Why do I want to adopt?
There's one reason above all others to make this choice: You should do it, say experts, because you want to be a parent and love a child. If a personal concern for less fortunate kids is part
of your motivation, then that may affect how
you adopt — but it shouldn't be your driving impulse; adoption is about creating a family, not "saving" a child.
Can I handle an open adoption?
Twenty years ago, virtually all adoptions were "closed" — meaning that records were sealed and birth parents never had contact with the new parents, or with their children, after the
adoption. Some professionals thought this preserved privacy for birth parents, secured the role of adoptive parents, and ensured that adopted kids didn't feel "different." In fact, many states
still deny adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
Today, most domestic adoptions are "open" or "semi-open," meaning there's some contact between the adoptive family and birth parents. A growing number of experts now view openness as healthy for
several reasons: It reassures birth parents that their child is doing well; it gives adoptive parents information about their child's history as well as a sense of security (studies have shown that
adoptive parents in closed arrangements are more anxious about losing their child than those in open ones); and it allows adopted children and adults to have longed-for connections to their
biological family and roots.