Why Motherhood By Adoption Is Not An Option


Adoption is a selfless act but are you selfish if you rule out adoption as a path to motherhood?

Why don't you just adopt they say. Think of all the kids who have no parents who would at least get one. You can bond with a child that does not share your DNA. True but adoption is not an option. It's not about income, passing the home visit with the social worker, or passing the background check. Adoption is a selfless act and a choice to love a child that has no biological tie to you as if they were your own.

People think that because I've been an honorary aunt many times to friends' children and almost a step-mother twice, that adoption would be something I would welcome with open arms. Ironically .... no. I even know couples who have adopted children and are happy with their choice. I am pro-adoption but it's not right for me. My reasons are complex. Part of it derives from this belief that to honor our ancestors is to allow them to live on in descendants. Another aspect is how so much of who we are is DNA. I'm one of those people who believe in genetic personality traits. By that I mean, what forms personality is largely a function of genetically inherited temperament, character, and tendencies.

Environment can alter the expression of the genes we are given but as a base point, our unique set of what constitutes a distinct identity, derives from our chromosomes. While I am not a geneticist by any means, our ancestors give us more than simply our height, body type, hair and eye color, skin tone, and facial features. Ancestors leave each one of us with a legacy that includes our grandfather's gift of rhetoric mixed with his mother's musical talent or your mother's way with crafts combined with her father's mathematical wizardry. Other inheritances, such as scientific genius or an exceptional facility to master other languages, those too are the gifts they passed on. For me, if you respect and appreciate the diversity of abilities on both sides of your family, the natural choice is is to only desire parenthood through biological offspring.

Admitting this is one's stance is unpopular yet to not be honest to oneself is worse than losing popularity. There is only one exception that I or those who think along the same lines would consider. That one option would either be to adopt a child that is a blood relative but whose parents cannot care for them for whatever reason or to step-parent the biological kid(s) of your spouse. DNA is the tie that binds and binds like no other.

This commentary was wriitten on my mother's birthday and inspired by it. I've had many friends and colleagues throughout the years who were adopted as infants. All of them had an inner yearning to know or at least meet their birth mother. They described it as an intense tie to a person who is practically a stranger. As children these friends thought constantly about their real mother and father. These people were very much loved and had happy stable childhood memories. None of them would have given up the experience of being raised by their adoptive mother in favor of the biological one. Despite that the pull of ancestry was instinctive, primal, and undeniable. Every one of them began searching for the woman who gave them life as soon as they turned 18. One by one these friends eventually had the reunion with their birth mother. It was no surprise when every one of them reported how the reconnection with their natural mother resulted in a sense of completion. The meeting, in some way, gave each of them a sense of real origin.