Friday, 17 May 2019 14:50

Adoption

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As a mother of an adopted child, I understand first-hand this very important and exciting topic. So Families Fully Alive decided to start a new section dedicated to adoption on the website for the Christian family.  My specialty and experience is with international adoption, so that will also get  special mention as we explore this exciting topic.

 

Throughout the months we will be dealing with different aspects related to adoption, such as 1) the necessary procedures to carry it out, 2) waiting, 3) the arrival of the child, 4) adaptation to the new family, and 5) the revelation of the child's origins. Included will be the joys and struggles of adoption of children by single parents, as well as the adoption of children with special needs. When we get to the last of our articles we will discuss the search of origins and we will share the testimony of several adopted young people. Finally, we will review the teachings from the scriptures related to adoption.

What is adoption? 

The word "adoption" comes from the Latin "adoptio" and means "to receive as a son the one that biologically is not."  In legal terms, this would mean the act by which an adult is granted parental authority of a child in a situation of abandonment and a bond of kinship is created between them with similar rights and obligations to the biological filiation.

Adoption is a life-long, permanent decision that must be reached after a deep period of reflection on the part of the adopters. The motivation to adopt may be varied, but it must be born from the deep desire to be parents.  However, the adoptive parents must never lose sight of its ultimate goal: the good of the child.

Choosing the social service agency that processes the adoption files is extremely important since it is the potential parent's guide.  The agency should analyze the causes that move people to adoption: sometimes it will be sterility of the spouses, other problems in carrying out a pregnancy, a single-parent, or the desire to generously and permanently welcome a vulnerable child into a family that already has biological children.

As regarding infertility and the difficulty of conception … man participates in the creative nature of God through the gift of parenthood. But when either the husband or wife is infertile, this grace is not realized.  Feelings of inferiority or guilt may surface. These feelings are rooted in the erroneous belief that children are a right, not a privilege.  Infertile couples should take care to not fall into this error.  Understandably the pain experienced by the inability to achieve or to sustain a pregnancy is comparable to that of the loss of a loved one. Therefore, it is essential for the parents-to-be to overcome grief for a biologically unborn child and relish in the hope that parenthood will result with adoption.  The arrival of parenthood will be different from what the couple had initially planned,for sure, but the result will be the same - a new member of a growing family!

Good and open communication in the marriage will be fundamental to taking the very painful experience of infertility from one of tension to one of uniting the spouses. In this situation there are no culprits and the infertility, even if it is due to only one of the spouses, should be seen as something shared. Marriage is a community of material and spiritual goods.

To summarize, we will say that the motivation to adopt should not be based on the satisfaction of the affective needs of adults or on the reductionist vision of compassion for the rescue of some minor child.  Adoption is a daily commitment of motherhood / fatherhood, a project of love that has as its goal the integral development of the child who is, like the biological child, an individual different from the father or mother and with a specific mission within God's plan.

The expectation of the child who arrives 

As we have already said, the result of the adoption process integrates a minor into our family who, until then, was completely alien to us. In some cases the child could even have arrived from another country or be of another race. In the case of biological children it is easy to establish the physical resemblance to one or both parents, plus the genetic inheritance and the family history is known.  Not so with the adopted child.  He is in a sense, a blank page, because many times there is no previous known history about them or the one available is not entirely reliable.

In addition, parents, from the moment they know that a child is expected (biologically or by adoption), tend to build an expectation about the child that may  or may not coincide with what finally arrives. In the case of adopted children, an extra precaution is required in this regard in order to avoid confusion and rejection when illusions and preconceived ideas do not match the personality of the child God has given to the couple.. In this sense, the child must adopted as he is and not be transformed it into what the parents would like it to be.

Adoption is a school of love. We adopt a minor and reciprocally we are adopted. We make them our children and they make us parents in a genuine and very rich relationship, and so a family is born.  Do you dare to adopt?

Clara MartinezClara Martínez has a degree in Law and a Master's Degree in Personnel Management and HR Management. She has been working in telecommunications for fifteen years. She is a lay member of the Home of the Mother. Married since 2001, she is the adoptive mother of an eight-year-old Chinese girl and has been in a second adoption process in China for six years. She is a member of the Spanish Association Andeni, National Association for the Defense of Children. She has read various books and articles on adoption and has attended talks on the subject. In addition, she stays in permanent contact with a group of Spanish and American families with adopted children in China.