Adoption – An Empowering View

A Message from Our Executive Director

In my experience, I usually encounter two viewpoints of adoption. One, those that believe that adoption is a beautiful and heartwarming experience, especially for the adoptive family. A viewpoint that believes the decision made for placing a child leaves everyone a winner, and life is all rainbows and butterflies.

Others choose to view adoption as rooted in loss. Adoptive parents lose the dream of having biological children. Birth parents lose a child, and a child loses parents. I do not disagree with this, only that this perspective can take precedence over all others, and through this thinking we create adoption victims.

What if we choose another perspective? A perspective that empowers the adoption triad in the experience of adoption- the opposite of victimhood. In an open, voluntary adoption, the birth parents are empowered as life givers, purposeful and sacrificial decision makers, and an equally important first parent of the child. Adoptive parents become secure in their role as sustainers of life, having been chosen as second parents for this child, and understanding the importance of heritage. And adoptees find wholeness as they incorporate both biology and biography from two sets of parents.

From Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, “Adoption can just as easily be viewed as problem solving: people who long to parent get to; people who are unable to parent at a certain time have a way to opt out; a child gets parents who are eager and able to be there, wholeheartedly and forever.” (Holden, 2015, p.131)

There is no doubt that adoption involves both loss and beauty. It is “beautifully broken” on many levels. Yet, we can choose to take the perspective that empowers both families and the child, to heal and be made whole through the experience. To stand strong against a culture that continues to shame birth families for “giving their babies up for adoption”.

Let’s choose an empowering view, a problem solving view, and reposition the culture on adoption. Together we can make a difference, and these families and children deserve it.