Host: What are some of the reasons people decide to adopt?
Marilyn Regier: There are many reasons that people decide to adopt, but there are three reasons that I see most frequently in my practice. The number one reason is that people are experiencing either primary or secondary infertility and they earnestly want to become parents. Primary infertility is usually defined as the inability to conceive a child or to successfully carry a child to a life birth after about one year of consorted efforts to conceive.
Secondary infertility refers to the situation where a family has given birth once but is unable to conceive again and/or to carry a child to a life birth a second time. In either case, infertility can pull a marriage apart or it can significantly strengthen a marriage. It is safe to say that infertility is never experienced as neutral. It is also important to remember that adoption does not cure infertility, but it does provide the opportunity to parent. Another reason that people sometimes seek to adopt for one to the better term we will call, for humanitarian reasons. They may not have infertility, but there are some compelling reasons, some impulse that move them to adopt.
Now, you have to be very careful here, because no child of adoption wants to feel that he or she was or is described as some sort of social service project. But nonetheless, we see some wonderful families coming who do not have infertility, but have some compelling reason that they want to add to their family in this way. For example, they may see a compelling need in this country, the 500,000 children that are languishing in the U.
S. Public Foster Care System or they may look overseas and see a compelling need with famine, hunger, war, poverty, African orphans or they maybe compelled by a cultural need. They may see the abandonment of female children in some countries or they maybe aware of the one child policy in some countries.
All of these can bring people to adopt for humanitarian concerns. The third reason I see quite frequently is that there are many qualified and wonderful single applicants who for one reason or another are not in a marital relationship and they no longer wish to defer parenthood. They may have wonderful job, wonderful home and a secure support network and they truly want to become parents. So, there are many programs that do afford them the opportunity as a single to adopt. We do have to respect the rules of other countries and some countries do prohibit adoption by singles. Some do not and certainly, in our U.
S. adoption programs, singles are always welcome.
So, those three reasons, infertility, humanitarian concerns and the wish to become a parent even though one is single are the three driving motivations that primarily bring people to adopt.