BROADENING YOUR OPTIONS
Just as people dream of the ideal biological child, you may dream about the ideal adopted child. At first this fantasy may be to adopt a child who looks like you and your spouse. Expecting a child to look like you, however, even if you were to find biological parents who resembled you, is unrealistic. Even to expect biological children to look like you is unrealistic. Accept the likelihood that a child will probably not look like you-although we've seen lots of children who look like their adoptive parents, even those of a different race or ethnic background. Once you arrive at this realization, you may find yourself expanding your ideas about what kind of a child you would be able to accept.
This is not to say that someone who is uncomfortable with adopting a child from outside his or her race is nonaccepting. There are many things to consider when adopting a child, including the child's age, health background, and prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol. Sometimes, looking at what you can accept emotionally culturally, and financially allows you to move beyond preconceived ideas about what your child will be like and challenges you to consider adopting a child who does not fit into your original, often unrealistic, fantasy.
Regardless of background, every child needs to be loved and accepted for his unique qualities. We do not adopt children to make a social statement, out of pity, or because we feel some kind of social guilt. We adopt because we want children and because children need a loving and supportive home. The positive environment you provide may not compensate for every challenge your child may face, whether she is biological or adopted, but we know that, regardless of their backgrounds, children do better in stable, loving homes.
The materials for this course have been reprinted with permission from the book The Complete Adoption Book, Third Edition, Copyright © 2005, 2000, 1997, by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond W. Godwin. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Media, Inc. Co. All rights reserved. The complete book is available at bookstores on and offline.