Host: What is adoption?
Marilyn Regier: Adoption is one way to build a family or to join a family. Adoption is first and foremost, a legal process which transfers all rights and responsibilities of parenting from the biological parents onto the adoptive parents and while adoption brings adoptive parents much joy, it is first and foremost an institution designed as a way of finding home for children who need them.
Adoption ideally, provides children with permanency, security and most of all unconditional love and it also accords them important rights, such as the right of inheritance. It is also instructive to consider what adoption is not. It is not the same as fostering a child. When we foster a child we must learn to say goodbye. Fostering has a certain impermanency to it. Nor is adoption trying a child on precise, there are no exit strategies with adoption, just as there are no exit strategies when we birth a child. That is why you often hear the term Forever Family , when we talk about adoption.
Sometimes people ask me, Can I really love a child who comes to me in this way as much as I would love a child who is born to me? Often, I ask them to think about how much they love for example, their spouse, who is not related to them by blood or how much they price and value their relationship with a dear, dear friend, who has no genetic connection to them. Yes, in all my years of practice, I have found that over and over again, people do find that they can love a child who comes to them through adoption in the same way that they would love a child born to them.
One of my favorite quotes was written by an adoptive mother, who said, I have made the joyous discovery that I can feel complete and natural parental love for a child who is related to me by neither birth nor blood nor race nor cultural origin. Perhaps that will be your discovery as well. Now, let us move on.