This may sound rude, or offensive but im going to be blunt in asking for opinions.
My sexuality means that it’s pretty certain that I won’t be able to have children the old fashioned way with the person I fall in love with.
This has only really dawned on me recently.
So if i wanted a child it seems adoption would be the best route.
This brings with it a whole bunch of problems, but one would be me worrying about having an attachment to the child.
Is there some instant and special connection to a genetic child that just doesn’t exist with an adopted child?
Is that the biggest emotional hurdle to get over?
This obviously won’t be coming up any time soon due to my age, but it has just had me thinking the past few days.
One of my parents told me that they started therapy when I was a few months old because they cared about my well-being but didn’t love me yet (for the love of god, even if it’s true why would you share this with a twelve-year-old?!), so I’m going to go with no, loving your genetic kids isn’t always something that happens instantaneously either.
Disclaimer: I’ve only got genetic children myself, to take this with a grain of salt (slight WAG, anecdotal).
It seems that there’s something “special” with having a biological/genetic child before you get the child. Otherwise more people would probably choose adoption over IVF, surrogate mothers etc. OTOH, I’ve never seen a parent love his/her adopted child less than I love mine, so I guess there’s no difference when you get the child home.
You have to be pretty motivated to get through the adoption process, in Oz anyhow.
The biggest difference is you generally arent getting a newborn. Part of the attachment process is time, so stop worrying about ‘instant attachment’ is my suggestion, movies overemphasise it as the ‘normal’ reaction.
If you feel an instant link, great, but it isnt necessary.
The bonding that forms between the mother and her biological child is at least partially mediated by pre-natal hormones.
Also, I think that parents think a lot about the child they’ve made before its even born, so that creates a bond too. They think about names, fantasize about how it will look and how it will act, and are with it as it develops along the way. Parents start to feel like they “know” the baby before it’s even born, even if they really don’t.
You don’t get those experiences with an adopted child.
But that’s not to say that bonding never happens. It just doesn’t happen immediately.
Well as my wife says she gave birth to an eight year old. My daughter came to live with us when she was eight and if my wife (who is the kids step-mother) is any indication, then I would say the bond is there. She loves and treats my daughter as her own daughter. My daughter is now almost sixteen. The bond wasn’t instant but it started early on. Initially it was just taking care of this kid to very quickly falling in love with her. It helps that my daughter is an awesome kid!
My experience, and from what I’ve seen from other adopted friends, is that I’ve never completely felt a member of the family. I look at my parents, at my brothers, and I can see a clear genetic blueprint, both in how they look and the types of people they are. I suspect my parents point of view, although they would never admit it, is that they feel similar.
However, that should in no way imply that I have had an unhappy childhood (it was great) or that I feel in any way ‘less loved’ than my siblings.
But I think to say ‘it feels exactly the same as with a genetic child’ is to potentially set a false expectations. I strongly suspect it feels different. That’s not to say it’s not worth doing.
Not to pile on, but I believe my dear mother is spinning in her urn. As was already mentioned, one goes through a lot to adopt a child, quite often taking longer than the nine month gestation period of a bio child. I have only my personal experience to go by so in no way am I positing anything as fact, but between the stories I grew up with about my own adoption and watching others going through the adoption process, I don’t think the *elation *differs. Of course there are differences, but why dwell on a moot point?
My observations of the situation with adoptees has been that while the person or couple who adopted the child may feel an intense familial bond because of their experiences in the adoption process, the extended family doesn’t. This can create a lot of problems if the extended family is important in someone’s life. For the extended family the adoptee is a stranger, not blood, whom their relatives have choose to favor over their genetic family.
There’s also differences to consider when you’re adopting as far as appearance and heritage, especially in regards to other people’s reactions.
My mother adopted a child and we got him immediately as an infant. He’s biracial (black & caucasian) where the rest of my family are completely milk white. That still gets a lot of notice and commentary (especially where we live in SC), and makes his experience as a member of the family a lot different than my own, and our younger brother, who is biological as well.
I can’t say for him, but I know on my own part I do love both him and my other brother - our individual relationships are different only because as they’ve grown up, they are very different in personality and interests. I would fight or defend either, and actively did when I was a child as well.
A year ago we adopted two wonderful children (they were 5 &6). The bonding process is not immediate. Every day we find new ways to love our children.
Is it different? Given that I don’t have bio children, I can’t say definitively but I think it is. We missed out on some pretty formative years.
Now, with that said, even in the short time they have been with us, you can see a lot of us in them. Their attitudes and behaviours have changed significantly since they arrived. Not all for the better but certainly they are more ‘like us’ than they were at first. (Our daughter is a little mouthy, for example, something that I am afraid she has learned from me.)
Though the bonding wasn’t instantaneous, I now get that incredibly maternal feeling when anyone or anything is bothering my child. The feelings are certainly extreme enough that I would say I am feeling the bond.
You also get that prideful, wonderful feeling when they learn something new or just give you a big hug.
We think they are the coolest kids ever and they are 100% ours in every sense to us.
(BTW, ZPG’s opinions on adoption seem to be a little wonky but our extended family has been more than wonderful with our kids. They are so happy to have them in the family after thinking we would never have kids that they dote on them incredibly. YMMV depending on your family, of course.)
This is actually very common. A lot of parents don’t “fall in love” with their babies until some time after they’re born. Basically you’ve got this tiny shrieking alien poop machine for a while. Then after a few months they learn to smile and become adorable.
I’m going to answer that from the opinion of an outsider going to marry into a family that adopted. My SO is the biological child of his mother and his two younger sisters are adopted.
My future MIL has told me that bonding was a real issue to begin with. The girls were a few months old when she got them. While she felt an instant bond with my SO that strengthened, she felt she started from nothing with the girls and it took her awhile until until she felt as close to them as she did to my SO. The youngest was switched (as in, she thought she was picking up baby A and got Baby B instead) after she arrived in the adoptive country, making her have question things like “how can I love someone that was switched on me, just instantly like that?”.
I think she now loves them just as much as my SO, without question. But you can’t replicate certain things. Like talking about traits and qualities and appearance areas of intelligence that she shares with my SO. All of that “your eyes are your father’s” or “your persuasiveness is like Grandma’s” are never topics of conversation or consideration. My SO was pursuing an identical field that his parents both work in. Twas obviously genetic. His one sister is excellent in math and science and will likely pursue something in biotech or engineering. Mom finds that very hard to relate to.
I don’t know any gay couples who have adopted. I also don’t know any couples who have adopted and don’t have at least one bio child, so I can’t speculate on families whose children are all adopted and the dynamic that exists there.