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I’m Childfree, Should I Adopt?

December 11, 2011

Earlier this week, when a member of my private Child Free group on Facebook voiced his sentiments about adopting an impoverished Indian orphan with his wife, the community was very supportive. It makes sense. The world is overpopulated, and has many unwanted children in our own developed countries and in third world nations. To provide a needy child with a home, an education and a safe place to grow is very commendable.

Adopting isn’t for everyone but it’s a very viable choice, even for people who decide permanently they do not want to bring children into this world. The Hindustan Times reports there are 20 million orphans in India, about 4% of the whole population and most of them are abandoned childre. Only 0.4% of parents have actually died. The Census India found that the highest population of orphans were in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal where militancy and social unrest were high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childfree people differ from couple to couple, and person to person. Adoption may be an option some are willing to explore as their decision to not bring kids in the world may stem from overpopulation and environmental factors rather than a dislike of children in general. Since child free couples may afford to travel more frequently, it is easy to see firsthand the devastation of poverty in tourist destinations like Brazil, Mexico and Cuba. Witnessing this may open up some consideration to adopting a child and bringing them back to the U.S., Canada or Europe.

Personally, I haven’t ruled out adoption completely although I believe a child is a child whether it comes out of you or another woman–it still requires sacrifices in career, time, personal relationships, money, and other aspects of your life. It is true that with an older adopted child, you do not have to worry about the cost of diapers, daycare and trivial things like potty training. But the transition from a third world nation to a developed one can be taxing and traumatizing to a kid, and the change can be tough for both child and new parents.

International adoption can cost anywhere from $11,000 to $23,000 which in my opinion, is a HEFTY price. But if you want to help a needy child who may not have much of a future in their home country, it is worth the cost. The cheapest places to adopt were India and Thailand with the average cost being $7,500 as reported by UNICEF, and the most expensive being Korea at $12,500. The adoption fee is only a small fee of adopting. You must consider traveling (up to two times to the country of the child) and paying airfare, dossier and home study fees, and even an application fee of a few hundred dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I asked my Childfree group (of roughly 150 members) if they would consider adoption, 30% responded that if they ever changed their mind about being childfree they would only choose adoption. 50% said adamantly “no way, Jose!” and I had a few say “yes” with no explanation and some “maybes”.

When I asked my personal friends, who are between the ages of 23-30 years old and all childfree, two couples said “yes” if they would consider kids, one couple said “no” and two were left undecided. The issue with my friends, who are all gay or lesbian, was that many countries didn’t allow them TO adopt. If they did adopt, it would have to be by a single  parent status.

It is a personal choice, and one that should be as thoroughly thought as having biological children because once you adopt, you cannot just hand the child back. While an admirable choice, adopting may not always be the best option for busy careerists and those who cannot commit the time and energy to a child. If you want to help a needy child but think adoption is too much of a commitment, there is always other alternatives like donating money to organizations that assist orphanages and raising awareness for child labour and other atrocities in developing countries.

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3 Comments
  1. Great blog! When I was 34, my husband (of over seven years at that point) and I realized that we just were never going to have a biological desire to become parents. We did realize that there was the possibility that we would decide – too late – that we did indeed want children, but we both felt that, if that were to happen, then foster care and/or adoption would be a better means of fulfilling our needs. Part of our decision – and I realize that this is “crazy talk” in our society – stems from the fact that we just don’t have a need to bring a human of our genetics into the world. However, I do have to question the whole “idiocracy” standpoint. It does seem that people of a lower socioeconomic status rarely question whether they should bring children into the world, whereas people like my husband and myself (both of whom have done graduate work) are more likely to question the benefit of another child on society. So… what is the answer? I wish I knew.

    • When you say lower, socioeconomic scale, do you mean those in a third world country who do not think it over before procreating or those in our own developed countries?
      In third world countries, I assume procreating is still needed as children will eventually bring money to the family by working. Also, birth control is not widespread like it is here. In some areas of the Philippines, it is even banned altogether!

      If you mean here, from a high school educated couple as opposed to one who did graduate study like you, I believe it differs. There are many people of a lower socio-economic class who aren’t having children because they cannot afford it…and many graduate-educated couples who are enjoying putting their children through private school and having kids because they can easily afford it.

      I believe we have as many poor people procreating as we have rich people. What do you think?

  2. HighGoon permalink

    Despite not wanting children, part of me does feel like I should adopt a child. Simply because I would want to help children who did nothing wrong, but were born to people who either didn’t want them, or couldn’t take care of them.

    It’s very conflicting.

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