I sat in a class the other week, trying to get input from a group of 13-year-olds on the phrase, “Live simply, so that others can simply live!”

I was met with blank faces who couldn’t quite get their head around how they could live more simply and in the process allow others to live.

The conversation shifted towards how my family and I would like to live this out more in our daily lives. My automatic focus moved to adoption and how many raise the argument of finances to justify why they couldn’t take in someone else’s child and… WHAT!!!!

I think I could probably argue away my ability to financially provide for someone else’s child but this position raises the biggest red flag in the adoption consideration, the idea that adoption is raising another’s child as your own and how this mindset will always inhibit families from taking in children in need of a home.

Kids are expensive

I don’t think anyone will disagree, even those without kids snigger and judge as we try navigate the gauntlet affectionately known as the checkout queue. I see you, standing, smiling, taking your one item and relishing the fact that you don’t have two or three little ones setting out to justify exactly why they deserve/are owed/need or simply want the chocolate bar which you know will bless you with hours of sugar-filled fun.

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Doctors bills, OT bills, food bills, clothing bills, school bills, entertainment, toys etc, they all add up and never end. But, as much as I’d like to experience a reality where money comes into my bank account without it immediately going out, they are MINE and I love to provide, care for and bless them, even at the cost of doing without. That’s what parents do, they sacrifice.

Taking this logic to adoptive kids, I find many people, whether it be out of ignorance or intention refer to adopted sons/daughters distinct from children who are your ‘own’. Perhaps this is one of the greatest justifiers of why they cannot adopt. If I can distinguish between natural and adopted in terms of belonging and value, then I can easily decide that I can’t afford another’s child.

People still see adopted children as inferior to biological ones and this needs to change

What if your son/daughter becomes sick, what if you need to drop everything and rush them to hospital? What if the costs soar and you are left with no choice but to sell whatever you can to cover the costs? What if your boss gives you the ultimatum, ‘Stay at your child’s bedside and lose your job or come back to work and complete the deal’? What if the bank calls and informs you they will be needing to take back your house and your car for lack of payment?

Wouldn’t you pay the cost, even gladly, for the chance to do whatever is needed for your child? Wouldn’t you go without, wouldn’t you chose a simpler life, so that your child could simply live? I doubt any parent would say no!

Now change the first sentence of the previous paragraph to, “What if some else’s son/daughter becomes sick” and re-read the remaining words. How do your feelings change? This is where our understanding of adoption needs to change, because if these children are viewed as someone else’s, our ability to step in and do what is needed will be limited, but if they are viewed as yours, or soon to be yours, or possibly yours, your capacity and desire to do whatever is needed will evolve.

You say you can’t afford to adopt, I say, we can’t afford not to

People still see adopted children as inferior to biological and this needs to change. Most people would say they couldn’t afford children, before they landed up with one/two/three, but they made a plan because that’s what parents do. You probably won’t be able to afford to adopt child, but thats OK because biological and adopted children have at least one thing in common. Neither are raised on cash, they are raised on the prayers, hopes, dreams, sacrifices and love of their parents.

You say you can’t afford to adopt, I say, we can’t afford not to. If you’re still in doubt, have a look here.