Deciding to grow one’s family through adoption is a very personal decision to make. Each prospective adoptive family comes to the adoption process with a unique set of circumstances that have guided their decision to adopt. While there are an infinite number of reasons people choose to adopt, we detail below some of the most common circumstances that bring prospective adoptive parents to Building Blocks Adoption Services.
1. Infertility or Avoiding Pregnancy Complications
Struggles with infertility and potential pregnancy complications are the most common reasons people choose to adopt. According to the CDC, 9% of men and 11% of women of child-bearing age experience difficulties in conceiving a child. While infertility issues only originate with the mother 33% of the time (with 1/3 originating with the father and the last third caused for unknown reasons), the rising age of first-time mothers continues to make infertility one of the most prominent reasons people choose to adopt. In 2016, for the first time ever, the number of women in their 30s having babies surpassed the number of women in their 20s having babies, with the average age of women having their first child rising to 28. This trend in waiting to have children until later in life not only contributes to issues with fertility, but it also contributes to medical complications that may prevent women from safely carrying a child to term. There are several medical factors that may prevent a woman from being able to safely carry a child to term, including autoimmune diseases like lupus, polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid issues, and diabetes, among others. In these situations, adoption offers a beautiful way for these loving parents to grow their family.
2. Concerns about Passing Down Genetic Disorders
Concerns about passing down genetic disorders is also a very common reason couples who are able to conceive and safely carry a child to term choose to adopt. For couples who want to have a family but are worried about their child inheriting genetic diseases that run in the family, like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, adoption offers them the opportunity to grow a family, free from the worry of passing down these genetic diseases.
3. Single People or Same-Sex Couples Who Want to Start a Family
Single people or same-sex couples who want to grow their family very often do so through adoption. More than a quarter of all adoptions in 2017 in the United States were single-parent adoptions, with women accounting for most single-parent adoptions. However, there is a growing segment of single men who are now pursuing adoption. For same-sex couples, adoption is one of the most common ways they choose to have children. Same-sex couples are four times more likely to adopt than different-sex couples, with more than 16,000 same-sex families raising more than 22,000 adopted children.
4. Helping Family Member Who Isn’t Able to Raise their Child
In some cases, adoptive parents come to Building Blocks Adoption Services in order to adopt the child of a family member or friend who is not able to raise their child. This is known as an independent or identified adoption. Though these adoptions sometimes bring with them unique challenges, in many cases when a birthparent is unable to raise their child, foster care workers consider placement with a family member or close friend to be ideal.
5. Adopting a Child (or Adult) They Have a Long-Standing Relationship With
Sometimes, people opt for adoption for purely legal reasons, such as in cases when a stepparent wishes to adopt their stepchild or a foster parent wishes to adopt an adult who has aged out of foster care. In these cases, the adoptive parents already have a long-standing relationship with the adoptee, and they desire to add to that relationship the benefits of being that person’s legal parent. Such benefits may include ensuring parental rights, such as the right to direct medical care, or ensuring the child’s legal benefits, like access to the adoptive parent’s health insurance or inheritance rights provided through state law. Completing an adoption in such cases would provide to both parent and child a legal connection with benefits they would not otherwise have.
6. Because They Just Know They Want to…
For many adoptive parents, there are no mitigating circumstances that lead them to make the choice to adopt. They simply know they want to grow their families through adoption. For some of these families, they recognize a need within the community to provide loving homes to children in need. For others, they realize their ultimate goal is to create a family, and they don’t need to become pregnant to achieve that goal. Some of these adoptive parents were themselves adopted and want to provide the same type of loving home they had.
These are just a few of the most common reasons people choose to adopt. While your reasons for considering adoption may not be included here, they are just as beautiful and loving as you walk this path toward growing your family through adoption. If you are considering adoption, we are here to answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process of lovingly growing your family.