The question “Is child adoption good or bad?” often arises when prospective parents seek to adopt a child from a dangerous situation, such as those that may occur in abusive circumstances. For these parents, the decision to adopt a child from a situation of abuse can be heartbreaking. In order to decide if adopting a child from a dangerous environment is the best option, one must consider what the advantages and disadvantages of doing so are.
Adoption, by definition, is the act of putting a child into a new family. Adopting a child from a dangerous environment eliminates any risk that could be posed by the child’s natural parents. The birth mother and father will both be required to pass the necessary background checks to adopt the child. The new family will also be asked to undergo therapy and counseling in order to prepare them for raising the child in a safe and healthy environment. While these benefits certainly outweigh the disadvantages of adopting a child out of a dangerous environment, it should be noted that the benefits do not negate the disadvantages.
The most obvious disadvantage of adopting a child out of a dangerous environment is the possibility of harm coming to the child. Most abusive situations involving children result in psychological issues that the child has to face. Adoption agencies specialize in working with adoptive parents who have experienced similar psychological issues in the past. Since all adoptive parents have a unique history of abuse and neglect, there is a good chance that the adopted child will have similar psychological difficulties to deal with.
Another disadvantage of adopting a child from an abusive environment is the possibility of exploitation. Though many adoption agencies take care of the screening and grooming of the child, potential caregivers and/or exploiters may try to take advantage of the child in some way. This could include the possibility of forcing the child to perform dangerous tasks or be placed in a situation where they could be sexually abused. An adoption agency can minimize this risk by taking measures to screen and interview any possible caregivers.
Adoption agencies also provide protection for the child in the form of a protective child custody agreement. This type of agreement protects the child in a variety of ways from a number of potential threats. It may be used to limit the time the child spends away from his/her biological parents, prevent any visitation by non-related family members, and prevent any contact with the birth parent or adoptive parents. As the agreement is drawn up between the adoptive parents and biological parents, it becomes standard practice to include a provision allowing the biological parents to visit their child occasionally and/or allow for medical visits.
Child adoption also provides opportunities to interact with other children from different backgrounds. Though the child has already been placed with an adopted family, the prospect of interacting with other children of his/her age, culture, and religion can be an enriching experience. Many churches offer special programs that welcome unwed or gay families. Adoption agencies and other groups also provide these services.
While the idea of sharing one’s child with another adult makes some parents feel comfortable, it can also cause anxiety, stress, and fear in the child. For children who have experienced this situation in the past, the idea of living with strangers on a daily basis can be overwhelming. If the prospective parents are truly concerned about the child’s well being, they should consider the possibility of doing a thorough background check on the prospective adoptive parents. This can help them find out if they have any history of child abuse or neglect and can help prevent the parents from adopting a child who may become a victim.
Is child adoption good or bad? The answer depends largely on the parents. Good foster parents can make a huge positive difference in the lives of children. Unfortunately, many children are removed from loving and nurturing homes for a variety of reasons and given to terrible environments where the best care is sometimes not even available. If the adoption process is planned carefully and responsibly, however, child adoption can be a wonderful chance for a child to have a stable and loving home.