Adopted vs. natural children. Are they different? Is raising them different? Will you love them any more or less? Will they love YOU any more or less? I have had the privilege and honor of raising both adopted and natural children. I have two natural children and two adopted children. And I can tell you, without a doubt, that there is absolutely no difference at all. At least not to me. I can only speak of my own experience. When asked if there is any difference in raising natural vs. adopted children my canned response is “I don’t care if they come in through the front door or the back door; once they’re in the house, they’re mine”! The short answer is no. No difference at all. And so, it is with much personal experience that I write this.
“I don’t care if they come in through the front door or the back door; once they’re in the house, they’re mine”
Someone contemplating adoption may have questions about the alleged difference between parenting an adopted child or a natural child. I’ll cover the more common concerns.
- Love – I’ve already answered the question of whether or not an adopted child will differ in the love department. They will love you. You will love them. Bottom line. Next question?
- Genetics – Naturally, with different DNA, there may be differences in appearance. So what? You may be fortunate enough to share similarities. But does it really matter? All a child knows or cares about is that they are loved. Are you noticing a theme here?
- Health – One important factor that does matter is medical history. With a closed adoption it may be difficult to obtain family medical history information. Some birth mothers will leave detailed information. Many will not. If your adoption was open then it is vital that you seek out all information that you can obtain. Any genetic conditions or history of heart disease or other issues will be important; not just during childhood but on through adulthood.
- Culture – With many adoptions, international adoptions in particular, there are wide variances in culture between adopted child and adoptive parents. I believe that it is important that the child is educated and made to appreciate their heritage and cultural differences. It is an important part of who they are and where they come from.
“With many adoptions, international adoptions in particular, there are wide variances in culture between adopted child and adoptive parents.”
So in summary, regardless of any differences due to lineage, all that really matters is that your adopted children love you and you love them. Anything else can be overcome. I’ve referenced the plural because once you have adopted one, you will want another! Just can’t have sibling rivalry without at least two!
It is my wish that all those that read this are blessed with children of their own, whether adopted or natural. There is no more rewarding experience than being a parent.