuming. Wanting to add a child to your family because you want to "look good" is a very poor choice.

    Photo from www.lukeford.net via Wikimedia Commons

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Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption on the aptly named Hormonal ImbalancesSmaller glimpses into her day are on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

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