What are the Benefits of Being Adopted?
How Adoption Gives Adoptees a Life Full of Opportunity
Being adopted has its share of complex emotional challenges. Still, the benefits of being adopted are numerous.
- Adoption can create a life full of opportunity with a family better able to provide a loving and nurturing environment.
- Adoptees in an open adoption can maintain a life-long connection with the birth parents.
- Adoption child benefits include adoptees receiving encouragement and support from their adoptive parents to learn more about their adoption story.
Here at American Adoptions, we work hard to support those adopted through our agency and educate prospective birth and adoptive parents about the realities of the adoption journey and the many benefits of adoption for children.
The information provided here will focus on adoption benefits for the child.
If you’re a prospective adoptive family and want more information on the adoption process, you can complete our online contact form or call us at 1-800-ADOPTION to connect with a professional today.
Prospective birth mothers can reach us online here, as well as by calling us toll-free at 1-800-ADOPTION.
The Benefits of Being Adopted
It’s normal (and important) for prospective adoptive and birth parents to worry about the well-being of their child. They often ask us: “With all the negative stories I hear out there, are there any adoption benefits for the child?”
Most adoptees by adulthood learn that it’s OK to experience grief, loss, anger and other complex emotions of being an adoptee. What they want you to know is that it doesn’t negate the good.
Adoptees, particularly those coming from closed adoptions, learn to cope and accept their adoption story in their own way. However, most adoptees also recognize the many benefits of being adopted and the life their adoptive parents have provided them.
Adoptees, too, often ask questions, such as, “Why was I placed for adoption?”
In an open adoption, adoptees can get those questions answered by communicating directly with the birth mother.
The ability for an adoptee to learn about their adoption story at an earlier age can make it easier to develop an identity knowing their birth mother did what she thought was best under the circumstances.
John is an adoptee who, through open adoption, was able to process and understand why his birth mother chose adoption.
“Between the ages of 8 and 10, I realized that Judy and Travis, my birth parents, must have really cared about me. To this day, I can only imagine how hard it must be to give up your child, your own flesh and blood, without knowing if you will ever see him or her again. Over the years, Judy and I have written letters back and forth. The letters helped me to understand that she cared, and still cares, a lot about me.”
In closed adoptions, it can take time for adoptees to get many of those same questions answered, as many states have strict laws for accessing birth records. Because of this, most adoption agencies and professionals strongly encourage birth mothers to remain open or “semi-open” in their adoption.
Open adoption also allows adoptees to have access to important family medical history.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at some of the key adoption benefits for the child.
1. A Safe, Stable Home Environment
There are many reasons an expectant parent may place their child for adoption. Most common is because they are unable to provide the safe and supportive home their child needs. This may be due to a toxic relationship, an unstable living situation, a substance abuse problem or another long-lasting situation.
When an expectant parent chooses adoption, their child has the chance to grow up in a safe and stable home.
Adoptive parents must meet strict requirements to adopt; they must prove that they are financially, physically and emotionally ready for raising an adopted child.
While no two adoptive parents do it the same way, they will provide an adopted child the kind of home the expectant parent often desires.
And it’s not just our personal experiences that support these benefits of adoption for children. A 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded some important facts:
- 85% of adopted children were in “very good to excellent health.”
- Adopted children were less likely than non-adopted children to live below the poverty line.
- Adopted children were more likely to have health insurance.
Of course, it’s impossible to say that all adoptees are in a better situation than if their biological parents raised them. However, the birth parents who choose adoption do it for a reason — and providing a safe, supportive and loving home for their child.
2. Access to More Opportunities
Adoptive parents are typically of a higher socioeconomic status than the general population. According to the 2007 study, 53% of them have a household income of $60,000 or more, and 75% have some sort of college degree.
In turn, education and opportunity are often incredibly important to these parents — and they encourage success in their children. These are some of the most obvious adoption benefits for the child that have been subsequently demonstrated in recent studies:
- 85% of adopted children participated in extracurricular activities at school.
- 68% of adopted children were read to every day as young children.
- 73% of adopted children were sung to or told stories every day.
- More than half were also reported to have “very good or excellent” performance in reading, language arts and math.
In addition, adoptive parents are more likely to have the financial resources to support a child through college and other higher education.
They have often saved and prepared for years for raising a child, and they may be able to provide a host of opportunities (travel, private lessons, etc.) that other parents cannot.
Of course, personal and family situations can change quickly, but these benefits of being adopted have been demonstrated repeatedly.
For some prospective birth parents, these advantages help them decide adoption is right for their child.
3. Two Sets of Loving Parents
Many adoptees say their relationship with their birth parents is one of the more unique adopted child benefits they experience.
When in an open adoption, adoptees benefit from their relationship with the adoptive parents while also having at least some level of communication with their biological parents.
Having an open adoption drastically increases the birth parent satisfaction with and adjustment after the placement, as indicated by several studies.
Certainly, emotions of grief and loss can still be prevalent. Still, because birth parents can work with adoption agencies to hand-pick the adoptive family based on their preferences, they can develop a strong relationship from the beginning of their adoption journey.
The same applies to adoptees: Those who are adopted and have a direct, open relationship with their birth parents are typically more satisfied with their adoptee identity than those with no information on or contact with biological family members.
Take it from one of our adopted staff members, Jennifer, who was raised in a closed adoption:
“I do admit that I had a lot of questions growing up. From a medical standpoint, my health history ended when I was born. I didn’t have anything else beyond that for most of my life. Like all adoptees, I had questions about my birth parents and feelings of shame over not being wanted, especially because I had no information about my birth mother’s adoption decision.”
This is why American Adoptions requires all adoptive parents to be open to a certain degree of post-placement contact.
While the final degree of contact is always up to the birth mother choosing adoption, modern adoption research strongly supports our standard of openness.
Remember, adoptive parents and prospective birth mothers can learn more about the benefits of adoption for children and open adoption by calling 1-800-ADOPTION to connect with a professional today.
Adopted Child Benefits: A Life Full of Opportunity
Every adoptee’s experience is different. What may be seen as the benefits of being an adopted child by one may be viewed as challenges by another.
The time it takes to get answers to important questions about their adoption story and begin to develop an identity knowing they have both past and present stories to tell is unique to each adoptee.
One thing is certain, despite the complex emotions of being an adoptee, many are fully aware and grateful for the many benefits of being adopted.
The life of opportunity they were given through adoption is one of the many incredible adopted child benefits while also creating a better future for both the birth parents and the adoptive family.
To learn more about the adoption benefits for the child our specialists have seen, contact our agency online.
Similarly, if you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and wondering about the benefits of adoption for children, please call us toll-free at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us here.
We will always be here to provide the education and information you need to make the best decision for you.
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