Five Reasons Adoption Shouldn’t be a Backup Plan

By John Prather Published on February 11, 2018

My wife and started the adoption process two months after we got married.

I start out by telling you that because of the question we get asked most often when someone finds out our child is adopted. It’s the most offensive question I’ve ever been asked. Unfortunately it’s also probably the most common. The question goes something like this, “Oh, did you have trouble getting pregnant so you decided to adopt?”

The question offends me because it relegates my daughter to being a backup plan. The question insinuates that every parent would rather have biological children but sometimes people get stuck with secondary children instead. The question offends me for my daughter’s sake, and for the sake of every adopted child in the world. I’m always quick to correct the speaker with our story.

Before we were married, my wife and I decided we wanted to build our family through adoption, in addition to having biological children. We knew there were many children in the world without a family so we wanted to bring a child into ours and give them the love they might never otherwise receive. We opted to do this through the foster care system because we wanted to help a child that would in all likelihood have no family at all. Adoption has always been “plan A” for us.

I’ve always thought of adoption as a wonderful thing. In fact, I’ve known I was going to adopt for as long as I can remember. I didn’t realize until recently that sometimes our culture views adoption differently than I do. Unfortunately, our culture often sees adoption as a backup plan for people when things don’t work out the way they want. I could not disagree with that sentiment more, and I want to help change it. With that in mind, I would like offer five reasons I think adoption shouldn’t be a backup plan:

We All Want to be Chosen.

Maybe you remember playing sports on the playground. Do you remember how it felt to be standing in a line of children waiting to be chosen for a team? Remember how you stood there awkwardly waiting for someone to choose you? Remember how your heart sank every time someone else was picked instead of you?

The truth is, almost any two willing adults can have a child. That doesn’t necessarily mean that child is wanted. But if a couple or individual takes the time to adopt a child from the foster care system, that child is special. That child has been chosen. Because the parents went to a lot of trouble to have that child. Trust me.

We all like to be chosen. It’s a wonderful feeling.

Do you remember the feeling you had when the captain pointed at you? Do you remember the thrill of having someone point at you and say your name? Adoption gives a lonely child an opportunity to have that feeling in life.

Blood is NOT Thicker Than Water.

That old saying should be left in the past where it belongs. The truth is my daughter couldn’t care less that we don’t share the same DNA. She doesn’t care that I didn’t pass my blood type on to her. All she knows is that I comfort her when she cries. She knows I protect her when she’s scared. She knows I love her no matter what.

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The strongest bond between two people isn’t made by blood. Think of your husband or wife. Think of your best friend. The thing that binds you together isn’t blood. The thing that binds you together is love.

My daughter is not my blood, but she is my heart. Having the same DNA can’t touch that.

Adoption Was God’s Idea.

God loves adoption. The entire Christian message is that of a heavenly father putting together a plan to adopt human children who were orphaned by sin.

The Bible says Christians are “fully adopted as God’s own children.” The Bible also says, “all who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God,” and “the spirit you received brought about your adoption.”

Also, in case you didn’t realize this, Jesus himself was the adopted son of a guy named Joseph. When God set out to adopt sons and daughters into his family, he sent his own son into the world to be adopted by a carpenter.

Adoption is God’s heart.

Adoption Saves Lives.

There are well over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. Of all the things we need to get right as a country, foster care and adoption are at the top of the list. The way our children go is the way our country will go. And there are hundreds of thousands of them who are begging for a loving family to be part of. How can we sit idly by in our comfortable houses while children who need our love are left to grow up on their own?

My wife and I aren’t rich, but we are rich in love. We don’t have a lot to give, but we can give ourselves. We can provide a safe, loving home. And in the end that is what children need. To know they are safe, and loved, and wanted. In the end, that is all any of us want.

It’s Worth It.

So far the foster and adoption process has been over a three-year journey for my wife and I, and we aren’t finished yet. I could spend hours filling you in on the difficulty and the heartbreak and the trouble this system has put us through. I cannot tell you the amount of tears I have shed through this journey. But the truth is all of them are nothing compared to one smile from my little girl. Nothing. And if one smile can erase all that pain, you can just imagine what her laugh does.

If I could tell you one thing about adoption it would be this: It’s worth it.

It. Is. Worth. It.

I promise.

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  • mj

    EXCELLENT article. So well written and so well thought-out. Wish I had read this about 20 years ago or more! Thanks very much for writing this and sharing your message and vision.

  • Scott Cardot

    Beautifuly written from the heart There is no doubt in my mind that You will make a difference not just for your child, but touch the heart of others to answer the call to join Plan A.

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