Is it Selfish to Want a Second, Third, or Fourth Child?

Dawn Davenport

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Is it selfish to want a big family if you are adopting or in fertility treatment?

Is it selfish to want a big family if you are adopting or in fertility treatment? Are you tempting fate to try again?

If you’ve been blessed to have had a child either through infertility treatment, the “old fashioned way”, or through adoption, is it selfish to want another one or two or three?  Are you tempting fate?  No one questions your desire when you’re trying for your first.  In fact, most folks assume you’re somewhat suspect if you don’t want at least one.  The decision to go to two is also usually beyond reproach.  After all, our society frowns on only children.   But, speaking for myself, when I started to crave a third, people’s responses changed.  This is what I heard (perhaps said more politely), either from others or from that little voice in the back of my head:

  • You have two healthy kids, why push your luck.
  • Why run the risk that this next child will have big problems or will disrupt the happy balance in your family.
  • Is it fair to the two children you already have to add another child to the family that will take time, energy and money.
  • It’s environmentally irresponsible to have more than two children.  (This was said even though we were planning to adopt internationally because they reasoned that a child raised in the US will use so many more resources than a child raised almost anywhere else.)
  • Isn’t your life busy enough (read: chaotic) without adding another child.
  • You’ll be taking even more time away from your husband, and marriages need attention to flourish.
  • The financial cost of raising a child will add a burden on you and your husband for the rest of your life.
  • It’s selfish for you to take a child when you already have two since there are people wanting to adopt who don’t have any. (This said even though there was almost no wait to adopt a special needs child.)

By the time we got around to adding a fourth child, people just thought we were nuts and didn’t bother to give much advice. Of course, we made that more likely since we didn’t tell anyone until it was a done deal, and she would be arriving in a few months.

Knowing When Your Family is Complete

Knowing when your family is complete is such an individual decision and is influenced by so many factors.  How much we enjoy the early stages of parenting?  How much chaos can we tolerate or enjoy?  What did we dreamed of when we were little?  How we view our primary identity?  How important is our career?  How much money do we make, and how much do we need to live comfortably? And on and on.

For me, it came down to the fact that I loved being a mom. I wanted a big raucous family, not only when they were little, but also when they were grown.  When I looked into my future, I saw my Thanksgiving table loaded to the max with people of all ages.  Notice that all of the above statements contained the word “I”.  Humm, that’s beginning to sound pretty darn selfish.

Is it Selfish?

Is it selfish to want more when you’ve already been blessed beyond belief?  Well, yes I guess it is. But I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  Isn’t it inherently selfish to want the first or the second child?  Isn’t it inherently selfish to want to get married?  Most of the big decision I’ve made have been because they felt right for me.  When I got married and started having children, I also factored in what was right for them, but let’s face it, sometimes you simply don’t know how things are going to turn out.  Parenting, regardless of which child we’re talking about, is a leap of faith and on some level a little bit selfish.

Did you ever question if you should have more kids? Did you ever hear any of the objections I mentioned either from others or the little voice in your head?

Image credit: Nathan Rupert

12/07/2011 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 45 Comments



45 Responses to Is it Selfish to Want a Second, Third, or Fourth Child?

  1. Amy says:

    This topic hits home as we have a biological daughter (5years), whom we were lucky enough to conceive fairly easily. I’m not bragging by any means, it’s just the way it worked out for us. Not long after our daughter was born (as in the first 6 months) my husband & I agreed she would be our one & only, so my husband got a vasectomy. We were very happy with our decision for 3 years. And when we did begin to feel a pull toward adding to our family, we never questioned trying to have another biological child- we knew we wanted to adopt. I did not want to be pregnant again, and I most certainly did not want to go through the infant-stage again. So we immediately threw ourselves into international adoption. We chose to focus on SN adoption of a toddler. We’ve been home with our almost 2-year-old son for about 2 months & are ready to start the process again!

    On the flip side, we have a family friend who has a biological son & then began having miscarriages when she tried for a second child. They have tried multiple attempts at IVF (relying on her parents to provide funding for them), & she recently experienced an ectopic pregnancy which destroyed one of her tubes. I realize that adoption is not for everyone, but it makes me sick to watch her destroy her body in this pursuit to have only biological children.

    While I understand & appreciate that the wait times are made longer by each family who begin the adoption process, we need to look at the big picture. Each one of these families represents at least one (sometimes more) child who will now have a family that did not have one before. Whatever the reasons behind their decision, the kids will benefit. I know all too well about delays in the process, but I have the absolute belief that each child is placed into their parents arms at just the right moment in time- Everything happens for a reason!

  2. Pat Irwin Johnston says:

    @Dawn, I know that many social workers themselves are against out of birth order adoption–not always because of their training, but often because “that’s the way it has always been.” But do you know of states that actually “forbid” this? @Christine, as an adoption educator, I support the need for extensive preparation for families–especially when there is something “different” about their placement (such as tranracial, older child, out of birth order, orphanage or other trauma background.) I know it feels like jumping through hoops, but if it’s done well it can make all the difference in the world for the new child, for the siblings already there, for the parents, for the family as a whole. As a publisher, this was what made me LOVE and want to publish Arleta James’ Brothers and Sisters in Adoption.

  3. Debbie Seher Lambrecht says:

    We completed hours of counseling in order to be approved to adopt out of birth order. We are adopting older than our youngest(almost 2) but younger than our next oldest(9). It was a hard road to get an approved hs for an out of order adoption…I do appreciate the counseling we received, but wish it was easier to get waiting kids into loving homes:)

  4. Christine Ashton says:

    Years ago kids weren’t asking for designer clothes, video games, etc. Kids made do with what they had and were happy. Why can’t we do that today? Kids need homes too. So many are in orphanages, foster care, the streets. How can people be against them getting homes, even though they’ll have to share with many other kids?

  5. Christine Ashton says:

    I don’t understand why so many people are against big families. Up until recently, it was normal. Now, with all the “great stuff we own” and better medical care, etc. nearly everyone wants small families. If people can provide for a big family, and that’s what they want, then it’s not wrong.

  6. Hollie Roxanne Ferrall says:

    We were not allowed to adopt when we lived in the UK for this reason, and here in Canada they frown upon it too. Often many waiting children are listed stipulating they be the youngest or only child because of their needs too. That is why we had to go international. We would not even be considered for domestic adoption here because my son is three.

  7. Pat Irwin Johnston says:

    @Hollie I’ve run into agencies that discourage adopting out of birth order, but I’m not aware of a state that has legislated this. There are too many waiting kids for the Feds to accept such a rule, I would think.

  8. Hollie Roxanne Ferrall says:

    @Pat- unfortunately there are many families in adoption that would love to accept a referral of an older child but are not able to because of agency/state rules which stipulate that the adopted child has to be the youngest, sometimes by as much as two years. So that may be the reason why they are always adopting younger children too…

  9. Tera Teresa Billes says:

    When you truly believe that it’s no one’s business but your own and that your life is yours alone to live, what other people think and do will no longer affect how you feel about your own choices. Your choices are your responsibility. Their choices are theirs. End of blurring up the stories and being pulled to and fro by other people’s reactions or emotions or perceptions.

  10. Debbie Seher Lambrecht says:

    I sometimes feel that having kids is an initiation into soul terrorizing fear that something awful might happen to them…toppling down the stairs, drowning, car accidents, teen dating…OY!
    But tempting fate by having more? I haven’t worried about that. I’ve done my best to meet and anticipate the needs of each of my children. Our “normal” kids have had us utilize many different resources…they like to keep us on our toes:) After nearly 15 years of parenthood, I aware of my limitations. I also know that my husband and I are up to the challenge of parenthood and are excited to add to our family again!
    Two of my friends lost newborns this year(. For one woman, it was her first child(Triploidy) For the other, it was the 11th(trisomy 18).Both women walked through the heartbreaking journey with extraordinary grace. The second woman got a lot of comments about tempting fate. I just don’t believe that is how the world works…

  11. Pat Irwin Johnston says:

    I’ll stay away from a discussion about families like the Duggars. That’s another issue all of its own. The only times I think of big families which include adoption as selfish are when, in adopting, the family wants only a healthy infant–too many families have a hard time finding one! When families grow by adopting waiting kids here and abroad, I feel good about those kids having found a home. This all assumes that the parents have every reason to believe that they can live long enough to raise these kids and/or they have a good plan in mind for keeping them together afterwards. We actually knew well one very large family that kept growing despite the mom’s cancer diagnosis. She died, and a handful of years later so did the dad. None of the oldest birth children could handle such responsibility and the kids were scattered back into foster care and some new adoptions.

  12. Cyndi Gustafson Repanshek says:

    No, but it seems that at least every six months, she or one of her children add to the family once again.

  13. Cyndi Gustafson Repanshek says:

    I don’t know if I feel selfish if people want 2, 3, 4, or more kids. We have been trying to add a child to our family for almost 11 years now (and are having SIGNIFICANT difficulty with our international adoption) and I will admit that I do have times when I find myself saying, “Its not fair,” but I don’t think I’d ever call another person selfish. (However, I will admit that I irrationally complain about the Duggar’s “flaunting” their fertility). I will say that I’ve had people call ME selfish because we wanted to have our own child through IVF or wanted a baby.

  14. Erin Gallagher Morrey says:

    I think it’s more that you feel the joy in the child(ren) that you already have and want to increase that joy. Is it “selfish”? Maybe, but only if you consider that we’re raising our children has a lot of hard work involved. The happiness is more a general contentment than pure “sun-shining-out-at-every-moment” happiness, and I think contentment is a wonderful thing in life. We’ve got two bio children conceived after IF treatments and one child through adoption.

  15. Debbie Seher Lambrecht says:

    I do feel guilty when hearing about other folks struggles with infertility. Our fifth child was adopted and she was every bit as desired as each of our children. With our second adoption we decided to expand our parameters and adopt an “older” child with special needs. We can’t wait to have her home and are equally as excited to parent her! But I must admit that our feeling that we have been blessed 5 times with newborns was part of our reason for choosing to adopt an older child…

  16. Hollie Roxanne Ferrall says:

    But at the same time I have wanted to adopt from the time I can remember, so I would be devastated if we were not able to. Our family seems incomplete at the moment.

  17. Hollie Roxanne Ferrall says:

    There is a catch to it, because I am finding that I am so preoccupied with the process of adopting #3 that my first two are kinda missing out on me being here and present. In the situation we find ourselves, there are too few children available for the waiting families. We would have never foreseen this predicament when we started the process. Now, I see other families who have struggled with fertility and I do feel guilty in one sense for not being content with the two children I have. I see couples who would be thrilled with the chance to have just one child, whilst many families, much larger than ours even, are bring home 2 and 3 at a time, making the adoption process seem easy. It must hurt.

  18. Cathy W says:

    Gosh, I think it depends on “why” someone is choosing to have children (in any way possible) to determine if it’s out of selfish reasons.

    I can only speak for myself and my husband who is on board with our decision for children.

    Our family is blessed by adoption. I am adopted, so it made sense that I would adopt and eventually find a husband that would want to also. And I did! 😀

    It wasn’t until after our first adoption from China, that our decision to adopt would be turned from because “I want to” to “because we are led”, hence the name of our blog.

    We truly believe it is our calling to care for the orphans and widows as we have been called.

    I cannot tell you how much that makes a difference in the way we view adoption to follow God’s lead.

    I have just returned home from China 2 weeks ago with our newest son who is 12 yrs old. This is our 3rd adoption from China.

    Literally, right before I read this post, my youngest son who is 3 yrs old, said to me, “Momma you have 3 kids.” “Yes, that’s right I do.” (Mind you not including my 3 step-kids as well). 😀

    I then asked, “should we make it 4?” All my kids chimed in, “YES!”

    Yes, I am one happy momma. 😀

    • Dawn says:

      Cathy, I just checked out your site. What a beautiful family you have. Michael seems to have adjusted particularly well. Yes, you are blessed.

  19. Tera Teresa Billes says:

    And it won’t matter if you have no children or many children…it’s what you focus on and put your energy into that matters. As long as you give and receive love and let go of unmet expectations, your soul will be able to find peace and joy.

  20. Tera Teresa Billes says:

    If life is one big distraction, you don’t have time to think about regrets. There’s too much opportunity for joy. That’s what I think is behind having a big family. I don’t think any of it is wrong as long as there is a willingness to love and sacrifice for those put in your care. Joy and sorrow will surely follow – if the focus is on love, acceptance and surrender, joy will triumph over sorrow.

  21. Debbie Seher Lambrecht says:

    Yes, i suppose a little selfishness goes into the desire to have kids. We are working on number 6 and I wouldn’t have it any other way:) I’m blessed to have a “more is merrier” crew! We have definitely gotten comments, but my reply is that it takes all types of families to make life great…

  22. Rebecca says:

    I have three amazing kiddos,but we are adopting our 4th via domestic adoption. I agonized over the “selfishness” of wanting a fourth child. Our social worker assured me that it is NOT selfish to adopt a child if you can love and care for them. She also assured me that is was not selfish to adopt an infant as our youngest is three and we were advised strongly not to disrupt birth order. I want a fourth child but not at the expense of my current children. We have a social worker in our family that spelled out for us the demands a foster or older child would place on our family and I didn’t feel we could do that (now). Our social worker also assured me that by adopting an infant we are NOT taking a baby away from another family seeking adoption. Unfortunately, there is a never-ending string of children in need of homes in this country. And, if families don’t want to wait two to three years to adopt a healthy infant, then they might consider adopting a child that is not Caucasian. We are adopting an African American boy and were matched with this child just two months after signing on with our adoption agency.

  23. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I are both legally blind. We have three bio kids who also have my eye condition, and are very close to finalizing an international adoption of a fourth child who is also legally blind (different eye condition though). People could not believe that we’d have a third child knowing she/he would be legally blind, and their jaws dropped when we announced our plans to adopt. I got many of the above mentioned opinions disguised as questions of concern. Add the blindness issue, and several people acted like I was single handedly screwing up the human genome.

    We, like you, wanted a large family to go through life with now, and in the future. Sure I have to forgo luxuries such as pedicures, bottled blond hair, and designer clothes. My kids have to share bedrooms, TVs and other electronics. But, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. They still each have a lot of love, fun, one extra curricular activity of their choice, and all the food they can eat. The bottom line for us is what more can you give your children than each other? As for the blindness piece…we are both happy, healthy, well educated, and independent people. There is no reason to expect anything less out of any one of our four children. If they do not develop to their full potential, and make bad choices it won’t be because of their lack of vision.

  24. longing for 3 says:

    I know I’m really late but never know when something on web will speak to you. I’m really longing for a third. I’m single and dreamed of children since I was a kid. I wanted 5-6. I finally adopted one older child ten years ago from US who is now 17, but likely to live with me forever. I adopted 3 years ago from Russia and been watching a child grow older and older (now 9 years old) on the US site. I have tons of excuses: house to small, my first son likely not leaving home anytime soon if ever, he’s too close to my current son, fear of my friends, only have 2 bedrooms so he’d have to share, but he keeps growing older and older. Everytime I check the site he is still there and I think I could have given him a home 2 years ago! Scared to call my homestudy agency as afraid I’ll look like some ‘freak’ who is never happy with what have. Helped that my first adoption was one of those horror stories you hear about, but all good now, well, fair now. Second was storybook adoption, I feel like I can handle anything now but also am being choosy! Like I want him, whatever the issues are I’ll find a way, etc…sigh…I see other kids who would be a better match in that they are younger for example (this boy I’m obsessing over would be between my youngest and oldest now) or younger kids with less needs but this boy is speaking to me! Every time I check I hope and dread he has been moved to ‘hold, placement pending’.

  25. maarten says:

    Having more than 2 children is selfish. Don’t get me wrong. But most people only thinks of what is NOW. not what is tomorrow. But in my opinion having 3 children is like saying.. screw my grandchildren I dont care if they die.
    Why?, you ask. Well the population is ever growing and growing. it has increased from 2 bilion to 7 bilion in less than 100 years. we are using more than this earth can provide. If we don’t act… we will suffer major consiquences. overpopulation is the core problem we face nowadays. every person needs space, food and water. we just cannot deliver that much longer. reaching 10 bilion people at this point before the year 2060 is inevitable.

    so yes having more than 2 children is like saying fk this world I want more children I don’t care if their children will die from hunger or w/e.

    I’m sorry if anyone feels harassed. you should only feel that way if you KNEW.

    • Emily says:

      I completely agree with you, even if I would have stated it a slightly different way. Having more than 2 biological children (i.e. more than replacing yourself and your partner) is unbelievably selfish. The world is so full already. No offense to those who have had more than their two, but I do resent that some people feel entitled to contribute to overpopulation by having 3+ kids. You’re basically saying that if we want to keep the world as healthy as it is now (I use “healthy” with some hesitation), other couples need to limit their children to 1 or forgo having kids entirely because passing on your genes is more important.

      I was, however, suprised to find that people include adoption with this. I would never count a third or fourth adopted child against someone. Even if you are contributing to environmental problems in some way by bringing an international adoptee to a first world country, you didn’t bring that child into the world. You’re giving someone who exists a better life, rather than creating a new life that wouldn’t otherwise have been.

  26. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for expressing your feelings. My hubby and I are contemplating having another child, which would be our 4th, but only 2nd together. I have 2 girls from a previous marriage and we have 1 boy together. I, too, am struggling with these feelings of “selfishness”. My hubby first proposed the idea of a 4th child. He really enjoys being a father. I am not at all opposed but there are 3 reasons why I am slightly hesitant. 1)Money. We make enough but currently enjoy spoiling our 3 with the latest and greatest in toys, clothes, and electronics and we would have to make a few cuts there. Is that fair to them? 2)What our parents would say. My father-in-law came from a large family and was often “overlooked” and he thought our 3rd was too many, although we know he couldn’t imagine life without him. 3)Am I playing Russian Roulette with a 4th? What if it isn’t healthy? That would put a larger strain on finances.
    I do know that one of the things that makes my hubby and I a good match is that he is one that often doesn’t care what people think and I usually care too much. So, I occasionally remind him to respect the feelings of others and he reminds me that in the end, ours are the feelings that matters the most. So, we are just down to money and health. Which is where I question myself about my “selfishness”. I am very glad to know that this is a common conflict of feelings and that I am not the only one who has experienced this kind of doubt in this situation. It really helps to know this and that is why I greatly appreciate your time in expressing your feelings.

    • Dawn says:

      Tara, I think one of the reasons it is a hard decision for some is that it is not only their desires they have to consider, but also what is in the best interest of the children they already have. Is it fair to them? I understand completely. Good luck with your decision.

  27. Dina says:

    Considering how much work children are, I think the term “selfish” is a very weird choice indeed!

    What do people mean by “don’t push your luck”? Do they think you have a set amount of “luck” written somewhere in the sky? Show me the location.
    And why is it luck if things work out for you, and not an achievement of yours and your family? And if it an achievement, wouldn’t it then be irresponsible NOT to give you another child so that another child in need could profit from your love and expertise?

    I also find the environmentally friendlyness argument very strange (to put it mildly). Would it be better that child remained in an (often badly run) orphanage somewhere else? And if you really want to push that argument, I’d say it would be most environmentally friendly, if we all killed ourselves. If those people are truly concerned, they should consider moving somewhere where THEIR carbon footprint is smaller!

    I have read about 20 specialist books on adoption, translated two of them, listened to about 100-200 hours of podcasts on adoption and psychology, taken an attachment theory and a developmental psychology seminar, have just signed up for my second dev psych seminar, and have completed a prep group and homestudy – show me the birth parent that prepares that well for their child! What have those “advisors” to show for themselves? Stereotypes and prejudices. I have been told so many crazy things by people who don’t know snoopy-doo, I refuse to listen to any of that nonsense.

  28. Donor Diva says:

    I would love to have a second child but I also know where our line is drawn in the sand. We conceived our first child via egg donation and we have 1 embryo on ice. We figure try on our own for now and in the next year or 2 do an FET. If nothing comes of it, we will be happy with what we got. Maybe?

  29. L.B. says:

    We had a bio, then could not conceive again. The first wanted a sister, I wanted a second and our adopted daughter (older-4) needed a family. I can’t think it was wrong, though I was so envious of everyone through various stages that I understand people feeling pain if they think our story caused them to have to wait longer. I think the anger should be validated but it is a bit misdirected. Internationally and domestically, so many kids need homes. The system is the culprit. For us, India was over zealous, and homeland security was over the top in the US. I also think the costs are criminal and classist. I think the Hague has to do their job but somewhere there has to be some sanity. We waited two long years while or child languished. The kids are waiting too long. In the meantime, the families suffer too. It is competitive, which is a terrible shame. I send support to all those waiting. It will end. Hang in there!!!!

  30. Pat, no, I don’t know of any state that forbids out of birth order placement. The problem isn’t with a law, it’s with what the social workers feel is in the best interest of the child. What they feel is in the best interest of the child could and likely is influenced by what they believe is best, and it is true that some social workers are dead set against out of birth order placements. But with older kids in care, I don’t see this as often. You are just as likely to see the recommendation that the particular child be the oldest or the only child. I would assume this is because the social worker knows something of the child’s history and believes this is best.

  31. Laurice Thompson says:

    As a single mom I got crazy looks when I announced I wanted to adopt a second child. Seems people were concerned as to whether or not I could afford to raise two children (funny how donations were never mentioned!) and of course I was tempting fate because I may not “get a healthy baby.” Was I acting selfishly? You bet! I wanted to be a mommy so I adopted my first. I wanted to be a mommy again and for my son to have a sibling (unlike me) so I adopted a second. I was never one to care what others thought, having children felt so right to me. While I have no plans to adopt more, I never say never because you just don’t know what’s in store for you. I say, as long as you know your limitations and consider the life you can offer the child, go for it!

  32. Monica says:

    I have been struggling with this for a while now. My husband and I have a bio-daughter who is almost 6 and I/we have decided we’re ready for another child. Since I was young, I’ve always felt the “pull” to adopt a child someday. I have been researching adoption like mad and still very interested, but we’ve been overwhelmed with the requirements (it’s very hard with our work schedules to work out going to MAPP classes, waiting for an infant adoption is of course a long, expensive process, etc) and so many in my life, including a small voice in my head, have been saying, “why don’t you just ‘make’ another baby yourselves?'” Only because I am so intimidated by the adoption system, I have begun to cave into this voice. I still think longingly and often about adoption though, and feel at odds with the whole thing. I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what is behind my strong desire to have another child (other than our daughter constantly asking for a sibling when she is bored!). I do feel that “nature” call of being a mom and when I see others with babies or toddlers, I greatly miss that time and yearn to experience it again. However, the more logical side of my wants to adopt and is fine with a child who’s a bit older. I often feel (too) selfless (what am I getting myself into? we have our lives down and it will only disrupt everything) and also selfish (do I really need to do this? what is the big deal if I don’t?) at the same time. It’s an emotional and psychological struggle. I really want another child. I can’t put into words WHY, I just do. it may be selfish, I don’t know. I wonder if perhaps I’m thinking I’ll feel less selfish about the decision if we adopt from foster care (as I’d love to if we can get it together to meet all the requirements). I know this has just been a rant but I needed to get it off my chest, seeing this blog post brought out a lot of feelings I’ve been having lately.

  33. adopted3 says:

    With domestic adoption…it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks–most likely, it is the birth parent and whomever else is her support that are choosing the parents for her child. We started the third process of adoption thinking we would wait the longest because we already had two kids and 6 weeks after getting in the book, we were chosen and our daughter was home. Her birthmother had 4 siblings–something she wanted for her daughter. Our home was and is still a bit chaotic, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our social worker has even encouraged us to adopt again. We have been thinking about waiting children…but we are lacking in the space in our home. Anyway–it is what it is. You will find your match if you are willing to work for it!

  34. Cyndi- Are the Duggar’s pregnant again????

  35. Did any of you ever kind of feel that you might be tempting fate to keep adding kids. I know that thought crossed my mind once or twice and certainly was implied by others, especially with adoption.

  36. Amelia says:

    “…. After all, our society frowns on only children.”

    I cringe at statements like the one mentioned above- hoping society grows-up and accepts our happy family of three just as it is.

    I’m an only child, and after conceiving our child with donor egg at 40 we have decided to stay with just one child. (for medical and financial reasons). I was just fine as an only and I know my son will be too.

    • Dawn says:

      Amelia- I put that in almost tongue in cheek. As another way to illustrate how some folks can stick their nose in when it is not needed nor appreciated. I understand where you’re coming from and as some recent articles have illustrated, the old stereotypes of “only” children don’t hold up. Probably never did.

  37. Pat, not infrequently, social workers specify that the child should either be the eldest or the youngest or not have siblings too close in age, etc. Usually when they do this, they are trying to do what they think is in this child’s best interest and what type of family he or she will most likely have an easier time adjusting to. I have often seen these recommendations be relaxed if the child has not found a home within a certain period of time. I have heard examples where they have not relaxed these suggestions.

  38. Summer says:

    So I guess I have some pretty strong feelings on this topic. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our first child. We are waiting for an infant b/w 0-24 months and adopting internationally. I don’t apologize for wanting an infant because we are young and we want to experience that piece of parenthood. This process has brought about relationships of varying degrees with many people in the adoption community and one thing that has consistently been repeated: the “Christian families with biological children wanting to affect the orphan crisis in the world and save a child by adopting an infant”.. This gets on my nerves. Sorry it does. My husband and I are Christians and we do realize that our child will indeed be blessed to have a family and certainly the opportunities will be great in the USA.. however I think it poses the absolute wrong example and view to go one the idea that we are saving our adopted child especially if you have biological children. Your adopted child is already going to be different from the rest of your family but to adopt to save?.. And I really see that many of these people like the idea that now people will see their obviously adopted child (from Africa, etc) and know that they are such good Christians.. Please don’t think I’m a a sarcastic jerk. I’m just being honest here. And I just feel differently than a lot of people that are adopting.. I believe strongly that for the many Christian families with biological children to want so badly to save an orphan to then get in the “infant line” with all of the couples that have no children making our waits so much longer.. its kind of disheartening. Its unlike anything I can quite put into words to tell you what its like to read or hear a waiting family (with 2, 3, 5 children, many times with an infant already at home) complaining about how they just can’t wait to hold their adopted baby and the wait has been so long and please pray because I just need my referral of my baby soon.. and at the same time, our nursery has been empty for 3 years as we wait.. I appreciate what these families are doing, without a doubt. But I would say that of the many families I know through church, groups, and socially that are adopting, we are 1 of 2 that are childless and 99% of the other families adopting with 2, 3, 4, 5 kids are waiting for an infant. So grow your families as big and awesome as you dream of! And save the world by giving a child a home and a family.. but save one that’s already here and already an orphan.. one that is 3, 4, 5, 6 yrs old.. one that childless couples like myself would be uneasy with due to inexperience with kids and want for that baby-experience. That’s my piece. Sorry for the rambling rant. Hopefully I didn’t ruffle too many feathers. This is a subject that is really not too acceptable in the adoption community and if I did share it, I would certainly lose every friend I have in the adoption world. Thanks.

    • Dawn says:

      Summer, I appreciate your honesty. From what I hear, I think you probably speak for others. I may quote from your comment and try to start a broader discussion because I think you raise a topic that can use some airing out. Thanks again.

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