I grew up Catholic. I went to Catholic school for eight long years. One of the prayers we had to memorize, was the Apostles’ Creed. It goes like this:
I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
And so on. It’s about 12 lines.
Last week, when I was writing my agenda, I started to write what I believe about adoption. It was too long in an already long post. When I started this post, I realized that I was writing it somewhat like the Apostles’ Creed.
So, here it is, my Adoption Creed.
I believe in open adoption. I believe that every adoption should be open unless there is a highly-compelling reason for it to be otherwise. Even then, I believe the adoption should be open with some family member.
I do not believe that adoption should be a last resort. I do not believe that biology is best. I do not believe in what people call “family preservation” because I do not believe that biology alone defines family in the first place.
I believe in ethics. I believe that the decision to place a child for adoption should be about what is best for the child first, what is best for the birth family second, and that what is best for the adoptive parents shouldn’t even factor into it. I believe in counseling expectant parents – mothers and fathers – and actively helping them to explore all of their options.
I believe that discrimination is bad for children. I believe that children need parents, and that it doesn’t matter what religion those parents are, if they are single or married, gay or straight.
I believe that race matters (even if it shouldn’t). I believe that no adoption professional should charge fees based on race, because no parent should choose transracial adoption because it’s cheaper.
I believe no one should adopt from foster care because it’s free. People should adopt from foster care because they support the goals of foster care first, or because they have the desire and ability to parent children from hard places.
I believe that adoption is about finding families for children and about finding children for families, because it’s the same thing. I do not believe in pithy statements.
I believe that everyone needs help sometimes, and, to that end, counseling and support should be available to all members of families affected by adoption.
I believe that the world needs to be better educated about adoption, in so many ways.
I believe that adoption is hard. For everybody. At least sometimes. I believe that we should listen to one another.
I believe that any one person can be an expert only on his or her own situation. I believe that we see things through our own experiences, but we must remember that ours are not the only ones that are real.
I believe that adoption is complicated.
I believe that adoption can be good, too.