Top Benefits and Challenges of Choosing LGBT Adoption as a Birth Mother
As a birth mother, you made the choice to place your baby for adoption because you want the best possible outcome for your child. You seek to pave the way for his or her success in any way you can, even though you won’t be the one raising your child. Most importantly, you want the most qualified adoptive parents to bring up your child, and Adoption Choices of Kansas is committed to helping you find those parents.
In your search for the adoptive parents who will fit best for you and your child, you may come across LGBT couples and individuals as potential matches. If you think they are meant to be the ones to raise your child — congratulations! You have found a loving family, which can give you a sense of relief and peace. As you take steps toward choosing an adoptive family, you might still have questions before finalizing everything. In order to make an informed decision, you want to make sure you are weighing all the pros and cons for whatever route you choose. While all adoptions have multiple factors to consider, there are potential benefits and challenges unique to LGBT adoption that you will want to think about.
Keep in mind that no matter what questions you have along the way, feel free to reach out to your local adoption center as it is a rich resource of information, support and guidance. Adoption Choices of Kansas has amazing resources on LGBT adoption and will be your strongest support system throughout your adoption journey.
Benefit: A Lesson in Authenticity
One of the most important lessons you start to learn when growing up is how to be the most authentic version of yourself. It may seem like an obvious lesson to learn, but it’s one that requires life experience and deep self-reflection. While it’s something that we all must learn in order to become well-adjusted and mature adults, members of the LGBT community have a particularly strong relationship with this concept. It is likely something they’ve had to wrestle with their whole lives in a very profound and unique way.
That said, they can be in a good position to serve as a role model for your child to live authentically and can effectively guide your child along the path that will help him or her reach their full potential. After all, how can you truly and completely give of yourself without knowing and embracing yourself first?
Challenge: Discrimination and Prejudice
It’s amazing how far we’ve come over the last decade regarding LGBT acceptance. Despite the great strides that have been made legally and culturally, however, there’s still a non-negligible portion of our society that disapproves of the LGBT community due to rigid religious beliefs or other personal prejudices. As a birth mother, it’s completely understandable that you don’t want to subject your child to any possible ridicule or harassment for having gay parents no matter how well they will raise your child. Growing up is difficult enough, and it’s only natural to want to eliminate as many hardships as possible for your child.
The good news is that as LGBT acceptance grows, the less likely your child will have to face bullying and judgement because of their parents. Even so, the silver lining of hardship is that it can serve as an opportunity for your child to develop a thick skin and strong character as he or she learns how to stand up for himself or herself.
Benefit: Fostering Empathy and Tolerance
Growing up with LGBT parents will show your child that being different is not necessarily something to fear or be ashamed of. When such a benign difference is normalized on a daily basis, your child will likely be more open to those who don’t fit into societal norms. This environment can effectively facilitate the development of empathy in your child so that he or she not only understands but appreciates perspectives and lifestyles that are different from their own or that may not be as common.
Of course, this is something that all parents can teach their children, but children of LGBT parents are in the unique position of getting to live out this value every day without thinking twice about it.
Challenge: Where’s Mommy/Daddy?
As thrilling as it is to find an adoptive family that is the right fit for your child, you may understandably have concerns about your child not knowing his or her biological parents. This can happen whether the adoptive parents are heterosexual or part of the LGBT community; however, if you choose a same-sex couple or individual as the adoptive family, your child may also eventually have questions about why they don’t have a mommy or a daddy depending on the situation.
Be assured that this is completely normal and is not a poor reflection of your choice to have your child raised by two people who love each other that just happen to be of the same sex. As your child begins to interact with children of heterosexual parents, your child is bound to notice that there’s something different about his or her parents which may prompt him or her to bring it up sooner or later out of curiosity. This can be an important learning moment for your child to understand that being different is okay, and that his or her adoptive parents are just as valid and loving anyone else’s parents. Again, this can instill a sense of tolerance and acceptance in your child that will stay with him or her for life.
Weighing Benefits and Challenges throughout Your Adoption Journey
Still, if you have concerns, it is helpful to discuss with the adoptive parents how they plan on discussing adoption with your child, and if you will be included in that conversation. Additionally, if it’s important to you that your child has a role model of the sex opposite to that of the adoptive parents, you should discuss with the adoptive parents how they will incorporate this into how they raise your child. Often, they will share your desire to ensure that your child will grow up surrounded by a network of strong men and women who are regularly part of your child’s life and that he or she can look up to. Remember, just because something comes with a challenge does not mean it should be avoided, as it can serve as a means for growth in the long-run.
Through your loving choice of adoption, you are giving your child the best shot at life. When considering LGBT adoption, your choice is also an act of compassion toward the adoptive parents as you are giving them the gift of life they would otherwise not be able to achieve on their own. Because of this, you are giving your child’s adoptive parents the opportunity to be the parents they were meant to be.
If you are interested in pursuing this path, Adoption Choices of Kansas can help you determine if any such couples or individual are right for your child.
Meet the Author: Mary DeStefano is an Ohio native currently living in northern Virginia and works in the litigation consulting industry where she has experience in antitrust, product liability, and mass torts matters. She holds a B.A. in Economics (‘15) and an M.A. in Applied Economics (‘16) from the University of Cincinnati.
Mary finds great meaning in wielding the written word to develop impactful narratives and to help people stay informed. In her spare time, Mary can be found beachcombing and going on other adventures with her dog along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. She also has an affinity for antiquing and loves a good 80’s movie marathon.