I used to feel like I had to justify my answer to this question to strangers and family and friends alike. There have been so many times when I have confided in someone willing to listen to my struggle who then say “Why don’t you just try adopting through CYFD? There are a ton of kids who need homes.” While I agree with the latter part of this statement I am always surprised by the first. Foster care and adopting through the state are not the same as “adoption”. When I hear this my instinct it to immediately fire back with “Why don’t you try adopting or becoming a foster-parent? There are so many kids…”, but I don’t. My reason for this is because you don’t have to be infertile to foster or adopt a child through the state; anyone can do it! On the flip side, “traditional adoption” doesn’t require you to be infertile either, but I will say it is probably the preferred path of someone who wants to start a family just like all the rest of the people in this world who can just get pregnant when they want to start theirs.
I will say that fostering and adopting through the state is a very noble path and I have nothing against it. Doug and I just know it is not the right fit for us. We have had over 50+ hours of training, home visits and meetings with CYFD to make this decision. Here are some of the reasons why:
- I am selfish. Just like someone who gets pregnant I want to be the very first (or second or even third) person to hold my baby. I want to be there from the beginning to change the first diapers, give the first bath, see the first smile, and hear her say “dad” for the first time. Could you imagine carrying a baby for 9 months and not seeing your child until its 5th birthday? What do you think it would feel like to miss out on those 5 years?
- I want the birth mom to choose us. It is very special to me that the birthparents can choose who parent their child. They will choose us because they trust that we will do the best we can. Much thought and intent goes into this life-changing decision. A decision like this can only bond someone in a positive way, for life.
- I need someone to advocate for me. I have never adopted and am inexperienced in the intricacies that adoption bring. I know that it will not be easy and because of this I need a caseworker to hold my hand along the way; just like a doctor or nurse would during an entire pregnancy. I have no doubt that my agency will do just that, I know this because they already have. During our time with CYFD we realized very quickly that there was no one there to advocate for us.
- I want my child to know that they were placed for adoption with the intention of love. I want them to know exactly why they were adopted. I don’t think I am capable of explaining to them that it could have happened in any other way, i.e. a series of negative events that brought them into the system. I just don’t have the strength or emotional disguise for this.
While some don’t agree with my reasons, that’s ok. It took me a long time to understand that I am not selfish for wanting to start a family in the way I have chosen.
Thanks for reading.