Love is NOT all you need

Unpopular Adoption Opinion: Love is NOT all an adoptee needs! 

I oftentimes hear this sentiment as a justification for adoption and people’s desire to help all of the “orphans” around the world. But the truth is that love alone is not enough. There are many people who are absolutely loving but are not equipped to be adoptive parents, and these people should not be encouraged to adopt. It is a more loving thing for a child to NOT adopt them if a prospective parent cannot commit to all of the lifelong ramifications and complications of adoption. It is unfair to the child to make false promises and not meet their needs, and it is unfair to the prospective adoptive parents to pressure them into a situation without full information under the guise that “love will be enough.” 

In addition to love, adoptees need: 

  • Families that will support, encourage, and lift up their racial and ethnic heritage
  • Families that will honor the importance and dignity of the adoptee’s first family
  • Families that are willing to learn basic communication and language skills when adopting an older child who speaks a different language from them
  • Families that are willing to do more research into their child’s home country and the history of adoption than the basic adoption agency requirements
  • Families that are willing to move to communities where their child can have racial mirrors in the school and neighborhood
  • Families that are able to have conversations about race, racism, adoption, and disability regularly
  • Families that recognize adoption has always been and will always be political 
  • Families that are willing to learn about grief, loss, and trauma in relation to adoption and how to help their child rather than pathologize them or suppress their grief 
  • Families that are not just willing, but glad, to listen to the words and experiences of adult adoptees — even those who challenge their thoughts 
  • Families that are prepared to advocate for adoptee rights and reform to the adoption system alongside their child 
  • Families that will not rehome their child when things don’t turn out as expected (Myka Stauffer)
  • Adoption-competent teachers, schools, and assignments (Eg. NOT family trees, bringing in baby photos, at-home genetics worksheets) and families who will intervene when necessary 
  • Access to biological medical information and original birth certificates 
  • A sense of continuity 
  • Birth parent searches and a desire for biological connection to be normalized 
  • The true facts around the circumstances of their abandonment/relinquishment and adoption  
  • The expectation of gratitude to be lifted from adoptees’ shoulders
  • An adoption community and society that puts adoptees at the center instead of adoptive parents 
  • A society that does not paint a rosy, one-sided depiction of adoption that discounts the array of feelings and experiences of adoptees
  • A society that does not automatically characterize someone who adopts as a “good” person
  • A society that does not perpetually pathologize, pity, or infantilize adult adoptees, but instead believes adoptees’ truths  
  • Legal protection, safety, and citizenship in their adoptive countries #AdopteeCitizenshipAct #Citizenship4All 
  • Affordable and accessible adoption-competent mental health services 
  • A community of support with other adoptees 

3 responses to “Love is NOT all you need

  1. Pingback: Navigating the World: Heritage Travel and Tourism | Red Thread Broken·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s